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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:37 am 
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Anyone here care about politics? Yeah, I kinda thought so. :wink:

I won't claim profundity for this article, but I did think it was clever.

************************

February 7, 2004
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Kerry's Special Friends
By DAVID BROOKS

ohn Kerry has been railing against the special interests, and I don't think that's very nice because it implies that some people's interests are not so special. I like to think that everybody's interests are special in their own way.

What's more, I think Kerry knows this, because if you look over his long career, you see that he loves all our interests, big and small, near or far. For example, a Chinese businesswoman named Liu Chaoying dreamed of having her company listed on a U.S. stock exchange. That's certainly a special dream.

Maybe as a little girl she would come home from school, gather up her little dollies and tell them about her dream of ringing the bell to start the trading day, or of having little Lucite tombstones on her desk to mark her mergers and acquisitions. Maybe some of the other little girls in school told her she'd never have a company on a U.S. exchange, because you know how cruel little kids can be.

But she had an interest, and to her it was the most specialest interest in the world. And she kept at it. And that cute little girl grew up to become a lieutenant colonel in China's People's Liberation Army, which is a very special army, even measured against the armies of other human rights-violating dictatorships. And what's more, she had a $300,000 bank account with funds supplied by the head of Chinese intelligence, which is certainly quite special indeed.

And Liu came to America in search of her dream, for this is the nation of dreams. And she went to see a most special man named Johnny Chung. And in July 1996, according to Newsweek, Chung took Liu to see his special friend John Kerry about her dream, and Kerry recognized its specialness. So his aides faxed over a letter to the S.E.C. about the dream, and the very next day Liu and Chung had a private briefing with a senior S.E.C. official about making her special dream come true.

And then a few weeks after that, Johnny Chung threw a fund-raiser for John Kerry in Beverly Hills. And John Kerry came away with $10,000 in contributions, and I like to think they were very special contributions. I like to think they were written on special designer checks, maybe with rainbows or kittens or Chinese long-range missile designs shaded on the back, because special dreams deserve special checks, and when a man as special as John Kerry takes up an interest, I think that makes it a special interest all by itself.

Liu Chaoying's interest was not the only interest John Kerry took a special interest in. According to The Associated Press, Kerry took a special interest in the insurance giant American International Group. When Senator John McCain proposed legislation that would have ended a federal contracting loophole benefiting A.I.G., Kerry did not look away, as others might have done. A loophole may not seem like much to you and me, but to A.I.G. it was a very special loophole — the cuddly kind of loophole you can hold under the blankets and tell your secrets to late at night. And according to The A.P., John Kerry preserved the little loophole. And by sheer coincidence, A.I.G. donated $30,000 to help start Kerry's presidential campaign.

While sitting on the commerce and finance committees, John Kerry has seen many interests, and you could forgive him if he didn't think they were all special. But Kerry has raised more money from Washington lobbyists than any other senator. He's raised over $30 million over the past nine years, and you just ask the folks in the telecom industry if he doesn't make them feel special.

You just ask David Paul, one of the big figures in the savings and loan scandal, if Kerry didn't make him feel special. You just ask the high-tech executive Bob Majumder how special Kerry made him feel, at least until Majumder was charged with 40 counts of conspiracy, witness tampering, fraud, tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions. You just ask the law firms, the brokerage houses, the oil companies, the H.M.O.'s and the drug companies, which have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Kerry.

Oh, he sometimes pretends that he doesn't care about our special interests. He puts on that callous populist facade. But deep down he cares. Maybe he cares too much. When he's out on the stump saying otherwise, he's just being a big old phony.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:50 am 
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Yeah, and George Bush kicks puppies. If he says he doesn't, he's just being a big old phony!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:00 am 
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Seriously.

You don't want to take this kind of stuff blow by blow against what Bush has done. Believe me, you don't.

Best wishes,
Jerry

P.S. Elendil, I would like to suggest that you think twice before starting unnecessary, politically or religiously oriented OT threads. This one is a continuation of an ongoing thread and could have been included in that thread. There are many on this board who feel you're overdoing the OT stirring. I'm not asking you to stop stating your opinions, just that you consider how to do it without appearing to be trying to hijack the board. I think we do well with one or two running philosophical/religious/political threads at a time. It seems that anything anyone wants to say manages to come into discussion when there's one or two running OT philosophical/religious/political threads, and everyone on the board knows which threads to go to for such discussions.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:01 am 
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There are many on this board who feel you're overdoing the OT stirring.

Uh-oh, the Conscience of the Board stirreth!
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I'm not asking you to stop stating your opinions,

Thanks. However, I'll try to bear in mind that I'm on probation.
Quote:
just that you consider how to do it without appearing to be trying to hijack the board.

It's not clear how I could accomplish that, hijacking the board, even if I wanted to. A lot of people simply ignore my threads. Works for them. See how they slide into oblivion.
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It seems that anything anyone wants to say manages to come into discussion when there's one or two running OT philosophical/religious/political threads

Really? And you know what I want to say? (That was strictly rhetorical.)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:39 am 
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El, I hope you can see that I'm not trying to prevent you from saying whatever you want.

I used the word "unnecessary" because some things worth posting won't fit into existing threads, so it might be necessary in some cases to start a new thread to make a place for something you want to say.

I'm also confining my suggestion to potentially debate-provoking posts. I think most people don't mind OT posts that are interesting, informative, funny, seeking information, etc. if the content isn't of a contentious nature.

Best wishes,
Jerry


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:42 am 
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Jerry Freeman wrote:
Seriously.

You don't want to take this kind of stuff blow by blow against what Bush has done. Believe me, you don't.


Jerry, to echo back to you what you said on the other thread, this also reflects the climate of the election. Kerry WILL point out the instances that he feels reflect Bush kowtowing to special interests, therefore it is incumbent on the "right" (and the media, too, if they're doing their jobs) to point out Kerry's similar actions.

As far as elendil's posts, I'd rather read them than the ones about somebody's cats (nothing against cats, I have one myself, or it has me). What I do is I just skip the threads on cats.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:57 am 
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Your points are well taken, Rando.

As I said, I'm not trying to discourage Elendil from posting whatever he wants to say. I do think most people find the contentious OT threads more annoying than the fluffy OT threads.

I'm suggesting that anyone who wants to post something potentially contentious think carefully about how/where to post it so there aren't too many contentious threads running at the same time.

This contentious thread is a continuation of another contentious thread that has multiplied itself, when it could have just continued where it was, with Elendil's article fitting into the ongoing discussion of which it is clearly part.

On the other hand, I think we actually do need a couple of contentious threads running most of the time so those of us who like to hash out that stuff have a place for discussion/debate.

Best wishes,
Jerry


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:15 pm 
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Um, Rando, I've been meaning to ask you about that avatar for some time, but I didn't want to seem contentious. Which finger is that I see? I'm afraid my eyesight isn't what it used to be. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:58 pm 
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elendil wrote:
Um, Rando, I've been meaning to ask you about that avatar for some time, but I didn't want to seem contentious. Which finger is that I see? I'm afraid my eyesight isn't what it used to be. :)


I believe that is Howard's index finger, raised during the famous Yeaaagghh speech.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:29 pm 
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Speaking strictly for myself, since the Elendil jacking of the board began, I'm here about 1/3 as often. Mostly I pop in and check if there are any fife questions, see what's for sale, and then move on. What's going on now seems less like civil discourse and more like taunting.

Whatever.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:43 pm 
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I am one of those that do my best to ignore elendil threads unless called upon as moderator to have a look. At the behest of a board member I donned my haz-mat suit and entered this one.

elendil wrote:
A lot of people simply ignore my threads. Works for them. See how they slide into oblivion.


Excellent advice.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:59 pm 
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elendil wrote:
Quote:
A lot of people simply ignore my threads. Works for them. See how they slide into oblivion.

Alan wrote:
Quote:
Excellent advice.

Hey, Alan, honored to have you here. Stick around and you may find lots more excellent advice, or switch over to the "Two Questions" thread and you can pick up some excellent reading material. Either way, you can't lose.

I did want to make it clear that my "See how they slide into oblivion" reflection referred to my threads, not to those who lose out on my excellent advice--self deprecating irony is my trademark style and is part of the secret of my popularity. :P

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:01 pm 
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"excellent advice"


:roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:01 pm 
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Senator John Forbes Kerry voted NO.
Vote on the passage of a joint resolution to permit military force in Iraq under specific Congressional instructions.

S Joint Res 2: Use of Force against Iraq

Vote on the passage of a joint resolution to permit military force in Iraq if Iraq does not withdraw from Kuwait and comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions by Jan. 15. The resolution authorizes the use of force and expending funds under the War Powers Act and requires the president to file a report with Congress every 60 days on the efforts to force Iraq to comply with U.N. Resolutions.
Joint Resolution introduced by Warner, R-VA
(Resolution passed 52-47 on 1/12/91)

Concerning Kerry simply as a viable contender,
the above isn't going to help. Also according to what I've
read on the web, he's against the death penalty
and for gay rights, and the polls are going the
other way on both issues. Clinton, remember,
made a big thing of supporting the DP, I suppose
because it was the price of winning. Also reports are that
Kerry isn't a particularly charismatic fellow; comes across as
distant and patrician. My liberal friends who
back Kucinich see Kerry as a politco who goes the
way the wind blows, something of a waffler--I don't know how much to
put on this, not having followed Kerry closely myself.
Finally he's going up against a political machine
manned (or personned) by very shrewd and
ruthless people, that will try to slice and dice.
If he can survive that, he deserves to be president.

A lot of folks despise bush, a lot of others support him, but the
people inbetween will decide, and Kerry may have
a great deal of trouble with them, because
most of them will be against gay-rights, for the
DP, and nervous enough about terrorism
to worry about things like Kerry's No vote
on Iraq 1. They may feel safer with America
erring on the side of taking an aggressive
posture, and wonder if this fellow is really
the man to do it. We'll see what happens, if it's
Kerry. If the economy is alright, my bet is
it'll be Bush.


Last edited by jim stone on Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:09 pm 
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Hey, Jim, did you get my little gag over on the "Mass" thread? I thought it was funny, anyway. Self deprecating to the max! :wink:

Poor TS seems drawn like a moth to the flame--can't stay away. Oh, well.

What's remarkable in this whole Kerry thing is that--and please don't press me for the details--I thought this McCain-Feingold deal was supposed to make for better primaries. I mean, that it would prevent one candidate from having a lock on the nomination from the get go, issues would be thrashed out over a little more extended time, etc. Doesn't seem to have worked that way.

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