On his first day as governor of Texas, George W. Bush declared that limiting lawsuits was an "emergency issue" for his state.
"We must put a stop to the frivolous and junk lawsuits which clog our courts," he said in January 1995, a popular line he has repeated often since then.
Getting rid of "frivolous" suits — or even defining them — proved difficult, but the new governor won limits on how much money could be awarded in the biggest cases. For example, punitive damages were capped at twice the amount of a victim's loss.
But the legal-reform movement Bush launched in Texas has gone far beyond questions of monetary awards. Among other things, it has led to limits on the right to sue in the first place.
"Texas has gone from one of the most friendly states for consumer protection to one of the most anti-consumer states," said University of Houston law professor Richard M. Alderman, an expert on consumer rights. "It all began in 1995. Bush oversaw a significant retreat for consumer protection, and it was all done under the guise of attacking 'frivolous' lawsuits."
The impact has been felt by home buyers such as Mary and Keith Cohn, whose elegant new residence in this well-off Houston suburb came with a leaky roof that led to rotting and moldy wallboard throughout the structure. After their daughters became ill, the Cohns moved out. The repairs ultimately cost more than $300,000.
To their astonishment and dismay, they learned that when the builder refused to repair most of the damage, they could not sue him for redress. Instead, they could pursue private arbitration, a process they considered stacked against them.
"This is the largest purchase of your life," said Mary Cohn, "but you have zero consumer protection."
Bush’s remarks drew applause only once — at the end of his speech.
I found out that my brother, Sgt. Ryan M. Campbell, was dead during a graduate seminar on April 29.
Immediately after a uniformed officer knocked at my mother's door to deliver the message that broke her heart, she called me on my cellphone. She could say nothing but, "He's gone." I could say nothing but, "No." Over and over again we chanted this refrain to each other over the phone as I made my way across the country to hold her as she wept.
I had made the very same trip in February, cutting classes to spend my brother's two weeks' leave from Baghdad with him. Little did I know then that the next time I'd see him would be at Arlington National Cemetery.
During those days in February, my brother shared with me his fear, his disillusionment and his anger. "We had all been led to believe that Iraq posed a serious threat to America as well as its surrounding nations," he said. "We invaded expecting to find weapons of mass destruction and a much more prepared and well-trained Republican Guard waiting for us. It is now a year later, and alas, no weapons of mass destruction or any other real threat, for that matter."
Ryan was scheduled to complete his one-year assignment to Iraq on April 25. But on April 11, he e-mailed me to let me know not to expect him in Atlanta for a May visit, because his tour of duty had been involuntarily extended. "Just do me one big favor, OK?" he wrote. "Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you."
The serious mood was broken by Sam Poulton, who rose in the second row, wearing a VFW cap, to poke fun at himself. He turned to face the audience and cameras. "I want you to look at this face," he said. "I'm 56 years old, a proud reservist. I was ordered back to Iraq. It's something when my son and I are both deployed. I went to war for George W. Bush; I came home to vote for John Kerry."
With Election Day less than two months away, a conservative group rated Georgia's paperless touch-screen voting system the worst in the nation, with Florida and several other states not far ahead.
The Free Congress Foundation, a longtime fixture of the political right, warns in a new report that if the Nov. 2 vote totals are contested, the result could be a "fiasco," since so many states have installed electronic systems that have no paper ballots that can be recounted.
Georgia, the first state to install a paperless system in all counties, was graded "F-minus" based on the reliability of the equipment and its capacity for a "verifiable recount."
Georgia officials have long argued that the $54 million touch-screen system is easy to use and popular with voters, despite some glitches when it debuted in November 2002. In Fulton County, for example, some machine totals were counted late because poll workers forgot to remove memory cards. But the election result was not affected.
Sinkule said the state would add printout devices if required but added, "Let's not rush to mandate a paper trail without federal standards in place."
The signs were hung in the end zone: "Past Your Prime Time."
The barbs were flying on the airwaves: "Deion's been retired for three years," said Browns radio analyst and former lineman Doug Dieken, "and he hasn't made a tackle in six."
Eric Seidel, a media consultant and former WGST-AM station manager, disagreed: "It will never be a factor in this market. There isn't a large enough audience for this type of talk to make it economically viable."
Leslie was captivated with the sound of the Hammond organ when he heard it at a Barker Bros. furniture store in downtown Los Angeles, where he worked repairing radios. In the store's large showroom, the organ introduced in 1935 sounded much like a theater or church pipe organ.
However, Leslie, was unimpressed with the organ's sound quality in the confined spaces of his home.
He began tinkering with devices to make the instrument sound more like labyrinthine pipe organs, using mechanics and electronics experience he gathered from a series of jobs, including one at the Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, D.C., during World War II.
When Leslie presented Hammond with an organ speaker he had built by hand, the company rejected it - and turned him down for a job.
Leslie later founded Electro Music in Pasadena to manufacture his speaker, which he called a Leslie speaker. It popularized electronic music during the 1940s by improving the sound of organs and keyboards, including those made by Hammond, Baldwin, Kimball and Yamaha.
First and foremost, the Leslie Rotating Speaker is designed as a sound modification device. It is not a "Hi-fi" speaker, but rather a part of a musical instrument. You buy a Leslie to change the sound of an instrument, not to reproduce it.
The Leslie Speaker System, thoughtfully named after its inventor, Don Leslie, operates on a simple principle: a directional sound source is rotated at constant (or variable) speed around a fixed pivot point.
At a listening point some distance from this whirling affair, three things happen. First, because the source is directional, the intensity of the sound will be at a maximum when it points at the listener (or microphone), The sound intensity will increase as the rotating source approaches dead center, and decrease as it rotates past this point. The resultant effect is called amplitude modulation (AM), which is no big thing, and is a feature on any guitar amp with a "vibrato" or "tremolo" feature. By moving closer to the rotating speaker, the inverse square law will increase the modulation effect.
However, the big deal is the Leslie's ability to create frequency modulation (FM). As the source rotates toward the listener, its relative velocity will increase the pitch of any tone it produces; as it rotates away, the pitch well be lowered. This is exactly the same Doppler effect that causes a train whistle (or any other sound on the train, such as grunting pigs, or shrieking passengers), to rise and then fall in pitch as the train approaches and then passes.
Lastly, if you are listening in a room with any significant reverberation, a complete spatial modulation of the sound will happen, as sound is "shot" all around and goes through multiple reflections.
Rison was noticeably stiff after the game and nursed a taped right hamstring.
You seem to have forgotten that loyal Democrats elected you as mayor and as state senator. Loyal Democrats, including members of my family and me, elected you as lieutenant governor and as governor. It was a loyal Democrat, Lester Maddox, who assigned you to high positions in the state government when you were out of office. It was a loyal Democrat, Roy Barnes, who appointed you as U.S. Senator when you were out of office. By your historically unprecedented disloyalty, you have betrayed our trust.
Great Georgia Democrats who served in the past, including Walter George, Richard Russell, Herman Talmadge, and Sam Nunn disagreed strongly with the policies of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and me, but they remained loyal to the party in which they gained their public office. Other Democrats, because of philosophical differences or the race issue, like Bo Callaway and Strom Thurmond, at least had the decency to become Republicans.
Everyone knows that you were chosen to speak at the Republican Convention because of your being a “Democrat,” and it’s quite possible that your rabid and mean-spirited speech damaged our party and paid the Republicans some transient dividends.
Perhaps more troublesome of all is seeing you adopt an established and very effective Republican campaign technique of destroying the character of opponents by wild and false allegations. The Bush campaign’s personal attacks on the character of John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 was a vivid example. The claim that war hero Max Cleland was a disloyal American and an ally of Osama bin Laden should have given you pause, but you have joined in this ploy by your bizarre claims that another war hero, John Kerry, would not defend the security of our nation except with spitballs. (This is the same man whom you described previously as “one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders -- and a good friend.")
I, myself, never claimed to have been a war hero, but I served in the navy from 1942 to 1953, and, as president, greatly strengthened our military forces and protected our nation and its interests in every way. I don’t believe this warrants your referring to me as a pacificist.
Zell, I have known you for forty-two years and have, in the past, respected you as a trustworthy political leader and a personal friend. But now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral preemptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause. These are not the characteristics of great Democrats whose legacy you and I have inherited.
After gauging the harsh reaction from Democrats and Republicans alike to Sen. Zell Miller’s keynote address at the Republican National Convention, the Bush campaign — led by the first lady — backed away Thursday from Miller’s savage attack on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, insisting that the estranged Democrat was speaking only for himself.
Late Thursday, Miller and his wife were removed from the list of dignitaries who would be sitting in the first family’s box during the president’s acceptance speech later in the evening. Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said Miller was not in the box because the campaign had scheduled him to do too many television interviews.
I'm an optimist.. We're going to get attacked again.
I remember watching the Nixon and Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend who spoke German and English, translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which is what I had just left. But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting government off your back, lowering taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.
I said to my friend, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican!" And I've been a Republican ever since! And trust me, in my wife's family, that's no small achievement! I'm proud to belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan and the party of George W. Bush.
The campaign designed a strategy in which Nixon appeared only in controlled situations. He limited his public appearances and press conferences, and refused to debate Humphrey. Instead, he appeared in a series of hour-long programs, produced by Roger Ailes, in which he was interviewed live by panels of carefully selected citizens. Nixon occasionally faced tough questions, but the discussions took place in front of partisan audiences from which the press was barred.
The Curious Nixon-Humphrey Debate
From Times Staff Reports
August 20, 2003
Fresh from Austria, a socialist country, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to become a Republican after listening to "the debates of Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon when they were debating for the presidential race," or so he told television talk show host Bill O'Reilly in May 2001.
"Hubert Humphrey spoke about things I heard in Austria under socialism."
But there was no presidential debate in 1968. Although Humphrey challenged Nixon to a debate, Nixon, who won the election, demurred.
Schwarzenegger previously recounted his version of history during an interview at the 2000 Republican National Convention. "When I came to this country, I was sitting in front of the television set, and I watched a debate between Humphrey and Nixon, and I didn't even understand half of it because my English wasn't good enough then. I had a friend of [mine] translating"
Much the same account reappeared in a recent Newsweek magazine article about him. Schwarzenegger "was a Republican before he was a citizen," Newsweek wrote, "having watched a 1968 presidential debate for which a friend provided the translation. "[Hubert] Humphrey stood for the government [that] will solve all your problems," Schwarzenegger recalled. "[Richard] Nixon said no, free to choose, let the people decide. So I said to my friend, which party is Nixon? He said Republican. OK, I said, I'm a Republican."
In other accounts of his political conversion, including a TV interview with "Hardball's" Chris Matthews last year, Schwarzenegger made no reference to presidential debates, instead saying that he made up his mind to be a Republican after listening to news conferences and speeches by Humphrey and Nixon in 1968.
Sean Walsh, a spokesman for the Schwarzenegger campaign, said Tuesday that the candidate never saw any debate. He said Schwarzenegger recalls having heard Humphrey and Nixon talking on TV, and he asked a friend to translate what they were saying for him. "He heard the two of them talking and someone was translating for him what they were saying."