Foul ball

By Michael Ackley

Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

More proof you can’t trust the media: When John Kerry threw out the first ball at the Yankees-Red Socks game, the radio play-by-play announcer calmly intoned, “And he throws a strike.”

Of course, the television replay showed the presidential candidate bouncing the pitch short of the plate. The looping throw was in stark contrast to President Bush’s first-pitch performance, in which he assumed a professional stance on the mound and – throwing from the stretch – zipped a creditable fastball over the heart of the plate.

What was even worst about Kerry’s performance was his stiff-armed delivery, in which he looked for all the world like a natural lefty trying to throw from the right.

Come to think of it …

Convention notes

Did anybody else feel the temperature drop when Bill and Hillary Clinton embraced behind the lectern?

Bill was chuckling when he said Republicans had been “mean to me” during his term of office, but he wasn’t kidding. This guy took money that came out of the People’s Republic of China, diminished our national security by facilitating technology transfer to that brutal country, sexually exploited a star-struck intern, set women’s rights back 40 years with his groping and violated his oath of office by lying under oath. Still, he really believes he was being picked on unfairly.

And what can you say about a party that provides a platform for the Rev. Al Sharpton? Has this man ever apologized for the Tawana Brawley fiasco? Has he ever taken responsibility for accusing a prosecutor of rape – a charge that led to a defamation judgment against him? All he brings to the Democratic Party is a constituency of the disaffected and ignorant. If the party had any class, it would have shown him to the door instead of to the podium. But we’re forgetting: The Democratic bureaucracy still is headed by Terry MacAuliffe. Perhaps Kerry can assert himself as the new head of the party and do some housecleaning.

Sharpton gave Democrats credit for passing the Civil Rights Act, apparently forgetting that the Democratic Party, into the 1960s, was the party of segregation. It was Republican votes that got the Civil Rights Act through Congress … He also had the non sequitur of the night when he talked about the sacredness of the voting franchise. ”In all due respect, Mr. President,” he said, “read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.”

Nobody said it was, but maybe somebody should tell Sharpton about Chicago.

How times change: Clinton (Bill, not the other one) noted that he – like a lot of us – avoided military service during the Vietnam war.

When he was running for president in 1992, Democrats – including Kerry – were saying we should let bygones be bygones and forget that divisive conflict. Military experience, we were told, was not requisite for the commander in chief.

Now, it seems, experience in killing for your country is the No. 1 qualification for the job.

Kerry served bravely, but the Democrats should be careful about elevating military service and combat experience as requirements for the chief executive. If they become so, the Dems can forget about running Clinton (Hillary, not the other one) for president in the future.

Much is made of George W. Bush’s verbal stumbles, but he was clear when he said, “I trust God speaks through me.”

If this is so, all we can say is the Almighty can’t pronounce “nuclear,” either.