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Spitting Images

Larry David uncurbed. Gay adopters. Hillary unleashed. Sweating Kashmir. Sensible immigration. Whither Kerry, OPEC, Guantanamo?

2.17.04

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UNCURBED ENTHUSIASM
Re: Paul Beston's Too Much of Nothing:

Please try to remember that Larry David's the guy who, along with Seinfeld, actually satirized the Kennedy assassination through a hilarious "Who Spit At Who?" bit involving the Mets' Keith Hernandez and Roger McDowell. He has consistently portrayed himself as basically negative: craven, self-centered, somewhat bigoted, and so on. Not exactly a classic navel-gazing, holier-than-thou liberal, eh?

In much the same vein as South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Larry helps us laugh at stuff no one else has the guts to touch. If the price for that is an occasional smarmy, snarky swipe at honorable military service, we should be able to handle the joke (unlike our Quebecker friends to the north.) If anything, his description of unchallenging Army and Air Force Guard duty in the early '70s comes uncomfortably close to stories told to me by friends at the time -- a far cry from qualifying to fly F-102s back then, or Guard duty as a whole today.

As a sidelight, I found it interesting how hard it was to post a comment on Mr. David's op-ed in the New York Times, or to find a convenient Larry website to which I could share the above thoughts. Are these guys afraid of replies or something?
-- Jeff Kocur
Milford, Delaware

YOU'RE KIDDING
Re: P. David Hornik's Save the Children:

The arrogance in just P. David Hornik's first paragraph is simply astounding! From what studies does he draw the conclusion that children who otherwise would have been raised by a mother and a father will instead be raised by two mothers or two fathers? I have a hard time believing that any such ideal parents would give up their children for adoption to anyone. Certainly, none of the children adopted by my gay and lesbian friends came from two (opposite sex) parent homes.
-- Demetrio
New York, New York

FOOL'S GOLD
Re: The Washington Prowler's An Offer Kerry Can't Refuse:

How appropriate a headline. Hillary and Bill are, indeed, mafia-like figures who all but proclaim their deity as they try to get their hands into everything. Hillary will run for president -- and beyond -- and will attempt to strongarm her agenda.
-- Jeff Schicke
Wharton, New Jersey

Anything's possible, but I don't see Kerry as suicidal enough to put Hillary on the ticket, knowing the galvanizing effect this would have on the GOP faithful.

In a nation so evenly divided, turnout will be everything. Currently, the Democrats are motivated by personal dislike for the President and a desire to "get back" at the GOP for "stealing" the 2000 election. On the other hand, right now, there are concerns that President Bush's base is demoralized over ill-conceived policies such as amnesty for illegal aliens and deficit spending on social programs and, as a result, won't go to the polls.

As such, Kerry has to be counting on a motivated Democrat base and a demoralized GOP base to win the election. As noted above, given the President's turn to the left, that is a real possibility.

However, if Kerry picks Hillary for the VP slot, all bets are off. Nothing would motivate the GOP base to vote like having Hillary on the Democrat ticket. And putting Hillary on the ticket wouldn't do much to motivate the already-motivated Democrats.

Kerry, by all accounts, is no fool. And only a fool would run with Hillary as his VP choice in this election.
-- Steven Getman

I hope Kerry puts the Hildebeast on the ticket as the VP. This would energize conservatives and Republicans more than anything else possibly could. But Kerry better watch his back and not go to any parks by himself or he will be pushing up daisies like that poor Vince Foster. This is one broad that you can't trust for one second. Her history proves it.
-- Ruth
Colorado

I'm confused. I thought McCain-Feingold rendered all this coarse rhetoric about filthy money mute? Don't tell me that loopholes still exist?! Thanks!
-- Rich Meade

PAK PROTECTION
Re: Jed Babbin's Pak Proliferation:

Jed Babbin writes that Pakistan's Dr. Khan is being "protected by Pakistani intelligence and Musharraf." Later in the same paragraph he writes that Dr. Khan has had a heart attack and may "conveniently expire." I understand from other sources that his wife has also had a heart attack.

If this is "protection," I would hate to see what the lack of it looks like.
-- Glen Hoffing

I had an interesting experience in Kashmir in 1975. After meeting friends there, I rented a houseboat on Lake Dal, owned or managed by a Muslim. One day, wanting to go off on my own, I asked my Muslim landlord if he could hire a guide and take me to Gul Marg, the old British Summer residence. He arranged it and we drove to the mountain resort; at that time rather run down. My Muslim landlord asked if he could treat me to a cup of tea and after I accepted, we sat down and somehow we got to talking politics. I am unable to recall how we got on the subject of Kashmir, but I've never forgotten his comment: " I don't care who rules Kashmir, I don't care if it is the Soviet Union, the United States, the UK, China or Pakistan...anyone but India." That kind of thinking is probably one of the reasons India has had so many problems in Kashmir.
-- Pete Brittain
Sandpoint, Idaho

SENSIBLE PERCEPTIONS
Re: Brandon Crocker's The Immigration Thing:

Brandon Crocker's article is the first lucid discussion of immigration issues I've read in months (and months and months).

The issue for Conservatives should be: "What can we actually get done which will improve the situation?"

Mass deportations is not an option -- sorry, it just isn't because:

* Democrats will oppose it ferociously (and there are few Republicans willing to stand up to even mild criticism, especially if the word "racist" is involved).

* Republicans in the southwest will oppose it as well (they're the men and women whose hold on political office would be put at risk by the criticism), and

* Republican constituencies -- face it, some in that number want the cheap labor -- will oppose it, too.

If building a political majority for deportation was easy, it'd already have been done. It hasn't happened because Republicans -- let's face it, the Democrats will never be interested in curbing illegal immigration -- cannot find a way to achieve some political advantage from it. Doing nothing ought not be an option because the number of illegals will only continue to grow, and with it, sentiment for full legalization and amnesty.

Full amnesty and legalization isn't an answer because it'll just encourage still more illegal immigration.

If you believe something should be done, then the debate has to focus on what is achievable -- which, in the current climate, is guaranteed to be far from perfect.
-- Brad Bettin

Reading this, I am beginning to realize our continually underestimated president has taken a sober look at the conundrum of illegal immigration and decided to explore solutions that might work. His ideas sound preferable to accommodating Alfonso Bedoya look-alikes ferrying illegals across the border at night, flouting the Border Patrol with "Visas--we don't need no stinkin' visas!"
-- unsigned

While it's true that low wages may not currently attract Americans to jobs picking strawberries or mopping floors, it's also true that U.S. wages may experience a serious decline at some point. In difficult economic times, Americans might be willing to accept lower wages. Immigration policy should take account of economic conditions before allowing businesses to import foreign workers.
-- Pat Callum

MEDAL CEREMONY
Re: Steve Hornbeck's John Kerry Unveils the Regal Deal:

Precious. My compliments! This was wonderful!

Now, could we please have a gander at this Regal Rip-off's Service Record Book? GWB released 400 pages that proved, among other things, that his teeth were not AWOL. Could Fonda-Kerry please let us see the citations for those bogus medals?

I was a 19-year-old Marine during TET '68.

My a-gunner deliberately jumped in front of a B-40, saving the gun, the gunner, and maybe even some of us. And all he got was a posthumous PH. This Regal clown gets a Silver Star for: beaching his boat (against both rules of engagement and sanity), going after a single opponent (not deserving of a Silver Star) who had already been hit by .50 cal (which can seriously ruin your entire day) and either brought back his body (which is not deserving of a Silver Star) or shot a wounded man (we have rules against that). GGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!
-- Kevin J. Coughlin

EXPORT OPINION
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Weak Dollar Summit and Jeff Brownell's letter ("Cashing In Taiwan") in Reader Mail's Who Let the Dogs Out?:

It looks like one of Jeff Brownell's scenarios of an OPEC squeeze is already happening. There is an article today on "CBS Marketwatch" that is predicting $3 / gallon for gas by late summer. Officially, OPEC claims that their squeeze play is "due to weakness in the dollar," but I think that is a lot of hooey. The Arabs want to body-slam Bush out of the White House. The one power the Arabs really have is control over the oil price, and they are turning the screws.
-- unsigned

The main thing the Chinese would accomplish by dumping their dollars is making their exports more expensive in the U.S., and imports from America cheaper. That would completely fly in the face of their export, export, export policies.
-- Timothy Forston

PRESSING MATTERS
Re: James Bowman's Send Them to Guantanamo:

They get on my nerves with their crap as well. If I hadn't become a Christian a few years back I'd probably be in an asylum or a prison by now. You just want to grab them and shake some sense into them. I won't even watch television anymore.
-- Buddy Smith

Revoke their press credentials -- you got that right, by God. Why conservatives don't go after media liberals hammer and tongs 24-7-365 is more than I will ever understand. Thank you for pointing that out.
-- Dale White

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