November 23, 2005

Blog Holiday Begins Now

Filed under: General,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 1:37 pm

Except for Positivity posts prepared in advance, I will cease blogging until sometime Friday afternoon.

I figure there won’t be any real news to report anyway, because based on what’s making news today, every reporter in America will be working overtime tomorrow covering all the public and private gatherings of a dozen people or more that occur.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

One More Look at All This Schmidt

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:36 pm

This was a classic case of someone doing essentially the right thing (“right” in the sense of what a person believes and what reflects the beliefs of the majority of constituents), screwing up on some of the details and delivery, and benefiting from the conduct of his/her opponents.

The scenario was all too typical:

  • Person delivers the “right” message (in the sense noted above) and gets some of the details and delivery wrong.
  • Person is perceived as having had an impact on the ultimate result by supporters and opponents.
  • Vocal opponents (in this particular case, predominantly a combination of the moonbat left and some spiteful folks on the right) sense opportunity, pile on, get personal, hurl the insults, make the person an object of ridicule, and ultimately vastly overplay their hand.
  • Mainstream Media attempts to pick up the memes and turns controversy into a he-said-she-said with an undercurrent of the ridicule in an attempt (ultimately unsuccessful) to take the focus away from the underlying news.
  • As a result of the above “Don’t call my baby ugly syndrome” kicks in, as person’s supporters and natural philosophical defenders rally around him/her.
  • Person ends up either in about the same place, or somewhat stronger, as a result.

A similar but not identical scenario played out in the second half of President Clinton’s first term, except that in his case conservative elements overplayed their hand and squandered the advantage they had after the 1994 election. Even a lot of the Mainstream Media had essentially given up on Clinton after that debacle, but the Talk Radio pile-on, including the “Clinton is irrelevant” meme that developed, put the Left into “don’t call my baby ugly” syndrome and eventually picked up the sympathies of many moderates. Ultimate result: Clinton re-elected.

How much different would the Schmidt situation have turned out if the ridicule and intense level of personal insult hadn’t occurred? We’ll never know. We’ll probably never know in any other future controversy involving a politician, because personal insult and over-the-top without-foundation ridicule are, from all appearances, a permanent part of the political landscape, never mind that they are usually not effective, and ultimately often end up helping the intended victim in the end, as I believe may have been the case here.

There is a big difference between satire and exposure, and even vitriol, all of which I believe are perfectly within bounds, and ridicule and attacks that are either not based on the truth or twist it like a pretzel. Schmidt’s opponents in my view went too far, and caused a situation that could have done her harm to either be neutralized or slightly work out in her favor.

UPDATE: As if the far left hasn’t done enough to hurt itself in the past week–The Cincinnati Post (HT S.O.B. Alliance member Weapons of Mass Destruction) reports today that wants to build up Jean Schmidt some more by running ads against her. They don’t see it that way of course, but that’s what will happen. MoveOn will make it even more certain that by May, Republicans who had nothing to do with the 2005′s primary and special election the 2nd District, a number that I believe is greater than the number who participated, will be saying “Oh, Jean Schmidt….she’s the one that gave the ‘don’t cut-and-run’ speech in the House that the media made fun of. Gutsy woman. She has my vote.”

(Note: I’m not saying this is right or wrong, it’s just how I see it playing out.)

Full Transcript: Bill Cunningham November 22 Interview of Jean Schmidt

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:53 am

Analysis: One More Look at All This Schmidt

Finally, on the fifth browser at the second computer, I got Channel 12′s audio and video link (not provided, as it will probably be gone by the end of the day) to work properly, and trancscribed the interview below.

Background: Bill Cunningham is one of Cincinnati’s two leading local radio talk-show hosts, and his show is from 12:30-3:00 p.m. Cunningham has known Jean Schmidt for many years and they are friends, which is why you’ll hear him call her Jeanie. Schmidt and Cunningham are both avid runners.

The interview took place from roughly 12:40 until 1:00 p.m. on November 22. A small amount of the introduction and the “hi, how are yous” were not at the link; otherwise I believe that the interview is intact.

Bill Cunningham: The story in the morning paper is that Danny Bubp who was I’m sure a friend of yours when you served in The Ohio House together, is denying, number one, that he ever told you to use his name at all and number two, that any reference to Jack or John Murtha he said did not occur. Is Bubp not telling the truth or are you telling the truth?
Jean Schmidt: You know Bill, on Friday while the House debate was going on, Danny Bubp called me and Danny Bubp was concerned about this whole issue. Neither one of us knew that Murtha was a Marine, but I did convey Danny’s sentiments on the House Floor. This whole issue should be about the policy.
BC: No question. Did Bubp use the name Murtha with you, yes or no?
JS: He said “You tell that congressman, what’s his name?” and I said “Murtha,” and neither one of us knew that he was a Marine.
BC: Okay, so you had no knowledge he was a wounded Vietnam war veteran?
JS: No, Bill, I’ve been here now about 78 days, it was about 74 days, I can’t know all 434 people that are there, and the bio that they give is just you know name, telephone number, and who your chief of staff is, and how long you’ve been married, and whether, what religion you are, and what term you’re in it doesn’t give you any historical background.
BC: Was it a big mistake? If you had to do that again would you have done that?
JS: I would have chosen different words but I never would have swayed from the message. We need to be there. We cannot abandon our troops. We cannot afford to pull out now, and risk the terrorists taking over that country. They take over the oil fields, they get the pot of gold, they turn that into a dirty bomb, and they point it right back at us. I don’t want that bomb going off anywhere in the United States, most importantly in Cincinnati.
BC: Did anybody in the Bush Administration or anyone in the leadership of the Republican party in Congress or anywhere tell you to say that?
JS: No.
BC: You did it completely on your own?
JS: Yes.
BC: Okay, now since that time have you spoken to Danny Bubp?
JS: Yes.
BC:What did you two–What can you tell us about that conversation?
JS: You know, I want to talk about the policy here Bill, it’s really about the policy. Much too much has been said about a statement. I think that the people that want us to abandon the troops for immediate withdrawal are enjoying this attention because it sways from the fact that 403 people at the end of the night on Friday night said “stay the course, finish the mission, don’t abandon the troops.” And, you know, the Democrats didn’t want to have that come to a vote. They liked the opportunity to talk about pulling out immediately without having to have their, themselves, put to the test.
BC: Now one of the Rules of the House is quoted as “The practice of this House is that a Member is not permitted to refer to another member by name. Since you did refer to that member by name, did you not know the rule and ignore it, or did you know the rule and simply forget it?
JS: No, when I got there nobody gave me a rule book as to what goes on on the House Floor.
BC: So you didn’t know the Rules of the House then?
JS: I knew you couldn’t name-call, but I’ve certainly heard other people reference names on the House floor and (they) have not been gavelled out for that. They were doing it that day.
BC: OK now relative to the last four days, you’ve been the subject of media scrutiny, perhaps occasioned by your reluctance to speak? Why have you waited four days to come forward and say anything about this? Why didn’t you speak on Saturday or Sunday? Why did you wait four days?
JS: Well I left Saturday morning for Philadelphia because I was running my 59th marathon, and as you know when you run a marthon you have to get to the expo, have to sign in to the hotel, (I) went to church because obviously I wasn’t going to go to church on Sunday, Sunday ran the marathon, got back late Sunday night. And you know, Bill, I’m not as young as I used to be. So it took me a little bit longer to get up yesterday morning. But I got up, did my morning routine, had a meeting downtown, meeting with constituents, went to Kroger, started dinner, had a personal meeting in the evening and got home at about 9 o’clock at night and ate dinner. I carved out today for media, and, you know, I’m prepared to go.
BC: have you seen The Saturday Night Live skit on you?
JS: No because you know on Saturday night I went to sleep at about 10:30.
BC: It’s on the Internet, it’s on the web. Have you seen any excerpts of it at all?
JS: No.
BC: You understand you’re kind of the butt of a national joke now.
JS: Oh well.
BC: What’s your feeling about that, that as a freshman congresswoman the way you’re introduced to the country is kinda like on a Saturday Night Live skit.
JS: You know I wish it was more about the policy and not about this, and, I want to talk about the policy, the fact that the terrorist mission in life is to destroy our way of life. They can’t accept the fact that we are free. You know when I was in Philadelphia I had to spend 45 minutes waiting in line, I had a couple of hours before the airport, to just see the Liberty Bell. Think about that, the symbol of our freedom, and It’s in a secure environment because of 9/11. Have we forgotten what happened just a few short years ago? These people, 19 people, came here, and destroyed over 3,000 lives, and their families, and our securiiy. But you know, we’re winning this war. There have been 80,000 terrorists that have been killed. That’s 80,000 less opportunities to destroy us.
BC: There was a TV report yesterday on one of the channels that said the “Republicans go after Schmidt.” There was a chairman of a local Republican party, I think it was Brown County but I might be wrong, who said that he’s not going to support you in the primary. The primary filing deadline is like 90 days away, middle of February. You probably are going to face primary opponent opposition. Are you concerned that Republicans are saying that they are not going to support Jean Schmidt?
JS: Not at all. Over 80% of the phone calls that have gotten have been in support of me. Many have said that they wish I hadn’t taken the words back. When I was in Kroger’s yesterday, and I ran the risk going into Kroger’s, you know, for whatever anybody wanted to say about me. And at the dairy, this little old man comes up to me, and he said “Are you Mrs. Schmidt?” and I thought “uh-oh.” He said “I just want to shake your hand. You’ve made me proud to be an American.”
BC: why did you apologize? Because if your statement was “Don’t cut and run,” some Republicans may say you cut and run yourself by retracting your statement. Either you said it or didn’t say it, but when you say it, then apologize, it’s like “I didn’t say it.” So did Jeanie Schmidt cut and run?
JS: No. What Jeanie Schmidt did was she put the policy back on the table for debate on the House floor. Had I not asked for those words to be removed, we would have spent all night haggling over those words. The point of this is the policy. Do we continue the mission, allow democracy to develop in the region, and put the terrorists out of business? Or do we debate words and not come to a resolution?
BC: So why did you apologize?
JS: To move on with the policy, to get it to a vote. I wanted that to a vote before the Thanksgiving break.
BC: How did the apology cause the vote?
JS: Because it stopped the debate on my words and forced the debate back onto the policy, and forced it to a vote.
BC: Were you concerned about being reprimanded or censured by the House of Representatives if you did not apologize?
JS: No.
BC: So what would have happened if you didn’t?
JS: Don’t know.
BC: Nothing. So, those of us who say “Go get ‘em,” when we have a congresswoman who says “Well I apologize for saying ‘go get ‘em,’” and then you come back and say “OK, go get ‘em.”… You said “go get ‘em,” then you apologized, then you say “go get ‘em.”
JS: I didn’t apologize for saying “go get ‘em.” I apologized if I in any way impugned Congressman Murtha’s integrity. That was the apology. But the message I have been consistent on ever since I decided to run for Congress in the year before, this is something I’ve been committed to wanting to see democracy in that world since I was in college 30 years ago.
BC: And so you don’t apologize for the sentiment, but you apologized for the form of the words you used, because Danny Bubp, who is a Marine officer himself, and Jack Murtha, who was a marine officer, wounded, two Purple Hearts, are like saying each of them say that what you said is incorrect on the floor, one says the substance, one says the form, and I’d like to have you say whether or not you meant what you said relative to cowards running and Marines never running. Did you mean to say what you said and if you had to do it again would you say exactly the same thing?
JS: I was repeating words.
BC: That Danny Bubp says he didn’t say.
JS: I’m not going to get into that debate.
BC: OK. So as far as what he said if he says he didn’t say that to you, you don’t disagree with that?
JS: I’m not going to get into that debate.
BC: OK. Relative to the leadership, have you had conversations with the leadership of the House asking you to do or not do certain things relative to the media or relative to your position on the floor. Are they with you, against you, putting you out on a limb and they’re sawing it off, or have you been encapsulated within the Republican leadership for the last four days?
JS: I think a little bit of all of the above.
BC: Have they sawed you off a little bit?
JS: No.
BC: When you say a little bit of what then?
JS: Well, Friday night they were very supportive. We, my communications director has been in contact with the House leadership throughout the weekend.
BC: And what are they saying?
JS: (pause) You’d have to ask them.
BC: What do you hear them saying? When they talk to you, what do they say to do?
JS: To have, to talk to the press when I’m ready to talk to the press.
BC: And you waited until today to do so.
JS: Well I couldn’t do it in Philadelphia.
BC: All right, now, relative to the future, according to the newspaper and the pundits this has incentivized Republicans and Democrats. Are you concerned politically whether you can survive this?
JS: Oh I think I’ll survive it just fine.
BC: And you’re going to continue to press forward. You know, some in the paper are calling for your resignation. Is that a possibility?
JS: No way.
BC: So you’re going to see this thing through to the end.
JS: Absolutely, Bill, this needs to be about a policy, the fact that we need to be there, and we shouldn’t be discussing this issue, we should be discussing the policy. You know the liberals want us to talk about something else besides finishing the course. The Democrats had to make a choice whether to “cut and run” or to “finish the job.” And with the exception of three, everybody on Friday night chose to stay the course. Even people like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are saying we have to stay and finish the job.
BC: All right, now, on the issue of the liberals. I have your statement here that talks about the liberals, and that certainly is true. Are you concerned that the Chairman of a county Republican party is going to oppose you in the primary, because he’s not a liberal. Brown County Republican chairman says he is not going to support you because of this incident. Does that concern you?
JS: In all honesty he didn’t support me to begin with.
BC: And he’s not supporting you now.
JS: He didn’t support me for the election, and you know….
BC: Are you surprised by all this, because there was something on Channel 12 off to my left. and Dana Eubanks or one of them was talking about how you were surprised at the folderol and the national attention. I think CNN’s been after you, NBC News has been after you, CNN’s been after you, are you surprised at this?
JS: Yes, because we should be discussing the policy, and it’s unfortunate that so much attention has been placed on a few words. We need to discuss this policy. Bill, at the end of the day, I’ll take whatever attacks are made against me. But I’m concerned about the future of this country. I’m concerned that my daughter, and her hopefully children, my future grandchildren, will have the same opportunities in life that you and I enjoy.
BC: All right, we have to take a break. You gave me until 1:00. Is there anything you want to say to the American people and those living in the Tri-State at this particular point relative to the last four days, what you said, what was in the morning paper about Danny Bubp saying he didn’t say that to you, you misused his statement. Is there anything you want to wrap it up and say to the 2 or 3 hundred thousand people listening “This is what I believe, this is what I’m sorry for, and let’s move on.” What statement could you make?
JS: Well you know while I’ve been personally attacked since Friday, I’ve also received so many wonderful wishes. But I’m willing to take those attacks, because it’s just “sticks and stones.” The people that are in Iraq securing our freedom are dodging bombs and bullets, and I am grateful that they’re willing to put their life on the line for you and for me, and you know, while I wish I didn’t have this national media attention, I do not shy away from my opposition to Mr. Murtha’s statement. I strongly oppose withdrawing our troops immediately. We need to give them time to finish the job, to accomplish their task. They haven’t failed us, and we cannot fail them.
BC: What lessons has Jeanie Schmidt learned from this? Have you learned anything the last four days?
JS: I’ve learned a lot.
BC: What have you learned?
JS: A lot.
BC: Give me one or two.
JS: Um, I’ve learned a lot.
BC: Well give me something you’ve learned.
JS: All right, (pause) there’s so many things.
BC: Pick out one or two.
JS: (long pause) Not to wear the red dress.
BC: It’s a bad red dress. Have you learned anything substantively, have you learned something substantively so that the voters and the citizens who live the Tri-State have a sense who their Congresswoman is. What have you learned substantively about the last four days?
JS: I wish I had used a better choice of words but I would never have changed the message of those words.
BC: will you be more open to the media in the future relative to answering questions. Because the media is the conduit to the people. It’s not us. It’s the media that reacts and communicates your message. Or will you be more open to the media in the future?
JS: Yes, and I have been open to the media. But I was in Philadelpha over the weekend to do a marathon and was in no position to be here in Cincinnati to give the folks in Cincinnat the first crack, and I owe that to the folks in Cincinnati.
BC: So the apology to wrap this up, “I’m sorry we’re moving forward.” What specifically are you sorry for?
JS: The choice of words but not the message.
BC: Jean Schmidt thank you very much. You’re going to do more media interviews today, I imagine?
JS: No, I think we’re finished. They’re all here.
BC: Well let’s see what happens, but Jeanie Schmidt Godspeed, and good luck to you. And as a conservative, I think what you said was completely accurate, the form may not have been the best. But nonethess, don’t back down, and don’t apologize. And I think the problem you got into with many people is that you apologized for saying something you truly felt. And so you apologized for reasons that made me feel as if the soldiers weren’t being endorsed and supported, that’s what concerned me.
JS: My apology was never over the policy or the message, it was just a few words in that message. I would have changed the words, never changed the message. We cannot abandon our troops. We cannot abandon the people in Iraq, and most importantly, we cannot abandon our future in this nation.
BC: Jean Schmidt, thank you very much. One o’clock, the home of the Bengals 700 WLW.

When You Can Say What at This Time of Year

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 8:01 am

Am I the only person that has noticed these two tendencies, confirmed by Google News searches?

Shopping (as of 7:45 AM ET):
- “Holiday Shopping Season” (using quote marks)–3,620 hits (84.8%).
- “Christmas shopping season” (using quote marks)–649 hits (15.2%).

Layoffs (as of 7:55 AM ET):
- holidays layoffs (without quotes)–108 hits.
- holiday layoffs (without quotes)–254 hits.
- Christmas layoffs (without quotes)–159 hits.

It seems a bit more acceptable to mention Christmas when layoffs are involved, doesn’t it?

Positivity: USAF Sgt. Helps Clothe Hundreds in Afghan Village

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:09 am

You may need the Kleenex for this one. Read the whole thing so you’ll see what this man’s kids did: