Monday, June 30, 2008

John McCain Uses Swift Boaters He Once Condemned

By now, many of you may have heard the remarks of General Wesley Clark about his belief that John McCain's war record does not equate itself to experience in the job of Commander In Chief. If not, I'll put the FULL comment, in context, at the bottom of this entry.

But it is less General Clark's comments that have me shaking my head and more John McCain's response to them.

In 2004, John McCain strongly condemned the 527 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in very unequivocal terms. Quoting from The San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, August 6, 2004.

"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said, referring to attacks on his military record during the 2000 Republican primary race by supporters of Bush. At the time, Kerry and other senators who served in Vietnam came to McCain's defense. Kerry and McCain also worked together in the 1990s on resolving the question of American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam, which led to normalized relations between the countries.

"I deplore this kind of politics," McCain told the Associated Press. "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable.

And yet, who did Senator McCain bring to his aid to defend him against this opinion of Gerneral Clark's? Senator Kerry perhaps, in recognition of the fact that the two men had both been attacked as regards whether their military records qualified them to make logistical and political decisions concerning warfare? That would be consistent and logical, seeing that Kerry defended McCain in 2000 and McCain defended Kerry in 2004.

No. John McCain produced fellow POW Colonel Bud Day. This would not in itself be a problem were it not for the fact that Day is one of the men McCain so roundly criticized. Colonel Day was one of the members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and appeared in a national television ad for them. He also once said of John Kerry, the man who came to John McCain's defense in 2000,
"My view is he basically will go down in history sometime as the Benedict Arnold of 1971."

Day quickly proceeded to get up to old tricks, criticizing General Clark's own time in Vietnam.

Mr. McCain, I am appalled at your choice of spokesmen. If this is indicative of the type of "honorable" and "loyal" behavior we can expect from you now that you are the Republican candidate instead of the maverick outsider, then I consider you no better on the subjects of honesty and honor than the man you seek to replace in office.

Your judgement, sir, is very seriously flawed.

Oh, and by the way... I also find it appalling that I have paid all my property taxes to the County of San Diego in a timely manner while you let yours fall into default the last few years. This does not speak well of your ability to follow up on delegated responsibilities. That a presidential candidate should neglect to make certain his own taxes or those of his family had been paid speaks of the kind of neglectful oversight used as an excuse by President Reagan during Iran-Contra. Sir, did you actually learn nothing from your negative experience as one of the "Keating Five"?

If you can't be bothered to do it yourself, at least hire someone competent to do it for you.

Here are General Clark's comments from CBS' Face The Nation:
Bob Schieffer: Well you, you went so far as to say that you thought John McCain was, quote, and these are your words, "untested and untried," And I must say I, I had to read that twice, because you're talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war. He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He's been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for lo these many years. How can you say that John McCain is un- untested and untried? General?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it's a matter of understanding risk. It's a matter of gauging your opponents, and it's a matter of being held accountable. John McCain's never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it-'

Bob Schieffer: Well-

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ' -it publicly.' He hasn't made those calls, Bob.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great Article At Publisher's Weekly

Slowly but surely, the waves of erotica and erotic romance are pounding the cliffs placed in front of us to sand. As in any other business, it's the money that is first getting the attention of the so-called "legitimate" publishers and the talent that is then keeping their eyes open.

Publisher's Weekly recently posted this very informative and interesting article,The New E in Erotica . Sure, it's not so new to many of us...but it is nice to see the "big boys" recognizing that their ankles are being bitten. New artistic forms of expression have always fought this battle.

A key quote, in my eyes:
"The consumers were far ahead of me,” says Kate Duffy, editorial director at Kensington, which launched its erotica imprint, Aphrodisia, in 2006. “For years I thought of e-publishing as something people did because they couldn't publish with us. But then we started seeing all of these stellar talents that had first been e-published. It wasn't that the books were in any way inferior—that was my prejudice. It was a different way of accessing consumers, and it would behoove me to investigate.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sharing The Blogosphere

Today I'm guest blogging over at fantasy author Sandy Lender's blog Today The Dragon Wins. Sandy has invited authors throughout the month of June to come in and talk about their pen name and she offered me a slot that I gladly accepted.

Please stop by and check out not only what I had to say but some of the great stories from other authors that have appeared there this month.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

We Teach This To Children, But Hillary Doesn't Get It

It is called good sportsmanship.

We teach it in Little League and on the playground and in Pop Warner. We expect our athletes to exhibit it. We expect it from the losers at the Oscars. We have every right to expect it from a candidate for President.

Hilary doesn't seem to get the concept. She is still trying to be a cheerleader for Team Clinton. Hillary, the Homecoming Game is over. Your team is behind by a touchdown and a field goal and the gun has sounded. All the "go, fight, win" is over. Oh, and Michelle won Homecoming Queen. But you are on the court. Okay?

"No decision will be made here tonight?" Hillary, who decides to lose? Does any competitive person ever decide to lose? It just happens. The game is over. The final buzzer sounded, the bottom of the ninth is finished and we are not tied. You lost.

Now you are supposed to meet the winner at center court and shake hands over the net.

Last year, the football team I dearly love lost the AFC Championship game. This happened largely because of factors beyond their control. Their best player was injured on the second play of the game. Their quarterback was playing on a knee that required surgery immediately after the season. They were playing a team that had cheated and videotaped their defensive signals and received a slap on the wrist for it. The coach, Norv Turner, knew all this. The team played hard but the other team scored more points and won the game. That is the nature of competition. What did Norv do?

Did Norv refuse to shake Bill Belichick's hand because he had been caught cheating? Did he track down the referee and scream about the Chargers being victimized? Did he petition the league to put the points on the scoreboard that LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers would have scored if they were healthy? No. He went to midfield and shook the other coach's hand. Then he praised the effort and commitment of both teams in his press conference.

Erica Jong came out today and talked about her horrible disappointment in the result of the race. In a piece at The Huffington Post she basically defends Hillary's lack of sportsmanship and says a man would be treated differently. Yeah, a man would be eviscerated this morning instead of being seen as still playing the game. Sorry Erica, it doesn't excuse Ms. Clinton's behavior.

Let's compare that to Barack Obama's words last night about Hillary:
That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

Who is showing good sportsmanship and admirable behavior between these two?

My son played a little league playoff game last Saturday. They lost, 3-2 in extra innings. My son was very upset. They had only got to extra innings because he had thrown out a guy attempting to steal and then got a base hit with two out, stole second and, on an infield pop fly, ran like hellhounds were on his tail for home plate. The ball dropped, he scored the tying run and he celebrated like a boy does. Pure joy.

In extra innings, his teams pitcher walked the first guy and they moved him from catcher to pitcher. He got a strikeout and then the new catcher let a ball go by and the runner at first went to second. Facing the other team's best player, my son got two strikes on him and tried to finish the job. The kid hit a clean shot to the outfield. Game over.

My son shook the hand of every member of the winning team.

He had every reason to blame others. He didn't. He told me, "Dad, I served it up to him. It was right down the middle." Mind you, in Little League we just want them to throw strikes, not nibble the corners. But my son didn't cry or whine, or say he had decided the game wasn't over. He took responsibility for his own actions, refused to blame others and was gracious in defeat. I was and am incredibly proud of him.

Hillary Clinton, you could learn a lot from my ten year old boy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

AP Says Obama Has Clinched

According to research by the Associated Press, Barack Obama has achieved the 2,118 pledged delegates necessary to gain the Democratic Party nomination for President.

Further reports are that Hillary Clinton will concede this at a speech in New York this evening, with unidentified sources saying that she will let her campaign end, with workers paid through June 15th. It is said that in her speech she will only concede the factual delegate numbers, not the nomination. However, the ending of the financial and business processes would indicate that she is conceding the nomination.

If true, this will effectively allow the Democrats to begin the healing and regrouping process well in advance of the convention.

Barack Obama beat the oddsmakers predictions just getting through Super Tuesday. Now we are set for a Presidential race that may dramatically alter the public face of politics in this country. If Obama runs the type of campaign in the fall that he ran in the spring, and if the American public rejects McCain's politics of destruction, distraction and fear as they did Clinton's attempts to use those tactics, we will have a campaign that will not only be far more ethical, but far more inspiring and educational.

Imagine, a campaign that could actually have fourth graders once again telling their teachers they want to grow up to be president. I like the sound of that.