Category Archives: John Kerry

Out Of The Loop: Red Truth VS. Blue Truth

BY JOHN S.TULLY
THE LOS ANGELES SUN
August 2004

John Kerry is really making a mess of this war in Iraq.

He brought this on himself after all, by completely screwing up the entire month of August. The Senator accused his fellow soldiers in Vietnam of torture and heinous acts while he bragged and boasted about his own alleged service.

Then he went windsurfing!

Wasn’t he a snowboarder just this past winter?
Make up your mind Mr. Kerry.

The liberal elite media won’t inform the people, as the president gladly did this week, that the “right track/wrong track” polling numbers are actually better in Iraq than here in America. Those people are dealing with kidnappings, hostage-taking, beheadings and car-bombings yet they are optimistic for the future and answer pollster’s questions.

It’s going to take the long lens of time to understand what really happened on the ground during the liberation of Iraq. History will be the final judge, so it’s best to continue on this path of unexamined patriotism, at least until the war on terrorism is over. If you want to take umbrage with President Bush, wait for about thirty years. After all, these people started it.

As usual, the Democrats are best at criticizing themselves, so they’re keeping Kerry on his feet and scared. After Zell Miller (and Karl Rove) eviscerated the Senator for being a weakling on security and defense, the talking heads, pundits, and subpar speculators in the lazy press started writing his obituary.

Even Cokie Roberts and Howard Fineman were plain old baffled at how poor a candidate Kerry was, and they know things. It seems that the candidate just doesn’t “get” the voters. Deep thoughts from the ?Cool Kids Media Club: “Who is John Kerry?”.

An English person named Katty Kay from the BBC said on a television program called “The Chris Matthews Show” that the Kerry and Edwards speeches at the Democratic convention were the only ones of any note. Clarence Page looked stunned. The British are very smart you know.

During August, the bloodiest month yet for the soldiers and Marines in Iraq, with combat injuries reaching 1100, CNN spent about fifteen minutes an hour on the Swift Boat Veterans. This month it’s as bloody as ever and they’ve got fifteen minutes an hour on IBM Selectric typewriters.
Robert Novak, the syndicated columnist, wants Dan Rather and CBS to reveal their document sources. The Dems just can’t win for trying.

The intellectuals stammered something faint about ill-prepared troops, lack of exit strategy, and a 25,000 page Army War College /CIA/ State Department plan for the war. More left-wing nuanced goo-gah; freedom, liberty and democracy aren’t always a walk in the park folks, and this is a messy business.

Should we have guarded the ammunition dumps? Youbetcha!
Was there a complete lack of intelligence and a credible plan for war?Sure!Were we forced to funnel resources and troops out of Afghanistan to mount the war in Iraq thereby leaving Osama Bin Laden uncontested at Tora Bora?
Hey!….scram kid!

The oxygen-loving lefties claim the president has used 9/11 as a pretext to get his legislation through Congress and point to rollbacks of various EPA regulations, corporate tax breaks, and drug company profits during his term. Protest, dissent, and hand wringing don’t make us safer.

Tell that to the Cassandras at the CIA, whose National Intelligence Estimate about the long-term outlook for Iraq was leaked this week. The best-case scenario for the country was described as “tenuous stability”. These naysayers and naer-do-wells squawk about “civil war” yet they got the 9/11 attack and Iraq’s weapons capability completely wrong. Why should we believe them now? The President rightly called it just “a guess”.

Republican doomsday-er Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said this week that Iraq was “beyond pitiful, beyond embarrassing, now in the zone of dangerous”. What did he think would happen, that we’d be greeted as liberators, with flowers thrown at us?

Perhaps General Jay Garner was correct so very long ago when he advocated quick elections and a hasty withdrawal. But this is George Bush’s war and once you take your hands off the bible you’re the Commander-in-Chief, boss.

If we’ve squandered our credibility and destroyed relationships with other countries when we need their help with the global war on religious fundamentalism, too bad, so sad. France and Germany were making money over there the whole time and besides, aren’t we all safer with Saddam in a jailcell?

It’s Fallujah or Cleveland buddy, so fire up Ebay and pass the Freedom Fries. It’s a fabulous disaster and a catastrophic success.


©2004 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

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Kool Kids Media Club

JOHN TULLY

Saturday, July 24 2004

THE LOS ANGELES SUN

………………………………….

Amazing that the two-year old Sandy Berger investigation leak came out two days before the (now all-but-forgotten, complete stonewalling every step along the way by this administration) 9/11 report would be released…

David Brooks was just salivating the other night about how this five hundred page report is such a great symbol of blah blah blah…A beacon, if you will, of light, in an otherwise dark period of time, in this great nation or somesuch trite.

Get a root canal now.

Hey this report would have come out earlier if the Bush Jr. administration hadn’t delayed, delayed, delayed.As usual, the media is now parroting each other this week in urging /warning/encouraging Kerry to not Bush-bash….I mean everyone in the cool- kids media club is squawking about it…Awesome!

The whole ” Who is the real John Kerry?” nonsense? The Dems. are going to listen and Kerry, who IS charismatic, will give a so-so mushy speech instead of what everyone, of either political party, is salivating to see to see in a politician: someone who lays it on the line and stands for something, anything.
Prolly won’t happen, Kerry will win anyway and it’s a good thing I don’t run campaigns.

I can’t for the life of me find a valid account of Sandy Berger stuffing his pockets/pants with secrets, etc. etc. Ah, and there’s the rub these days in the Cool Kids Media Club. I tried hard; I love a good research hunt and spent some coin calling D.C. but I’m new in the media game so I don’t have many contacts yet. Nothing, nada, zilch, and rumor becomes fact.

Robert Novak saying that everyone knew Valerie Plame was undercover?
He’s still saying this and seems more confident now that the second round of the “Smear Ambassador Wilson Patrol” is out and about.

He’s going to swallow
his wet teeth one of these days.

Jack Cafferty isn’t dead and was on CNN Monday morning grumbling about….
you guessed it, Berger stuffing things into his… socks er…jacket,er….pants… ….and the boys on Imus were snickering like seventh graders about that SPY stealing secrets in his underwear…

©2004 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

Your Country is Not Coming Back to You; She's Found Somebody New – And It's a Black Guy

Amid recession, two wars and swine flu, conservatives assail Obama over Dijon

WASHINGTON — The United States is in the midst of a devastating recession, mired in two overseas wars and grappling with a swine flu outbreak, but conservative critics are assailing President Barack Obama on another pressing issue: his choice of burger topping.

Dijongate is in full force, with Fox News and a conservative blogger leading the charge against the president for his choice of the apparently un-American mustard atop his cheeseburger during a recent impromptu lunch stop with Vice-President Joe Biden.

There’s no evidence of wiretapped hotel rooms or a Deep Throat lurking in the shadows, but there are indeed accusations of a coverup – MSNBC, apparently, edited out the president’s request for Dijon in order to help Obama maintain his “man of the people” street cred.

Fox’s Sean Hannity has been telling his viewers that MSNBC – and reporter Andrea Mitchell in particular – are trying to hide Obama’s Dijon-loving ways from the public.

Hannity has been referring to the president’s lunch as his “fancy burger.”

“It was Grey Poupon, which is equally snotty,” alleged one commenter on Hannity’s website.

William Jacobson, a Cornell law school professor who has also been blogging about Dijongate, noted that Mitchell “didn’t mention one arugula-like fact” about Obama’s order earlier this week at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va.

Jacobson said the MSNBC video of the stop at Ray’s cuts out just as Obama asks for Dijon. He refers to MSNBC as “Obama’s favourite network.”

“MSNBC edited out the audio when Obama ordered his Hell Burger just at the moment when Obama asked for Dijon mustard,” Jacobson wrote in a Thursday post entitled “Thou Shalt Not Mock Obama’s Mustard.”

“Now, I have nothing against Dijon mustard, but the image didn’t fit with the image being spun by the White House and MSNBC. Dijon mustard on a Hell Burger had a very John Kerry-ish quality about it.”

Jacobson blogged about other incidents in which Obama has revealed his weakness for the spicy French condiment.

It’s a key ingredient, for example, in the president’s favourite tuna salad, and he also had the gall to request it during his first trip on Air Force One.

“And the mainstream media didn’t cover it,” Jacobson wrote.

It all hearkens back to those silly days of “freedom fries,” the name given to French fries by hawkish conservatives in 2003 when France expressed strong opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The French stance resulted in a call from American right-wingers for a boycott of French goods and the removal of the country’s name from products. That left America’s best-selling mustard – French’s – in a bit of a quandary.

French’s, in fact, figures prominently in a Dijon-related anecdote Obama himself chronicled in his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

He told the story of his first tour through Illinois, when he ordered Dijon on his cheeseburger at a TGI Friday’s.

His panicked political aide assured the waitress that Obama didn’t want Dijon at all and waved her away, thrusting a bottle of French’s at him instead. The waitress, perplexed, assured Obama that she had Dijon if he wanted it.

“As the waitress walked away, I leaned over and whispered that I didn’t think there were any photographers around,” Obama wrote.

The anecdote underscored Obama’s thoughts on what he viewed as the absurdity of focusing on non-issues in politics.

“What’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics-the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial,” he wrote.

One commenter on Jacobson’s blog mocked Dijongate on Thursday: “Wait till the right finds out he eats guacamole, then he’ll be seen as a pro-immigrant nut job. God forbid he ever takes a bite of hummus!”

Jacobson, however, insists that alleged efforts to cover up Obama’s choice of mustard this week are newsworthy.

“I don’t think anyone is ‘upset’ with his choice of mustard, although that is how some are spinning it,” Jacobson said in an e-mail. “It is the absurd level of image control, which is not trivial.”

Nonetheless, some of the right’s attacks on Obama have bordered on the inane, subjecting conservatives to ridicule.

Comedian Bill Maher, a longtime libertarian, recently maligned the right and their fixation on the trivial in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times.

“Here are the big issues for normal people: the war, the economy, the environment, mending fences with our enemies and allies, and the rule of law,” Maher wrote.

“And here’s the list of Republican obsessions since President Obama took office: that his birth certificate is supposedly fake, he uses a TelePrompTer too much, he bowed to a Saudi guy, Europeans like him, he gives inappropriate gifts, his wife shamelessly flaunts her upper arms, and he shook hands with Hugo Chavez and slipped him the nuclear launch codes.”

Conservatives, Maher wrote, are now behaving like “the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him – obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will,” he wrote.

“But … your country is not coming back to you. She’s found somebody new. And it’s a black guy.”

Daschle Withdraws His Nomination to Health and Human Services

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(CNN) — Former Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Tuesday from the White House.

Daschle had been fighting to save his nomination as HHS secretary following controversy over his tax records and questions over his work in a field that some consider lobbying.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Daschle said it was an honor to be chosen to lead the reform of America’s health care system.

“But if 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction,” he said.

“Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction. The focus of Congress should be on the urgent business of moving the president’s economic agenda forward, including affordable health care for every American.”

The Obama administration had stood by his side, and fellow Democrats lined up behind him, but Daschle’s problems, coupled with other nominees’ issues, gave critics ammunition to question President Obama’s call for a “new era of responsibility.”

The president said Tuesday he accepts Daschle’s decision “with sadness and regret.”

“Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country, from his years in the military to his decades of public service. Now we must move forward, with our plan to lift this economy and put people back to work,” Obama said in a statement.

Daschle’s resignation came hours after Nancy Killefer’s withdrawal as Obama’s chief performance officer, a new post in the administration.

Officials said privately the reason for Killefer’s withdrawal was unspecified tax issues. The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.

Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Monday for failing to pay his taxes in full. He said earlier he was “deeply embarrassed” for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting.

Daschle recently filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-2007.

A New York Times editorial on Tuesday called for Daschle to withdraw.

The paper’s editorial board particularly took issue with Daschle saying he identified the unpaid taxes in June but did not pay them until his nomination for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The editorial also criticized Daschle for generating a sizable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector.

“Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform,” the editorial said.

Shortly after news of the tax quandary broke, a number of Democratic senators released statements expressing their support for Daschle, including Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Charles Schumer of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. In their opinions, Daschle identified the problem and corrected it.

Daschle’s supporters said that given his record of three decades of public service, he was still the right man for the job.

“One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity, for his public service. And many, many Democrats look to him as one of the favorite people. He’s got a lot of support in this White House, starting with the president,” said David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN.

Obama and Daschle have a longstanding relationship. Daschle endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in February 2007 — nearly 11 months before the first contest. Daschle was also considered to be a contender for Obama’s No. 2 spot.

Daschle also has a history with members of Congress. He represented South Dakota in the House of Representatives for four terms, and he served in the Senate for three terms. He was the Senate majority leader from June 2001 to January 2003, and was the minority leader before losing his re-election bid in 2004.

Daschle’s work in his post-Senate years was also a point of contention on his path to confirmation.

After leaving the Senate, Daschle went on to serve as a special public policy adviser at the law firm Alston & Bird.

According to the firm’s Web site, Daschle advised clients on “issues related to financial services, health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes.”

His work, for which he reportedly made millions, seemed to contradict Obama’s strict rules on lobbyists working in his administration.

Promising “a new era of openness in our country,” Obama signed executive orders relating to ethics guidelines for staff members as one of his first acts in office.

“If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years,” the president said.

The administration had defended its choice of Daschle, pointing out that he was not technically a lobbyist.

“If you’re not registered to lobby, you can’t be a lobbyist,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, according to Time.com. Time.com: When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist?

Daschle and Kellifer were not the first of Obama’s nominees to come under scrutiny.

Before Tim Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary, he was questioned over concerns involving his personal taxes and the immigration status of a former housekeeper.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson also withdrew his nomination to be commerce secretary, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.

Given Obama’s pledge for “unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight and clear accountability,” some said the controversy surrounding Obama’s appointments are calling into question the president’s vetting process.

“Mr. President, your picks to help run the federal government don’t have to be perfect, but is it too much to ask that they pay like everyone else, to keep that same government functioning? And more importantly, that they don’t wait until everyone, including you, is watching?” CNN’s Campbell Brown wrote in a commentary. Read the commentary

Asked if the president is embarrassed by the slew of appointment problems, Gibbs was quick to negate that idea.

“No, I don’t think that — that we believe there’s any problem in the vetting,” Gibbs said Monday.