Sunday, August 03, 2008

Meat, The Press

The first thing you have to say about the once-venerable Meet The Press, is that we all think we personally knew Tim Russert, and we can tell that Tom Brokaw is no Tim Russert.

In today's edition, Brokaw lost control. He let Joseph Lieberman walk all over John Kerry. Joe, who really couldn't put together a paragraph length statement on any subject, was allowed to run up his minutes of noise by interrupting Kerry's statements. It was so pathetically transparent, that Trophy Wife was totally disgusted and turned off the TIVO-ed MTP and switched to Animal Planet. Meat the Press was so zoo-like, it was 90 seconds before I recognized that the channel had been changed.

But, in truth, it could be argued that the polite and urbane Kerry allowed himself to be walked on. He also missed key Democratic talking points every minute and apparently couldn't hear our cues shouted at the TV. To pick just one egregious example, there was this exchange which caused such an outburst from us that Ballou started barking (again!).

We're going to get to all those issues, but I also want to raise what a surrogate for Senator Obama had to say to my friend Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation." This is former General Wesley Clark talking about John McCain. He said, "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." He described him as untested and untried. With all due respect, Senator Kerry, he could have been talking about your qualifications. You're a Vietnam veteran...
Yeah, I, I don't agree. I don't agree with Wes Clark's comment. I think it was entirely inappropriate. I have nothing but enormous respect for John McCain's service. I had the privilege of standing with John McCain in the, in the cell in Hanoi when we visited there together, when we worked on the issue of Vietnam together. It was an emotional moment. I, I have awe for John McCain's experience as a prisoner of war, and he, and he does understand duty and service. But...
But unless...
Unless I missed it, though, Senator Obama has not specifically rebuked Wesley Clark's comments.
Oh, I think they--I thought--I did, and others did, and I thought Obama had at the time.
And Kerry goes on to change the subject. He slunk away without uttering single word about the context of General Wesley Clark's comments which included respect for McCain's service and heroism.

Even more outrageous, John Kerry never stood up for his comrade-in-arms. Not one mention of:
  • Clark's entrance into West Point at the age of 17, where he graduated first in his class.

  • His record at West Point which won him a Rhodes scholarship, and in 1966 he headed to England for two years of study at Oxford University. He passed his Oxford exams in two years and left to go to Army Ranger School for 72 days of training before leaving for Vietnam.

  • While he was a 25-year old Army captain in Vietnam, Clark commanded of a mechanized infantry company, One day, while on patrol in the jungle looking for Viet Cong, he was shot four times. Continuing to command his troops despite his wounds, he gave a series of orders, and his soldiers quickly overran the enemy positions. His bravery in battle earned him a Silver Star.

  • He was the commanding general of the Army's National Training Center during the Persian Gulf War, and later conducted three emergency deployments to Kuwait as the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

  • In 1994, General Clark was named director for strategic plans and policy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • A few months later, General Clark worked out a peace plan for Bosnia that would prove militarily enforceable.

  • After serving as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Southern Command (1997), General Clark was selected for one of the top posts in the military: Supreme Allied Commander of NATO - a position first held by General Eisenhower.

  • As Supreme Allied Commander, General Clark commanded NATO forces during the war in Kosovo - and won the war in a way few thought possible: with air power alone, without a single allied combat death, while holding together the alliance of 19 nations, and isolating Milosevic from his allies.

  • General Clark ended 38-year career of public service in the United States Army, as a four-star general, a trainer of soldiers, a leader of troops, equally accomplished in war and in peace.
In short, Wesley Clark's distinguished career certainly and uniquely qualifies him to take the full measure of a poseur like John McCain.

But what is such a freaking stunner is that none of this occurred to John Kerry.

My pages have been all about re-starting the 21st Century

Why not dedicate one page to re-starting the 2008 Major League Baseball Season?

At the midway this year, the All-Star Break, the L.A. Dodgers were one game short of playing .500 ball. The good news was they were the same distance from 1st place in the National League's Western Division. The bad news has been injuries to Nomo Garciaparra and especially to Rafael Furcal.

But the really, really bad news was that Andruw Jones has been drawing a salary of $14,726,910 for playing baseball this year. $14 Million and he's hitting .161! The traditional standard for measuring absolute failure at hitting has been the Mendoza Line: is the batter hitting his weight? Since Jones weighs 240 lbs, that means he's only been hitting 2/3rds of his weight! At the plate he's been looking hopeless, if not legally blind. Additionally. Jones' multi-year contract at that level was killing the Dodgers' trading opportunities for the rest of the season. Those of us out here who bleed Dodger Blue had given up on all hope.

And then ...
A miracle!
Future Hall-of-Famer Manny Ramirez falls into our laps! Manny makes $20,000,000 this year, but the Dodgers don't have to pay a cent! The Boston Red Sox were fed up with him and gave him up for a couple of mitts and a bat or two.

Ramirez is a contact hitter. He doesn't like to go deep into the strike zone, but hits the first pitch close to it. He's a smart hitter who loves to play the game. Even when he strikes out, he's enjoys the play. Because of that, Ramirez appears immune to pressure, and hits well in the clutch with runners on. On his current season, including his time with Bosox, he's hitting 310, with 22 home runs. That's twice as much as any other Dodger in 2008. He's hit two homers in his first three games in L.A.! He's picked up the entire Dodger line-up.

The heck with the Olympics! Let the 2008 Season begin!

Thank God It's Republican Friday (TGIRF)!

Awarded Belatedly!

Kathy Hilton and her husband, Rick, collectively donated $4,600 to McCain's campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission Web site.

Kathy Hilton is the latest member of the Hilton clan to come out swinging against presidential hopeful John McCain. Specifically, she had a personal reaction to the infamous McCain ad depicting Barack Obama as a mere celebrity.
I've been asked again and again for my response to the now infamous McCain celebrity ad. I actually have three responses.

It is a complete waste of the money John McCain's contributors have donated to his campaign.

It is a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs.

And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States.
Paris Hilton showed her own disdain for the ad on Thursday in a frosty statement released by her publicist:
Miss Hilton was neither asked, nor did she give permission, for the use of her likeness in the ad, and has no further comment.
My regular Friday GOP-Day feature was delayed this week because of the arrival of Manny Ramirez ...