It would be ideal to reflect on local politics this week, but our attention is so focused on the presidential election that the entire Metro Council could be abducted by aliens and we would barely take notice, other than to regard it as an auspicious development.
Fact is, lately we've seen a lot of bogus arguments tossed around in this campaign, and we'd like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up as we enter the home stretch. They may not be the most important issues in this election, but they've been bugging the bejesus out of us.
Myth: John Kerry said that terrorism is just "a nuisance."
No he didn't. Here's exactly what Kerry told The New York Times Magazine: "'We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." It's not much different from President Bush's statement to NBC's Matt Lauer that the war on terrorism can never really be won outright. Indeed, the administration's own color-coded alert system concedes as much, since there's no "No Threat" level to be found; the best we can hope for, apparently, is "Low." Granted, it's hard to muster a lot of sympathy for a guy thickheaded enough to follow up a statement about terrorism with offhand mentions of prostitution and gambling, but what Kerry actually said is much different than what the Bush folks say he said.
Myth: In 2000, Republicans disenfranchised one million African American voters in Florida.
Speaking of urban legends, this one has gained popularity in recent weeks, even with Kerry himself. Problem: it's not true. The allegation is based on an extrapolation from numbers in the report published by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights noting that high rates of "ballot spoilage" occurred in counties with a disproportionate percentage of African American voters. But the "ballot spoilage" in question was almost always voter error, which means the only person "disenfranching" these voters were the voters themselves. Even if you accept this strained definition of "disenfranchisement," it's well worth noting that the vast majority of the county election offices the report called to task weren't run by Republicans at all, but by Democrats.
Myth: John Kerry "outed" Mary Cheney.
Many Democrats say it's been quite entertaining to observe conservatives cry crocodile tears over Kerry's mention of the Cheneys' lesbian daughter in the final presidential debate. Reasonable minds can certainly differ on that count, but the comic value comes from the right's chronic misuse of the term "outing" when recalling the incident. If Ms. Cheney had been previously silent about her sexual orientation, then Kerry's mention would certainly have been an "outing" and an invasion of privacy of the first order. But Mary Cheney has been "out" for quite a long time. Kerry didn't "out" anyone; he was simply pointing out what was already publicly known through Ms. Cheney's own efforts.
Myth: George W. Bush was a draft dodger.
First, the charge was simply that Bush didn't show up for a required physical, which is possible. Then, it was that he was AWOL, which is questionable. Finally, it has somehow metastasized into the phenomenally trumped-up charge that Bush was a "draft dodger." This columnist should note that he was born toward the end of the Vietnam War, but even he knows that a "draft dodger" refers to someone who fled the country to avoid being drafted into military service. Bush went into the National Guard. Not quite the same thing as being on the ground during 1968's Tet Offensive, but it was military service nonetheless.
Myth: The Heinz Corp. outsources jobs around the world.
The Kerry campaign has made a lot of hay about outsourcing; that is, companies sending American jobs overseas. So the senator sure would look like a hypocrite if the Heinz (as in Teresa Heinz Kerry) Corp. were outsourcing jobs to factories all over the world, as many Bush backers have attested. (One variation of this story says that there are actually 57 such plants, which makes the tale all the juicier.) Alas, it's not true. While Heinz does employ people around the world, these jobs did not replace American jobs; they were created in foreign countries to service foreign markets, a very different thing. Another tantalizing urban legend bites the dust.
Myth: There's something fishy and underhanded about Halliburton's role in Iraq.
"Halliburton" is to the Bush-hating left what "Whitewater" was to the Clinton-hating right: something only they care about, and in inverse proportion to their actual understanding of the issue. We'll just leave the rebuttal to Steven Kelman, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy during the Clinton administration, who last year wrote in the Washington Post that "one would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded...who doesn't regard these allegations as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd."
Nowif you haven't alreadyget out there and vote.
No pigtails Pink, just pig.
Ms Harris, your belief that only those that do not want to die seek help…
A religious man gives his opinion about the biblical sin of homosexuality and he's labeled…
Finally some truth about polar bears. There's also more of them then ever. They're in…
My neighborhood association in Green Hills has been battling developers who don't care if they…