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February 2008 Archives

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Idiot of the Day: The Enquirer's Ray Cooklis

February 29, 2008 09:26 AM

Here he chimes in on William F. Buckley.  Take it away, Ray:

You certainly can argue that Buckley was an ideologue - he almost single-handedly created the modern American conservative movement - but not in the pejorative sense we've infected that word with.

"Not in the pejorative sense we've infected that word with."  Hun?  What does that mean?  I didn't know conservative had a pejorative sense.  And who's the "we" who has infected the word conservative with a perjorative sense?  Since it's coming from a member of the media, I think we can guess who the "we" is. 

And how asinine is the phrase "you can certainly argue that Buckley was an ideologue"?  Hell yes, he was an ideologue.  That was his entire point.

So, who did John McCain appear on stage with, the day after LocalRadioGate '08?

February 28, 2008 10:29 PM

John Hagee, an influential pastor in the "Christian Zionist movement." Whatever the hell that is. Senator McCain was on stage with Pastor Hagee to receive his endorsement. Has Pastor John Hagee ever said anything controversial? Anything John McCain might want to repudiate? I dunno... let's see...

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is objecting Hagee's extremist writings, particularly his denunciations of the Catholic Church. For example, Donohue pointed to instances in which Hagee has referred to the Catholic Church as, "The Great Whore," an "apostate church," the "anti-Christ," and a "false cult system."

Okay. So we know what he thinks about the Catholics. What about the Jews? Well, Pastor Hagee says that the Jews have been persecuted throughout history because of... what? ... their failure to accept God.

Wanna see Pastor Hagee in action? I bet you do.

But Bill Cunningham? He's the bigot.

McCain Refused to Condem Supporter for Calling Hillary Clinton a B****

Let's go back in history, shall we?  Waaaaaay back to November of last year.  The scene?  Hilton Head, South Carolina, and a woman at a Q&A who asked John McCain:

"How do we defeat the bitch?"

And what did Senator McCain say in response?  Here was the take of his frenemies at The New York Times:

Mr. McCain was obviously uncomfortable, trying to deflect the vitriol with humor and offering to give a translation. But he did not condemn the questioner, instead calling it an “excellent question.”

Here's what I think is an excellent question:  Why the hell should I help John McCain get elected President this November?

From the "still not getting it" department: Mike DeWine on LocalRadioGate '08

DeWine says to the Enquirer:

"I can't believe in the end that voters are going to make a decision in November based on what John McCain said about Bill Cunningham in February," DeWine said.

How quaint.  He thinks the latest uproar with the base is about McCain repudiating Willie.  It's not.  It's not that at all.  It's that this is YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of McCain throwing a conservative under the bus.  And when you throw enough people under the bus, you will wake up one day and find that there is no one left to speak for you.  Will that be in November?  We'll see.

McCain Local Radiogate '08

February 27, 2008 03:55 PM

Just how many people did the McCain campaign manage to offend when they were in town?  Here we have the producer of 55KRC's morning radio show, chiming in about the treatment he received from the McCain camp.  Take it away, Joe Strecker:

As you know, it's Ohio's turn to be in the spotlight, for the last 2 weeks, I have been pitched and pitched AND PITCHED every person under the sun to stump for Sen. McCain.  As agreed to by his PR, if I put guests on to stump for Sen. McCain, he would be made available to 55KRC when he came to town (2/26)...

Well here is the email reply I received from the McCain camp

"I don't think for tomorrow, things are pretty set by now. " Rebecca - McCain 2008

As you can tell by my response, I was a little upset.

"I am getting a little frustrated.  55KRC is / has a very Conservative base...Much more than a lot of people think.  These are the voters Sen. McCain needs to win over.  Since the election started, most of our callers initially were Thompson fans, then when he dropped out, Paul and Romney fans.  If there are any listeners/voters to win over, it would be 55KRC's.  I hope you reconsider.  We could do just 5 minutes on his drive up from downtown to West Chester?"

Here was my reply.

"I'm sorry but the decision is not mine.  I recomended you to the higher ups for the exact reason you mentioned.  I will try to ask again when I can but right now I am stuck." - Rebecca McCain 2008

I find out at 10:30 yesterday that McCain was on with Mike McConnell, who McCain called "Bob".  I called Rebecca, and when she said on the phone he wasn't available, I told her he is on right now with WLW.  >>>Silence<<< then she told me "Can't you just use their audio??"  You have to be kidding me..I let her know that we will let our listener's know what happened.

Now, I do understand this is a business and we constantly try to scoop the other guys, but for McCain's people to actually go back on their promise and to act the way they acted and treated the station with the listener's he needs to convince, is just reprehensible. This proves to me what kind of person he is.  Why?  You surround yourself with like minded people.  If his 'people' don't care about you '55KRC listener' vicariously he doesn't care about you '55KRC' listener....

What's even funnier is that last night at 9PM, I received a pitch for another guest to stump for McCain.  I don't think I'm going to book them..

I honestly don't know why he'd even consider it.  And it's more than a little concerning that they're willling to put a candidate's supporters on the radio in exchange for the big "get"--i.e. an interview with the candidate himself.  I suppose that's the way the media game is played, but it doesn't speak well of its participants.  When you whore yourself out, Joe, don't be surpised when you get stabbed by jack the ripper.

And again, how stupid is the McCain camp for missing the interview?  Joe is totally right that the Morning Show's audience is exactly the people McCain needs to be reaching out to.  But there's just little or no effort.

It's almost a parody of a well-run campaign.  "Can't you just use their audio?"  Um no.  Have they ever worked with the news media before? 

William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008

From The New York Times (!):

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America.

And it is so obvious these day, isn't it?  There is a big distinction between electoral Republicanism and conservatism as a system of ideas.  Sign me up with the later.

Also timely?  The NYT's amusing reminder of National Review's lukewarm endorsement of Eisenhower in the 1956 presidential election:

"We prefer Ike."

It seems we are still fighting the same battles.  But we would have already lost the war if it weren't for WFB.

John McCain Comes to Southern Ohio to Make Peace with Conservatives, and Promptly Throws Bill Cunningham Under the Campaign Bus

February 26, 2008 01:44 PM

The same Bill Cunningham who has worked tirelessly for Republican candidates and conservatives causes for years--usually using the same kind of rhetoric that he used today.  From the Enquirer:

Cunningham came out on stage to whip up the crowd as he often does at Republican campaign events in Cincinnati. He repeatedly referred to Obama using his middle name -- Hussein -- and said that Obama was a product of the "Chicago-Daley mob."

Nothing untrue, and nothing unusual there.  Willie had similarly direct comments for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. 

So what does the McCain camp do?  His aides get all bent out of shape, and have McCain (who didn't even hear the remarks) trot out after his speech to "repudiate" Willie:

Only minutes after his campaign rally ended, McCain apologized for remarks by WLW talk show host Bill Cunningham that McCain said he thought were offensive to Obama.

"I take responsibility and I repudiate what he said," McCain told reporters after the rally.

Not the way to make Republican friends in Southern Ohio.  Oh well.  Who needs Republican friends in Southern Ohio?

McCain went on to explain the approach his campaign will take:

"I will not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton,'' McCain said.

And what does that remind me of?  Another 700WLW personality, Marty Brennaman, who got in hot water last year for comparing one of the Reds' West Coast roadtrips to the Bataan Death March. Because that's what this campaign with John McCain is going to be. 

One long Bataan Death March.

UPDATE:  Clerk of Courts Greg Hartman is now on Willie's show blaming "the media," and saying this goes to show how Republicans won't get a fair shake this fall.  But the media weren't the ones who apologized for, and repudiated, one of the region's most prominent conservative voices.

Political Confusion Breaks Out in Ohio 02

February 23, 2008 11:09 PM

So I was on the way to Lowe's to buy air filters because we're on a pre-baby cleaning binge, and I see right there on Marburg Avenue that there is a house with two signs out--one for Jean Schmidt and the other for Barack Obama.  What the hell?  I almost pulled over to take a picture for the blog, but I realized commenters--probably CincyJeff--would immediately chime in with "See, I told you she was a liberal!  It makes perfect sense!"  Or words to that effect.  So I was going to keep it to myself.  Until I got a little further down the road, and passed a business that has signs up for both Tom Brinkman and Hillary Clinton.   Again, what the hell?  What is wrong with these people?  Who are they going to vote for when they get to the polls on election day, and realize they can only get a Republican ballot or a Democrat ballot?

And what to make of all this?  There is only one conclusion I'm drawing from this political confusion, and it's that come November, the Republican presidential candidate is going to be in a world of hurt.  It's a good thing we have a candidate the party can rally behind.  Oh.... wait.

The neighbors have Barack Obama signs out too.  We're not surprised by the people next door--they accused me of stealing their Kerry/Edwards sign four years ago.  We've had kind of a North Korea/South Korea relationship ever since.  There's like a DMZ and everything.  But what explains the nice couple across the street?  Today they put their Barack signs out.  And they went to Furman.  The only explanation I can come up with is that it's a Baptist school, and they must be susceptible to good preachin'.  Lawd have mercy.

A reader contributes: Politically Incorrect Ads of Yesteryear

February 22, 2008 09:25 AM

Lose Weight, with Worms

I can envision my ancestors eating sanitized tapeworms to help shed some pounds.  That's just the kind of people we are.  Practical.

Lots of cigarette ads in the bunch:

The Cigarette Even a Doctor Could Love

I like how the Doctor invites you to test Camels in your "T-zone" for thirty days.  T for Throat, T for taste.

And this one?  Well, it reminds me of John McCain:

A Pill for Your Pop

Yes, Thorazine "can control the agitated, beligerent senile and help the patient to live a composed and useful life." 

More Politically Incorrect Ads of Yesteryear are available here.  Thanks to the reader for sending them in.

Sign of the Times: I have been invited to a CLE that focuses on "strategies to obtain or deny insurance coverage related to global warming claims."

February 19, 2008 02:39 PM

So now, apparently, companies are going to look to their insurer when they get sued for supposedly causing global warming:

Something I had not quite expected someone would ask me today: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?"

February 18, 2008 11:05 PM

So I was at Molly Malone's for a meeting with some fellow Republicans--prominent, you'd-recognize-their-names-as-major-local-right-wingers types of people--and up comes this breathless young man. He asks: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?" I looked around for the camera, thinking "Am I on Punk'd?"

But no, this guy was serious. Because a few minutes later, they started arriving. So we ordered another round, thinking we'd hear some good stuff. I know that I, personally, wanted to hear about Change and The Future, and also thought it would be fun to see some people overcome by emotion, and passing out--as was widely reported today, people are wont to do at Obama rallies. He's a regular political Benny Hinn, from what I hear. A modern-day faith healer. You'll recall that the faith healers of old usually ended up leaving town with their tent and your money. I just throw that out there as an aside. Not sure exactly why.

Anyway. I was so disappointed with the Obama crowd. All they did was sit around looking pissed off and disaffected. We waited and waited for the meeting to start, but nothing ever happened, and then people started leaving. There was one guy with a laptop who appeared to be in charge. I say that because, well, he had a laptop. It had Obama stickers all over it, and the blue glow from the screen really lit up his white liberal pallor. And he had one of those kinky haired beards that looks, well, pubic. You know. You've seen these people. I know it's rude to point this out, and talk about the physical attributes of the political opposition. But when nothing substantive is said, what else is there to criticize? I was waiting for the policy conversation, I'd happily criticize that. That was why I stayed. But no. Nothing.

So.... I guess it was like a real Obama Rally. Nothing substantive. All build up, and no.... POP.

I'll probably be the first person to quote Gertrude Stein while criticizing Barack Obama. But seriously. "There was no there there." Literally, there was NONE. And unfortunately, I was expecting something like this:

And that just goes to illustrate something that I expect will soon be a problem for Barack Obama. He's over-promised. Expectations are too high. In trial practice class in law school, there's one big thing they teach you about opening statements. Don't overstate your case. Don't promise too much. Don't tell the jury you can deliver something that you can't. Because at the end of the trial, they're going to go into the jury room, alone, and ask each other, "Did he give us, what he said he was going to give us?" The answer to that needs to be "Yes!"

In Barack's case, he's told us he's going to give us Change. Not just minor change. But a major reworking of American political life and American culture. When people go into the voting both, alone, are they honestly going to believe he will give them what he's promised?

The Village of Indian Hill: "We don't care if poor peoples' babies go flying through windshields."

Okay, so Mrs. NBS and I spent Saturday at Childbirth Class (more on that later) and I wanted to make sure I blogged about one of the leaflets we were given, because it was so obnoxious.  And that leaflet was the list of all the fire departments in the Greater Cincinnati area where they'll put your car seat in properly for you.  You know, because car seats are so complicated that people can't figure them out, and then they get in an accident and the next thing you know, there's a dead baby.

So it's basically a service that's a good thing, something that firemen can do while they're waiting around for a fire that needs to be put out.  Because I'm sure nobody's going to show up and be like "Wait!  Don't leave! You can't go to that fire, I need you to put my car seat in."

Except that must be what the Indian Hill-Madeira Fire Department is afraid of.  Either that, or hordes of people from Madisonville demanding immediate car seat attention.  I don't know what.  Because yes, you guessed it.  On the lengthy list of fire departments in the Tri-State that you can go to to get your car seat put in, Indian Hill is the only one that specifies: "RESIDENTS' ONLY."  It is the only one, out of dozens and dozens of municipalities, that puts ANY restrictions on its car seat installation policy.  And this is on a list that goes to practically every expectant couple in the Tri-State, nearly all of whom don't live in Indian Hill and would never dream of going to the Indian Hill Fire Department and demanding car seat attention.  Bad PR, Indian Hill.  Bad, bad PR.

When we were looking over these materials on Saturday, I saw the woman in front of me pointing to Indian Hill and saying to her husband "Look, they say 'RESIDENTS' ONLY.'"  This was a couple that was probably going to have difficulty even affording to buy a car seat.  Much less a house in Indian Hill, which is apparently what they need if they happen to stop by the I-H Fire Department because they can't figure out how to put the damn thing in.

I would think the hassle of putting in maybe five or six extra car seats per year for non-Indian Hill residents would be more than outweighed by the benefits of not singling your municipality out as being horrifically snobby.  What the hell is this, India during the reign of Queen Victoria?

Hillary Clinton's supporters are SOOOOO COOL.

February 17, 2008 08:14 PM

HT: The Llama Butchers

And today's total lack of class outrage from the Enquirer is...

February 15, 2008 09:43 AM

Crotch shots of teenage boys, now up on the Enquirer's main page:

I honestly don't see how that's not intentional. 

UPDATE: This story has been rolled to the sports section, and the photo placed in the "photo gallery."  The "Triplets' Mom" has been found not guilty, so that's now on the main page.

UPDATE NO. 2: A reader, quite rightfully, pointed out to me tonight that part of the problem is people don't know how to sit properly.  The kid in this photo is old enough to know better.  And should certainly have been warned about creepy "photographers."

Romney gives McCain a lesson in class

From Politico's coverage of yesterday's endorsement:

Despite the at-times ugly exchanges between the two during the past year, today's press conference, while not full of warmth, was not especially stilted.

The difference was especially stark compared to the last GOP nomination battle in 2000. As opposed to the week Romney took before endorsing, it took two months for McCain to get behind George W. Bush after that bitter contest. And when he did so in May of that year he initially declined to use the word "endorse." Only after being asked by a reporter why he wouldn't formally offer his blessing did McCain say "I endorse Gov. Bush" -- and then he said it over and over again as if to show his annoyance.

Romney today was gracious, lavishing praise in prepared remarks on the man who defeated him.

"This is a man who tied his political fortunes to the fortunes of his country in a time of war," Romney said. "Such courage is not always rewarded in politics, but it was this time – and that is a credit to both the man and to the party he will lead in the election of 2008."

I had forgotten it took McCain two months in 2000 to endorse Bush.  Certainly takes the wind out of the sails of those who say we should all be running out to endorse McCain now, doesn't it? 

Is there anything about this Enquirer article that's not in poor taste?

February 14, 2008 05:30 PM

Even the headline's bad: "Dead Woman Had Unique Laugh."

It's like something from The Onion, but it's for real.  And it gets worse.  Here's the lede:

Kristina “Tina” Griffen loved cats and her life was filled with music.

Griffen, 31, was walking to her University Heights home from a Tuesday night Bogart’s concert when the very drunk woman, fell 20 feet and landed on her head in a University of Cincinnati parking lot.

How poorly written is that?  The first time I read it, I was like "oh that poor woman was just walking home, and then some drunk woman came flying through the sky, 20 feet, and landed on her head."  I was thinking it was like the pig from Graham Greene's "A Shocking Accident."

Anyway, I suppose you can read it both ways, and the bottom line is:

She died instantly.

“She was wearing moccasin-like boots that had no tread. She just slipped on the ice and took a real nasty fall,” said her brother Forrest Griffen, 36, of Fort Mitchell, Ky.

The Hamilton County Coroner’s office, which officially declared Griffen’s death an accident, noted her blood alcohol content was .295 percent, almost four times Ohio’s legal limit of .08 percent.

Her brother noted the irony because his sister knew she was too drunk to drive home, so she tried to walk, cutting through the UC campus.

“That’s why it was a tragedy. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was just an accident,” her brother said.

I feel sorry for her family.  Too much information!  I'm all for saucier obits, but "very drunk woman" is a little much to me.  Though with a BAC of .295, it certainly is apt. 

Why not let this poor family be, believing it was the moccasin-like boots that did her in?

From the "I wish I wrote it department..."

...Iowahawk chimes in with:

Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte.

An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale


1  Whan in Februar, withe hise global warmynge

2  Midst unseasonabyl rain and stormynge

3  Gaia in hyr heat encourages

4  Englande folke to goon pilgrimages.

5  Frome everiches farme and shire

6  Frome London Towne and Lancanshire

7  The pilgryms toward Canterbury wended

8  Wyth fyve weke holiday leave extended

9  In hybryd Prius and Subaru

10  Off the Boughton Bypasse, east on M2.

11  Fouer and Twyntie theye came to seke

12  The Arche-Bishop, wyse and meke

13  Labouryte and hippye, Gaye and Greene

14  Anti-warre and libertyne

15  All sondry folke urbayne and progressyve

16  Vexed by Musselmans aggressyve.

17  Hie and thither to the Arche-Bishop's manse

18  The pilgryms ryde and fynde perchance

19  The hooly Bishop takynge tea

20  Whilste watching himselfe on BBC.

Read the whole thing.

They say everything's bigger in Texas

February 13, 2008 02:43 PM

I don't know why, I just love that photo.

HT to Tammy Bruce, who says "It's Miss Tijuana!"

"Luckily, I agree with my party more than Senator McCain agrees with his party."

February 12, 2008 10:23 AM

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for identifying the problem with the McCain nomination. 

Arianna, what color is the sky in your world?

From the Huffington Post:

I hate to be the one to break up a love affair, especially with Valentine's Day just around the corner, but I can no longer stand idly by and watch the media and independent voters continue to throw themselves at the feet of John McCain.

The John McCain they fell in love with in 2000 -- the straight-shooting, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may maverick - is no more. He's been replaced by a born-again Bushite willing to say or do anything to win the affection of his newfound object of desire, the radical right.

What the hell?

Fox News accurately, but accidentally, identifies John McCain's party and home state

February 8, 2008 10:10 AM

When people like Dick Finan say they may stay home in November instead of voting for McCain...

February 7, 2008 05:19 PM says a lot:

Finan, one of the first Ohio Republican party leaders to endorse Romney, said he believes many Romney supporters around the state will have a hard time voting for McCain in the fall campaign – and, he said, he is one of them.

“I might just have to sit it out,’’ said Finan. “Some of them, obviously, will vote for McCain over whoever the Democrats put up. But some of them just won’t.”

Dick Finan is a conservative Republican, but he's not some unhinged radical.  He used to be President of the Ohio Senate, for crying out loud.  He's a total party player, but he's not willing to party with McCain.  Incredible, really.

One good thing about McCain... we don't have to hear Mike Dewine trying to get us all to vote for his former Senate colleague.  Dewine was running McCain's campaign here in Ohio.  And Mike Dewine basically embodies everything the base of the party doesn't like about McCain.

For the general, I'd strongly suggest to the McCain camp that they find a different "troop-rallier" as we head into the fall.  Republicans here don't like Mike. 

McCain seeks a truce with conservatives

Politico describes his two-pronged pitch:

Prong one: McCain is not really so bad, is quite conservative on spending and the Iraq war and is far better than the alternative come this fall. Prong two: The time has come to stop stewing and get on board.

Patronizing.  And typically contemptuous.  I'm not ready to make nice, and I sure hope others aren't either.

We get the leaders we deserve, Vol. 2: The Obama Girl didn't actually vote for him.

Last summer, the amateur music video “I Got a Crush on Obama” was a Web hit, splashing a seductive performance by a 26-year-old model named Amber Lee Ettinger across millions of screens and prompting deep thoughts about candidates and sex appeal, the YouTube generation of voters, viral marketing and so forth.

On Tuesday night, City Room ran into Ms. Ettinger at an election-watching party in Greenwich Village and asked how things went at the polls.

“I didn’t get a chance to vote today because I’m not registered to vote in New York,” she said.

So where is Obama Girl registered to vote?

“New Jersey.”

Um, but didn’t New Jersey also hold a primary?

True. The problem, she explained, was that she was sick in New York City and was unable to get back across the Hudson River to the polls in Jersey City.

“I was in Arizona for the Super Bowl — every time I get in the airplane I get sick,” said Ms. Ettinger, who did manage to make it to the Svedka Fembot election returns party at Chinatown Brasserie at Lafayette and Great Jones streets.

Oh.  Okay.  She made an internet video for her dream candidate, but couldn't manage to cross the Hudson River to vote for him.  Typical.

From the "we get the government we deserve" department...

February 6, 2008 04:51 PM

A tale from Chicago:

Twenty voters at a Far North Side precinct who found their ink pens not working were told by election judges not to worry.

It's invisible ink, officials said. The scanner will count it.

But their votes weren't recorded after all.

"Part of me was thinking it does sound stupid enough to be true,'' said Amy Carlton, who had serious doubts but went ahead and voted anyway.

Supposedly the election official was "misinformed" about the invisible ink voting pens, and officials insist there were no dirty tricks involved. 

Because the depressing news can't start early enough, here we have the signage that helped John Derbyshire figure out where to vote...

February 5, 2008 04:33 PM

Welcome to John McCain's dream world.

From The Corner, at NRO Online.

It's shaping up to be a depressing Super Tuesday.

But this thing makes me happy.

"If you can sit, you can get fit. Hu-wah-ee Chair." I love that.

Family Planning, as it should be.

February 3, 2008 08:44 PM

Except we're not going over the top with wallpaper and cutesy tootsie murals.  But the sentiment is right.  And honestly, the happy waspy '50s couple kind of looks like us.

Sunday Morning. Supportive Husband.

Mrs. NBS:  "I just feel so.... wide."

Me:  "Well!  There's a wideness in God's mercy!"

Just six more weeks to go.

McCain discussed switching parties in 2001

February 1, 2008 08:46 AM

From The Hill:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.

Why is this just now coming to light?