Friday, August 20, 2004

Double Whammy

Today, I get to blog on two of my favorite topics in ONE POST: Oregon AND Politics. This should be fun.

First, I just got out of spending the afternoon volunteering for the local chapter of the Bush/Cheney campaign. My job was to call registered independents and poll them on a couple of topics, including asking if they planned on supporting the President in November. With a few notable exceptions, the overwhelming majority said yes. The west coast may not be as "blue" as people think.

Second, Thanks for the Memory to Macker's World:

Apparently Al Gore was in our fine state and was harassed by some jack-booted brownshirted thug got a speeding ticket for doing 75 in a 55 zone.

Poor Al, things just haven't been the same since 2000, have they?

hee hee


One other piece of info that I learned while at the local Republican HQ Saturday, and this bit will blow the minds of people who know this area (Are you listening, Bishop?). Apparently, the University of Oregon is home to the third largest College Republicans club in the country, with around 500 members.

Does anyone else see a conflict brewing on campuses across the nation between overwhelmingly liberal faculty and increasingly conservative students?

Abandon Ship!

Thanks for the Memory to Blogs for Bush

Just when I thought the chain reaction of hypocrisy, lies, and desperation in the Kerry camp couldn't get any more extreme, I learn this:

Kerry takes legal action against Vietnam critics

Apparently John Forbes Kurtz Kerry has decided to sue the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. Among other allegations, Kerry's suit alleges that the 527 is coordinating with Bush. As a Kerry Press Release the New York Times puts it, there is a "web of connections" between the Swift Boat group and the "Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush (news - web sites)'s chief political aide, Karl Rove."

Hmmm.... Before Kerry brings up coordination with 527's, he may want to stop and remember this.

Let me get this straight. Kerry's opponent is attacked by a major liberal 527, and the next thing we know, Kerry is hiring it's head as his internet communications director? And that doesn't smell fishy?

The truth is, Kerry's campaign has nothing to run on except his war record, and if that is called into question, he's sunk. He ignored the issue for too long, thinking that since the lapdog press would sit on this, it would die a quiet death. But thanks to the internet and in a great part blogs, the story isn't going away, so now he has to respond. If he had proof that could incontrovertably refute the Swift Boat Vets claims, he could squash this like a bug. But he can't, so he's trying to squelch the story by harassing the Vets into submission.

Kerry's ship is full of self-inflicted holes, and he can't bail fast enough, so he's going to try to board the enemy. But I think it's too late. As soon as the RNC is done, and the president fires his first real broadside, watch the SS Nuance sink like a stone.

The post on the lawsuit isn't the only one worth reading on this topic at Blogs for Bush. They also present their reasons for believing the boiler's about to explode on the SS Nuance.

Update II:
Thanks for the Memory to Ace of Spades HQ
This may be one of the reasons Kerry's trying to quash the ads. According to a new poll, 44% of Independents who've seen the first ad find it believable or very believable.

Update III:
Thanks for the Memories to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Commenter Random Numbers over at the Rottie writes:

John Kerry has claimed that Swift Boat Vetrans for Truth is a "front for the Bush campaign." He bases this claim on the fact that some donors to the group - NOT members, founders or managers, just donors - have Republican ties. Let's look over a few 527's and see what their founders and/or mnanagers have been up to:

Media Fund (expenditures-$27,208,905):
Harold Ickes, president and founder (deputy White House chief of staff under President Clinton)

America coming Together (expenditures-$24,196,532):
Minyon Moore (former Chief of Operations, Democratic National Committee) (expenditures-$17,435,782):
Zach Exley, director of special projects (former Dean campaign aide, soon-to-be Kerry director of online communications and organization)

New Democrat Network (expenditures-$6,970,070):
Simon Rosenberg, president and founder (former Clinton campaign aide)

America Votes (expenditures-$1,176,590):
Cecile Richards, president (former aide to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and daughter of former Texas Democratic Gov. Ann Richards)

Grassroots Democrats (expenditures-$1,137,544):
Joe Carmichael, co-chairman (former vice-chair, Democratic National Committee)

Bring Ohio Back (no expenditures as of this date):
organized and managed by Gerald Austin (Ohio Democratic strategist)

New House PAC (no expenditure data on file):
Howard Wolfson, co-founder (former executive director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)
Jonathan Mantz, co-founder (former finance director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

American Family Voices (Initial $800,000 provided by AFSCME):
Michael Lux, president (former aide to President Clinton and former political director, People for the American Way)

Progressive Donor Network:
also Michael Lux, president and co-founder (former aide to President Clinton and former political director, People for the American Way)

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (expenditures-$60,403 as of 8/15/04)
Not managed or founded by any RNC politicians or aides.

Yup, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth looks like a front group to me!

Thanks for the Memory once again to Blogs for Bush. Check out their latest installment on this issue, an interesting chart showing connections between the Kerry Campaign and liberal 527's. In a comment on that post, reader Michael in MI quotes an interesting article on Newsmax:

"The Kerry campaign is gloating this weekend over the resignation of Bush Cheney volunteer, former Vietnam War POW Ken Cordier, who's featured in the latest Swiftboat ad - saying it proves illegal coordination between the Swiftvets' 527 group and the official Bush campaign.

But Kerry has no plans to fire Zach Exley, a key campaign staffer who served as the organizing director for throughout the presidential primaries.

What's more, MoveOn, whose sole mission is to defeat President Bush in November, maintains that Exley is allowed to "communicate" with the 527 group even as he works for the Democratic nominee."

Survival Rule # 1

If your pregnant wife sends you to purchase for her specific items for her to eat, and the establishment which is the only local purveyor of said items is scheduled to close about the time you will be arriving back at your home, DO NOT FORGET ANY OF THOSE ITEMS!!!!!!!!

Just saying.

American Folklore

Thank for the Memory to Ace of Spades HQ

I guess it's a day for things Northwestern.

Ace of Spades also published a top ten list, and it has a Northwest twist. So here I give you Ace's Top Ten List:

Top Ten Points of Comparison Between Alleged Humanoid Bigfoot and Alleged "War Hero" John Forbes Kerry

10. Bigfoot stands 8'3"; John Forbes Kerry, slightly taller

9. John Forbes Kerry sports an importantly-coifed mane of hair meticulously stylized by one of America's most expensive tonsorial artistes; Bigfoot once masturbated behind a Portland SuperCuts

8. Bigfoot subsists mainly on roots, nuts, and berries; John Forbes Kerry subsists cheifly on a diet of foie gras and lonely heiresses

7. John Forbes Kerry attended an exclusive Swiss finishing school and the tony Andover Academy for Boys, and has all of the refinements that an elite education and aristocratic pedigree can provide; Bigfoot, by contrast, wipes his ass with tree bark and pumice

6. Bigfoot is alleged to have stalked and killed at least five Pacific Northwest hikers; John Forbes Kerry is suspected in only three such disappearances

5. John Forbes Kerry prefers the pasttimes of the idle rich, such as "kite-surfing" and "extreme biking;" Bigfoot is an ace at Pictionary and Boggle

4. John Forbes Kerry briefly dated actress Morgan Fairchild in the 1980's; oddly enough, so did Bigfoot

3. John Forbes Kerry enjoys fox-hunting with horse and beagle; Bigfoot employs less refined methods for killing small game, such as farting in gopher holes

2. John Forbes Kerry is a personal friend of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary; Bigfoot once toured with Foghat

...and the Number One Comparison Between Bigfoot and John Kerry...

1. One is a shadowy, elusive freak of nature concocted by fabulists and childish imaginations; the other is called "Sasquatch" by North American Indians

Very humorous, Ace. I'd only add one thing: Aging, pot-addled hippies molding away in Seattle and Eugene tend to believe in both.

From the Home Office in Tenmile, Oregon

Top Ten Things I Think Any Visitor to Oregon MUST See:

10. Rice Hill
Not a scenic wonder nor a historic site nor a cultural mecca. An Ice Cream place. The town of Rice Hill (which is in a valley, while Rice Valley, a few miles away, is up the hill. Don't try to figure it out) is a truck stop along I-5, along with a few other buildings. One of these, on the west side of the road, is a ramshackle old hamburger joint that also serves the most wonderful ice cream in the world -- Umpqua Dairy. Big cones and dishes, an amazing array of flavors, and local, natural ingredients. Any travel between the north end and the south end of Western Oregon requires that one stop here for some of the most decadent calories you'll ever meet.

9. Highway 126
This highway runs from Florence on the coast, east through Eugene, up over the cascades, through Bend. The section you don't want to miss is closed in winter, so visit it in the summer months -- the scenic drive through the Cascades. Home to Oregon's second highest waterfall (Salt Creek), lava beds, and some of the most spectacular mountain vistas in the state. Bring your dramamine and your camera!

8. Ashland, Oregon
Home to the Oregon Shakespeare festival, a world-class Shakespearean theater that rivals the Old Globe in San Diego or Stratford itself, set in Southern Oregon. Also home to beautiful Lithia Park.

7. Portland, Oregon
Yeah, I know, it's a city. But it's a beautiful city, and it's Mt. Hood-dominated skyline is one of the most picturesque in the country. Add to this a growing culinary scene, dozens of microbreweries, one of the best public transit systems around, and several features that could easily contend for a spot on this list on their own merit, including:
7a. The Grotto, a retreat center owned by the Roman Catholic Church, full of peaceful gardens, and one of the best views of the Cascades you can find without strapping on mountain climbing gear.
7b. Washington Park, the second largest city park in the US, and home to the Oregon Zoo, several museums, a traditional Japanese Garden, and the Portland Rose Test Garden, the world's most impressive array of roses. It's also the best spot to view and photograph the skyline and Mt. Hood in the distance.

6. Oregon Dunes National Monument
When the ocean erodes land from coastlines, all that earth has to go somewhere. This is where. Instead of eroding land, the Pacific Ocean depists sand here, creating the largest sand dunes in America -- 47 miles long, 5-10 miles wide, over 900 feet high. and they're growing. Bring your taste for 4-wheel drive vehicles. If you don't have your own, don't worry, there are rentals and guided tours galore.

5. Heceta Head
Just after the Dunes end just north of Florence, the coast range climbs skyward again, and you come to Heceta Head lighthouse, one of the most photogeninc, and arguably the most photographed lighthouses in the world. If you have a Lighthouse calnedar, you probably have picture of Heceta. In addition to a spectacular view OF the lighthouse, you get a pretty impressive view FROM the lighthouse -- as well as an informative tour from the volunteer docents. I was lucky enough to be there when one of them decided to display his bagpiping prowess last time I visited.

4. Oregon Caves National Monument
Not as big as Mammoth or Carlsbad caves, these caves are impressive nonetheless for several reasons. First, they are carved into granite, not limestone. Second, the caves were undiscovered even by Native Americans until the 1800's. And finally, the countryside around them is equally beautiful -- mountainous and forested. One more reminder that if you like the color green, this is a state you don't want to miss.

3. The Columbia River Gorge
On its course from Canada to the Pacific Ocean, the Coumbia River encounters a pretty impressive obstacle -- the Cascade Mountain Range. obviously, a river can't go over a mountain range, so the Columbia goes through -- in Gorgeous fashion (pun intended). I like to refer to the gorge as the Hudson River Valley of Oregon. The valley floor is dotted with low, rolling hills, bordered on each side by imposing basalt bloffs stretching away into mountains on either side. While the view from I-5 is impressive, to really enjoy the gorge you should take the Scenic byway. In addition, the gorge provides several spot which also could easily make this list on their own merit:
3a. Multnomah Falls is Oregon's tallest waterfall. The view of the falls itslef is impressive, and the view FROM the falls is worth the 1,000 foot high hike.
3b. Crown Point is a lookout point and provides the best view from the top of the gorge.
3c. Hood River, Oregon at the eastern end of the Gorge, the town of Hood River is located where its namesake feeds into the Columbia. It's home to one of the state's better breweries (Full Sail), and is the unofficial world capital of windsurfing.
3d. Bridge of The Gods this bridge connects the Oregon and Washington sides of the river, and is one of the prettiest pieces of architecture in the state.
3e. Bonneville Dam is not as big as Grand Coulee, but it's still impressive to see, and the fish ladders are a great place to view Northwest salmon and steelhead make their migrations.

2. Fort Clatsop
Forget "arguably", this is without a doubt the most historically significant place in the whole state. Do you like singing about "sea to shining sea?" Well this is where that second shining sea was added to the mix. Fort Clatsop is the site where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their Corps of Discovery spent the winter after reaching the Pacific. The fort itself is rather timy, two small buildings of three rooms each, set facing each other, with the ends connected by log palisades. But the museum has great exhibits, and the living history demonstrations are as entertaining as they are informative. This is as close as we get to the great historical sites of the east, and while nowhere near as old, its significance cannot be discounted.

And finally, the one place you must see if you see nothing else in the state whatsoever. If you know this state well, and you've been paying attention, you probably know what it is. So without further ado:

1. Crater Lake National Park
It's our only National Park, and while that doesn't seem right, if we only get one, it's fitting that this is it. As the name implies, Crater Lake is set in the crater of an extinct volcano, Mt. Mazama. At well over 1000 feet, it's the deepest fresh water in North America. The surrounding park is an impressive example of the arid high mountain pine forests of the eastern Cascades, but the real treat is cresting the rim of the crater and looking down on some of the most stunningly blue, pure water you'll ever see in your life. Take the rim drive, visit the Crater Lake lodge, and hike the trail down to the landing where you can take a boat tour out to Wizard Island, the old cinder cone of the volcano. You won't be sorry.