.. Hugh Hewitt was wondering aloud today why ZZ Top has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but Joan Baez hasn’t.

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because it’s the ROCK AND ROLL hall of fame. Could have something to do with it.

Messy day. Around 10 the snow started, and no one predicted this storm. By the time I got on the highway to take Gnat to Nana’s, the traffic had that terrified quality of people picking their way across a field of broken glass on their hands and knees in the dark. I got off the highway, took surface streets, and got on 35W around Washington Avenue – where I beheld a traffic jam of astonishing proportions. A double-semi had jackknifed, neatly shutting down four lanes. But it was the southbound lane, and I was heading north. No one ever feels guilty that their direction’s moving, and the other isn’t. You feel bad for them, and when you reach the end of the jam and you see cars pouring into the congestion without a clue that six miles of impassable metal stretches beyond, you wish you could have warned them. But there’s nothing you can do. On the way back I watched some cars hurtle up the ramp into the mess, and I had no sympathy – any fool could look up and see that traffic on elevated highway was moving at a speed that made continental drift look like mercury sluicing down a metal chute.

Took an hour to get to work. Apparently Harry the Snowman did not appease the gods as intended. When we got home tonight Gnat looked out the window and said “he’s sad now!” And she was right – the little curved stick my wife had used as a smile had fallen over, and turned into a frown, perhaps to express Harry’s sadness as his failure to propitiate the snow gods. So I went outside, fixed his smile, then picked up a lawn chair and took his head off.

Well, no. The child was watching. Besides, it had been raining in the afternoon, and Harry was now coated with ice. I expect he will fully expire sometime in May.

Politics follow. You’ve been warned.

Man: classy people, eh? Classy people!

So Teresa Heinz-Kerry passes out buttons that say “Asses of Evil,” with pictures of Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Ashcroft on them. There you have it: the President of the United States is an Evil Ass. I’d love for someone to put this question to Kerry in the debate: Senator Kerry, your wife handed out buttons that called the President an Evil Ass. Do you believe he is Evil, an Ass, or both? And if I may follow up, I’d like to ask if you can possibly imagine Laura Bush doing that. Thank you.

This happened on December 7, a day whose significance was not noted in the blog entry, and the author includes this interesting note:

He also spoke about the recent Bush Thanksgiving visit to our military in Iraq, carrying a platter laden down with a fake turkey, smiling for a photo op.

I’d love to know if Kerry said it was a fake turkey, or whether that’s the author’s addition. A glimpse into the heart of the faithful followed in the next paragraph:

People were hungry for the food we had prepared, but more so, hungry for John’s message of hope.

Which goes great with a béarnaise sauce, I hear. Chow down! Look, people, it’s one thing to drink the Kool-Aid, but it’s another to pee it into Dixie Cups and pass it around. I can understand people getting passionate about Howard Dean – when you’re in your 20s and aflame with Justice and Revolution, your cockles are stoked by someone who seems to mirror your own enthusiasm. But Kerry? It reminds me of the cover in ’84 after the Democrat convention: it had a picture of Dukakis, looking confident and secure. The cover said “THE DUKE.” It played right to the emotions of his supporters: we are not entirely unenthusiastic of his candidacy, Reagan is insane, and our guy has a great nickname that makes us feel cool when we say it! Landslide loss.

Elections have vibes. I’m not sure what this one is yet, but it doesn’t feel at all like 2000. And it doesn’t feel like 1992. I’ve spent a lot of time recently looking at the newspapers from 92, and you can see how Clinton happened. “Change” was the mantra. He came out of nowhere, as far as the electorate was concerned. He was moderate, charismatic, hip in the way chunky dork-wonks can be when they have a Southern accent and bubba down their voices when it suits them. He was smart, too. He’d spent some time in the wilderness, so he could connect in a way Bush Sr. couldn’t. George Bush 41 had a detached, genteel persona that didn’t play well on Arsenio (remember him?) and he was hammered to translucency by the press towards the end. Reading the press clips, Clinton looked inevitable.

I’m not prepared to say that 04 will be 84 or 88, but I do remember watching a debate between Reagan and Mondale. We had gathered to cheer on Walter, the Last Great Hope of Mankind. He promised to raise taxes: we were thrilled, since none of us expected that we’d be the ones paying taxes. At the end of the debate Reagan went into an allegory about a road, and the moderator interrupted him and said his time was up. Reagan never finished the story. We whooped! Everyone will now see what an idiot he is! Landslide win.

I hesitate to characterize a movement by the people who comment on blogs, but what the hell. Under the comments by John Kerry on International Women’s Day, a priceless exchange:

The years under Bill Clinton were the best this country has seen in 50 years. Yes, the Clintons are the stars of the party.

Everyone knows Hillary would run in 08 if the party's nomination is open.

So I do think it is a safe bet to say that if Kerry is voted down in 04 then Hillary will be the ticket in 08. I'm willing to bet on that, and I know others who are as well. I will work very hard to convince others to join us.

Posted by pragmaticdecider at March 8, 2004 09:21 PM

pragmaticdecider is not a pragmatist but a right wing zealot. A bush troll. ‘Nuff said.

Posted by hanna for change at March 8, 2004 09:22 PM

It’s an interesting website, and I’ll be visiting it daily. Sometimes there’s even a passing remark about the war against Islamic fundamentalist terror. I will selectively quote what I find interesting; you can find the entire speech here. It's an address to the Arab-American Institute.

The central fact of our time is that we are a nation still living in the shadow of September 11th. It was the most brutal and deadly attack America has ever known. We lost so many lives that morning: three thousand husbands and daughters, mothers and brothers, friends and heroes.

September 11th was not a clash of civilizations as some would have us believe. It – and the war on Terror that has followed – are a clash of civilization against terror; of the hopes of humanity against the fears of the few.

And we must be clear as a bell on this. Our cause in winning the War on Terror isn’t helped when we have Army officers like Lt. Gen. William Boykin speaking in evangelical churches and claiming this as some sort of battle for the Christian religion.

The Iraqi constitution says that Islam is the state religion. Comment, Senator Kerry? Eh? From the same speech:

Don Rumsfeld was wrong to pass up every opportunity to condemn these comments. Don Rumsfeld needs to go – and we need new leadership ready to unite the people’s of the world in a coalition to fight terror.

September 11th shined a spotlight on our nation: highlighting our greatest strengths and exposing the work we all still need to do to become one America; a country that lives up to its basic values.

Got that? 9/11 exposed our shortcomings, and demonstrated that we were not living up to our basic values. Yes, that’s the second message I took away from the attacks.

We are better than the physical abuse of prisoners who don’t have the slightest connection to terrorism. And there is a better way to security than racial or religious or ethnic profiling.

Is Senator Kerry suggesting that the Bush administration is arresting random Muslims and beating them? Yes or no. Is he suggesting that the airport security details are singling out Arabs at the X-ray checkpoints?

Seven centuries after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the great scholar Ibn Al Qayyim wrote that “justice is the foundation of the heavens and earth.” Justice must always be the foundation of this nation as well. And John Ashcroft and his Department of Justice would do well to remember that.

Let us now pause to recall the speeches where President Bush quoted Islamic scholars in order to criticize the policies of Democrat opponents. Just for grins I googled “Ibn Al Qayyim jews.” One hit yielded a footnote:

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions more than ten clear indications of the forgery of the document, which the Jews repeatedly attempted to use to deceive the Muslims over the centuries, but each time a scholar of Hadith intervened to point out the forgery - such incidents occurred with Ibn Jariral-Tabari (d. 310), al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463) and Ibn Taimiyyah (d. 728), who spat on the document as it was unfolded from beneath its silken covers.

This would appear to refer to this (bottom of page):

For example, when the second caliph, 'Umar b. al-Khattab decided to expel the Jews from Khaibar, some Jewish dignitaries brought a document to 'Umar apparently proving that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had intended that they stay there by exempting them from the jizyah (tax on non-Muslims under the rule of Muslims); the document carried the witness of two Companions, Sa'd b. Mu'adh and Mu'awiyah b. Abi Sufyan. 'Umar rejected thedocument outright, knowing that it was fabricated because the conquest of Khaibar took place in 6 AH, whereas Sa'd b. Mu'adh died in 3 AH just after the Battle of the Trench, and Mu'awiyah embraced Islam in 8 AH, after the conquest of Makkah!

As the Python Gumbys said: my brain hurts. But this is what I found truly interesting.

When I was in the region in early 2002, I saw first hand the devastating impact of this ongoing conflict on the daily lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. In Ramallah, for example, Palestinian women, traveling on foot, were forced to stand in long lines at check points with their children tugging at their sleeves and their arms loaded with groceries or other basic needs. And while they were struggling to get through the day, Israelis were also living in fear of another terrorist attack – not sure whether to get on a bus or go to a restaurant.

I’ll give him credit for the order in which he presents these seemingly equal inconveniences. But note how the first example is described with sympathetic human details – children, tugging at sleeves! – but the fear of getting nails shot through your vitals on a bus is described in an abstract, generic fashion.

The speech was made on October 17, two weeks after a suicide bomber in Haifa killed 21 people in an Arab-Jewish owned restaurant; three kids and a baby were among the dead, and the wounded numbered 60.

Here are the faces of the dead.

The word "Haifa" does not appear in the text of the Senator's remarks.
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