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Thursday, May 06, 2004  

Blogosphere: People are saying

Bush family values

Byte Back is wondering about Bush family values. Laura and George W. will not be at their daughters' college graduations. He is skeptical about the purported reason.

(Not) There in Good Times and Bad

Laura and George Bush Junior will not attend their daughters' graduations. Don't want to be a distraction? Please. I understand Dick Cheney not showing up to his daughter's wedding but, c'mon these are IMPORTANT dates in any family.

Spare me the piety and the matyrdom and go.

Jeb Bush and family did not turn up for his daughter Noelle Bush's drug conviction arraignment.

George HW Bush and Barbara Bush did not attend their oldest son's high school graduation. Oh, wait. nevermind.

Salon.com - May 6, 2004  |  New Haven -- President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will skip their twin daughters' college graduations later this month to avoid creating a distraction at the respective schools, the White House said Thursday.

"There are no plans at this time to attend these ceremonies,'' said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for Laura Bush. "The Bushes felt the focus should be on the students, and not how long the lines are to go through the metal detectors.''

Jenna Bush is slated to graduate May 22 from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in English. Barbara Bush graduates May 24 with a bachelor's in humanities from Yale University.

Conservatives often say they are upset that Bush is not a Reagan Republican. In regard to family relationships, maybe the Bushes are. Nancy and Ronald Reagan managed to alienate all four of his children, often at the same time. Daughter Patty Davis did not speak to them for more than a decade. Perhaps the Bushes are vying for equal distance from those distractions known as offspring.

Heller weighs words

I recently wrote that I agree with editorial writer Myriam Marquez that John Kerry's remarks are too 'nuanced.' Writer and blogger Rick Heller is also thinking about how to describe the presidential candidates' communications.

Bush Isn't Decisive, He's Rash

The NY Times reports that the Kerry campaign is struggling to find a theme for the fall campaign. Meanwhile, the incumbent's message is that Bush "is a steady leader and Kerry's a flip-flopper."

I think a little jujitsu is called for--using the opponents strength against him.

The Kerry campaign needs to portray Bush's decisiveness as "rashness."

Bush rashly led us into an unnecessary war in Iraq when waiting for the inspection process to complete would have proved there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Bush has rashly pursued radical tax cuts which turned a budget surplus into a yawning deficit that will burden the next generation.

Bush makes critical decisions prematurely, pre-emptively, and in a seat-of-the-pants manner. He sticks to failing policies because he's unwilling to admit mistakes.

If an election is a referendum on the incumbent, it should be made a referendum on Bush's rashness, not Kerry's caution.

Yes, writers love to locate the 'right' adjective or adverb. With good reason, I think. Applying a label, and getting it to stick, can have longlasting implications. If what George W. Bush wants to market as 'boldness' becomes known as 'rashness' instead, the impression that has been conveyed could decide the outcome of the upcoming election. If Kerry's 'nuanced' messages paint him as 'cautious' in the public mind, that could be equally decisive.

Join the discussion at Heller's Swing Voter Weblog.

City drags feet in domestic violence case

Sometimes local politics can have national import. A tragedy that has played out in Tacoma, Washington, over the last year is a fine reminder that domestic violence remains one of the most intractable problems Americans contend with.

Fallout from Brame murder limited

Let's revisit the facts.

Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal, then killed himself in a Gig Harbor parking lot on April 26, 2003, as their two young children watched.

A report by the state patrol was presented to the mayor and other city officials this week. A previous investigation by the city itself claimed that neither it nor its officials are responsible for the murder and suicide.

The state's administrative investigation, which was agreed to by city leaders, followed a six-month state criminal investigation that concluded no crimes were committed by employees of the city or the police department in the Brame case. The administrative review focused on whether employees violated city or department policies, including those on sexual harassment.

The state's investigation was expected to be more objective.

The patrol was looking into whether promotions were given out based on alleged participation in sex clubs, as well as the alleged practice of looking the other way when local big shots were suspected of wrongdoing. Former State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas said earlier that department culture put rank-and-file cops in a position where "they see corruption running rampant and they just lay low."

The administrative review also was to examine the failure by city leaders to act on Brame's deterioration as his marriage came apart, his preoccupation with sex and sexual topics, his 1981 hiring despite two psychological profiles that indicated he was ill-suited to the work, and his rise through the ranks despite a 1988 rape allegation.

In the fallout over the shooting, Assistant Police Chief Catherine Woodard, who was close to Brame, took disability retirement and City Manager Ray Corpuz Jr., who appointed him, lost his job.

Learn more about the Brame tragedy and how a bureacracy is seeking to continue the status quo at Silver Rights.

11:12 PM