Monday, January 31, 2005
Personally, I think most ofthe press got it wrong because they wanted it to go badly. So they found every negative thing they could dig up and, I suspect, in some cases, make up. I am a blogger, not the best and hopefully not the worst either. I will always try and keep those who read this blog informed on the events of the day, with my usual acerbic comments. From time to time I will also post editorials on how I see events. I am not a journalist, nor do I pretend to be. I am just a sailor in the desert. - Sailor
Why the Press Got It Wrong
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Tech Central Station
For some time, I've been predicting that the blogosphere would move more and more from punditry to newsgathering and reporting, in competition with (or at least in supplementation of) the traditional media. And that's been happening. We saw it with tsunami coverage, and now we're seeing it with reporting on the Iraqi elections.
Some of this was pre-arranged. The Iraqi-American nonprofit partnership, Friends of Democracy, set up a central weblog collecting reports from correspondents all over Iraq. There were audio and text reports, with photos, from many different locations, producing an effect something like a news wire staffed by avid amateurs. (There was also a live C-SPAN appearance that was webcast; you can see it here).
Meanwhile, un-aggregated individual bloggers were doing the same thing. Some were Americans in Iraq: The blog Cigars in the Sand, run by an American lawyer in Baghdad, posted numerous photos of Iraqis voting. Another blog, I Should Have Stayed Home, published both illustrated reports and interviews.
But the real news was the Iraqi bloggers. Iraqi blog Iraq the Model reported:
"I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.
"I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".
Rose, a civil engineer and mother, blogged: "YES,YES, I did it. I have the courage to do it." So much for the terrorists' threats. She also posted a photo of her ink-stained finger.
Meanwhile, Iraqi blogger Zeyad reported from Amman, Jordan, that interest in democracy seems to be spreading:
"The turnout in Iraq was really like nothing that I had expected. I was glued in front of tv for most of the day. My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness. I sincerely hope this small step would be the start of much bolder ones, and that the minority which insists on enslaving the majority of Iraqis would soon realise that all that they have accomplished till now is in vain.
"Another surprise was to see some Iraqis who had fled the country in fear of reprisals, such as the families of ex-regime figures and ex-Ba'athists, actually voting and encouraging others to vote! I know some of those from school and college and I imagined they would be bitter about the whole process, but many were not.
"Jordanians were wishing Iraqis luck these few days everywhere on the streets. One young man at a mall, on recognising my Iraqi accent, asked me who I would be voting for. I politely told him that I would vote for who I believe is sincere. Strangely, he said that he personally preferred Allawi and hoped most Iraqis would be voting for him. I wished his country luck as well since the King had promised direct elections for municipal councils as a first step. He dismissed that as nothing much and said that 'One should start from the 'Head' down, not the other way around'."
That's the idea. And the growth of the Internet means that it's likely to spread faster than it would otherwise. That's a good thing, because Mark Steyn thinks -- and I agree -- that the traditional media's reporting on Iraq was seriously flawed:
"The Western press are all holed up in the same part of Baghdad, and the insurgents very conveniently set off bombs visible from their hotel windows in perfect synchronization with the U.S. TV news cycle"
Indeed it was, and it colored the press coverage. Yeah, there were terrorist attacks. But you could tell -- and some of us did tell -- from reading Iraqi blogs that this wasn't the whole picture, something that's been true since the invasion two years ago. The good news is that Big Media coverage of the elections seemed a bit less disdainful, and a bit more accurate, than many of us expected. Is it because they know they're being watched?
I hope so. Because there's only going to be more of that. As Ed Cone writes:
"In the final book of 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' there is a description of a building that is bigger inside than it is outside. That's how I see traditional journalism in the age of the Internet. . . . This idea that there is more knowledge outside the newsroom than in it, that as writer Dan Gillmor puts it, 'my readers know more than I do,' is of course the point of bothering to report stories in the first place. What's new is the ability of individuals to publish their own words, as well as audio and video, cheaply and easily on the Web. Experts and eyewitnesses are no longer consigned to audience status. They don't have to wait to be interviewed by professionals but can push information out at their own discretion."
That's absolutely right. It's the end of the old media world as we knew it. And I feel fine.
This is a definite MUST read! - Sailor
Taking the Stand
Pack the Supreme Court
By Bruce Fein
President George W. Bush should pack the United States Supreme Court with philosophical clones of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and defeated nominee Robert H. Bork. Multiple vacancies will inescapably arise in his second term. Senate Republicans should vote the Senate filibuster rule as applied to thwart a floor vote for judicial nominees unconstitutional and unenforceable.
Both measures are necessary to vindicate the Constitution according to its original meaning and to eclipse an airbrush artist interpretive approach embraced by a majority of sitting justices. Neither gambit would impair judicial independence, separation of powers, or appointment traditions.
Furthermore, President Bush would betray his popular mandate of last November if he neglects to nominate strong philosophical conservatives to the Supreme Court, such as Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit or Judge Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Founding Fathers coveted an independent judiciary crowned with judicial review to check the excesses of the legislative and executive branches. However, they did not intend to insulate the judiciary from politics. Supreme Court justices were not to be appointed from within, like a self-sustaining board of directors. Instead they were to be nominated by an indirectly elected president and confirmed by an indirectly elected Senate with a simple majority threshold. The Founding Fathers were acutely alert to the political dimension of constitutional interpretation, and acted accordingly in Supreme Court appointments. The nominations of President George Washington speak volumes.
Washington was no ingénue. He had presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He commanded universal reverence and respect for both political sagacity and spotless integrity. Even among such intellectual giants as Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson, Washington stood like a mighty oak.
President Washington made 14 Supreme Court nominations. Of these, 12 were confirmed, and two refused to serve after confirmation. As Henry Abraham recounts in Justices, Presidents, and Senators: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Clinton, the decisive criteria for Washington was support and advocacy of the principles of the Constitution. Anti-federalists need not apply. Abraham elaborates: “Perhaps more than many of his contemporaries [Washington] recognized the potential strength and influence of the judicial branch, keenly sensing the role it would be called on to play in spelling out constitutional basics and penumbras.”
Washington was prescient. Nine-tenths of constitutional interpretation pivots on a justice’s philosophy of government and one-tenth on law enshrined in Blackstone’s Commentaries and sister legal gospel scribbled by academics and lawyers. Further, major constitutional decisions carry enormous policy implications for the nation and the allocation of political power. For example, the division of authority between the federal government and the states has been demarcated by Supreme Court interpretations of the commerce clause, the Eleventh Amendment, and section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The high court has similarly struck the balance between Congress and the president in upholding the independent counsel statute, in voiding the legislative veto and line-item veto, and in sustaining President Jimmy Carter’s unilateral revocation of the Taiwan Defense Treaty. And the fortunes of the Republican and Democrat parties have climbed or plunged with Supreme Court decrees mandating equal populations among legislative districts and de facto electoral quotas for racial minorities under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
With regard to economic and social policies, the rulings of the togaed justices are characteristically politically explosive. Race relations have been dramatically influenced by Supreme Court edicts ending separate-but-equal; upholding mandatory busing for desegregation; supporting racial preferences in employment, government contracts, and education; and inventively interpreting civil rights statutes. The high court’s abortion decrees since Roe v. Wade (1973) are tantamount to an abortion rights code for the nation. Its decision finding no constitutional fault with a school voucher program generally elated Christian conservatives. But they were equally deflated by the Lawrence v. Texas pronouncement of a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy.
The Founding Fathers would not frown on President Bush’s philosophical packing of the Supreme Court in hopes of advancing a policy agenda. Nor would such packing war with political traditions.
President Abraham Lincoln, for instance, sought appointees who would be “safe” on legal tender, slavery, and reconstruction, although two ultimately voted against the constitutionality of the Legal Tender Act of 1862. President William Howard Taft’s six Supreme Court appointees were vetted for political conservatism. He maligned liberals like Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, and Benjamin Cardozo as “destroyers of the Constitution,” as reported by Taft’s authoritative biographer, Alpheus Thomas Mason. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed eight stalwart New Dealers to the high court who had supported his ill-starred, ill-conceived, and grasping court-packing legislation. They toppled precedents like tenpins in dismantling “liberty of contract” as a constitutional right and empowering Congress to regulate every nook and cranny of American life by muscular constructions of the commerce clause.
President Bush would mock the people’s verdict on Supreme Court justices in last November’s balloting if he neglects to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, and Bork. Bush unequivocally promised the same in his presidential campaign. In contrast, his defeated opponent, Senator John Kerry, pledged to appoint justices precommitted to celebrating the outlandish invention of a constitutional right to an abortion in Roe; and a homonymic interpretation of the Constitution epitomized by the same-sex marriage ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2003 (i.e., the words sound the same as when they were adopted, but mean something different whenever the justices feel a compulsion to issue a moral encyclical).
The American people thus confronted a stark choice, not an echo, regarding Supreme Court justices in decisively preferring Bush to Kerry. And Bush’s popular mandate to appoint Scalia–Thomas–Bork duplicates was reinforced by parallel voting for the U.S. Senate and 11 state referenda embracing the traditional understanding of marriage. Republicans gained four Senate seats, climbing from 51 to 55. Democrats plunged to 44. (Independent James Jeffords of Vermont completes the Senate complement of 100.) Confirmation of judges was a recurring theme in several of the senatorial campaigns because of unprecedented Democrat filibusters against 10 philosophically conservative appeals court nominees of President Bush. A highly acclaimed Hispanic, Miguel Estrada, ultimately withdrew his name as a concession to the shortness of life. The voters tacitly rebuked the filibusters and caterwauling against conservative judges by rewarding Republicans with four new Senate seats in the 109th Congress.
The 11 state referenda responded to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ludicrous interpretation of the state constitution as requiring recognition of same-sex marriages. The pertinent text had been ratified centuries ago when same-sex marriage was thought too absurd to contemplate. Yet a majority of the Massachusetts justices wrenched language from its original meaning to fashion a pioneering constitutional right to enforce their social agenda fashionable in academic circles. The 11 referenda prohibiting judicially mandated recognition of same-sex marriage all passed with overwhelming majorities. They all tacitly disavowed the homonymic theory of constitutional interpretation in concord with the likes of Scalia, Thomas, and Bork.
Elections aim at peaceful changes in policies and officials reflective of public sentiments every bit as much in the judicial branch as in the legislative and executive. The influence of elections on the third branch is less pronounced because federal judges enjoy life tenure. The indirectness, however, does not make the electoral influence less legitimate. President Bush would thus be guilty of bait-and-switch trickery if he reneged on his campaign promise to appoint philosophically conservative Supreme Court justices.
That infidelity would be dangerous for the Supreme Court itself. If the Court persistently wanders miles outside the political mainstream, then its popular respect will erode. It will come to be perceived as an alien force antagonistic to majority rule. That threat emerged during the 1930s, when the Court was derided as “Nine Old Men” with an anachronistic “horse-and-buggy” conception of the Constitution repeatedly employed to thwart economic and social fairness. President Roosevelt closed the yawning chasm between the high court and prevalent orthodoxies by appointing a phalanx of New Deal exponents in accord with the promise he had made to the American people.
President Bush’s detractors maintain that “moderates” in the mold of Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer can be trusted to eschew airbrush artistry or homonymic interpretations of the Constitution. But the detractors are wrong.
In the landmark university admissions decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, Justice O’Connor invented an exception to the color-blind mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment under the bogus banner of intellectual diversity. And in the manner of a legislator, she placed a 25-year sunset on the exception by ordaining that racial harmony will then have been summoned into being by her mighty pen. Justice O’Connor’s abortion decisions have reasoned from a constitutional “penumbras and emanations” doctrine of privacy. Her “undue burden” test for vetting abortion regulations is nonsense on stilts. For instance, according to O’Connor, a prohibition on grisly and infrequently used partial birth abortion with an exception to save the life of the mother unduly burdens the right of privacy.
Justice Kennedy’s recurring flights of imagination were vividly captured in his Zen Buddhist–like opinion striking down laws against homosexual sodomy in Lawrence. Kennedy sermonized: “Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty assumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty in both its spatial and transcendent dimension.”
After ascending to the dome of heaven, Justice Kennedy then chides the architects of the Constitution as stingy with liberty and deficient in wisdom: “Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment known the component of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew that times can blind us to certain truths and that later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress.”
Like Justice Kennedy, Justice Breyer believes he has been licensed to improve on the handiwork of the Founding Fathers. Their felt need to tamper seems dumbfounding. William Gladstone observed, “I have always regarded the Constitution as the most remarkable work known to me in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke (so to speak), in its application to political affairs.” But intellectual humility has never entered the Harvard Law School curriculum.
In a series of lectures last November, Justice Breyer conjured up an “active liberty” theory of constitutional interpretation inspired by a few insipid lines from a French philosopher. Purged of plumage and pomposity, the active-liberty canon of interpretation is an echo of the discredited Democrat welfare-regulatory state agenda masquerading as constitutional dogma.
In sum, the so-called moderates acclaimed by Bush’s critics are in reality engines of new constitutional rights and powers operating with 10 as opposed to the 20 cylinders employed by Associate Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They do not subscribe to the Constitution and its 27 amendments in accord with the original meaning and purpose of the authors.
Senate Democrats have threatened to filibuster Bush’s Supreme Court nominees who reflect his campaign pledge and the majority sentiments of the American people and the Senate. A filibuster would require 60 votes to break, which would bring the nomination to the Senate floor, where a simple majority would be sufficient to confirm under article II, section 2, clause 2, of the Constitution (appointments clause). Democrats hope to brandish the filibuster to thwart a majority favoring confirmation, not to await more information or deliberation with a plausible expectation of changing floor votes. But a filibuster to frustrate the appointments clause is constitutionally illegitimate, every bit as would be a Senate rule that refused to count the votes of black or female senators in violation of the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment. That does not condemn all filibusters.
The Founding Fathers feared mutability and multiplication of the law. They worried over legislative aggrandizements. These concerns are partially answered by filibusters, like the bicameral Congress, a qualified veto in the presidency, and varied terms for representatives, senators, and the president.
In contrast, no worries were voiced over too many federal judges or too lax a standard for Senate confirmation. A simple majority threshold was embraced as a customary yardstick in a democracy. The Founding Fathers were alert to the option of a supermajority for confirmation. The latter were required to ratify treaties, override vetoes, propose constitutional amendments, expel a member, or convict the president of an impeachable offense. However, a Supreme Court appointment was not thought sufficiently momentous in the life of the nation to demand an extraordinary political consensus. A filibuster to defeat a nominee sabotages that constitutional judgment.
The Founding Fathers desired fully informed Senate confirmation votes to defeat cronies or corrupt or incompetent appointments. However, the Democrats are not threatening a filibuster for that objective in imitation of the Republican precedent concerning Abe Fortas’s nomination as chief justice. There a Republican filibuster was initiated in anticipation of further revelations of ethical derelictions that might plausibly persuade Democrats to balk at promoting Fortas to the pinnacle of the judiciary. Indeed Fortas soon withdrew his nomination amidst a cascading tale of improprieties.
But a filibuster for the sole purpose of preventing a Senate majority from confirming a Supreme Court nominee violates the appointments clause. In such cases, the filibuster rule is unenforceable against the will of the Senate. Under parliamentary rules, a Senate majority is empowered to override a filibuster on the grounds of unconstitutionality and bring a Supreme Court nomination to a floor vote. With 55 Senate Republicans, marshaling such a majority should be untroublesome.
A Supreme Court adhering to the Scalia–Thomas–Bork school of interpretation would strengthen democracy and the rule of law. It would not revolutionize the constitutional landscape by ignoring the doctrine of stare decisis.
An inert people endanger liberty. As Justice Louis Brandeis understood, the secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is a brave heart. The more citizens participate in debating and fashioning the rules under which they love, the more they master the spirit of compromise and moderation essential for democracy. Citizen responsibility heightens respect for the laws, encourages cooperation in their enforcement, and inspires patriotism and a public spirit.
The Supreme Court thus assumes a grave responsibility when it holds that a politically explosive issue is constitutionally nonnegotiable. Thus, Chief Justice Roger Taney presumed to solve political divisions over slavery with his odious Dred Scott opinion. Instead the holdings that blacks were not U.S. citizens and that Congress lacked power to prohibit slavery in U.S. territories accelerated the Civil War.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe is first cousin to Dred Scott. Writing for a 7–2 majority, Justice Harry Blackmun removed the anguished and anguishing moral debate over abortion from the political agenda. A mother was held to command a virtually absolute right to an abortion. The father enjoyed no say in the matter, even if he promised to raise and nurture the child with tender-loving care.
The Roe decree arrested fair and balanced political debate. The views of pro-life and pro-choice exponents had enjoyed equal platforms. In 1967 Governor Ronald Reagan signed a California statute whose pro-choice provisions presaged Roe. When the case was decided in 1973, a growing number of states had moved toward the pro-choice camp.
If the right to an abortion was clearly compelled by the Constitution, Justice Blackmun would have been derelict to resist out of cowardice or fear of confounding popular debate. But Roe required an hallucinogenic flight. Blackmun relied on penumbras and emanations of the Constitution. He relied on a right of privacy nowhere found in the text. He relied on the views of the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and Hippocrates, none of which were steeped in constitutional law. In other words, the Constitution was abandoned, not embraced, in Justice Blackmun’s removal of abortion from the political arena.
A decent respect for government by the consent of the governed does not foreclose the Supreme Court from voiding acts of Congress, the president, or the states. The whole purpose of a written Constitution is to deny absolute power to the political branches. Tyranny by the majority is still tyranny. James Madison celebrated the Bill of Rights as a formidable tool in the hands of the judiciary to check legislative and executive abuses. But to avoid enervating democracy, the high court should stick to the original meaning of the Constitution in lieu of social engineering. As Judge Learned Hand amplified: “For myself it would be most irksome to be ruled by a bevy of Platonic Guardians, even if I knew how to choose them, which I assuredly do not. If they were in charge, I should miss the stimulus of living in a society where I have, at least theoretically, some part in the direction of public affairs.”
The original-meaning theory does not eliminate interpretive difficulties. The Founding Fathers may have disagreed or their meaning may have been intentionally opaque or ambiguous. Moreover, conjecturing how they would have applied the Constitution to unforeseen developments in technology and politics centuries later is more an art than a science. But original meaning constrains the intellectual whimsies of the justices by confining their task to searching for a range of understandings plausibly contemplated by the Constitution’s architects. That confinement is the alpha and omega of the rule of law. The only legitimate interpretive authority wielded by the Supreme Court is that intended to be conferred by the Constitution’s makers.
An original-meaning Court would not presage an undiscriminating overruling of long-standing precedents such as Roe or the commerce clause frolic of Wickard v. Filburn (1942). Constancy has a claim on the law. So does the protection of settled expectations. Accordingly, Chief Justice Rehnquist, writing for a 7–2 majority in Dickerson v. United States (2000), declined to overrule Miranda v. Arizona (1966), a high-water mark in Great Society delusions. And Justice Scalia refused to reexamine the doctrine of legislative delegation in Whitman v. American Trucking Association (2001). Precedents, however, should not invariably be shielded from reversal, as Justice Brandeis sermonized in his dissent in Burnet v. Coronado Oil & Gas (1932): “But in cases involving the Federal Constitution, where correction through legislative action is practically impossible, this Court has often overruled its earlier decisions. The Court bows to the lessons of experience, and the force of better reasoning, recognizing that the process of trial and error, so fruitful in the physical sciences, is appropriate also in the judicial function.”
Prudence in constitutional law is every bit as indispensable to enlightened judging as intellectual soundness. Indeed, as unsurpassed luminary Sam Johnson preached, maxims of life unchastened by prudence make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible. Thus, an original-meaning Court should overrule only precedents that are both preposterous and currently occasioning serious social or political mischief. A counterrevolution on the installment plan is preferable to a Ninth of Thermidor.
Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer and international consultant with Bruce Fein & Associates and The Lichfield Group. He was associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.
“Taking the Stand” appears periodically in Washington Lawyer as a forum for D.C. Bar members to address issues of importance to them. The opinions expressed are the author’s own.
Fat Mike is shown for the fraud he is. He is a real commie asshole, who is making a fortune condemning the very country that allows him to earn that fortune. Of course, like most lefties, you never see Fat Mike donating any his wealth, especially the wealth he made exploiting 9/11. It is high time some one exposed this fat bastard. - Sailor
The Fraud "From Flint"
By Lowell Ponte
January 31, 2005
MICHAEL MOORE AND HIS AGITPROP FILM FAHRENHEIT 9/11 were nowhere to be found on the lists of Academy Awards nominees released last week. And despite his commercial success, the Writers Guild omitted Moore from consideration for its first list of documentary writing award nominees. The only award Moore received was from a gun rights group highlighting his hypocrisy after a bodyguard for this maker of the 2003 Academy Award-winning anti-gun Bowling for Columbine got arrested in New York City for carrying a handgun not licensed there.
Hypocrisy is nothing new for Michael Moore, nor the Hollywood Left. But Hollywood makes its money by anticipating which way the winds are blowing. By distancing itself from this self-aggrandizing egomaniac, Tinsel Town may be signaling that America’s cultural winds are shifting away from the Loony Left.
So who is Michael Moore, this multi-millionaire filmmaker and author of several books, who has been called “the Left’s only well-known shock jock,” compared by Christopher Hitchens to socialist Adolf Hitler’s film propagandist Leni Riefenstahl?
Michael Moore is his own fictional character, a self-written being who soon will require another rewrite if his lucrative fantasy career is to survive.
Moore’s production company, aptly named, is Dog Eat Dog Films. His agent Ariel “Ari” Emanuel is brother of Congressman Rahm Emanuel, D-IL, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a former White House operative for President Bill Clinton.
Michael Moore never was a “working class boy from Flint, Michigan,” as he pretends. He was born on April 23, 1954, in Davison, Michigan, a lily-white upper-middle class suburb 10 miles east of Flint, where his father Frank assembled AC spark plugs, and his mother was a clerk-secretary for General Motors (GM).
For a few decades following World War II, America’s global power (relative to war-shattered Europe and Japan) and the benefits provided to employees by GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union made life pleasant.
Moore’s parents enjoyed ample income, free medical and dental care, four weeks of paid vacation each year, and had two cars in their well-to-do Davison home. Moore’s Irish-American father had spent workday afternoons playing golf. After he retired at age 53 with a full pension, he enjoyed a life of ease, golf and volunteer work at the local Roman Catholic church.
Moore and his two younger sisters “were raised in what amounted to a mini-welfare state, where powerful unions took care of most of their members’ basic needs, right down to prescription eyeglasses,” wrote Ella Taylor in 2004 in the left-wing newspaper L.A. Weekly. “No wonder there’s so much fellow feeling between Moore and Canada, which has socialized medicine, not to mention Europe, where he is hugely popular.”
After eighth grade Moore enrolled in a Catholic pre-seminary. “He admired the Berrigan brothers [radical anti-Vietnam War Catholic priests] and thought that the priesthood was the way to effect social change,” wrote The New Yorker’s Larissa MacFarquhar in February 2004. “This resolve lasted only through his first year, though, after the Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series for the first time in Moore’s life, and the seminary wouldn’t allow him to watch the games.”
Returning to school, at age 16, Moore gave a speech in a local contest in which he condemned the Elks Club for barring blacks. He won not only the contest prize but also a first intoxicating, glory-addicting taste of fame as media reported his fledgling political activism. CBS called to ask about his views. He soon sought more attention with an Eagle Scout award-winning slide show accusing what Moore called the worst polluters in his town. He was learning that the road to fame was a harsh accusation against some established conservative group or company that, if it fit the liberal political template, would be accepted without question by the liberal media.
At age 17, he saw what remains Moore’s favorite film, A Clockwork Orange, a depiction of futuristic street bully “ultraviolence,” rape, and brainwashing, by Moore’s still-favorite director, Stanley Kubrick.
At 18, Moore ran for city school board on a simple platform: “Fire the Principal.” He won. The principal, who had been kind to Moore as a child, resigned and died soon thereafter of a heart attack. Meanwhile, Moore reveled in the nationwide publicity he received for becoming America’s youngest elected city official.
Moore began studies at the local campus of the University of Michigan but soon dropped out. He was given a job on the GM assembly line but “called in sick the first day and never went back,” which is the closest Moore ever came to being part of the working class. He became a local hippie, host of a Sunday morning radio show he called “Radio Free Flint,” and honed his skills at getting on local TV news by staging whatever protests would attract the media attention he craved.
In 1976, at age 22, Moore created a small leftist newspaper, the Flint Voice (later called the Michigan Voice), which he edited for 10 years. This position gave him access to left-wing activists, fundraisers like singer Harry “Cat’s in the Cradle” Chapin, and the opportunity to do occasional commentaries for the National Public Radio (NPR) show “All Things Considered.”
Michigan was a hotbed of student radicalism. The radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held their first meeting in 1960 in Ann Arbor, 50 miles south of Flint, and the SDS manifesto The Port Huron Statement was signed in 1962 in that Michigan town, only 64 miles east of Flint. Moore remained involved in leftist politics at the University of Michigan and elsewhere in the state. “Moore was interested in the usual lefty international issues of the time,” wrote MacFarquhar. “He travelled to Nicaragua in 1983 to check out the Sandinistas.”
In 1986, because of his growing reputation as a hotshot left-wing journalist, Moore was hired as editor of the San Francisco-based socialist magazine Mother Jones, beating out its Managing Editor David Talbot (who later founded and continues to edit the left-wing webzine Salon.com). Four months later, the magazine fired Moore. Adam Hochschild, chairman of the foundation that owns Mother Jones, described Moore as “arbitrary; he was suspicious; he was unavailable.” Moore’s high-handed bullying and authoritarian arrogance had alienated most staff members. And Moore had refused to publish a piece by veteran leftist writer Paul Berman because it mildly criticized the human rights record of Nicaragua’s Fidel Castro-allied Communist Sandinistas. One of America’s farthest Left magazines fired Michael Moore because, among other reasons, he was too far-Left for it.
Moore, using what have become his familiar tactics, responded by staging a media-grabbing public demonstration, by going on a Bay Area radio show to accuse Berman (as MacFarquhar described) “of being a traitor to the left and giving aid and comfort to [President Ronald] Reagan,” and by suing Mother Jones for $2 million. Moore eventually pocketed $58,000 from its tax-exempt Foundation for National Progress, which became seed money for his first “documentary.” Roger & Me, an agitprop assault on General Motors, its chief executive Roger Smith and its recent worker layoffs in Flint, launched Moore into stardom.
A key influence shaping Moore’s mind and values were stories of his uncle (via Moore’s 1982 marriage) Laverne, who at a seminal moment in labor history in 1936-37 had taken part in the 44-day sit-in at a General Motors factory in Flint. This illegal hostage-taking of private property, an act of urban terrorism tacitly approved by Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ended with GM accepting representation for its workers by the new United Auto Workers (UAW) union. The UAW had been founded in 1935 as a radical ideological union eager to use more revolutionary, confrontational tactics than had the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
The UAW organizer of the Flint sit-in was Walter Reuther, later to serve 25 years as UAW President. Reuther, the West Virginia-born son of a German socialist, had supported Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas (grandfather of Newsweek Magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas) for President. During the years 1933-35, Reuther and his brother Victor spent time abroad, including more than 18 months working at the Gorki automobile factory in Josef Stalin’s totalitarian Communist Soviet Union. Returning to the U.S. in 1935, Reuther immediately put into practice the ideology and tactics he had learned first-hand from Soviet Stalinists.
Reuther as UAW head during World War II, when the U.S. and Soviet Union were allies fighting against socialist Adolf Hitler, kept workers producing weapons at top efficiency. Any talk of sit-ins, strikes or work slowdowns was suppressed. Reuther later repudiated Communism and the Soviet Union, and returned to his socialist ideas. But the Marxist-Stalinist-tinged ideological radicalism of the 1936-37 Flint sit-in would become the magical moment and place where America’s modern labor movement was born, a once-and-future garden of socialist utopian Eden in the imagination of Michael Moore.
After Moore was fired by Mother Jones, he was rescued from near-destitution by another critic of GM, Ralph Nader, author of the seminal bible of anti-business consumer activism, Unsafe At Any Speed. Nader paid Moore to edit a media-criticizing newsletter. Moore soon lost this job too. The reason, according to Nader, is that Moore spent most of his time away in Flint instead of writing the newsletter. According to Moore (who routinely trashes those who disagree with him), Nader was jealous that a publisher had paid Moore an advance of almost $50,000 for a book (that in the end Moore never completed) about General Motors.
After completing Roger & Me, Moore at the Telluride Film Festival tracked down Roger Ebert, movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and (then) for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Ebert is a liberal who almost without exception gives big thumbs-up approval to any movie that is left-wing, politically correct or criticizes America; Moore’s fact-bending documentary was all three. Rave reviews from Ebert launched Moore on a high trajectory to wealth and superstardom. Thanks to Ebert’s support, Moore sold his documentary to Warner Brothers in 1989 for an unprecedented $3 million.
(During the 2004 political campaign, Ebert repeatedly used his television show [now syndicated by the Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista division, a potential conflict of interest Ebert seldom mentions to viewers] to promote Moore’s propaganda film Fahrenheit 9/11. Ebert promised viewers that he would give comparable airtime to reviewing any similar documentary done by conservatives but, of course, he never did, despite the availability of such fine documentaries as FahrenHYPE 9/11, partly funded by former Clinton political advisor Dick Morris.)
Hollywood came courting, and in 1995 Moore gave birth to Canadian Bacon, his only non-documentary movie (unless one counts his music videos for groups such as Rage Against the Machine and R.E.M.). Its fictional plot centers on a President of the United States who boosts his popularity by engineering a war with Canada. Corpulent comedian John Candy died while filming it, delaying the film’s completion and release date. It died at the box office. Moore said he was sabotaged by the studio PolyGram because it is “owned by Philips of the Netherlands, makers of weapons.” (Moore always finds ways, however absurd, to blame others for his failures.)
Moore then directed and hosted his own television show TV Nation, a provocative and uneven magazine show. Nine episodes aired on NBC in 1994, and 8 episodes aired on FOX in 1995. It died twice for lack of viewers.
What happened behind the scenes at TV Nation gives a glimpse of the real Michael Moore. “He disliked sharing credit with his writers” like Merrill Markoe, wrote MacFarquhar. And he disliked sharing money, as well.
When two of the show’s young writers, who had been given the title Associate Producer, took steps to join the Writers Guild (the powerful union for movie and TV writers), Moore took them aside. “I’m getting a lot of heat from the union to call you guys writers and pay you under the union rules,” Eric Zicklin recounted Moore’s words for MacFarquhar. “I don’t have the budget for that,” Moore threatened them, “But if they keep coming down on me that’ll mean I’ll only be able to afford one of you and the other one’s gotta go.”
“We were scared out of our minds,” recalled Zicklin. “It was like a theme from Roger & Me” with Moore as the unfeeling, anti-union boss.
“I can’t accept [Moore] as a political person,” another TV Nation employee told MacFarquhar. “I can’t buy into this thing of Michael Moore is on your side – it’s like trying to believe that Justin Timberlake is a soulful guy. It’s a media product: he’s just selling me something. For the preservation of my own soul I have to consider him just an entertainer, because otherwise he’s a huge a--hole. If you consider him an entertainer, then his acting like a selfish, self-absorbed, pouty, deeply conflicted, easily wounded child is run-of-the-mill, standard behavior. But if he’s a political force, then he’s a jerk and a hypocrite and he didn’t treat us right and he was false in all his dealings.”
“I can’t go to his movies, and I can’t hold his books for very long,” Chris Kelly, who worked on TV Nation and Canadian Bacon told MacFarquhar. “When he started writing his column for The Nation, I cancelled my subscription. He broke my heart. That’s what he does to people.” Other employees have described Moore as a boss who created working conditions that resembled a “sweatshop” and “indentured servitude.”
Moore has apologized in vague terms to Kelly and Markoe, but he denies any other improper behavior. Other witnesses recall that Moore, a self-proclaimed champion of the proletariat, repeatedly tried to deny TV Nation writers payments, credits, and residuals for their work – and that the Guild intervened repeatedly in complaints against him.
(Moore hated President Ronald Reagan, even though Reagan was the first and only former union leader (head of the Screen Actors Guild, SAG) to become president of the United States.)
“He was the most difficult human being I’ve ever met,” his former Hollywood manager Douglas Urbanski told the Times of London. “There was no one who even came close.”
Moore struggled to stay on television with The Awful Truth (1999-2000), a satire show jointly produced by the cable channel Bravo and Britain’s Channel 4, and Michael Moore Live (1999), which broadcast from New York City but aired only in the United Kingdom.
He also created The Big One, a documentary of the tour for his 1996 book Downsize This! Threats from an Unarmed American (Perennial/Harper). One common thread in Moore’s documentaries is that they all star, and are designed to glorify, Michael Moore.
In 2002, Moore’s anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine reached theaters. His depiction of America as a gun-crazed violent culture was honored at the Cannes Film Festival in France and won the 2003 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, despite growing evidence that much that was “documented” in it as fact had been staged, concocted, or dishonestly and deceptively edited by Moore.
The sincerity of Moore’s anti-gun outrage became clear in January 2005 when one of his own bodyguards was arrested in New York City for possession of an unregistered handgun. The hypocritical Michael Moore is not leading the way to utopia by his example.
“We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times,” Moore told a worldwide audience in his speech accepting his Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine. “We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fictition [sic.] of duct tape or fictition [sic.] of orange alerts, we are against this war [in Iraq], Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you.”
But, in fact, much of Moore’s documentary turned out to be “fictition.” The “weapon” plant he photographed in Colorado manufactures weather satellites, not weapons. The clips he included of National Rifle Association President Charleton Heston had been edited together from several speeches given months apart so as to create a dishonest collage of sentences. The rifle Moore claimed to have walked out of a bank with as his reward for opening an account was a staged event that for real customers involves a six-week clearance process. Even the title Bowling for Columbine derived from a false claim that two adolescents who went on a fatal shooting spree had gone bowling that morning. They had not.
Similar deceptions and falsehoods can be found in all of Moore’s so-called documentaries. How does he get away with this again and again? One answer is that the establishment media shares Moore’s left-of-center ideology, and because most reporters and reviewers agree with his aim. Since they share his conclusions, they express few quibbles over how he got there. They regard Moore as right even when his methods are wrong. One New York Times reporter likened Moore’s work to editorial cartoons, which are designed not to be accurate so much as to sell a point of view by distorting reality. Those who share Moore’s leftist agenda and, e.g., favor ever-more gun control, will applaud Moore’s editorial cartoon Bowling for Columbine.
“I don’t believe in objectivity,” Moore has said, speaking the intellectually fashionable language of post-modern deconstructionism. “I don’t believe that any newspaper’s objective. I believe there’s subjectivity in every article, and where every article is placed. We’re human beings, we’re subjective animals, we’re not machines…It’s all personal.” Or, as reviewer Roger Ebert admitted, “Moore has granted himself poetic license.”
When caught committing falsehoods, Moore has demurred that he is a mere entertainer, a spinner of tales, jokes, and opinions who should never be held to the ethical and accuracy standards of a responsible reporter or historian. When Lou Dobbs of CNN pressed about his inaccuracies in one book, Moore dismissed Dobbs’ questions by saying: “You know, look, this is a book of political humor…How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?” To deflect another questioner, Moore declared ambiguously that Roger & Me was not a documentary but “an entertaining movie, like Sophie’s Choice.”
“If Moore gets the tone just right, he can reach the widest possible audience,” wrote MacFarquhar. “The conspiracy nuts will take him seriously and appreciate his insight, while everyone else will think he’s joking and appreciate his humor. Every leftist political figure with mainstream aspirations must have a fruitcake technique – a way to retain a hold on the passionate fringe without losing the center – and Moore is very effective.”
When criticized, Moore has often accused his critics of trying to censor a free press, as if he were delivering honest, ethical journalism rather than lies for laughs and manipulative political agitprop. He wants it both ways – to be able to exercise the irresponsibility of a comic but to have his statements taken seriously and to influence votes and policies.
In 2004, Moore declared himself a victim of censorship by the Walt Disney Corporation, which he accused of suddenly, for political reasons, blocking the release of his latest documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. The company’s Miramax Films division had spent $6 million to produce the film.
Moore later admitted that Disney a year earlier had told him it would not release his film. This partisan attack on incumbent President Bush during the 2004 election campaign could damage the company’s reputation with moviegoers. Moore had lied about this, claiming censorship days before the Cannes Film Festival as a publicity stunt to gain attention and sympathy.
Moore’s deceitful stunt worked. Fahrenheit 9/11 won the highest award at Cannes from a panel of leftward judges headed by director Quentin Tarantino. The applause continued for 13 minutes. One Finnish critic praised Moore’s “almost Shakespearean sense of absurdity.” But famed French director Jean-Luc Godard dismissed Moore as “halfway intelligent…He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
At one level the renowned film critic Richard Schickel slightly disagrees with Godard. Moore is “careless with his facts, hysterical in debate and, most basically, a guy trying to make a star out of himself,” Schickel told The Times of London in 2003. “He’s a self-aggrandizer and, perhaps, the very definition of the current literary term, ‘the unreliable narrator.’ This guy either can’t or won’t stick to the point, build a logical case for his arguments. It’s all hysteria – but, I think, calculated hysteria.”
As might secretly have been arranged many months in advance, Fahrenheit 9/11, whose title Moore stole from science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451, was distributed by Lion’s Gate Films. (Bradbury wasn’t pleased.) Moore’s film grossed more than $100 million at the box office.
How credible is Fahrenheit 9/11? “Even if one agrees with all of Moore’s arguments,” wrote one reviewer for the Hollywood Reporter, “the film reduces decades of American foreign-policy failures to a black-and-white cartoon that lays the blame on one family. He ignores facts like the policy to arm and support Afghan rebels that began in the Carter administration. For that matter, the Clinton team never mounted a serious effort to go after al-Qaida even after the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.”
Like other Moore documentaries, Fahrenheit 9/11 was packed with lies and calculated distortions, riddled with more holes than substance. To cite just two of these widely documented holes: Moore’s film depicted as a “headline” from an Illinois newspaper the words “Latest Florida Recount Shows Gore Won Election.” But, as Moore knew, these words actually appeared, not above a news report, but atop a Letter to the Editor and reflected only that one reader’s (misguided) opinion.
One of Moore’s biggest claims in his film was that members of Saudi Arabia’s bin Laden family (in which Osama is one of 53 children, a disowned black sheep born not to the patriarch’s wives but to a concubine) had been allowed by Bush to fly out of the U.S. unquestioned only hours after 9/11. In fact, they did not leave for at least six days, after being questioned by the FBI, and permission for their departure was given without any outside prompting solely by Bush critic and Clinton administration White House counter-terrorism holdover Richard Clarke, as Clarke himself admitted.
Hollywood knew that Moore’s made-up film was intended to maim the Republican president’s reelection during the 2004 campaign. Moore’s crude, unethical weapon failed; Bush won, and Hollywood promptly distanced itself from Moore.
At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, however, Moore was treated like royalty and given a seat of honor at the side of former President Carter in his presidential box. (Mr. Carter’s toppling of America’s ally the Shah of Iran precipitated the Iran-Iraq War, the military buildup of Saddam Hussein, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that empowered Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, led to the oppression of millions of women, and opened a Pandora’s Box of other problems, including America’s incursion into Iraq. But Moore was proud to sit next to the failed Democrat president.)
Democratic leaders such as then-Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota embraced him and joined other prominent Democrats at the premier of Moore’s documentary. Moore was invited to write columns from the conventions for USA Today. Propaganda and the Left had carried Michael Moore a long way from “Flint, Michigan.”
But the Kerry campaign was aware of Moore’s mercurial, unstable nature and tried to hold him at arm’s length. “I can’t speak for every extremist out there,” said Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton during a Westwood One radio interview on July 24, 2004. “Michael Moore – these people aren’t part of the Kerry campaign.”
Kerry’s advisors had watched Moore endorse primary candidate General Wesley Clark, then almost destroy Clark by blurting out that President Bush had been a “deserter.” (They also remembered that Moore had in past years endorsed Ralph Nader and proposed that TV host Oprah Winfrey and liberal actor Tom Hanks run for president.) They remembered Moore’s 2003 assertion on NBC’s Today Show that “Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people.” Who knew how loony Moore might get, or when he might explode, blowing up any candidate who stood too close with him?
How far Left is Michael Moore? “Capitalism is a sin,” said Moore on the CNN talk show Crossfire in 2002. “This is an evil system.”
In his book Downsize This! Moore proposed several laws he believes should be imposed to “protect ourselves” from capitalist corporations. His utopia would “Prohibit corporations from closing a profitable factory or business and moving it overseas. If they close a business and move it within the U.S., they must pay reparations to the community they are leaving behind.” He argued that any breakup of the “‘marriage’ between a company and a community” ought to involve “serious alimony to pay” if a “corporation packs up and leaves.” Moore would also “Prohibit companies from pitting one state or city against another” by locating where the best tax rates and other government inducements are offered.
But as the Drudge Report revealed on April 22, 2004, Michael Moore himself rejected American companies and workers by outsourcing the design and hosting of his own website to two Canadian companies. Canadians “are just like us – only better,” honorary Canadian Moore told a “Take Back America” rally of the far-Left Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), held in conjunction with the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. “We love Canadians,” he has said elsewhere. “We all aspire to be more Canada-like….And thank you, Canada, for not joining the coalition of the bribed and coerced,” said Moore, using the diplomatically insane phrase about faithful American allies by Democratic presidential aspirant Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.
(Moore could have been arrested in his beloved Canada because while promoting his movie in Toronto in June 2004, he urged Canadians to vote against the conservative candidate for Prime Minister. It is a crime in Canada for foreigners to “during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting…for a particular candidate.”)
In Downsize This!, Moore proposed to “Institute a 100 percent tax on any profits gained by shareholders when the company’s stock goes up due to an announcement of firings. No one should be allowed to profit from such bad news.” He would also “Prohibit executives’ salaries from being more than thirty times greater than an average employee’s pay” and would “Require boards of directors of publicly owned corporations to have representation from both workers and consumers.”
If Moore despises Big Business, giant corporations and chain superstores, how does he feel about small business like the local mom-and-pop shop? “You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect?” he told a reporter from the Arcata Eye in 2002. “They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in town, they were in Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce – people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store sales persons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. F**k all these small businesses – f**k ‘em all,” said Moore. “Bring in the chains.”
Moore’s economic authoritarianism – strikingly similar to the policies of Hitler and Italian fascist Benito Mussolini – is, of course, megalomaniacal and insane. Moore’s ideas come from his myopic and shallow understanding of history and economics.
Moore’s claptrap populism is a form of economic suicide. To understand why, imagine that you are an investor deciding where to build a factory to manufacture a new technology. Would you choose to locate it in a city, state or country governed by those holding Michael Moore’s ideology of property expropriation? This is why investment and opportunity are fleeing the Democrat-dominated Rust Belt for freer places – and why in the long run Michael Moore will be unable to prevent this economic migration towards freedom.
Moore, incidentally, showed little “Buy American” patriotism for the GM cars his father, mother, uncle, and grandfather helped build. “When I became an adult, I decided I didn’t want a General Motors car,” wrote Moore in his 2002 book Stupid White Men…And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! (Regan Books), “mainly because they broke down more often than I did. So I bought Volkswagens and Hondas and drove around town with pride.” Moore, therefore, helped turn Flint into a Rust Belt city. No wonder they love Moore in Germany, where he appeared before cheering crowds in a brown jacket.
This same quest for opportunity and freedom is what brought most Americans’ ancestors (including Moore’s) here. This is one of the things Michael Moore hates most about America. Most of our ancestors were fleeing the residue of feudalism that continues in Europe. Feudalism is akin to Moore’s silly “marriage” analogy, which by logical extension would prohibit not only the company from leaving its workers but also the workers from leaving the company. Such was the bondage of vassals under feudal society, which Moore apparently prefers to liberty.
For thinking people, history has now demonstrated the stupidity of such feudal-socialist ideas. To understand why, consider one of the few missteps of President Ronald Reagan when he jawboned the Japanese into limiting the number of automobiles they exported to the U.S. Restricting this competition saved some UAW jobs in Michigan, at a cost experts pegged at $600,000 per job and an extra $2,000 higher pricetag on new cars passed on to working Americans. It would have been far cheaper to lay Flint union workers off and give each $50,000 per year for a decade.
But worse, companies such as Toyota, with their number of exports limited, sent to America expensive, gas-guzzling Cressidas. This made America more dependent on foreign oil, more vulnerable to the politics of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and more pressed to intervene militarily in foreign lands to maintain stability. And all this happened because leftist demagogues like Michael Moore blocked the drilling of new oil wells in America while demanding protection for America’s overpriced, uncompetitive union jobs. Political tampering with the marketplace always produces unintended consequences. And among the worst of such consequences are yet more laws and regulations to remedy the mess politicians caused by their tampering in the first place.
“Horatio Alger must die!” wrote Michael Moore in his 2003 book Dude, Where’s My Country? (Warner Books). “We’re addicted to this happy myth,” wrote Moore, “…that anyone can make it in America, and make it big…Listen, friends, you have to face the truth: You are never going to be rich…The system is rigged in favor of the few, and your name is not among them, not now and not ever.”
Those who become millionaires, Moore wrote, are “about one in a million.” If he is right, then America with a population of 295 million would have only 295 millionaires. But America has literally millions of citizens whose net worth in real estate and savings exceed $1 million. The average American family earns more than $1 million over its working life and could save much of that if Democrats like Michael Moore were not confiscating half their earnings in direct and hidden taxes.
But it would be far better, Moore apparently believes, if the American Dream died and people accepted their politically-determined place in a socialist-run system – where the capitalists will all eventually be expropriated by regulations and taxes, private property and “inequality” will vanish, and all jobs will become unionized government jobs. (Moore refused to see the “new class” of aristocratic rulers that arose under Soviet, Chinese and Cuban Communism, where power became the coin of the realm, determining who got the limousines and luxury dachas on the Black Sea, Beijing, and Havana.)
Michael Moore’s mentality was perfectly anticipated by the late Longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer, who wrote that if you ask a leftist at what other time in history he would want to live he will reply: the Middle Ages. This was the age of feudalism and paternalism, serfs and lords, the last time in the West prior to Marxism that intellectuals were part of the ruling elite.
The irony in Moore calling for the death of Horatio Alger, of course, is that Moore is one of these ultra-wealthy few, now probably worth more than $50 million. He claims to be a working class egalitarian who wants society to be open and honest, but Moore has always refused to make public his and his company’s tax, income, and net worth records. He claims to give a third of his income to worthy causes, but he refuses to make public records that would confirm this. If he “pays his fair share,” as leftists like to demand of the rich, and uses no tax avoidance methods, Manhattanite Moore should be paying more than half his huge income in taxes…but is he? His obsessive concealment makes one wonder what this self-appointed People’s Watchdog has to hide.
“Michael Moore would never withstand the scrutiny he lays on other people,” his former manager Douglas Urbanski told the Times of London. “You would think that he’s the ultimate common man. But he’s money-obsessed.”
Moore owns a New York City apartment worth at least $1.9 million. He owns a beachfront estate in Torch Lake, Michigan, worth at least $1.2 million. (His comrades at the left-wing propaganda operation Media Matters frantically attacked a 2004 report that Moore was simultaneously, and therefore illegally, registered to vote in both places.) His daughter Natalie, born in 1981, got much of her education in elite private schools.
Moore’s typical audience is not workers but college students, who pay dearly for the honor of his celebrity presence and speechmaking. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) launched an investigation into Moore’s 2004 “Slacker Uprising Tour” of dozens of colleges and universities, most in swing states, during the closing days of the presidential campaign. The filmmaker charged student organizations or the schools up to $30,000 per appearance to share his ideological views. In many instances, this may have involved a one-sided, and hence illegal, partisan use of government facilities and money at state universities and colleges to subsidize Moore’s pro-Kerry efforts.
“The slacker motto,” Moore told one cheering crowd of adolescent college students, “is ‘Sleep till noon, drink beer, vote Kerry November 2,’” adding “’Pick nose, pick b*tt, pick Kerry” and ending with an echo of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels from the Communist Manifesto: “Slackers of the world, unite!”
“We need to let the working class know that we don’t think we’re better than them,” said Moore. We? Them? As Daniel Radosh, son of famed author Ron Radosh, wrote in June 1997 at Salon.com: “If [former Republican House Speaker] Newt Gingrich said anything so patronizing, the Left would never stop ridiculing him.”
“To effect change we have to get off our high horse and start living in the real world,” Moore told one activist audience. “I want you watching [the TV sitcom] ‘Friends’ every single week. I want you listening to country music.”
“Rap music and country music, these are the voices…of people who are disenfranchised,” Moore told one college audience. “I know the music sucks, but don’t you want to put yourself through some pain to see what people are feeling?” Added Radosh: “Not that we’re better than them or anything.”
Moore’s response to Daniel Radosh’s investigation was to smear Radosh by accusing him of being right-wing, to smear Salon.com by accusing it of taking ad money from Borders Books (a company that Moore claimed banned him after he tried to help unionize its workers), and to smear Salon publisher David Talbot by accusing him of a “personal grudge” from when Moore beat Talbot by becoming editor of Mother Jones. But Moore, using his usual theatrical bluster to distract the audience, avoided answering most of the questions Radosh raised.
Moore also threatened a lawsuit against Salon.com. As Slate.com editor Jack Shafer wrote in a similar context: “Moore’s hysterical, empty threats” to sue critics of one of his documentaries shows that he “appears to believe in free speech only for himself.”
Moore’s threats, like those long used by consumer advocate Ralph Nader to stifle his critics, have apparently frightened some publications out of publishing articles that cast Moore in a less-than-glowing light. His techniques, are, well, Moorewellian.
To be fair, capitalism, Republicans, conservatives (or as he calls them, “hate-triots”), and America are not the only things Michael Moore hates. He apparently hates Protestants, and has semi-seriously proposed that the way to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland is to forcibly re-baptize all Protestants there as Catholics.
Moore hates Cuban-Americans, largely because they vote Republican. Moore, writes Humberto Fontova, author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant (2005, Regnery), has also said that Cuban-Americans are “terrorists,” “drug smugglers,” “gangsters,” and in Moore’s word, “wimps” for not staying in Cuba to shape their socialist utopia. In 2000, on his website Moore wrote an “Open Letter to Elian Gonzalez,” in which he accused the boy’s mother (who drown bringing her five-year-old from Castro’s island prison to freedom in America) of kidnapping her son. “The truth is your mother and her boyfriend snatched you and put you on that death boat,” wrote Moore, “because they simply wanted to make more money.”
By contrast, Cuba’s government-run television broadcast Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 unedited because it was already, by Castro’s exacting Marxist standards, perfect anti-American propaganda.
Moore apparently hates Jews, at least those in Israel, and their supporters. As David Brooks wrote in the June 26, 2004, New York Times, “In Liverpool, [Michael Moore] paused to contemplate the epicenters of evil in the modern world: ‘It’s all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton.’”
Moore dedicated his book Dude, Where’s My Country? to Rachel Corrie, an activist with the radical International Solidarity Movement (ISM) accidentally killed by an Israeli bulldozer she was attempting to impede as it destroyed tunnels used by terrorists to smuggle weapons.
“In their hearts [Israelis] know they are wrong,” wrote Moore in Dude, Where’s My Country? “and they know they would be doing just what the Palestinians are doing if the sandal were on the other foot.”
No wonder Moore has been honored by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim American Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Moore in a speech before the ADC said he would not attend a scheduled screening of one of his movies in Israel until Israel ceased to occupy the West Bank and Gaza.
And no wonder that an affiliate of the Iran-linked terrorist group Hezbollah offered to help promote his film Fahrenheit 9/11 in the Middle East, especially after Moore tried to prevent it from being shown in Israel, as reported in the February 16, 2004, issue of the New Yorker.
In Fahrenheit 9/11, Saddam Hussein’s brutal Ba’athist socialist dictatorship – which put more than 300,000 of its victims in mass graves – is depicted by Moore as a land of children laughing and flying kites. Then come the American bombers, bringing death and destruction. “I’m just trying to present another side of the story,” Moore told ABC News.
Part of Moore’s movie lionized Congressman Jim McDermott, D-WA, a member of the socialist Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives who traveled to Iraq before the 2003 war to support the Hussein regime. Moore never mentioned that McDermott also received more than $10,000 in cash and travel expenses from Hussein operatives.
And Moore praises the Islamist terrorists killing American soldiers in Iraq today. “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy,” said Moore. “They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow – and they will win.”
Do Moore’s anti-American books and films cause or help terrorists legitimize violence? Apparently so. The Indonesian convicted of the Bali terror bombings of 2002 had his lawyer read to the court excerpts of Moore’s Stupid White Men as justification for his hatred of the West.
Moore has said he wants “regime change” of the democratically elected governments in Australia, Italy, and Japan because they are part of the Coalition of the Willing.
And Moore hates and, like a petulant child, attacks those who refuse to give him whatever he wants. When, for example, Pete Townshend of the British rock group The Who refused to give Moore the rights to use his song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore responded in his typical way. He trashed Townshend in the press and accused the musician of supporting the war in Iraq, even though it was widely known that this was untrue.
Several websites courageously persist in documenting what their authors see as Moore’s shortcomings and deceits. Among these are Moore Watch, Moore Exposed, Spinsanity on Michael Moore, and Moore Lies.
In June 2004, Regan Books, the publisher of Moore’s book Stupid White Men, published Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. Its co-authors are former U.S. Interior Department attorney David T. Hardy, who founded Moore Exposed, and Jason Clarke, creator of Moore Lies. This book gives precise details about the distortions, contradictions, hypocrisies, errors, and outright lies in each of Moore’s writings and film documentaries, as analyzed by two of Moore’s most relentless critics.
Moore has said that he is at work on a sequel to his 2004 political propaganda film Fahrenheit 9/11. He is also preparing a documentary critical of the pharmaceutical industry and American healthcare that Moore has tentatively titled “Sicko.” Moore is likely to schedule its arrival in theaters for mid-2006 to provide propaganda helpful to Democrats running in the congressional midterm elections.
Thus far, the candidates Moore has embraced, or who have embraced him like Clark and Daschle, have lost on election day, leading some to wonder whether receiving a political blessing from Michael Moore is a curse. In 2006, Moore could again become what analyst Collin Levey called “the new Ralph Nader,” an ego-driven left-wing albatross around the neck of the Democratic Party.
Days after the 2004 election, Moore appeared on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The audience was stunned as the usually unkempt filmmaker walked onstage neatly shaven, wearing a suit and necktie. The outcome was good for him either way, Moore jovially explained.
Moore made a mountain of money by exploiting the Democratic convention, campaign and media to sell his products to the leftist faithful, who were almost his only customers. Moore’s shrill propaganda was a sermon to the choir that converted almost nobody, but it diverted tens of millions of liberal political dollars from the campaign to Moore’s own pockets. Moore boasted to Leno that President Bush’s tax cuts will now let him keep more of his fast-growing wealth.
“Moore’s shtick is to deftly read the emotional contours of the liberal left and then to profitably mold and expand himself to fill the void,” wrote Marc Cooper last March in LA Weekly. “He’s a polarizer, not a teacher. His ramped-up stage style, shouting and screaming profanities at Dubya, no doubt provides some satisfying moments for the already-converted but can only alienate and confound those still in doubt.”
Some Democrats watching the show must have wondered whether undermining their candidate’s campaign to help Bush win had always been Michael Moore’s secret plan. Is Michael Moore America’s most influential propagandist against capitalism, or its most cynical, self-serving capitalist? Is Michael Moore really a closet Republican, the GOP’s most cunning secret agent? Is Michael Moore an elephant (or a pig) disguised in donkey clothing? He is exactly what he appears to be: a radical leftist who has grown wealthy by exploiting an economic system he would destroy in a nation whose founding principles he despises.
Mr. Ponte hosts a national radio talk show Saturdays 6-9 PM Eastern Time (3-6 PM Pacific Time) and Sundays 9 PM-Midnight Eastern Time (6-9 PM Pacific Time) on the Liberty Broadcasting network (formerly TalkAmerica). Internet Audio worldwide is at LibertyBroadcasting .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-866-GO LOWELL (1-866-465-6935). A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Think what you will of Dick Morris, but he has a pretty good track record on seeing the future of politics. He especially knows the Clintons. I do take exception toone of his points, however. Before Hilary can be a lock for 2008, sh still has to be re-elected in 2006. Depending on whom the GOP runs, it could get sticky for her. - Sailor.
HILL SELLS OUT
New York Post
January 31, 2005 -- WHEN the British ultra-liberals in the pre- Tony Blair Labor Party published their lengthy election manifesto in the late 1980s, the radical document so explicitly spelled out their defiance of English public opinion that a Tory politician called it "the longest suicide note in history." Now, in choosing their new national leader, the Democratic Party is publishing a much more succinct suicide note. It reads "Chairman Howard Dean."
There is a school of thought among Democrats that by embracing policies and programs deeply at variance with what most Americans think will enhance the party's electoral viability. It was such wisdom that led to the selection of doomed nominees like Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis and John Kerry. It is only when the views of these crazies were repudiated — as with the nominations of JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — that the party can win elections.
So why are the Democrats selecting Dean? And why is Harold Ickes, the putative spokesperson for the Clintons, embracing the choice? Because Dean's momentum is unstoppable and nobody wants to stand in the way of the avalanche of self-destructiveness which is pouring onto the Democrats from their left-wing supporters.
Here's how it work: When moderates and centrists embrace the GOP and President Bush, they leave the Democrats to the tender mercies of the liberals. The party is deprived of the ballast offered by swing voters, the party moves further and further to the left, driven by a Jacobin desire for revolutionary purity and revenge against those who urge pragmatism and point to the path to victory.
And the Clintons? Even as Hillary tries to fool us once more into believing in her political moderation, they do not dare stand up against Dean. Even though they know that Dean knows that it was the Clintons who assassinated him en route to the nomination last year, neither Bill nor Hillary utter a peep as their party falls off the deep end.
The Clintons could have gotten Ickes the job, but neither one did any heavy lifting on his behalf. Why not? I'm no longer privy to their secrets, but my guess is that Bill was too sick, sad, physically weakened and unfocused — and that Hillary, an ingénue without his guidance and leadership, didn't dare to try on her own for fear of publicly failing.
For his part, Ickes likely acted out of pique in demeaning Hillary's chances for victory in 2008 and in withdrawing from the race for chairman entirely a few weeks later. Left to twist slowly in the wind, this normally loyal operative probably felt abandoned and unappreciated, as he did when he was passed over for chief of staff in Clinton's second term.
What kind of chairman will Dean make? He will probably be as bad for the party's prospects as Nancy Pelosi has been as Democratic leader in the House. He will dig a deeper and deeper hole for the party, alienating its moderate donors and holding it hostage to the likes of Michael Moore and the Hollywood left.
How odd it is to see Hillary trying to convince us that she's a red state kind of girl (offering moderate views on abortion, condemning illegal immigration, emphasizing the importance of prayer in her life and backing the war) even as her party lurches to the left.
As the Clintons did after they lost Congress in 1994, they are moving to the center. And, as the Republicans did after taking control of Congress that same year, the Democrats are rushing to extremes. Eventually, Hillary and Dean will clash for control of the party. Hillary will win the nomination in 2008, but she will face a party fractured by its ideological divisions and will find it harder and harder to please the left in her own ranks and the centrists in the swing states.
It will be most interesting to see how the dems, leftists, defeatists, terrorist appeasers and the MSM will try and spin the very successful Iraqi elections. - Sailor
By Stephen Schwartz
Tech Central Station
The news from Iraq is spectacularly good: local authorities estimate almost 75 percent of the electorate has voted. This is a triumph for every Iraqi, for America, for the Muslim world -- indeed, for the whole world. But it is a particular victory for an exceedingly small group in Washington: those who maintained confidence in the appeal of democracy, in the commonsense and intelligence of the Iraqis, and in the correctness of the path taken by President George W. Bush to Baghdad and beyond.
As stated, the group of non-Iraqis in America entitled to exult is tiny: it consists of President Bush himself, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, certain other members of the cabinet and defense establishment, and a highly exclusive media list: Bill Kristol and crew at The Weekly Standard, myself and some others writing on TCS and a handful of other publications. (I won't be modest about this.)
And that, folks, is about it. The global humanitarian services industry was worst about Iraq: the experienced electoral monitors chickened out of covering the balloting. The Europeans, of course, have nothing but bad to say about Baghdad, aside from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But the American political and media class, the latter above all, spent the months since President Bush's reelection searching desperately for reasons the Iraqi election was bound to fail.
We could call them "the coalition of the wrong." Democrats sneered openly, but even a considerable number of Republicans had cold feet. According to the habitual critics, the Arab Sunnis would boycott the voting, rendering it irrelevant, since without the good offices of the former tormentors of the Shia majority, the democratization of Iraq would be hopeless. According to the faint-hearted, Wahhabi terrorists would make the ballot process impossible to complete. According to the ideologues, democracy could not be "imposed," especially without sufficient "liberals," as argued by a renegade former supporter of the Iraq effort, Lawrence F. Kaplan in The New Republic.
The main daily papers and TV networks repeated all this "common foolishness," since it would be absurd to call it wisdom, down to the last moment. The weekend edition of the London Financial Times jabbered about Abu Ghraib and tried to keep afloat the limp balloon of claims that Saddam Hussein was really no threat to anybody. The Saturday front page of The New York Times whined that because a Shia cleric had preached a Friday sermon without mentioning the vote, the radical followers of Moqtada ul-Sadr would, allegedly, boycott it. Times headline writers exercised their talent for slippery language thus: "Shiite Faction Ready to Shun Sunday's Election in Iraq" rode atop Dexter Filkins' stretching exercise. On Sunday, of course, the Times had to report the truth, with Filkins writing, "voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets."
The Washington Post was marginally better. On Saturday, its Damascus correspondent, Scott Wilson, disclosed that the Syrian Baathist regime had decided to support the Iraqi process, to bring some stability to its neighbor. But its Washington diplomatic analyst, Robin Wright, whose record on these matters is among the worst, outdid herself. To her, the effects on the surrounding neighborhood would be destabilizing. But she had at least discovered what I, along with Saudi Shia dissidents and other Shia intellectuals, had been saying all along: that the probable smashing victory for democratic practices in Iraq would resonate in the Saudi kingdom, with its restive Shia minority, subject to systematic hate and repression by the Wahhabi state. She even cited the typically unnamed U.S. official, as follows: "'At the core of Saudi concern is this prejudice against the Shia they never enunciate in a policy. They just cite the Iranian bogeyman,' said an administration official, referring to Iran's Shiite theocracy. 'That's not something we see happening.'"
I felt as if I were in a special sort of echo chamber, bouncing back my own words in distorted form. That's fine; there's nothing wrong with being ahead of the curve, even when it twists like a rollercoaster. But speaking of echoes, haven't we been here before? Has everybody forgotten how, in 1990, the U.S., Canadian, and European media drastically miscalled the first free election in Sandinista Nicaragua? In that instance, 92 percent of U.S. media reported the Sandinistas held a lead; 60 percent predicted a Sandinista victory. On Nicaragua, 76 percent of American media coverage was critical of the candidacy of Violeta Chamorro, who was elected president, while 64 percent assailed the "negative" effects of U.S. support for the Nicaraguan opposition.
Iraqis voted the way Nicaraguans voted: enthusiastically, even deliriously so. Baghdad's voting urns are very likely to become, for the presidency of George W. Bush, what the fall of the Berlin Wall, which made the Nicaraguan election possible, was to that of Ronald Reagan. Bush may be judged as great as Reagan, and the Republican Party may permanently become a heroic force for global liberation.
Since the Iraq intervention began, leftists and other Bush-bashers have snidely called for "regime change" in America. But what we really need is a sign of commitment to the democratic values President Bush so actively and correctly defends, on the part of our media. How long will we have to wait? A generation? Or just the time it takes for the democratizing domino effect to take effect in the Arab world, after which the absurdities of the anti-democratic left and right will disappear from memory, as the pro-Axis agitation of the despicable America First and their short-term allies in the American Communist Party were forgotten once the second world war ended, and as mistakes of academics and political experts about Soviet Communism were politely elided from the record after the process that began with the fall of the Wall in 1989.
In 1992, I had the unforgettable experience of participating in the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the fabled "Sherpa Club" of highest-level Sovietologists, in the aftermath of the failed 1991 Moscow coup. American professors and analysts who had spent their whole careers preaching the gospel of Communist permanence complained, "History has failed us!" History will fail those who have dedicated decades to the proposition that Arabs will not enter the world of popular sovereignty, entrepreneurship, and accountability; that is, of successful bourgeois democracy.
But history will not fail those of us who recall, and choose to live by, the words of poet Archibald Macleish, a fervent supporter of American involvement in the second world war: "How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith." As President Bush has affirmed, freedom is on the march!
Well after spending some 26 million dollars, this numbnuts finally figured out that kerry was a piss shit poor candidate. Soros still has not figured out that his little plan to dominate American politics will be a dismal failure. But egomaniacs, such as this asshole, never do get it. Keep spending your money Georgey boy. With the ROI you just got, you will not be so rich. - Sailor
Soros Says Kerry's Failings Undermined Campaign Against Bush
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor George Soros, the biggest financial contributor to the failed effort to defeat President George W. Bush in November's election, said Democratic challenger John Kerry was a flawed candidate.
Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, spent $26 million in last year's campaign that he said was undermined by the candidate he supported.
``Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative,'' Soros, 74, said yesterday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ``That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected.''
The comments by the Hungarian-born Soros marked his sharpest criticism of Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran who later spoke against the war and focused his campaign against Bush on the war in Iraq. Republicans gained four seats in the Senate, including the defeat of the Senate's highest-ranking Democrat, Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Republicans have 55 seats in the 100-seat chamber.
The Kerry campaign ``tried to emphasize his role as a Vietnam War hero and downplay his role as an anti-Vietnam War hero, which he was,'' said Soros. ``Had he admitted, owned up to it, I think actually the outcome could have been different.''
Soros said he also now questions ``what the Democratic party stands for.'' Democrats need to counter ``a very effective conservative message machine,'' he said. ``There really needs to be an alternative.''
Still, Soros said the money he spent was worthwhile, and that he will remain active in U.S. politics.
``I don't feel it's an investment that's gone bad, because when you stand up for principles you have to do it whether you win or lose,'' Soros said. ``I'm distressed that Bush was re-elected, but I don't feel that I wasted my money.''
Soros donated millions to the Media Fund, a group that ran television, print and radio advertisements against Bush, and America Coming Together, a group that mobilized voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He also personally bought anti-Bush ads in newspapers around the country, and went on a 12-city speaking tour to criticize Bush's foreign policy.
Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, said in a Newsweek interview that he lost because he failed to connect with voters, the magazine reported in its Jan. 10 issue. He also attributed his loss to Bush's head start in organizing and fund-raising, and Bush's advantage of incumbency, particularly at a time of war, the article said.
Soros criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for cutting the benchmark U.S. interest rate to a four decade low of 1 percent, saying he gave Bush's re-elected chances a boost. ``So as far as I'm concerned, (Greenspan) lost credibility.''
Federal Reserve spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment on Soros's remarks.
While he's not decided whether he'll continue to support candidates, Soros said he wants to raise the issue of America's role in the world. He questioned Bush's call in his inaugural address that the U.S. would seek to spread democracy.
``My conclusion is that America is an open society, the most successful, the most powerful in the world, that doesn't understand the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong,'' he said. ``And as long as we have that position, we are not really qualified to propagate democracy all over the world.''
The Bush administration was ``conspicuous by its absence'' at the World Economic Forum, avoiding a growing consensus that much more needs to be done to alleviate world poverty, eradicate disease, and deal with global warming, Soros said.
``I think if the rest of the world succeeds in getting together to address these problems, reluctantly the Bush administration will have to go along. Because I think American public opinion will push them to do it,'' Soros said.
In a Davos speech, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, the closest U.S. ally in Europe, called on the U.S. to cooperate more with other nations. ``If America wants the rest of the world to be part of the agenda it has set, it must be part of their agenda, too,'' he said Jan. 26.
Soros said he's no longer actively investing and is primarily interested only in earning enough to support $300 million in annual spending on philanthropic and political projects.
``We converted the Quantum Fund into the Quantum Endowment Fund. It's meant to be more like an endowment fund,'' Soros said. ``It's a very different objective from when I was active, trying to make money.''
Mark Schwartz, Soros Fund Management's chief executive officer, left the firm Jan. 3, the sixth senior executive to leave Soros Fund Management since 2000.
Schwartz oversaw a reorganization that involved shedding the real estate, credit and lending units and putting Soros's sons in charge. The sons, Robert, 41, and Jonathan, 34, in October were named co-deputy chairmen of the New York-based firm, which manages about $8.3 billion.
They are in charge of ``overall management, and maybe developing an internal team,'' Soros said. For now, Soros Fund Management is using outside investment managers, he said.
To contact the report on this story: Michael McKee in New York firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story; Kevin Miller
in Washington kmiller@Bloomberg.net
Last Updated: January 30, 2005 06:54 EST