Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, October 16, 2004

There has been a lot of buzz on the Internet about President’s Bush’s mysterious bulge noticed in a reverse angle shot of Bush during the first Presidential Debate on September 30th in Coral Gables, Florida.
According to Mike Allen in the October 9th issue of the Washington Post:

Bush's aides tried to laugh off the controversy, with one official joking about "little green men on the grassy knoll”… The White House refused to provide an on-the-record comment, saying that it would dignify a baseless issue, and referred questions to the Bush-Cheney campaign. "It is preposterous," campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. He declined to elaborate or to suggest what could have produced the unusual photo. Bush's aides said the suit was well-tailored and did not have a roll in back.

Most have suggested that our sentence-impaired head of state was possibly cheating by getting answers to questions via some sort of radio set-up and that the bulge was a transmitter.
No matter that I’ve failed to find links to these sources after prolonged searching, a highly intelligent poster on the blog Eschaton and a cardiac specialist writing to a Houston newspaper, the other day, both suggested an angle that, considering the postponement of the President’s regular August physical until after the election and his odd facial composure during all three debates, might be more plausible.
The newer idea is that our President has secretly suffered a heart attack or mild stroke and that the bulge is actually a heart monitor and defibrillator similar to products marketed by a company called LifeCor.

According to the LifeCor site:

Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. This device continuously monitors the patient's heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to disarm the shock. If the patient is unconscious, the device releases a gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

Further support for this less paranoid possibility comes, this morning, in a New York Times editorial section (scroll down and click the Editorial link entitled Op-Art: Is That A Transmitter?) photograph apparently meant to ridicule the overall discussion while steering it away from this more important new medical possibility.

The photograph is meant to show photographic proof that lumpy rectangular “wrinkles” are a common hazard when wearing a jacket but, unsuspectingly I think, the beleaguered Times attempt at manipulation strengthens the newer possibility.
Now I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on television but the similarities to photographs on the LifeCor site, to me when also considering the President’s televised demeanor, lend support to the idea that Mr. Bush has suffered serious medical trauma and that this trauma is being hidden by a White House and campaign staff until after the election.
A President so seriously impaired is a very serious issue especially considering the Vice President's cardiac impairments.
In these final days before November 2nd I would strongly urge you to examine the images and form your own conclusions.
If you conclude that the LifeCor possibility is valid I would urge you to write, email and phone local and national media on this most important and widely undiscussed possibility.

Images: Commission on Presidential Debates, LifeCor,, New York Times

Friday, October 15, 2004

STEWART: [Speaking about Crossfire] And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.


CARLSON: But in its defense...


STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...


STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.




STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.



STEWART: And come work for us, because we, as the people...

CARLSON: How do you pay?

STEWART: The people -- not well.


BEGALA: Better than CNN, I'm sure.

STEWART: But you can sleep at night.


STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.

BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.

STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.


For a full transcript click here.

UPDATE--For those with Windows Media Players and High-Speed connections Stewart's entire Crossfire "bitchslap" can be found here on the excellent Media Matters site.

Enjoy Jon speaking truth to power, then...

Call CNN: (404) 827-1700

Ask for the Viewer Comment line.

The Comedy Channel, Newsmakers

Strike Out?

A close reader of this blog may have come to realize that I live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
While pre Civil War records of relatively poor common people are sketchy, we can trace five generations of my mother’s side of the family here in Kentucky’s northern counties.
My mother’s mother was a Campbell and through her we descend from cousins of the 18th President of the Unites States, Ulysses S. Grant.
I possess a cup and saucer that family lore claimed was once a part of Julia Grant’s china service.
With the assistance of a direct descendant of America’s greatest general, Ulysses Grant Dietz, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ, we determined that the cup and saucer was more likely a gift to a family member from Julia Grant during her time in upstate New York following the General’s death in 1885.
I say this only to establish some bona fides, if you will, to having more than a passing interest in the well being of this beautiful state.
Having met Kentucky’s last Democratic senator, Wendell H. Ford on several occasions during my TV years when flying between Washington, DC and northern Kentucky, I was dismayed when he retired and further dismayed by his ineffectual Republican replacement, baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning.

Senator and Mrs. Bunning

The Bunnings are known to our family and still reside across the street from the former home of my mother’s deceased sister.
I met Mary Bunning, an artist of passing skill, when my mother and I encountered her one month after 9/11 at my favorite frame shop, Bowman’s Framing, in the Bunning’s and my family’s home town of Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
My mother told Mary Bunning that I had just returned home from Washington.
As she was getting one of her watercolors framed, I complimented Mrs. Bunning on her artistic skill with a difficult medium and asked how she was enjoying life in post 9/11 Washington.
Confiding they she and the Senator were living in a high rise near the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, VA, Mrs. Bunning confessed to a fear of living within the national capitol area and to a tremendous relief in “being home”.
My sense was that Mary Bunning did not like the unforeseen new circumstances of her husband’s, then, relatively new and once glam job.
While our senior Senator (and his ethnic Chinese lobbyist wife) was re-elected in the last cycle with massive amounts of special interest “assistance”, Mr. Bunning, our junior Senator, a sock puppet for those same Republican special interests, is presently battling for a second undeserved term as controversy swirls regarding his temperament and, according to the editorial writers of the, now, Gannett owned Louisville Courier-Journal, his mental health:

Is he, as he ages, just becoming a more concentrated version of himself: more arrogant, more prickly? Certainly that would be a normal occurrence. Or is his increasing belligerence an indication of something worse? Has Sen. Bunning drifted into territory that indicates a serious health concern?

While Fort Thomas-ites and former team mates have long known of the former pitcher’s DiMaggio-like temper, it has, seemingly, come as somewhat of a surprise to the southern counties of the Commonwealth.
According to this morning’s Washington Post:

Sen. Jim Bunning looked like a lock for reelection, with a huge lead in the polls over his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo. But then Bunning started behaving . . . oddly. The one-term incumbent (and Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher) has stalked out of a news interview, compared his dark-complexioned opponent to one of Saddam Hussein's sons, and accused Mongiardo or a member of his campaign staff of roughing up Bunning's wife at an event over the summer -- an accusation Mongiardo's staff calls "sad and untrue." Bunning has also beefed up his security detail, telling a Paducah TV station, "There may be strangers among us."

The scene at Monday's debate in Paducah, KY

The Post goes on to describe Bunning’s behavior at a Senatorial Debate televised statewide this past Monday:

Bunning declined to show up in Kentucky, as agreed, for a debate with Mongiardo. Instead, he beamed in via satellite from the Republican National Committee's TV studio in Washington and refused to let a neutral observer monitor his participation. Bunning's campaign manager, David Young, later acknowledged that Bunning had read his opening and closing statements off a teleprompter. Mongiardo's campaign said that violated the debate's rules.

I would urge fellow Kentuckians to assist Mary Bunning in a return to the calm artistic life she once enjoyed by electing Daniel Mongiardo as our new junior Senator.
And, since I’m talking local politics, may I also urge fellow residents of Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District to cast a vote for an extremely kind gentleman (and former fellow WLWT alumnus and passenger on those Washington/Kentucky USAir flights of yore to say nothing of being the brother of Rosemary and father of George), Nick Clooney on Tuesday November 2.
Remember, your Democratic vote in Kentucky will assist in the Kerry landslide and in making the televised pundit class appear more foolish, if that’s possible, than they normally appear!

Images:, AP

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Eluding this morning’s mainstream media are any questions dealing with last evening unusual television camera behavior.
Several savvy C-SPAN callers, however, wondered why the debate’s television director photographed President Bush in a way to make him appear larger than Senator Kerry.
Was this difference in focal length the result of a last minute negotiation between the political parties and the Commission on Presidential Debates?
Or, was patented and ever so (wink, wink) subtle Rovian pressure applied to the broadcast’s technical chief?

This post debate Reuters image clearly shows the staggering difference in height between Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry.

Sadly for Karl and the TV director’s bamboo-pierced fingertips, President Bush wasn’t ready for his close up and the cheated effect only magnified the President’s flaws and odd composure.
According to Tom Shales, in this morning’s Washington Post:

An essentially dignified and thoughtful performance by Sen. John Kerry, contrasted with an oddly giggly turn by President Bush…Bush seems to have been taken apart and put back together again after each debate…several of his statements and facial expressions throughout the 90 minutes, [were] eccentric…Bush looked as smiley as Clarabell the Clown.

Photo: AP, Reuters,

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Sinclair Broadcast Group station in Cincinnati, Ohio is, officially, WSTR channel 64 but markets itself as WB64.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group has ordered all of its 62 television stations across the United States to pre-empt regular programming for a long-form Swift Boat smear of Senator John Kerry entitled Stolen Honor on the eve of the Presidential election.
According to the Hollywood Reporter:

Sinclair executives have given thousands to the Bush campaign, and the company refused to air the April 30 Nightline episode in which hundreds of names of American troops killed in Iraq were read by ABC anchor Ted Koppel.
Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps called Sinclair's decision "an abuse of the public trust...proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology."

The corporation, fearing blow back on local advertisers, will offer Stolen Honor without commercial sponsorship.
The Marketing Director of Cincinnati’s WB64 is Jeff Doerrer (513) 641-4400 or
Major WB64 sponsors in Cincinnati are:
King’s Auto Mall, including long-time Cincinnati dealers Terry Lee Chevrolet (800) 956-4852 and Borcherding Buick (513) 677-9200,
Value City (local northern Kentucky department store, ask for store manager, (859) 491-6500)
And a national chain of elective surgery shopping malls called, The Wish Center.
The Wish Center’s Marketing Director is listed as Nancy Kavados (630) 693-0216.
Cincinnati's Wish Center in Springboro, Ohio is (888) 854-9474 or
Be polite but firm when speaking to anyone involved with Sinclair.
Here's a list of all Sinclair advertisers from .


This January 24,2004 official close up photo of President Bush's pre State of the Union French-manicured hands has since been tidied from the always tidy
The heavily starched French cuffs, the regal and (I imagine) solid gold W cufflinks along with the fussy European manicure gives a certain west Texas cowgirl a haughty continental allure.

Images: SBG, Stolen Honor

Powered by Blogger