Right, and who makes the determination that someone has "joined the
enemy?" How is it that they don't have the right to even contest that?
Because to do so might make then eligible for due process, which would
be *really* inconvenient in terms of getting another notch on Ashcroft's
I agree that Kerry's opinion in this regard is totally brain-dead.
However it's also pretty run-of-the-mill and pretty broadly held
(granted, doesn't say much for the average IQ.) And since when have you
ever heard of a presidential candidate that wasn't a "slicky-boy
politician who can't tell the truth about anything." PLEASE don't say
that GW doesn't fit that description to a "T" as well.
I see, but it doesn't bother you that Bush had taken 250 days off as of
August 2003 (27% of his presidency spent on vacation) - compared to the
average American having 13 days off a year? And if you want to bring
Clinton into the mix, he took off a total of 152 days in the entirety of
his first two terms. The only close runner up to GW in days off is his
father, who took off 543 vacation days (speaking of being "cut from the
same cloth"). Please spare me the "working vacation" stuff - that's
easily on par with Clinton's "didn't inhale."
Well, I'd say turning up in, say, Afghanistan, training with the Taliban,
would be one good sign that you've decided to join the enemy. Yes?
So you tolerate his lies since all politicians lie? OK, perhaps, but
if it's a given they're all untrustworthy, then at least decide which issues
matter most to you, and pick the one whose _actions_ agree with your
"Not in the White House" does not equal "Not working". Kerry missing
say 75% of meetings he's supposed to be at, _does_ equal "not working".
Shame he wasn't gone more, actually.
OK, if you want to believe it, there's obviously no way I'll change that.
But even if you dislike W, wouldn't him not being at work be _good_ for
This might hold water if everyone having their civil rights suspended
was found to be training with the Taliban, but that's far from the case.
I agree completely. And although Kerry's opinion on the weapons stuff
is idiotic, it's not something that I'm passionate about. But I have no
problem with it shaping your voting decision.
I don't follow this logic. 2/3's of the meetings I am supposed to be at
are a total waste of time. In fact, I'm serving my users/benefactors
more by getting something 'real' done instead of sitting through the
meeting. I don't know for a fact that this is the case with Kerry, but
it certainly illustrates that not being at meetings does not necessarily
mean not working. Why should I take for granted that Bush is working
while not in the White House (translation, in Crawford or Kennebunkport)
but that Kerry isn't while absent from meetings?
Sure you can, I'm all ears. But I would expect you to be open to the
possibility that Kerry might be doing something worthwhile when not
attending meetings in Washington.
It doesn't bother me for that very reason. I just thought it odd that
you were bothered by Kerry's frequent absences but not by Bush's
notorious vacation times.
It's not just his view on them, it's how he completly misrepresents
what the issue is about. If it was "I agree with the AWB because
I'm anti-gun (he is)", fine, I disagree with him. But when he
says "Lifting the AWB is bad because it helps terrorists", and when
he equates the ban to anything involving machine guns (it doesn't),
it just turns my stomach. How badly is he lying to us on topics
I don't understand as completely? I don't know, but I'm not planning
to find out.
According to http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID $1 ,
Kerry missed 77.6% of the meetings of the Senate Intelligence Committee
while he was a member, from 1993 to January 2001. If 77.6% of the
meetings of that committee are a total waste of time, I would think
that someone who was on it for 8 years would have some pull in
fixing that...if he cared to bother... Note that I don't know the
slant if any of factcheck.org, so I don't know if it needs to
Well, it certainly _sounds_ like something that should be important,
and apparently it wasn't important enough for him to attend, _or_
important enough to him for him to stay in. Now, for election time,
he says it's really important, conveniently enough.
Well, if he wasn't at the meetings, he shouldn't be claiming he cared
about topic. His actions speak pretty loudly on this one.
Could be, but as I say, then he should explain why he missed 77.6% of
them. "They were BS meetings"? Great, then why are they having
meetings that don't mean anything? "I lost interest and didn't
feel it was important, until it became politically necessary
to pretend otherwise" is what I'm seeing. If you're not going
to participate fully in a group, don't participate at all, and
make room for someone else.
I'm not _bothered by_ them, but I would like him to explain himself.
Has it ever been any other way? We're talking politics here.
Yeah, the moveon rhetoric that he seems to perpetuate with regard to the
ban is pretty pathetic. But I think where we differ is that you believe
it is particularly low even for a politician, and I would maintain that
such a misrepresentation is "business as usual" for every political
figure on the national scene. You're just sensitized to it because
you're knowledgeable about the issue, and as such, aren't gullible
enough to blur the distinction between bayonet mounts and hip mounted
miniguns like so much of the public evidently is. But it's par for the
course. For example, your reaction to Kerry's take on this issue is
really not much different than what somebody in the know on weapons
technology (e.g., scientists and analysts Los Alamos, Albequerque,
Omaha...) thinks when they hear Rumsfeld and other senior staff members
talk about capabilities of future/proposed weapon systems.
Interesting site. Looks like it's associated with the Annenberg School
of Public Policy at Penn, so I'm assuming they're at least attempting to
be unbiased. Again, I'm not arguing that he wasn't absent.
Is there anyone in the race who hasn't acquired a sudden interest in a
topic that also happens to be germane to their electability?
Not terribly shrewd, politically, I'll admit. I think it's a clumsy
reaction on his part to the prevailing, current administration
manufactured opinion that the future of western civilization depends on
fixing the intelligence community. This might not earn him any merit
badges, but it's small fry in the grand scheme of political
I don't know... is Kerry to blame for that?
I'd be curious as to what the normal rate of absenteeism is in
Washington, particularly for those running for the Presidency. His
behavior in this regard only marks him as a politician in my book, and
doesn't rule him out as a viable candidate for the presidency.
As would I, but I hope you'll hold Bush to the same standard regarding
his vacation time.
FWIW, I used to work for a company whose CEO spent half his time skiing in
Europe. And every time he came back he came back with millions of dollars
worth of new business. He died. The company died shortly after. So was
he working or vacationing? Or does it make a difference?
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Your point is well taken. And in the context of this thread, I think
anyone involved with bureaucracy can site tons of meetings where showing
up 10% of the time and getting real work done in meantime makes more
sense than a consistent attendance record. I don't know enough to say
that this is the case with the meetings Kerry is missing (although my
experience with the Defense Dept bureaucracy surely makes this a
believable possibility,) but I'm saying the concept at least warrants
investigation before condemning him.
While what you say may have merit regarding useless meetings, more
telling is attendance to cast votes during normal Senate business. One
cannot argue that attendance at Senate votes is bureaucracy or "useless"
meetings -- it is what these Senators were hired to do. Both before and
following their announcements of candidacy, both Kerry and Edwards had
absentee rates far higher than most of their peers. As a matter of fact,
Kerry's absentee record following his announcement actually improved after
he announced. Before he announced, his absentee record was 57% (yep, he
missed more votes than he cast).
<http://www.rapp.org/archives/2004/03/vote_dammit/ Just a couple links
found in a google search for "kerry senate voting attendance"
Yes, the voting record is a horse of a different color. Definitely a
potent negative in the Kerry column, I won't deny that. Not enough to
tip the balance in terms of adding up all the other positives and
negatives in my book, but possibly a determining factor for folks that
are otherwise on the fence, I would imagine.
Inquiring minds want to know... Could you list a few of Kerry's positives?
I know I am confused. Over the last year or so, he has taken so many positions on
issues that I have no idea where he stands. Take
Iraq for example. He has taken so many positions that he has now said something at
some point that everyone can agree on, however,
not at any one point in time, AND that anything he says in the future will certainly
conflict and contradict something he has said
in the past.
Frankly, he makes my head spin. How can anyone really know what position he will
take on any issue if he should get elected?
Here are his top two positives:
1. He's not GWB
2. He's not GWB
Beyond that, "good enough," albeit vague, wishy-washy or nearly anything
else is all I ask for. For me the crucial issue is that GWB has burned
his bridges with the world community. Very few of the mistakes, well
meaning or not, that he (often with the support of congress) made are
undoable. And no, being in better sync with the world community is not
necessarily tantamount to bending over for every U.N. initiative that
comes along. I believe Kerry, if nothing else, is capable of finding a
happy medium with regard to diplomacy. Not necessarily as the result of
any special skill set, but simply because he isn't GWB, I.e., he hasn't
used up all his favors. He is in a position, with regard to the world
community, of starting off with a clean slate. For me, that's huge. I
figure he's been around Washington enough to keep from doing much damage
otherwise. One other requirement is that whomever we elect will
maintain an intelligent anti-terror momentum. With international
cooperation, the type only possible with someone other than Bush, I
think that's possible. And I think Kerry will be forced to pony up in
that regard in the event he starts to falter.
Having said that, I think Bush gets a little worse than he deserves from
the world community, and Kerry definitely better than he deserves (only
because he's the Bush alternative.) But we don't have the option of
telling the world community to screw off - we can only take advantage of
the opportunity to start over.
Sorry for blathering on for so long, but my only alternative is to be
productive at work :-).
positions on issues that I have no idea where he stands. Take
something at some point that everyone can agree on, however,
will certainly conflict and contradict something he has said
position he will take on any issue if he should get elected?
Al, you seem like a nice guy, but what the hell are you talking about!!!! :)
Who says he has used up his favors and has burned bridges??? This is really
quite silly. The leader of the US never burns bridges because we are too
important for the world economy. I would dare say it is near impossible for
the president of the US to do anything that would cause any European country
to boycott the US. Do you know that France just came out and flat out said
that they will not change their position even if Kerry is elected?
We should care that France and Germany didn't want us to attack Iraq because
they were getting some kind of illegal kickbacks from Saddam? I, for one,
am glad as hell that we have a president who does what is best for us, not
what is best for France and Germany. Let's see the Eiffel tower fall and
then you'll see what side France comes down on.
OK, bottom line, no BS. You have a guy tooting his horn on how he is a
member of the security council and that is a real feather in his cap at this
point in time. Then you find out he missed most of the meetings, staff or
no staff, he missed them. Doesn't this mean anything? How can an observer
not think this is a negative?
I'll grant you that it comes off as negative. For me it merely
reinforces the fact that he is a windbag, which is to say, a politician.
It's just that I get the impression that when something looks overtly
negative on it's face when it comes to Bush, his supporters are always
willing to delve into details and examine circumstances (e.g., NG
service... "Woops, I guess where did those dang records go?") but with
Kerry (e.g., missed meetings) a simple "gimme a break" is all the
consideration that is warranted. I know that goes both ways - I'm
probably just sensitized to the Kerry treatment because I (grudgingly)
come down on his side by a fairly narrow margin.
OK, well then I'll call off the attack dogs I had scheduled for you in the
(but you're still voting for the wrong guy. Who do you think the terrorists
in Iraq want to win the election?) ;)
Well, I could always loosen my standards a little if you really insist
on electing Bush :-). If you think that anybody that bubbles to the top
in Washington does so in the absence of dirty tricks, pandering to
corporate interests (democrat and republican,) and otherwise doing
whatever it takes to put themselves in a position to "make a
difference," you're either terribly naive or are enjoying some form of
chemically induced optimism (back away from the table saw :-))
How is it that when Kerry misses a meeting, or lots of meetings, the
only possibility is that he's off screwing around wasting tax payers
money (mind you, I'm not saying he isn't - I'm just saying the issue is
never open to question.) But when Bush is in Crawford or Kennebunkport
27% of the time, he's obviously hard at work?
From an *objective* standpoint, can you tell me why he needs to be in
Crawford or Kennebunkport to do his job if it's not to be in a more
vacation-like atmosphere? Better satellite coverage in Crawford, maybe?
Or perhaps the decision enhancing nutrients inherent in Kennebunkport
My suspicion is that Kerry is screwing off some of the time and getting
more important work done some of the time when he's supposed to be in
meetings. And yes, Bush is probably getting a fair amount of work done
between beers in Crawford and Kennebunkport. I just find it ironic for
Bush supporters to point at Kerry's attendance record when Bush is
setting records for his time away from Washington in places generally
acknowledged to be more relaxation retreats than places associated with
conducting presidential business.
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