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10 July 2004

My President 

Republicans are so angry.
I'm mad!
I feel like Drudge.

09 July 2004

Free Advertising 

I don't know if I'll get any posts out in the morning, but if I don't I wanted to make sure that Lafayette readers were aware that distinguished author, professor, and political commentator Wayne Parent will be at Lily's for Books (version 2.0) at the Jefferson Street Market tomorrow evening from six until eight.

He'll be signing copies of his latest book, Inside the Carnival, which you can buy online at the link, or get from the bookstore tomorrow when the throngs of Timshel readers inevitably show up. If you get there early enough you may catch a glimpse of your humble blogger, but I'm not making any guarantees...

Oh Dear God 

This won't mean anything unless you're from Lafayette, but the new Johnston Street resurfacing is set to begin on Monday, and I think it's supposed to last at least six weeks (not sure on that one). It's our most traveled road, and the consequences for traffic will be immense, but what are you gonna do?

We'll be dealin' wit' it, but I sure am glad I'm going to New England for two weeks beginning next weekend.

Time Killing Game of the Week 

Mindless and Addictive edition. It's worth it for the happy-go-lucky music. Keep the ball from reaching the top of the screen for as long as possible by using the left and right arrows and helping the ball pass through the breaks in the rising line. So far my best score is just over fifty thousand. It was mostly lucky.

And in case you missed that grand slam tennis event last week, here's a special and belated Wimbledon edition of the TKGOTW.

Iron Mike 

I'll give you one guess why Louisiana Republicans wouldn't want to draft Mike Ditka in a million years. His problems at Harrah's Casino notwithstanding, there really is a big difference between one state remembering a guy as a Superbowl winner and hall of famer and the other remembering him as one of the worst coaches of many, many bad ones in the franchise's history.

via Political Wire

Friday Fiber Digest 

My, MY.….Kevin Blanchard has risen in my estimation from the ranks of damn good reporters to that of local hero. Please link over to his front page of The Advocate’s Acadiana section story: “Attack on fiber-optics plan offers questionable claims.” Kudos to the editorial staff as well for authorizing the story and the headline choice.

Labeled “Analysis,” the story goes over the claims of the recent advertising spot Cox is using its network to run. A read-through of Kevin’s analysis reveals the laziness in earlier report. Kevin’s basic theme is that the ads are misleading in that Cox tries to take advantage of the public being generally unaware of how government funds and approves projects. He is right, and I had passed over the issues he dwells on. “Debt” is how big projects are funded and in the scheme of things the 100 million isn’t as large as the 184 million in bonds the city-parish approved routinely (and without breathless commentary by corporations “concerned” for the citizens of Lafayette) approved last week. Similarly, approving bodies go through a pretty arduous set of public hearings, and they have specially promised to do so in this instance. No precipitous approval is about to happen. The fiber project has been handled in an absolutely methodical way by the local government. Trying to spook the public into thinking that something abnormal and headlong is happening here is the fundamental scare tactic being used and Kevin nails it.

(Speaking of 100 million, that doesn’t mean really mean a trillion, and really, that one single part of the story is an overreaching silliness—no one but a newspaper’s style-book conscious proofreader would misinterpret it. –Though I do applaud the very existence of such persnickityness in the news room proofing staff. Rigorous Discipline in these matters is virtuous.)

Joe (in the comments) points out that Blanchard and the Advocate are correct; Cox's opening frame shows the phrase "100,000,000 million" looming over a pile of money. Click through to Cox's online ad and you can see for yourself how unjustified my little snit was. Or, just take a gander right here:

Proof of my bad

Striving for “balance,” in covering the media aspect of the story goes on to describe the LUS ad run in print media earlier. (HTML version) Interestingly, the Advocate restates some claims LUS makes and allows BellSouthCox officials to simply gainsay them. Mr. Blanchard does not go on and tell you how wrong these criticisms are. I guess I understand that; given how strongly the first 3/4 of the story attacks Cox’s credibility I guess some sort of sop had to be thrown even if that sop was as small as not finishing the critique.

I, however, have no such compunction. And Kevin has inspired me to make up for the earlier shortcomings in my own analysis.

BellSouthCox responds in the article to the economic development opportunities claimed by LUS in its ad for fiber by saying that all the services LUS wants to offer are available today. But that is a fabulous misdirection. What LUS is offering that is different is not “services” but a media: Fiber; and what is clearly superior is: Bandwidth. Little trickles in the coulee vs. the mighty Mississippi’s worth of difference. Just as the Mississippi brings commerce to Louisiana by virtue of being the biggest pipe around for cheap transport of goods so will the biggest municipal pipe in the nation for the cheap transport of data bring commerce to Lafayette.

BellSouthCox also responds with misdirection to LUS’s remark that fiber is a “far superior” technology to the existing copper-based infrastructure. That is so true one would think none could challenge it. And no one does: the outsiders change the topic, saying that other technologies may turn out to be better than fiber. Maybe. Might be. But the moon might also turn out to be made of green cheese. Friends, here is the bald unvarnished truth: fiber optics is not a technology; it is a medium. Light waves in glass. The term ‘light’ defines the limit of fast. Einstein says so. Your 12th grade physics teacher said so. Alla gods children know this. It ain’t gonna change. Wired media, including fiber optic cable is far superior to wireless media in terms of bandwidth headroom. No one believes that either light or wired media will be displaced at the top of their heap for good, sound, physical reasons. The combo of wired light is a long-term winner. I would never, ever bet against it. Reasonable people could argue about the most efficient way in terms of costs to provide specific, limited services. But if we want the whole enchilada of services and almost unlimited room to grow at minimal future cost there is really no sensible alternative to fiber optics now or in the foreseeable future. LUS has placed the nearest thing to a sure bet I know of. The kicker is that BellSouthCox are betting on fiber being the wave of the future too. They use fiber networks everywhere they have to move lots of data and both companies use fiber backbones extensively in Lafayette. They have put their money and their company’s future into fiber. Yet they tell Lafayette to doubt the “technology.” Hypocritical? Yup. Don’t ever believe a word either one of them ever says.

I was going to review at a couple of letters to the editor. But really, this is already plenty long. Still, jump over to the Advertiser’s letters archive and take a look. I particularly like one which is a little overwrought but which suggests a position I have long taken: that Lafayette needs to decide its own future and that self-interested outsiders like BellSouthCox have no legitimate or useful place at the table. LUS needs to start talking to its citizens and let go of striving to please outsiders.

I would be remiss if I left before noting that Grey Heads I know, whose position had been that fiber to the home is a great idea that really won’t happen because (your politically powerful agent’s opposition/ access to influence/ control of media goes here) are now changing their tune and saying that fiber is going in. Thel word is that the Council and Durel appear willing to move smartly through the approval process and the new strategy is plow ahead, giving BellSouthCox as little time as possible to find or fall onto an effective divisive strategy. The grey heads now now say that the local team has been stunningly smart in their political moves and that BellSouthCox has been stunningly inept. The acrimony the corporations have generated with their attacks on the chamber and local government have closed lines to potential allies and further, few in positions of influence feel much of a need any longer to kowtow to “good corporate citizens”—since these particular corporations turn out to be pretty bad actors.

A good day for fiber, all in all.

Corrected: 2:30, 7/7

Role Reversals 

The Democrat Chris John calls for drilling in Alaska, and meanwhile Republican David Vitter is busy securing funds to clean up Lake Pontchartrain (damn that story for not being on line) and restore Louisiana's dwindling coast. The Advocate's A section included a note from Washington that David Vitter was on the Hill yesterday trying to get money for Lake Pontchartrain, sorry I can't link to it.

The point of this is merely to show that despite what our state media constantly reminds us about how conservative Louisiana is, it's pretty clear that most of the candidates for the Senate (with the exception of Arthur Morrell) are in a race for the center. The difference, of course, is that David Vitter has proven he will govern as a dyed in the wool conservative, while Chris John has proven to be a reliable right of center moderate. I can't judge John Kennedy on this standard. Vitter's move is for show, and John's is part of his political makeup.

And speaking of racism 

The EEOC says that New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan discriminates against white people, and for perhaps the first time in history charges of discrimination against white people actually seem to have some merit.

Okay, okay, that's quite the exaggeration there, but I'm just tired of white people claiming victim status every time they're fired or can't get a job. When will they start taking responsibility for their actions? It starts with their parents and all the violence they watch in the movies and on television if you ask me. The hippity-hop doesn't help much either.

Why? 

I really don't know what to think about this story in the local rag this morning. Essentially, a local concert promoter hired a comedian to open for a country show at the Heyman Performing Arts Center in Lafayette. Only "no one knew" that the guy is actually a white comedian dressed like a black man. Probably rightly so, the NAACP got into the mix and sent a letter to City Hall demanding that Richardson not be allowed to perform at the show.

Now I don't think the city ought to get involved in censoring acts, but the NAACP should probably take their grievance directly to the promoter. However, you have to wonder about the sensitivity of some of the people involved when their responses sound like this:

“It was our understanding he was an Afro-American. We’ll have to research it,” Bradshaw said. “We’re going on what the promoter told us.”

The promoter is David Stallings of Landmark Productions in Nacogdoches, Texas. Stallings said Richardson is a character portraying a black man and that the show has been seen by people of all races and ages.

Unlike the old-time minstrel shows, which he said could be considered offensive, “he just becomes a black man, and it’s good, clean, rural, Southern humor.”

Stallings would not confirm or deny whether he is the one portraying Richardson.

I guess that last part is the reporter's way of saying that he is, but who really knows with these things?

To throw a little intrigue into the mix, one of the local black radio station--whose GM is the same NCAA president who authored the missive to the local government--has played the comedy of Willie Richardson on their station. Apparently it's not racially biased, except for the fact that he's created a whole stereotype to portray. The whole thing seems very strange to me.

You can get a look at a "Willie Richardson" biography here. But if you're too lazy to click over, here's what he looks like:
I'm not offensive in any way whatsoever!

08 July 2004

Oh so true 

Josh Marshall links to an interesting and very strange story about a bit of a rebel without a cause who's been running around Afghanistan and apparently arresting people to put in his own prison. Marshall concludes with this near-perfect analogy:

The article gives the impression that this guy went over there, set up his own private jail so he could go out and arrest locals and hang them by their feet -- some unholy mix of Kurtz and Barney Fife.

I don't get that.

Is there money in setting up your own jail? Kicks perhaps, as we've seen. But certainly there must be enough bad-acts to go around back in the states, right?

It just seems like someone must have been paying this guy to do something, unless it's like a blog where you just set up shop and figure that someday a revenue stream might turn up.

It's the Basket Full of Puppies of Asia (big winks and nudges to fellow traveller Matt Lavine on that one, but I couldn't help it).

Ugh! 

Well, I'm rather glad I missed this bit of fun last night. I had some vague notion that Acadiana was going to be featured on "The Simple Life 2", but I had no idea the ep was airing last night.

In a strange bit of advertising for the other network, KATC interviewed the family who hosted Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

I suspect the young fella on the right was particularly excited to welcome the--uh--free spirited young socialites.
I wish they never left...

The episode guide on Fox says the girls went out to harvest crawfish from a Henderson pond, which is described thusly:

Paris and Nicole go to their new job where they are to help catch crawfish on the bayou with fisherman Bradley Richard. "It's not crawfishing clothes, but it was good enough for me," Bradley's teenage son Boo Boo says about the girls' skimpy attire. Bradley orders them to bait 65 traps. The girls put on yellow overalls and cut up the bait. Then it's a speedboat ride to dump the traps, where they overfill 25 traps instead of the requisite 65. As the traps sit out overnight, Paris joins Bradley for a crawfish boil party alone because Nicole is "sick."

Sounds like a real bore to me. Did anyone see this and want to comment? How does the bayou come out on national television? Does anyone want to admit watching this trash?

ps, cheers to Fox for spelling "crawfish" the right way. I'd have put a hundred dollars on their spelling with the infamous "y".

Welcome Home 

There should be a beer in our future.

As for music, I suggest anything from this bit of creative pilfering.

Oh how grand! 

Giuliani is on his way to Lafayette to help elect David Vitter. That makes Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani. The GOP is definitely going all out for this race. The only question is how Lafayette conservatives would react if they knew the former mayor's positions on abortion. My guess is that they won't give a damn. I can already hear the chants of "Ru-dy, Ru-dy" in my head.

It says the event is free and open to the public on Tuesday, which means there could be some Timshel fun in store for the rally. Here's a link to the results of my last visit to a Vitter campaign stop in Lafayette.

Here's the press release, it doesn't say anything about getting tickets from the local Republican office. I can't wait.

7th District 

With Ned Doucet out, the prospect of an all Democrat runoff in my district just got a whole lot better.

I don't know a thing about any polling data on this race, but Charles Boustany's fundraising is sure to make him a formidable candidate from the GOP. His Republican base in Lafayette may be cut in half if David Thibodeaux can run anywhere close to as strong as his 1996 attempt at the seat. Look for the GOP to continue to try to push Thibodeaux out of this race. They've lined up their dollars behind Boustany, though they've stayed out of any formal endorsement of his candidacy. Thibodeaux is too much of a maverick for the state party and too prone to follow his own principles and conscience with regards to their objectives. His main advantage over Boustany is that people have actually voted for him before, electing him to multiple terms on the school board and pulling the lever for him in past Congressional races. With a perfect storm of sorts and the full strength of Democrats outside of Lafayette, we may be able to carry Willie Mount and Don Cravins to the December election.

Shrimp and trade 

Yesterday I mentioned the good news for Louisiana shrimpers that the US Commerce Department was planning on raising tariffs in response to some questionable dumping practices by fishermen in China and Vietnam.

I suggested that it was possible that it was an overtly political move by the Bush administration to shore up support in what will likely be a competitive state this fall. If that was the case the early response is that it's a fruitless move. Shrimpers aren't satisfied with it, because too many have had their livelihoods irrevocably damaged by the three years of dumping supposedly competitive products on the market, and business interests and consumers aren't happy because of the predictable rise in the price of shrimp that is sure to come at the market and in restaurants.

Like I said yesterday, it's a shame that some Louisiana shrimpers have lost their livelihoods due to administration foot-dragging on this issue, but this will and should be a boost to their needs. From what I can tell on the things I've read about this over the last few years, they have had a very legitimate grievance against their Asian counterparts and should receive some kind of retribution, whether it be in the form of tariffs or a compensatory monetary reward. This is the better deal because it has the potential to keep them in business for the long-term.

I tend to take matters of trade on the merits of each issue and with a keen eye towards the effect on the home state, and I won't pretend to be any kind of even armchair expert on economic theory. I understand the principles of free-trade and what it means for the long-term health of the world economy, but free-trade doesn't mean jack when foreign competitors can manipulate markets without consequence. As Matthew Yglesias (blogger spell check note: "Yglesias"="eyeglasses"--should have seen that one coming) demonstrates with striking regularity on his blog, this is an issue where inside-the-beltway culture has absolutely no regard for the consequences of this supposed "competition" on the rest of the country. Consider this post he made about the tariff decision yesterday:

My Shrimp Are Too Cheap
Thank God the president took care of that little problem. See me, I'd been going into stores to pick up some shrimp and thinking -- Gods! this shrimp is too cheap, if only there were some kind of federal policy that could make it more expensive. And then along comes George W. Bush with his shrimp tax. Brilliant! That'll teach them Vietnamese to try and make a living.

When an entire economy for their city is based on the service industry, politicians, federal bureaucrats, think-tank and writing fellows, and lawyers it's hardly surprising that he could show such utter disregard for the well-being of thousands of families along the Gulf coast. It's all about buying cheap shrimp to him, and that's why things are unlikely to really get better for the long-term health of the Louisiana shrimping industry.

"I'll do what I want!" 

I'm all for a little healthy arrogance from people working in very important and demanding jobs around the state, but I don't think it's hard to realize why our new Dept. of Economic Development chief hasn't run for any offices over his "distinguished" career in government between Mississippi and Louisiana. This made it to the front page of the Advocate, but since it's AP, I'm going to NOLA's wire for the linkage. Anyway, take a gander at Michael Olivier's opinion of himself:

Louisiana's new economic development chief defended himself Wednesday against charges of misspending and lack of openness in the job he just left, attributing them to "jealousy" and his aggressive style.

...

"I'm sick and tired of getting beat up by Texas," and vowed to compete with Louisiana's neighbor at the industrial recruiting game.

Saying he was frustrated at what he depicted as public badmouthing of the state's deficiencies by Louisianans, Olivier joked: "Let's lie," drawing a laugh from the employees.

...

Olivier told the employees the post's previous salary level had been a problem for him, after calling the new job the "capping point" of his career. "I almost did it under the previous administration, but I chose not to because they didn't pay a damn thing," he said. "Gov. Blanco and the Legislature in their wisdom took care of that."

In the interview, the new economic development chief drew a distinction between himself and predecessors, saying: "I'm an economic developer," explaining that "in the real world it means you know how to recruit, you know how to manage. In the economic development scheme, you have experience in how to manage."

...

The department's vaunted, sometimes-criticized "cluster" approach, in which specific industries are targeted, may undergo some revisions, Olivier indicated. "I'm not using the word "cluster," he said. "I want to get away from that," Olivier said, suggesting that he would substitute the word "targeting," but adding: "there is no difference."

The story is a worthwhile read because it goes into considerably greater detail about many of the criticisms leveled at Olivier during his reign in south Mississippi. But c'mon, this guy is a veritable Eric Cartman. I'm rooting for his success, but it's no wonder people hated working for him there.

07 July 2004

"I was right!" 

In the annals of stories that will never die, Drudge tells us that John Kerry--GASP!--considered Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

I bet he considered her for about as long as it takes to consider salvaging a toothbrush that falls in the toilet.

River City Relay 

It will probably go down as one of the most amazing lateral plays in NFL history, yet I have no desire to think about it ever again. There's just too much pain as I picture John Carney's PAT attempt sailing so far wide of the uprights that a hurricane couldn't have blown it in.

Anyway, a friend implored me to vote for it as the ESPY Play of the Year in an email today by reminding me that when LSU won the ESPY for their "Blue Grass Miracle" at the University of Kentucky the year before, the went on to win the (co-)National Championship the following season.

That's good enough for me. So you guys should all go vote away.

Just Stop 

I haven't bothered with my favorite Louisiana political columnist lately, but I really do think Jeff Sadow should stick to his normally offensive commentary and lay off the satire.

This is just awful.

Ch-ch-changes 

Aaargh!

I find what happened to the Daily Howler very disturbing, but today's dish is good despite the new look.

Louisiana responds 

The Pic reports on the Louisiana federal delegation's response to the Edwards selection. Even almost-Republican Rodney Alexander likes him, though it doesn't seem like it's enough to get him out there campaigning for the ticket.

Sen. John Breaux, D-La., who in private meetings with Kerry had suggested that Edwards would help him in the region, said the 51-year-old first-term North Carolina senator "can speak to Southern values."

And far from being a burden, Breaux said, Edwards' legal career of "working to protect and help the little guy" will be a big selling point, particularly in a poor state such as Louisiana.

...

"I think he brings a level of excitement up and down the ticket, not just for the presidential race but all the way down to the congressional races, including the Senate," said Rep. Chris John, D-Crowley, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Breaux.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Edwards' selection might not have been so important if voters still had faith in the policies of the Bush administration. But she said confidence is evaporating because of problems in Iraq and continued challenges with the economy and education, giving Edwards a chance to help promote Kerry "as a viable alternative to four more years" of Bush.

Rep. Rodney Alexander, D-Quitman, said he personally likes Edwards and that he is impressed with his ability "to talk to people on a level that they can understand." But Alexander said he still generally approves of the job Bush is doing and that he'll stick with his earlier resolve to concentrate mostly on his own effort to win re-election for a second two-year House term.

Read the story and you'll get some more of the "He's just a liberal trial-lawyer" argument from state Republicans. This is about the laziest and most useless line of attack against this guy out there. His experiences as a trial lawyer remind people what's good about the legal system. He's not some ambulance chaser suing the pants off of working men because they ran in to his client's rear-end at a red light. He sues negligent companies and their owners who have gotten rich off products that maim and kill people.

I hope the Republicans find a better way to do this or watching this election won't even be fun any more. I've come to expect more out of the GOP, but if this is all they can muster then George Bush has done more to harm the party than I ever could have thought.

Swing State Goodness 

All in one day we get a ruling from the Commerce department and a Bush Administration announcement that could mean millions for Louisiana fisherman and coastal restoration funds. If Bush leaves sugar off the table in the final CAFTA package then we'll really know what's up.

Of course the money hasn't been approved by anyone yet, and there are some things that coastal restoration advocates should be wary of w/r/t to that Bush administration announcement. It certainly wouldn't be odd for the current administration to torpedo some of the things it supposedly supports, and until this money is actually appropriated through the Senate with White House support, it really isn't any more than a campaign promise.

Another possibility is that the Bush administration will use the restoration dollars as a hostage in exchange for electing David Vitter to the Senate. You may recall this happening in that Kentucky special election this Spring. It backfired then, and would probably backfire again here. Of course, neither the administration nor Vitter has suggested that the only way to get the money would be to vote for him, but it's not out of the question to suggest that isn't down the pike.

And as for that Commerce Department decision, it really is possible that this is simply good policy that will have some ancillary benefits to Louisiana shrimpers and catfishermen. I also have so little respect for Bush's policy-making team that it's hard not to view every decision the executive branch makes through lenses other than political ones, but there is no doubt that Chinese and Vietnamese interests have been dumping their goods into our market for too long. So it's a good thing someone has decided to do something about it.

You can see more on both of these issues here and here.

06 July 2004

This stinks 

Blogger really is a p.o.s. today.

And though this link probably won't work, Murph's first instinct w/r/t the news broadcasting about the Edwards announcement was to note that Fox News ran "Hillary's Role" as a headline during one of their more asinine moments this morning.

It just goes to show that no matter how many thousands of miles we are away from each other, great minds can always notice the same stupid aspects of Hillary hysteria.

More Conservative Reaction 

From the Corner's John Miller.

Let's not finish the morning without reflecting on the implications of Kerry-Edwards for Hillary. A Democratic victory in the fall, of course, all but removes her from the 2008 presidential picture...

blah, blah, blah. Perish the thought of a four hour period without harping on Klintoon's Presidential aspirations. Like clockwork, the implications for Hillary, who more people in the Republican Party care about than anyone from the Democratic Party, must be discussed whenever and wherever possible. Maybe there's an argument to be made with conservative friends that a vote for Kerry now is a vote against Hitlery next time around. It could be just the group of swing voters we need to finally bring back the south to Democrats.

Hee, hee 

You have to love Republicans for sticking to their guns no matter what the situation. I guess it's the true meaning of conservatism

Could their Edwards opposition campaign be any more predictable?

7th District 

Patrick Courreges catches up with the candidates for my district's seat in Congress in this morning's Advocate, and what could be the most boring field of politicians ever to run for office in Louisiana manage to keep me from posting anything funny or substantial about any of them.

I will say that David Thibodeaux should be careful to explain why he wants to fight against US Justice Department desegregation cases against local school boards. I don't necessarily agree with his position on the matter, but at least I know it's not because he's some closet racist still fighting battles from the 1960s. Without an explanation about his position its hard to blame people from wondering about his motives.

Vitter Lying 

David Vitter continues to mischaracterize the position of Senator John Kerry and Vitter's Democratic opponents in the race for Louisiana's next junior Senator.

This is a very big issue and a clear choice in this election between those like President George Bush and myself who feel we must go on offense, that this is a military challenge, versus John Kerry and my opponents in the Senate race who have a different view, which is that the war on terror is primarily a law enforcement defensive operation. I completely disagree with that premise."

I mentioned this last week after Vitter unveiled his plan to protect the country from "turrists". This wouldn't really matter to me if whichever chump from the Shreveport Times who reported it (in this case Don Walker) would even bother to try and separate what Vitter says his opponents believe to what his opponents actually believe.

Admittedly, that might be easier if Chris John or John Kennedy included a better issues section on their campaign websites, however it certainly wouldn't be difficult to call up one of the campaigns and simply ask them about such a charge and give them a chance to respond. Either that or don't include it in the report. Instead Walker simply includes a campaign talking point provided by Rush Limbaugh without any critical eye to the message. This is the second time in two weeks this has happened in two fairly important state newspapers. When will they ever learn?

Sigh, I guess it doesn't really matter that much, but these things are so easy to do right I don't understand how reporters always seem to screw it up.

Of course, the opposing campaigns could do a better job of getting out their messages by simply having a spokesperson make a statement after every Vitter campaign stop, but they shouldn't have to.

Huzzah! 

I'll start by saying that I didn't think that of all the Democrats in the country over the age of 35, that John Edwards was necessarily the best pick for Kerry's veep, but if the only real choices were Dick Gephardt and John Edwards then we got the right pairing.

I just watched it so I haven't had a lot of time to ponder the whole thing, but Kerry's "announcement" on CNN was fairly lackluster and seemed a little slapped together, which makes me wonder if they didn't push it up in the day to get ahead of the leaks saying it was Edwards.

I will note a couple of things about the current stump speech Kerry's using. I like the shameless appropriation of the Edwards campaign theme of two Americas. It fit in quite nicely with Kerry's conclusion about the importance of "letting America be America again", a stated allusion to the Langston Hughes poem of the same name. Kerry may want to be careful considering that Hughes's poem, while essentially a piece of grand optimism, is also too damning an indictment of America during the first half of the last century than many people would feel comfortable with should they ever open a book and read it.

At any rate, things are looking up for the Kerry campaign right now. I'd say they managed this announcement pretty effectively by keeping it as the number one news story during the entire week leading up to the Fourth of July and the slow weekend that marked this election year's Independence Day. Geaux Kerry/Edwards!

Correction 

"Independece"="Independence"

It's always good to have giant errors in a title field left up for days on end. Thanks to Oyster for pointing that one out.

And maybe other visitors to Timshel (or blogger users) could let me know in comments if I'm the only one who has to make two or three attempts at the "Go" button next to the URL field to actually call up the site. This has been a problem for me all weekend, and I was wondering if it was only me.

04 July 2004

Happy Independece Day 

On this day that we all celebrate our freedom, I think it's important to recognize that there couldn't be a better spokesperson for the "Beef, it's what's for dinner" radio campaign than actor Sam Elliot.

But seriously, here's the--er--reason for the season.

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