Now This

This blog is now read by more machines than humans: RSS robots, spam-laying insectopoids, echoes of blog-gathering .edu projects. This essentially is the state of affairs that all human activities w

Cleaning Up the Nation

Austin Bay:

If Air America were a conservative radio network its corrupt funding trail and cynical abuse of a poverty program would be front page news at the NY Times and full-time mega-scandal at

Rank Materialism

Freedom. I am now the proud new owner of a Gateway 6020GZ laptop, perfect for students and others with limited means. I can now go into a Starbucks or a Barnes & Noble and look like I'm doing some

Fallujah Fonda

Uh-oh. From the Telegraph comes this exciting news:

Jane Fonda is returning to anti-war activism and embarking on a cross-country tour to call for an end to US military operations in Iraq.

Acros

John Pilger: Partner in Terrorism

In an outrageous piece of terrorist propaganda appearing on the cover of today's New Statesman, John Pilger puts the blame for the 7/7 London attacks not on the terrorists, but rather on Tony Blair:

In the Heat of the Night

I'm still a bit stunned by Zell Miller's speech from last night. That's got to go down as one of the most powerful political convention speeches of all time. It's virtually 100% sound-bite, by which I mean almost every sentence is highly quotable. That's quite amazing in itself. My favorite part is this bit:

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.

They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.

It is not their patriotism -- it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace.

They were wrong.

They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war.

They were wrong.

And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

The Dems started fighting back right away of course. The first response, largely put forward by the MSM arm of the Democratic Party was that many voters could be or would be (read: should be) put off or terrified by Miller's anger or non-niceness. A complimentary introduction Miller made for Kerry at some event in early 2001 was also being talked about and quoted last night.

The dust-up after the speech between Miller and Chris Matthews is stilll getting a lot of play in the blogosphere, here, here, and here, for example.

Most people are saying that Matthews deserved the dressing down that Miller gave him. I can't say I disagree exactly, but my take on it is slightly different from most people's. Though Miller surely came on ready for a tussle, the interview only became extreme as a result of some miscommunication.

As I posted elsewhere in comments, Matthews was trying to catch Miller on Miller's criticism of Kerry's many votes against all those weapons systems. Matthews said, don't liberals use a similar technique against conservatives, that is, citing votes against large appropriations which might contain money for say, school lunches and the homeless, and claiming therefore that the conservative is against the poor and children.

Miller was having a hard time hearing the questions (it was a remote, and both of them were in noisy places) and misunderstood. He though Matthews was accusing Miller of being against the poor and children.

Miller took offense and wished we still lived in a time when he could challenge Matthews to a duel.

Miller's other criticism, that Matthews asks questions and doesn't give a person time to answer was on target however.

Nearer the end, Matthews asked a question and Miller asked "Are you going to shut-up" so he could answer. Matthews agreed to shut-up after he asked the question.

Here's the part of the transcript that contains the misunderstanding:

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you, when Democrats come out, as they often do, liberal Democrats, and attack conservatives, and say they want to starve little kids, they want to get rid of education, they want to kill the old people...

MILLER: I am not saying that. Wait a minute.

MATTHEWS: That kind of rhetoric is not educational, is it?

MILLER: Wait a minute.

Now, this is your program. And I am a guest on your program.

MATTHEWS: Yes, sir.

MILLER: And so I want to try to be as nice as I possibly can to you. I wish I was over there, where I could get a little closer up into your face.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: But I don‘t have to stand here and listen to that kind of stuff. I didn‘t say anything about not feeding poor kids. What are you doing? . . . . .

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you believe now—do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs? Do you believe that?

I think it's clear that Miller thought he was being accused of something other than what Matthews had in mind. Matthews only meant to say that a voting record can be rather subtle because of the way all sorts of programs are stuffed together into one big bill. Miller thought he was being accused of something far worse.

If Chris Matthews spent a little more time listening to his guests he would have realized what had happened. But his style is to interrupt and talk over his guests, so he didn't notice when Miller misheard the question.

Zell Miller did have evidence to dispute Matthews' theory, by the way. Some old Kerry literature has him boasting about or promising to kill many of the weapons systems Miller mentioned. So it wasn't a situation of having to vote down a big bill that unfortunately had some good stuff in it.

Bush will speak tonight of course, so a lot of the attention focused on Zell Miller's speech will be shifted to that. But in the meantime, I think it's possible that Bush could get a 1 or 2 point bounce from Miller's speech alone. The undecideds in MSNBC's focus group mostly loved it.

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