John Kerry, Free Market Worshiper - April 2, 2004

April 2, 2004
John Kerry, Free Market Worshiper
"...the fixes that Mr. Kerry and his core economic advisers are beginning to offer are clearly rooted in Clinton economics, which is resolutely centrist. Fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction, hallmarks of the Clinton years, are bedrock orthodoxy in the Kerry camp, too. So is faith in the private sector's powers to generate prosperity. Job creation will come from corporate America, not government, once the right incentives and subsidies are in place, the war room says. In fact, the Clinton-era god of deficit reduction and private-sector supremacy is also worshiped in the Kerry camp." - Economics reporter Louis Uchitelle, March 28.

No "Ferocity" Among Frankenfiles?

"The tone of Air America was supposed to be as bold and belligerent as Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, an unapologetically liberal riposte to the conservative radio talk shows that dominate the airwaves. Air America may yet grow as a radio network, but the first day mostly highlighted the difficulty of trying to match the fervor and ferocity of right-wing radio. Satire and sarcasm come more easily than rage to Mr. Franken, a former 'Saturday Night Live' performer and writer. And rage-unbound by reason or reticence-is what fuels the most successful political talk shows." - Alessandra Stanley on the new liberal radio "network" headed by Al Franken, April 1, 2004.

Reality Check:
"We know that [Republicans] are lying-lying without shame, lying with impunity, safe in the knowledge that there is no watchdog with a platform large enough to call them on their willful untruths. I will have to do." - Franken on first day of Air America.

Foiling Terrorists Should Be Secondary?
"The viewer is left to suppose that, beyond foiling terrorists, it's all just a plot to humiliate and demoralize the Palestinians and discourage them from traveling altogether. If that's the case, it will never work." - From Stephen Holden's April 1 review of an Israeli documentary "Checkpoint," on Palestinians having to wait in line at checkpoints for security reasons.

Rumsfeld's "Glass House"
"In Mr. Rumsfeld's view, presented in several news clips, Al Jazeera, the most widely viewed source of television news in the Arab world, and one that operates independent of any government, is little more than an instrument of anti-American propaganda. 'We are dealing with people who are willing to lie to the world to make their case,' he declares, brandishing a rhetorical stone inside his glass house." - A.O. Scott in a review of "Control Room," a documentary on Al Jazeera, April 2.

Bush Notches Another "Embarrassing" Win

'Bush Plans For Tax Cuts Barely Avert House Setback'"House Republican leaders avoided an embarrassing setback on Tuesday, barely defeating a nonbinding resolution favoring new restrictions on future tax cuts that are the centerpiece of President Bush's economic program." - headline and quote from Richard Oppel's March 31 story on a Bush win on tax cuts.

U.S. "Puritan Streak" Made Monica "A Big Deal"

"Spain's gay community is vibrant, flamboyant and politically active. Drug use by individuals in the privacy of their homes is tolerated. Spaniards of all political colorations scoff at the puritan streak in American politics that made the Monica Lewinsky affair such a big deal." - Elaine Sciolino, March 31.

Bush "Allowed The Terrorism Issue To Drift Down" Priority List

"Instead, the evidence suggests that Mr. Bush allowed the terrorism issue to drift down the list of White House priorities from the relatively high importance given it by President Bill Clinton's national security aides. For the most part, Mr. Bush advisers told the commission that they continued the operational activities of their predecessors." - David Johnston and Adam Nagourney, March 28.

The Times' Vogue Grasp of Politics

"In the 1920's, conservatives were worried about everything from Bolsheviks to bobbed hair to barelegged rebels destroying the polite social order. In the year 2004, conservatives are still getting their knickers in a twist over rebels and body parts. Only yesterday they were prohibiting alcohol. Today's Prohibition would censor whom you can love, honor and obey-and don't even think of smoking a cigarette afterward. Having fun is starting to look a lot like civil disobedience. And the smoking ban in New York restaurants and clubs has provided a boon for private entertaining. So it seems only logical-well, at least from a fashion point of view-that parties with a 20's theme have become the rage." - William Norwich, editor of the special Times Magazine Style & Entertaining edition, March 28.