July 16, 2004
Anti-Bush Anecdote a Real Turkey
"There are also the manufactured surprises, like Mr. Bush's cloak-and-dagger Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad, which drew praise even from Democrats. (The public relations bonanza fizzled after the press reported that Mr. Bush had posed with a mouth-watering-but fake-turkey.)" - Washington editor Richard Berke, July 4.
"An article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake." - Correction box, July 11.
More Bad News from Iraq
"There is one thing the sovereign state of Iraq can offer its citizens today, and Iraqis are banging down the doors to get their hands on it: a passport out of the country.Jobless, rattled, fed up, Iraqis are dreaming of getting out." - Somini Sengupta, July 16.
Speaking Frankly, Opposing Gay Marriage = Homophobia
"His step-by-step description of how the anti-Clinton forces set out to destroy the president is an astute, Congressional insider's take on political strategy. When anti-Clinton forces could offer nothing more than unprovable charges of Mr. Clinton's misconduct, they were forced to concentrate on perjury and the definition of sex. The film awkwardly sandwiches the drama of the hearings (many of the clips are taken from C-Span) with recycled tidbits of right-wing homophobia: the Rev. Jerry Falwell's condemnation of the Teletubbies for alleged gay advocacy, and former Representative Dick Armey's public slip of the tongue in referring to Mr. Frank as 'Barney Fag.'.All the sturm und drang hasn't destroyed Mr. Frank's faith in the people's tolerance and common sense. 'Most Americans aren't nearly as homophobic as they were brought up to think they were supposed to be,' he says. And the relative lack of public hysteria around the issue of gay marriage suggests he may be right." - From Stephen Holden's review of "Let's Get Frank," July 14.
"Writing Bigotry Into the Constitution"
"Liberals and moderates opposed to writing bigotry into the Constitution are being joined by a growing number of conservatives who see nothing conservative about federalizing marriage law or turning America's most essential legal document into an election-year football." - July 14 editorial before the Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Ozzy Osbourne's "Shrewd" Politics: Bush = Hitler
"While a number of bandleaders, including Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society and Phil Anselmo of Superjoint Ritual, spoke of American troops at war with bellicose enthusiasm, a few went in the other direction. Randy Blythe, the singer from Lamb of God, wore an anti-Bush T-shirt during that band's strong set.And goofy old Ozzy Osbourne, whose political views have been largely unknown up to this point, made the strongest political statement of the night, and the strongest music.To double the force of the music, the giant screens next to the stage showed pictures of President Bush juxtaposed with pictures of Hitler. It may have been Mr. Osbourne's shrewd answer to the Bush campaign's recent Internet advertisement 'Coalition of the Wild-Eyed,' which sets film of various Democratic leaders fulminating against films of Hitler fulminating." - Music critic Ben Ratliff reviewing Ozzfest, July 16. The Bush ad's clip of Hitler actually comes from an anti-Bush ad that compared Bush to Hitler.
No Aid for Bush's AIDS Plan
"The administration's AIDS effort is under sharp scrutiny because it so big, so unabashedly Washington-dominated and tinged by the administration's political ideology. Many critics see big pharmaceutical companies behind the Bush administration's preference for costlier brand-name drugs, conservative Christians behind its heavy promotion of abstinence, and hard-line unilateralists behind its decision to bypass the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in creating its own plan." - Deborah Sontag (with Michael Wines and Sharon LaFraniere), July 14.
Bush's "Unilateral" AIDS Plan
"But at a time when American power was being imposed and questioned in the military arena, the AIDS plan struck some as another kind of unilateralism. They feared that Mr. Bush's program would undermine the multilateral Global Fund, which assists eight times as many countries, including India, China and Russia, whose infection rates are rising rapidly. And these experts thought it was retrogressive in its reliance on American universities, faith-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations, whose ability to pay higher salaries could drain workers from local public health systems that should be reinforced instead." - Deborah Sontag (with Michael Wines and Sharon LaFraniere), July 14.
Do Only Republicans Have "Wedge Issues?"
"At the rally here, Mr. Kerry made an oblique reference to conservatives' efforts to use gay marriage and other wedge issues to win Bible Belt states like North Carolina." - Jodi Wilgoren from a Kerry-Edwards rally in Edwards' home state of North Carolina, July 11.
Another "Fierce Attack" from Bush
"President Bush swept across three states that he narrowly lost in 2000 on Tuesday with a vigorous defense of his record and a fierce attack on Senator John Kerry, his Democratic rival. Mr. Bush portrayed Mr. Kerry as a liberal Washington insider who voted against paying for troops in Iraq and supported Hollywood entertainers out of touch with 'the heart and soul' of America.The burst of activity occurs as Mr. Bush's aides prepare to lose the spotlight to Mr. Kerry, who heads to Boston for his nominating convention as Mr. Bush heads to his ranch in Crawford, Tex. With the president's aides worried that Mr. Kerry would enjoy a large increase in popularity, Mr. Bush went to lengths and used often harsh language in trying to discredit Mr. Kerry in what will be one of his last swings before the convention." - Adam Nagourney, July 14.
Sunny Skies for Western Dems
"Further fueling Democratic optimism about the West is the fact that most party incumbents there are holding their own. Neither Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who in 1998 won by fewer than 500 votes, nor Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is facing a strong challenge. Senator Barbara Boxer of California remains the favorite in her race against Bill Jones, a former California secretary of state. Democrats say the chief concern they have in the region is protecting the seat held by Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who is facing Representative George R. Nethercutt Jr." - Carl Hulse, July 11.
Parting Shots at NR's William Buckley
"You have made so many offensive comments over the years. Do you regret any of them?
"It's not fair to blame the press. Some of your most inflammatory comments have been made in your essays and columns. In the 50's, you famously claimed that whites were culturally superior to African-Americans."
"You seem indifferent to suffering. Have you ever suffered yourself?" - Some of Deborah Solomon's questions to William F. Buckley, retiring founder of National Review, July 11.
Pablo Neruda, "Sensual" Stalinist
"Devotees from New Delhi to Santiago, in his native Chile, are gathering for breathless readings and deeper discussions of this complicated man, a sensual communist who loved nature almost as much as he loved women, food and wine.for Neruda, love and beauty vied for attention with social justice." - Editorial board member Carolyn Curiel on a tribute to the Communist poet Pablo Neruda, July 6.
"We must learn from Stalin/his sincere intensity/his concrete clarity/...Stalin is the moon,/the maturity of man and the peoples./Stalinists, Let us bear this title with pride." - from Neruda's eulogy glorifying the mass murderer Josef Stalin.
"America's Longest, Deadliest Sustained Conflict Since Vietnam"
"This town's central park, the front door to its brief downtown, looks more like a graveyard now.As America's longest, deadliest sustained conflict since Vietnam has rolled on, Junction City and the other small towns tethered to military bases across the nation have felt the effects of war in a way most places cannot. While violence has escalated in Iraq through days of uncertainty, the mood here is edgy and watchful, and word of each soldier's death is met with an unspoken plea: let this one not be from Fort Riley." - Monica Davey in Junction City, KS, a town near an army base, July 7. U.S. deaths in Iraq have actually declined in the last two months.
Have I Mentioned Abu Ghraib This Week?
"Noting that George Washington had owned land around Charleston-'I call him George W.,' he said to laughter-he argued that the founders would be happy to see 'a nation which stands strong in the face of violent men.' For Mr. Bush, it was a return to the theme of America as an enforcer of justice, a theme that he has used less often in recent months since the publication of photographs showing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American troops." - David Sanger with Bush in West Virginia, July 5.