Friday, April 23, 2004

Pollack Takes on O'Neill 

Neil Pollack hits John O'Neill with the satire bomb...

That man must've eaten Mark Twain's brain or something...

UPDATE: Joe Conason weighs in at Salon. (I think it's subscription only)

The left wing attack machine, such as it is, is truly in full swing. This is fun to watch.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Just checked the ol' hit meter...and for this fleeting moment, we may once again party like it's 1999.

John O'Neill 

That's the Houston attorney who has been hitting the airwaves with attacks on Kerry. If you don't know what I'm talking about check out this link. He's pissed about Kerry's anti-war activities, specifically (and understandably so) about accusations of war crimes perpetrated by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. He also claims Kerry ain't the hot shit his record makes him out to be (how much his dislike of Kerry's post-action activities colors this opinion I'll leave to you to infer).

Well, the guy's from Houston, and practices law there. David gave me the heads-up on this cat a while back, and here he is in the limelight. If David comments on this post, I'll post it up as an update. He used to work with O'Neill and has some interesting insight...

And if you wanna see the "left wing attack machine," such as it is, in action...check out this post at the Daily Kos. With all the talk of dirty politics on the part of the Repubs lately, it's nice to see the Democrats can sling some mud as well...well, nice if you like dirty politics I suppose. I mean, because someone who used to work for V & E and Bush works with O'Neill, then O'Neill is a Bush hack? That's almost as sad as the attempted character assassination of Clarke...

Anyway...interesting stuff. I just don't understand how a guy who went to war and fought can be so virulently opposed to a guy who went to war and fought while apparently letting the guy who weaseled out of serving off the hook. But I'll let David speak more to that if he wants...he definitely knows more about it than I do.

UPDATE: David fills in the gaps:

I used to work for John O'Neill at his law firm Clements, O'Neill, Peirce, Wilkons, Pierce, and Fulkerson.

The CNN link will give you the basic info. John O'Neill operated Kerry's boat after he left. In Kerry's anti-war activities he pretty explicity accused all US soliders of regularly committing war crimes. O'Neill was infuriated by these comments. They debated each other on the Dick Cavett show in 1971. C-Span had a link, I don't know if they still do. Its over an hour and intense.

Needless to say, John O'Neill really despises Kerry. I was pretty humored by DailyKos b/c unlike most smear campaigns by both sides, its hard to separate fact from fiction. In this instance, I knew the facts. DailyKos didn't really mistate the facts. Rather it omitted many inconveinent facts and spun the other facts to a commical extent.

John O'Neill is not Bush-Hack. In fact, the Houston Chronicle article that dailykos refers to fails to mention that the head of the democratic party in Houston was quoted in that article saying as much.

Given that the Dems are going up against the Dark Arts of Rove, I am not the least bit surprised they've resorted to similar tacitcs. Unfortunately, they are often very effective.

There you have it...


B.D. loses his leg. That's pretty intense for Doonsbury...

More Skilling 

I have to confess feeling a certain (slightly guilty) pleasure at watching this asshole flame out. Here's some more on his drunken crazy-guy episode and the fall-out. The best part is how the judge (apparently a bit of a hard-ass, or as the article puts it "no nonsense jurist") responds. He's after Skilling for braking bond:

The prosecutors' motion sought only for the court to hold a hearing on the issue, not for specific changes to the terms of Skilling's bail. But according to the order under which Skilling was released, it is possible that U.S. District Judge Sim Lake could choose to revoke bail, order Skilling detained or seek to charge him with contempt of court.

What's that you're supposed to do when you find yourself in a hole? Anybody wanna tell Skilling?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Israel Kills Another Hamas Leader 

This is such a difficult issue for me to think about.

I think that Hamas has to go. Of that I have no doubt. They are setting back the cause of their people because of both their unbending philosophy and their rather horrific methods. On the other hand, I understand why they are so upset, and how the young among them could be led to believe their cause is righteous.

I don't doubt Israel's stake in the elimination of Hamas, and stepping into their shoes, they must use the resources they have to protect their own. I can't condemn that outright.

I hate thinking about this conflict. We need moderates on both sides, but the extremists on both sides retain power by killing each other and many innocents around them. The only way to stop the killing, it seems to me, is to have moderate leadership, willing to truly compromise and work together on both sides. And yet it is the violence perpetrated by extremists on both sides that sustains and strengthens their power. You can't stop the violence without stopping the violence is not a good situation to be in. I'm not sad to see Rantisi go, but will it change anything aside from the cold bodies:warm bodies ratio in that part of the world? I think not.

What do you do when faced with perpetual war?

UPDATE: AP saying that the Rantisi killing has made Hamas more popular. Weaker, perhaps, but more popular. Is that a good thing? Weaker may be good, but more popular will be more onerous over time than weaker is good in the short term...

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