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got wood?

You miss one debate and you miss the joke of the day. Someone explain the wood/internets thing to me, please.

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» World of reality is not a good thing? from Spot On
Michele missed the last debate and so was lost on the Internets/Wood jokes. I saw the debate and still have no clue what Kerry was saying with the Red Sox reference. Here it is: KERRY: Boy, to listen to that... [Read More]

» Don't get it. from Spot On
Michele missed the last debate and so was lost on the Internets/Wood jokes. I saw the debate and still have no clue what Kerry was saying with the Red Sox reference. Here it is: KERRY: Boy, to listen to that... [Read More]

» Got Wood? from it comes in pints?
(Title stolen from Michele) "Need some wood?" was a great line to use during the debate, especially since it is rather obvious which candidate's "got wood":... [Read More]

Comments

My brother summed it up pretty well on my blog:

When rebutting Bush’s argument that his economic policy helps small businesses, John Kerry cited this example: “The President got $84 from a timber company that he owns that he’s counted as a small business.” Bush’s response is probably going to go down as the line of the night: “I own a timber company? News to me! Need some wood?”

Bush said "internets" instead of "internet" once.
Kerry said that, according to the way Bush classifies of small business owners, Bush would be a small business owner because he got $84 from some timber company. Bush replied with something like "I own a timber company? That's news to me. Want some wood?"

As best I can tell, Kerry was trying to make some sort of "Bush is being misleading" point by illustrating he's using misleading classifications of what constitutes a small business.

I have no idea whether that point has any merit or not, but Kerry really garbled it. When watching the debate, I didn't know what the hell he was talking about, and my mind remembered it as some "Bush has ties to evil timber companies" thing.

Nobody knows what the hell Kerry was getting at - and I mean NOBODY. He was attempting to make Bush out to be a small business owner because, blah, blah, blah (you get the point). Then the Prez did his schtick and John Kerry looked like an idot, you know, like usual. It was pretty funny.

Let's not forget to thank our Aussie friends and allies who re-elected the Coalition! Great news! Oh, and bummer it appears the Dems sent their lawyers down to Afghanistan for a warm-up.

This one is classic.

I saw the first and last bit of the debate on tv, heard the balance on the car radio. Doing that parent thing of running Siobhan all over because today she has SAT II testing in the morning and the first Field Show competition of the season in the afternoon. So I heard the "wood" thing on the radio ... GW was making the valid point (and sticking a knife into JoKe's contention that any family making over $200K are the evil rich sitting around their swimming pools reading their bank statements while the rest of the poor schmoes are nose to the grindstone) that most small businesses are S Corporations which pay taxes at the individual income rate and Kerry's "lynch the rich" plan would burden these businesses which generate 70% of new jobs. Kerry tried some lame counter-attack that GW was lying and that small businesses were just about any definition people wanted to make up -- that GW received $84 from a timber company and that made GW a small business owner... I hear this pause, then GW says "I own a timber company?" (pause, few laughs) "That's news to me." (pause, few more laughs) "Need some wood?" (more laughter)...

I almost fell out of the car laughing. I can only imagine the look on John "I don't wilt, I've never wilted" Kerry's face at that moment.

I'm going to have to watch C-span and see how that moment played. It was wonderful.

Yeah, it would have been a great comeback, if it weren't true. To be fair, though, I doubt Bush had a clue what Kerry was talking about. [insert your own joke here]

The 'internets' thing was just a Bushism that we've come to expect. Kind of like misunderestimated or nucular.
The 'need some wood' line was where Bush owned the audience. Somehow Kerry figured out that, in Bush's stock and mutual fund holdings he made almost enough money for dinner for one at a fancy resteraunt, without wine, from some timber company. Eighty-four dollars.
Since Bush's holdings are, as required by law and custom, in a blind trust that he cannot control until after his term in office, his response was just about perfect, his delivery better. The 'I own a timber company? News to me.' was as deadpan as the best standup comic. Then a little smile, looking out to the audience and 'Need some wood?'
Bob Hope or Red Skelton couldn't have done it better.

Michele,

All of that is meaningless. The quote from the 18th question is the one that you and everyone in the Northeast of America should remember for the rest of your lives. And I quote

"KERRY: Boy, to listen to that -- the president, I don't think, is living in a world of reality with respect to the environment.

Now, if you're a Red Sox fan, that's OK"

Red Sox fans are living in a fantasy world acording to the Junior Senator from Boston.

Yeah, Rob M., that line did not play well with the St. Louis crowd and it certianly did not play well around the country. It might have actually been pretty funny on ESPN, but it looked as phony and contrived as just about anything Kerry could have said. He bombed on it.

uh oh, looks like they let the monkies out of the cages, again. Sure sign they're panicking from last night. Guess they don't trust the spin from their allies at ABC and CBS. Maybe the re-election of Howard's party has them spooked. Yeah, it's all the spooks fault. The spooks are out to get you, Um Yeah. You better run and hide.

yes, i know, monkeys

Solonor

When Kerry tried to say GW was a "small business owner" because of $84 ... NO ONE 'had a clue' what Kerry was trying to spin since GW had been clear in his definition of S-corp businesses.

Mr. "I don't Wilt" did seem to need some wood in that answer.

Not only did the Red Sox thing fall flat, but Kerry can't seem to help falling back into the Monsieur Kehr-ree aristrocratic pose when he looks around the room and declares that nobody besides him, GW and Gibson earn more than $200K a year.

Can you say "classist"?

I knew you could!

All of you forget, he's not a Redsox fan, he's a Packers fan. They play in Lambert Field I hear.

No one understood the timber comment?

Let me explain it for you:

Bush argues that the tax cut affecting the upper 2 percent would hurt small business owners. Kerry responded that Bush's argument was misleading, since Bush counted as one of these small business owners, because he reported earnings from a timber company on his taxes. Follow so far? Then Bush said he didn't know what his own tax filing said.

See, there are two issues:

1. Bush obfuscating the "small business owners" who would be hurt by rolling back the tax on the richest 2 percent.

2. Bush either not knowing (or not telling the truth about) his tax filing.

Clearer yet?

Andrew

Cute little anon email thingy.

Michele? The quality of the trolls is slipping. They've become decidedly pedantic.

Technically, there are two Internets. The one we're all on and then Internet2, a government/research network.

Anyway, looking forward to reading about last night's festivities.

It relates to this part of the debate:

KERRY: And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right.

BUSH: I own a timber company?

(LAUGHTER)

That's news to me.

(LAUGHTER)

Need some wood?

(LAUGHTER)

Oy. Apparently the role of Andrea Harris: Board Assasin has been outsourced to Darleen while I was gone.

Andrea had no clue what she was talking about either, but at least she was FAR more entertaining while dispathing "trolls" on A Small Victory.

BRING BACK ANDREA!!!! :P

No, no, Kerry's an Ohio Buckeyes fan. When he's in Michigan, at least.

Or is it the other way around? It's so hard to keep track... (it's probably both, actually).

For crying out loud, I don't know what's on my tax returns from my investments, because I, like most sane people, have someone else do the investing for me. Which means I end up getting a long list of dividends I have to report to the IRS at the end of the year - I wouldn't be surprised if =I= got $84 from a timber company. After entering numbers into Quicken, I generally forget the exact sources of the dividends. I rather doubt Bush is preparing his own tax returns - I think he can afford somebody to file his taxes for him.

Oh, and receiving dividends does not a small business owner make. I think John Edwards could explain the difference between taking $84 a year in dividends and paying yourself millions in dividends from an S-corp so as to avoid Medicare taxes. I could make equally cheap shots on the Kerrys' tax returns if they would just, you know, release them like everybody else in this race has.

But I guess they're better than the rest of us.

meep

IIRC, there was an ad campaign on television that featured the "owners" of well-known corporations -- one starts with a little boy telling his Little League coach his dad owns Nike. Coach suddenly goes off daydreaming of fancy uniforms, equipment and even a stadium... then cuts back to dad walking across the field in sloppy jeans and a goofy smile with a crawl that dad is a 0.000005% "owner" of Nike.

JoKe (like others) deliberately refuses to address the fact that hundreds of thousands of small businesses file their taxes at the personal, individual rate and those are the people JoKe is going to harm. Sure, JoKe may have to miss flying in a hairdresser or two, but his "plan" is going to burden yet again the segment of the population responsible for 70% of job creation.

Actually, there are even more than 2 internets, but the DOD ones are restricted to military users.

Solonor: Yeah, it would have been a great comeback, if it weren't true.

That makes it a great comeback, then, because it is NOT true.

The $84 deduction was for an oil and gas company, not a timber company. Two years after Bush took that deduction, the company acquired partial ownership of a timber company.

There is a sheepish little clarification of this at Factcheck.org, but you have to squint to see it.

"The $84 deduction was for an oil and gas company, not a timber company."

But don't you see??? Don't you SEE??? More proof that it's all about OIIIILLL!!!!! Halliburton! Bush told, timber sold! Plastic Turkey!!!

The whole thing is rediculous. Lone Star is a blind trust. In keeping with the spirit of blind trusts for politicians, it's appropriate that Dubya does NOT know about that investment.

Kerry got his information on the "timber company" from a report that has since been corrected. He was working form inaccurate information he received from a generally credible source. A familiar scenario to all Americans these days, certainly. At least he didn't take us to war over it.

In any event, the point of Kerry's comment wasn't that Bush owns a timber company. It could have been a condom company. The point of the comment was that the "Kerry's tax plan would hurt 900,000 small business owners" line that the Republicans have been using is based on a definition of "small business owner" that includes anyone who owns even a tiny share of a small business, even if they have no employees. So Bush, for example, having received $84 of revenue from one of his extended holdings in 2001 would have been counted as a "small business owner" by the definition the Republican party has been using. Which is obviously, patently ridiculous.

Kerry blew the delivery badly, but the point he was trying to make was basically sound.

If it's the case that anybody receiving even a small amount of money from the profits of a small business is considered a small business owner, then 900,000 sounds really low. If they're just talking about S-Corps, I could see it. But then, I believe most small business owners aren't S-corps - and like in the case of Edwards, taking in millions of dollars doesn't sound like small business to me.

I would think it's tough to actually count the number of small business owners, as there's no uniform way to report earnings. I'd assume most owners of laundromats, say, just put down they're self-employed and mark down the profits of the biz as their income. My husband owned a business once, and he didn't file separate returns for that - he just did it all on his personal returns. I really don't know where these stats are coming from.

I agree the number sounds low if we're talking all smal business owners and their investors. It seems more reasonable when one considers the $200,000/year cut-off (I've certainly worked for many small businesses that didn't clear anywhere near that much). But I haven't looked at the hard numbers yet.

As far as where they're getting the stats-- god knows. I can think of a couple of ways one could come up with reasonable estimates based on IRS tax data and BLS stats.

I suspect that what Kerry was really talking about was limited partnerships...this is a typical way for investments in timber and oil to be organized. But I doubt if each LP investor is normally counted as a separate business...if 100 people put up $50K each to buy timberland, the business is the limited partnership itself, not each individual limited partner. And even if Kerry's assertion were true, it doesn't change the validity of Bush's point. Regardless of whether you count all these individuals as "small businesses" or not, the fact remains that are are hundreds of thousands of substantial small businesses--substantial enough to impact the economy and the employment rate--which do pay income tax at the individual rate.

I disagree that Kerry had any real point to make with his facile attack. He was doing the classic Democrat class warfare m.o. Ooooo...look at those nasty "rich" people sitting around their swimming pools reading their bank statements while the rest of you toil....

Utter bovine excrement. Look at So. Cal., the Bay Area, NYC, NJ and any number of urban/suburban areas where the median price of housing is well over $300,000 and rent for even 1 bedroom apartments is $1000/mo or more and tell me again about those bloodsucking rich who live off their investments having poolside massages and manicures...

Hey two-earner families...guess what? Hit the $200K mark and watch yourself get hit by the marriage penality and your kids becomes second class to the under $200K set. Wow, now that's fairness!

David:

There's no need to speculate about what Kerry's point was. The article he was referencing is right here:

http://factcheck.asc.upenn.edu/article.aspx?docid=265

what happened was that kerry sat back and let bush dig his own hole by trying to be funny.

- 'i own a timber company? news to me!'

(pause, with kerry looking on, smiling)

- 'need some wood?'

i say 'digging his own hole' simply because bush showed how out of touch with reality he is. he owns half of a timber company and had no idea.

we're not talking here about a few shares in some company, or a few bucks in overlooked dividends. we're talking half ownership. i'm sure as shit that if i owned half of a timber company i would know.

and so you you.

Need some wood was classic. Hands down. Case closed. Masterful. That was Bush at his folksy best. Whether or not he owns a timber company, he PWN3D JoKe right then and there, and the public isn't going to go digging to find the truth of the matter. But they WILL come away thinking "JoKe is out of touch, but Bush is like me. There's a guy that can crack a joke." In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the election based on that alone.

NEED SOME WOOD?

LARS

heyhey...Bush does not own half of a timber company...he owns a part interest (and apparently not a very big one) in something called The Lone Star Trust, which itself owns a half interest in a timber company. See the link posted by Joshua, above.

If you own 5 shares in GE, and GE buys a half interest in a solar energy company, does that make you a half owner in that solar energy company? It would be very inadvisable to do portfolio calculations on that basis....

Actually, Bush does own a lumber company and the point was that he is classified as a small business owner because he received $84 of income from the obviously failing company.

The "Need Wood" comment made him Bush sound like the idiot he is.

More info here:
http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=7232

Why would you assume a company is failing because its distributable profits in a particular year are small? Trees take time to grow. In fact, lots of things take time to grow...