Thursday, September 30, 2004

And Florida Too

Now worries about hanging chads this year. Bush leads by nine in Florida

Even More Bad News For Kerry

The economy is healthier than originally thought.

The economy grew at a faster pace this spring than previously thought, but was at its weakest level in more than a year, providing ammunition to both candidates in the final weeks of the presidential race.

The 3.3 percent annual growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) in the April-June period was stronger than the 2.8 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said yesterday.

Good news of any kind is bad news for the Democrats.

Orange Alert!

Kerry's losing ground fast, not only in Michigan (see above), but also in New Jersey and Pennsylvannia.

But if the sea change is remarkable in Michigan, the shift away from Mr. Kerry in New Jersey is nothing short of astounding. This is a state where the Democrats outnumber Republicans by better than 2-to-1, where Mr. Kerry's lead was so large that the Bush campaign simply wrote it off and the Kerry campaign took it for granted.

But independent surveys, like the Quinnipiac College poll, find the state is in a dead heat. Mr. Kerry this week had to send in Sen. John Edwards, his vice presidential running mate, to shore up support there. Moreover, the Bush campaign is rethinking whether it should put the state on its itinerary and begin running ads there.

Pennsylvania, too, has been steadily drifting away from Mr. Kerry and the polls there now have Mr. Bush only 1 point behind. Internal Bush polls show him leading there, after 36 visits to the state. Pollsters and some Democratic strategists say that shifts are coming from voters in Mr. Kerry's Democratic base, largely women concerned about terrorism and national security.

Celsius 41.11

Who would have thought that Republicans would adopt that sissy, European Celsius scale. But then, who thought that there were Republicans in Hollywood.

"We could have gone wall to wall with red meat on this, but we purposely didn't," said Lionel Chetwynd, a writer and producer of the film. His credits include the screenplay for "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" and documentaries on D-Day, Vietnam and Sept. 11, and he is billed as a special guest at the Liberty Film Festival, "Hollywood's first conservative film festival," running Friday through Sunday. "The cheap shots may be entertaining in Moore's film," he added, "but we wanted to make the intellectual case and go beyond lecturing to the converted."

Suppressing The Black Vote

Blame Karl Rove for this latest device for suppressing the black vote.

An African-American civil rights spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the new computerized voting machines "terrify" her, and that blacks are "afraid of machines like that."

Joanne Bland, the director and co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Ala., told on Wednesday that the new computerized voting machines are going to intimidate black voters in Florida and elsewhere and surpress their vote in the November presidential election because many blacks are not "technologically savvy."

"The computers really terrify me. The electronic voting -- the new machines -- I think it will turn off a segment in my community, particularly the elderly. We are not as technically savvy, and we are afraid of machines like that, and they (African-Americans) probably won't go [to the polls] and they probably won't ask for assistance, said Bland, who spent the last week in Florida.

"It is going to turn them off totally and I want that to stop," said Bland, who also serves as a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Public Accuracy, which predicts that "several million voters" may be "deprived of voting rights again" in 2004.

Kerry Falls Behind In Michigan

It may be that new, weird shade of orange he has acquired in recent day, but I think it's his suddenly shrill, Howard Deaniac anti-war stand that has cost John Kerry in Michigan.

Bush leads, 50 percent to 48 percent, among likely voters with the election just five weeks away.

In earlier polls, Kerry held at least a 4-point lead and more often 6- to 8-point leads.


It's inconceivable that Israel would sit idly by an permit Iran to build the bomb. It may well be that Israel is already mobilizing.

[L]ast week, the administration informed Congress that it was selling Israel 5,000 precision-guided "smart bombs," including 500 satellite-guided, one-ton JDAM "bunker busters" of Baghdad fame. (JDAMs are capable of penetrating six feet of concrete.)

The Cautious, Thoughtful Mr. Kerry

We been abused with story after story about how Kerry takes his time, making sure he gets it right.

So how is it that so many howlers escape his lips?

There was that secret, massive reserve call up he had discovered - a call up that had been scheduled for months.

There was the secret plan to reinstate the draft, that turned out to be bunk.

There were his gratuitous insults directed a the Iraqi Prime Minister.

And now, he has repeated an urban legend about the "firing" of Gen. Eric Shinseki.

John Kerry in a press conference last week repeated his accusation that Gen. Eric Shinseki was "forced out" as U.S. Army chief of staff because he wanted more troops for Iraq. The trouble is that the Democratic presidential nominee was spreading an urban myth. The bigger trouble is that it was no isolated incident.

Sen. Kerry last week also said the Bush administration may push reinstatement of the military draft, when in fact that idea comes only from anti-war Democrats. At the same time, he said retired Gen. Tommy Franks complained that Iraq was draining troops from Afghanistan, when the truth is he never did. Over a week earlier, Kerry blamed Bush for higher Medicare premiums when in fact they are mandated by law (one that Kerry voted for).

Ah, But Kerry Does Well Amongh The Indifferent

Why is it that Republicans do best among "likely voters," while Democrats do better when only "registered voters" are surveyed.

Clearly the Kerry campaign will have to work hard to get the apathetic to put down their beers and get out of their easy chairs on election day.

By the way, these LA Times polls have been notoriously weighted toward Democrats, so we'll see if attacks the Times.

A Great President

Pete Du Pont thinks that history might someday judge George W. Bush as a great president.

It is too early to come to a conclusion--judging the success of a presidency requires time and perspective--but two aspects of the Bush presidency may well be good for the country for decades to come.

One is the doctrine of pre-emption, set forth in the 2002 State of the Union address and in June 2002 at West Point. America will not "await events while danger gathers . . . not stand by as peril grows closer and closer," Mr. Bush said in January. At West Point he said America take "pre-emptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives," and since "the only path to safety is the path of action, this nation will act."

Pre-emption is indeed a very different foreign policy--different from the Clinton policy of condemnation but little action in response to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000, and different from the Carter doctrine of negotiation instead of confrontation. If the policy of pre-emption successfully protects America from future attacks by determined terrorist organizations, Mr. Bush will have had a lengthy and positive influence on America.

Well, certainly gentlemen think in itty bitty ideas, like Clinton or Kerry could never be great at anything.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Or, more correctly, Blogger should be sorry. I work from about 7:00AM until 5:30PM or so, and then again I typically have to put in a couple of more hours after dinner. As such, I have to do most of my blogging while I am still my pajamas as I drink my morning cup of coffee. Note that most posting is done between about 5:00 and 6:00 AM.

But Blogger was busted this morning so I couldn't get anything up during that window of opportunity. I have a full schedule today, right up until about 9:00 PM, so I probably won't get much, if anything, up today.

Good stuff there from the last few days though, so please browse.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

And Speaking Of Lies

John Kerry is using headline from the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard newspaper to bolster his campaign. The problem is, that Kerry's distorting the headline to fit his defeatist agenda.

The Kerry ad, released last Friday and titled "Right Track," got all the words right, but displayed them differently and, in the fuzzy text below, added what looks like a reporter's byline. In other words, what was published in The Register-Guard as an editorial showed up in Kerry's ad looking more like a news story.

Lies, All Lies!!!!!!!!! has decided to vent its vast reservoir of hatred on the bearers of bad news - the pollsters. With all polls showing a strong and growing for the president, Moveon has decided to expose them all as Republican hacks.

The latest attack came Tuesday from the liberal activist group, which ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times criticizing the Gallup Organization for polling that showed President Bush comfortably ahead of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee. Saying that the polling is biased toward Republicans, the advertisement implies the reason is that George Gallup Jr., the son of the poll's founder, is an evangelical Christian.

Several other organizations, including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, had come under criticism earlier when one campaign or the other has been displeased with the results of their polls.

Those making the charges say they are simply trying to counter the powerful news media when they believe it is presenting inaccurate pictures of the electorate that could demoralize - or galvanize - voters.

Surely the polls are wrong. Afterall, there's nobody in who plans to vote for Bush.

CBS Misfollows Again

Of course, CBS will claim that they was misled, but they are eager followers.

Three weeks after he denounced the internet as being "filled with rumors," the embattled CBS anchor ran a story on his Tuesday "Evening News" program hoping to stir up fear of an impending military draft.

In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly "Evening" viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.

At the center of Schlesinger's piece was a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia woman who is "sick to my stomach" that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger claimed that Cocco was a Republican and portrayed her as an apolitical (even Republican) mom worried about the future.

Schlesinger did not disclose that Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal proscription, seeks to establish a "peaceful, rational foreign policy" by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesinger's Cocco, the group portrays itself as "nonpartisan"although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any Republicans.

An Apparent Lead?

Poor CNN. Just how grudgingly can they admit that Americans prefer George Bush to John Kerry.

Bush apparently leads Kerry in pre-debate poll
President's approval rating highest since January

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that among likely voters, Bush was the choice of 52 percent, while Kerry was the choice of 44 percent and independent Ralph Nader garnered 3 percent. That result was within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In the broader category of registered voters, 53 percent supported Bush; 42 percent, Kerry; and 3 percent, Nader. That question had the same margin of error.

That's a lead, not an "apparent lead."

Not Quite The Crimson King

But, perhaps he's related to William of Orange.

An Apparent Lead?

Poor CNN. Just how grudgingly can they admit that Americans prefer George Bush to John Kerry.

Bush apparently leads Kerry in pre-debate poll
President's approval rating highest since January

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that among likely voters, Bush was the choice of 52 percent, while Kerry was the choice of 44 percent and independent Ralph Nader garnered 3 percent. That result was within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In the broader category of registered voters, 53 percent supported Bush; 42 percent, Kerry; and 3 percent, Nader. That question had the same margin of error.

That's a lead, not an "apparent lead."

Well Duh!

The big news of late is that a CIA analyst predicted that the Iraq war would inspire anti-US sentiment in the Arab world. I hope we didn't pay him much to figure that out.

The plan is not to make friends today. The plan is to seed and nourish democracy and hopefully attract the entire Arab world to follow. That's a long term plan.

Certainly the first time we bombed Germany, it was a public relations disaster for us in the Nazi world too.

The Los Angeles Times thinks it silly that terrorists would care whether or not Bush was reelected. And, it faults Bush for accusing Kerry of "emboldening" the enemy.

But, Kerry has a history of this. Kerry is enshrined the communist hall of fame in Vietnam after all and is personally credited with handing the communists a victory they could never have won militarily.

So, for the Los Angeles Times to declare such accusations as, "disgusting," simply ignores history.

How Has My Life Improved?

Palestinians are taking a second look at the intifada, and are realizing the error of Arafat's ways.

When Abu Fahdi joined a Palestinian militant group and took up arms against Israel, he thought he was serving his people. Now he believes he did them only harm.

"We achieved nothing in all this time, and we lost so much," said the baby-faced 29-year-old, who, because of his status as a fugitive, insisted on being identified by a nickname meaning "father of Fahdi." "People hate us for that and wish we were dead."

The young militant, a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, is not alone in such thinking. Among Palestinians from all walks of life, there is a quiet but growing sentiment that their intifada, or uprising — which broke out four years ago today — has largely failed as an armed struggle, and lost its character as a popular resistance movement.

More than ever, the West needs to show the Arab world that there is an alternative. If only our own Democrat party were capable of grasping that.

The Party Of Michael Moore

It is now cliche that evil Republicans somehow "suppressed" the black vote in Florida in the 2000 presidential election.

Of course, it's all bunk. But lies are the fuel of liberalism and Kerry continues to stoke the boiler.

In case you were lucky enough to miss it, here's a recent fund-raising letter from New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine:

"Voter suppression and intimidation . . . in Florida again!? The GOP used voter intimidation and outright fraud to hand Florida to George W. Bush in 2000, and if we don't stop them, they'll do it again."

Yes, the political urban legend that black voters in Florida were harassed and intimidated on Election Day four years ago is making a comeback. Only yesterday Jimmy Carter, fresh from blessing Hugo Chavez's dubious victory in Venezuela, moaned that in 2000 "several thousand ballots of African Americans were thrown out on technicalities" in Florida, and that this year more black than (Republican) Hispanic felons are being disqualified to vote--as if all felons weren't supposed to be barred, regardless of race.

Of course, in order to believe that, you have to avert your eyes away from these inconvenient facts: In 24 of the 25 Florida counties with the highest ballot spoilage rate, the county supervisor was a Democrat. In the 25th county, the supervisor was an Independent. And as for the "felon purge list," the Miami Herald found that whites were twice as likely to be incorrectly placed on the list as blacks.

Would Kerry Mock Their Courage Too?

The Iraqi National Guard are fighting and dying alongside us in Iraq as we try to build a stable, peaceful prosprerous democracy in a region known for terrorism and squalor.

The Washington Post has a terrific story today about their courage and their vulnerability.

[T]he air filled with an orange fireball that seemed to erupt about 10 feet to the right of the Nissan.

The smoke from the explosion cleared after about 30 seconds, revealing the carnage.

"We have ING wounded!" Stewart shouted into the radio. "ING are down!"

The truck had offered no protection. The man who had been swigging the water was slumped against the rear of the cab, his eyes open, his body bloodied and motionless. The man next to him also appeared to have been killed instantly; his body lay against the left side of the truck, his right hand spread across his lap. Blood and parts of his brain and skull trickled down the left rear panel.

Inside the cab, two others were dead; a man in the passenger seat had two ball bearings lodged in his forehead.

Khaleb, the driver, managed to open his door and take a few steps toward the company medic, Spec. Justin "Doc" Martin, who was riding in the Humvee in front of the Nissan. But then Khaleb collapsed in the dirt and crawled until the medic reached him.

Martin cut off the man's bloodied clothing and began to treat him for arterial bleeding.

These guys are really putting their lives on the line and not one of them will report three fingernail scratches as "wounds" so they can escape the fight.

Faint Kerry Support

Polls show that Bush's support base is solidly pro-Bush. Those same polls show that Kerry's support is anti-Bush, but not particularly pro-Kerry.

Using a list of undecided voters supplied by the Kerry campaign, Mulle sent out 100 invitations and called 80 other wavering voters to attend a reception at her home in this tony suburb of St. Louis on Sunday. About a half-dozen showed up.

As the guests sipped wine, the discussion was more a Bush-bashing session than a Kerry pep rally. "You've told us why we should not vote for President Bush," one woman said, "now tell us why we should vote for Kerry." Campaign workers rushed to answer the question, but it symbolized one of the biggest hurdles John F. Kerry faces.

Sue Hippler, who sat quietly through most of the discussion, said she was just as in the dark on who Kerry is as a person. "One of the problems I had with Kerry while I was watching the Democratic convention, is that all he got across about himself was that he was a war hero in Vietnam. . . . That was so long ago. I was left with the feeling that I don't know what Kerry stands for," she said.

Don't worry about it Sue, you've got a lot of company, including John Kerry himself.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Chirac Offers Surrender Lessons

Turns out the French do want to help out in Iraq after all. They want to help us surrender.

France said Monday that it would take part in a proposed international conference on Iraq only if the agenda included a possible U.S. troop withdrawal, thus complicating the planning for a meeting that has drawn mixed reactions.

Now throw down zee gunz and raise zee arms high!

Understanding The United Nations

As usual, Mark Steyn gets right to the meat of the matter.

In Sudan, the civilised world is (so far) doing everything to conform with the UN charter, which means waiting till everyone's been killed and then issuing a strong statement expressing grave concern.

How About A Little Inspired Apathy?

This is a truly stange headline.

"Exhibit Stirs Ambivalence"

Update: Somebody else noticed, and they changed the headline.

A Couple Of Foreign Leaders Who Are Not For Kerry

Not even the charming John Kerry will be able to convince France or Germany to share the load in Iraq.

French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if John Kerry, the Democratic presidential challenger, is elected on November 2.

Mr Kerry, who has attacked President George W. Bush for failing to broaden the US-led alliance in Iraq, has pledged to improve relations with European allies and increase international military assistance in Iraq.

"I cannot imagine that there will be any change in our decision not to send troops, whoever becomes president," Gert Weisskirchen, member of parliament and foreign policy expert for Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party, said in an interview.

Kerry Cries "Uncle!"

Suddenly, John Kerry is against all those independent negative advertisements.

Kerry said the avalanche of negative television spots and attacks being shown on US screens was scaring off voters.

"Americans need a real conversation over our future," Kerry said in a speech at a school in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

"What they don't need is all these trumped up advertisements, they just make people curl up and walk away," added the Massachusetts senator.

"I'm calling them 'misleadisments,'" Kerry said of the adverts. "It's all scare tactics ... because (Bush) has no record to run on."

The Democrats have complained bitterly about a new advertisement that shows Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), September 11 hijack leader Mohamed Atta, Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and the ruins of the World Trade Center, and questioned whether Kerry was up to dealing with them.

A statement called the spot, run by the Republican group Progress for America Voter Fund, the latest in a series of "desperate and despicable attack ads" aimed at diverting attention from Bush's record.

The Democrats have rolled out a new advert of their own, titled "Despicable," in which they accused the Bush administration of "playing politics with terror" and dividing the country to win a second term at the White House.

A group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has also been at the center of the television advertising battle with controversial spots aimed at discrediting Kerry's Vietnam War record. The adverts accused the decorated Vietnam War veteran of exaggerating or lying about his exploits.

In Wisconsin, Kerry also made a personality attack against the president, saying that he and his rival are both children of privilege, but Bush considers his comfortable position an entitlement.

Kerry said "he and I, we went to the same university, we're both very privileged." Both men attended Yale University.

The Democrat added that from his education "came a sense of fairness and responsibility" while Bush "thinks it's entitlement."

Do you think it might be that the relative pittance that anti-Kerry forces have spent is having a much greater effect than the tens of millions that anti-Bush forces have spent.

How Will Kerry Insult These Guys?

Among the most common targets for terrorist attacks in Iraq has been the new security forces. Nevertheless, volunteers for the jobs continue to sign up at a brisk pace. Are they overly optimistic, as Kerry accused Allawi of being? Or are they puppets of George Bush, as Joe Lockhart says? Or, are they brave heroes.

When the first mortar shell hit, the recruits cheered defiantly.

They were seated in the bleachers of an indoor basketball court at the Police Sports Club, about 800 prospective members of the new Iraqi police. Among them were four friends -- Jawaad Jabri, Alaa Aboud, Adel Finjan and Raed Sudani -- who later described the scene.

When the second mortar round fell five minutes later, they said, no one cheered. Jabri ran to the top of the bleachers and stared out a window at a smoldering crater. "The next one's for us," he told Aboud. "They're getting a fix on our position."

After another five-minute lull, the third shell struck, shaking the gymnasium, they recalled. A police colonel walked to mid-court, the friends recalled, and announced: "This building is no longer safe. Please exit immediately. Go home to your families."

I guarantee, every one of these guys is taking a much greatest risk than John Kerry ever did.

Make Kerry Pay

Just when I think that John Kerry has reached rock bottom, he plumbed depths I never suspected existed. That was the case when Kerry and his stooges started insulting Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi.

"You can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips." sneered senior Kerry advisor and Clinton's former professional liar, Joe Lockhart.

But of course, he was only following his boss's lead, when Kerry accused Allawi of being a liar and a fool.

The mainstream press immediately recognized the error and quelled reporting. Hopefully, George Bush will make him pay at the debates. It shouldn't be hard.

Is Kerry Ever Responsible For Anything?

Recently, Kerry was quoted by Outdoor Life magazine as follows: "My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," said Mr. Kerry, a veteran, according to the October issue. "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."

An assault rifle? Didn't John Kerry just rip President Bush a new one because he didn't push hard enough to extend the misnamed assault weapons ban? Why yes, he did.

Needless to say, more than one observer noticed an irony that escaped the highly intelligent and nuanced Mr. Kerry.

So, guess what? It was inaccurate. The fault lies with a staffer who filled out the Outdoor Life questionaire for Kerry.

Michael Meehan, a spokesman for the campaign, said Mr. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, owns two guns, a double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun and the rifle, which Mr. Meehan said Mr. Kerry "keeps as a relic" and had never fired. Mr. Meehan said the gun had no make or model markings on it and that Mr. Kerry "got it from a friend years ago," adding that such rifles were first manufactured in Russia more than 100 years ago and were used by the North Koreans and the Vietcong.

At least he didn't blame it on his wife, as he did with his "family's" SUV.

It's Worse Than All The Others That Have Been Tried From Time To Time

Jimmy Carter is giving Ramsey Clark a run for his money as the biggest crackpot the Democrat Party has ever produced.

Carter, who once said that Americans distaste for communism was "irrational," has finally found an election he doesn't like - ours.

Mr Carter said Florida Governor Jeb Bush - brother of the president - had "taken no steps to correct these departures from principles of fair and equal treatment or to prevent them in the future".

"It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation," he added.

"With reforms unlikely at this late stage of the election, perhaps the only recourse will be to focus maximum public scrutiny on the suspicious process in Florida."

On The Other Hand, There's Oregon

While the simpletons Seattlista are likely to give Washington to Kerry, Portlamambad might not be enough to put Oregon in Kerry's column. He's lost a lot of support there and his lead is has shrunk to no more than 3 points, for about 8 or 9 just a month ago.

One advantage Kerry has is Oregon's vote by mail system that is easily defrauded.

Still Trying To Win The Primaries?

John Kerry managed to salvage his canidacy during the Democratic primaries by swinging to the far left. Lately, he has tried to revived his flagging campaign with similar tack.

Lately, taking his ninth different position on Iraq, he has come out pretty much in favor of surrender. That's probably the real John Kerry speaking, the one we've known since 1971.

And, it's consistent with his defeatist, appeasing proposals for dealing with Iran and North Korea.

In March he called for a "nonconfrontational" policy toward Iran. John Edwards, in an August interview with The Washington Post, called for a "grand bargain" to provide fuel for Iran's nuclear power plants in return for Iran's promise to turn over nuclear material that could be used to make bombs. But the efforts of Britain, France and Germany to broker some such deal have not been fruitful. This sounds very much like Bill Clinton's 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, which North Korea cheated on.

Kerry seems to favor another such agreement with Kim Jong Il. He has criticized Bush for refusing to negotiate directly with North Korea. Bush has insisted on bringing neighboring South Korea, China, Russia and Japan into the talks, on the theory that they have greater leverage to gain concessions.

Iran and North Korea are difficult issues. Negotiations seem unlikely to succeed, and regime change by military action seems unfeasible. But there is a third possibility: peaceful regime change. We saw it happen, and we did things to encourage it, in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. We know that the mullahs and Kim Jong Il are widely unpopular. At the debate this Thursday, Bush and Kerry will surely be asked about Iraq. Maybe someone will ask them what they would do to encourage peaceful regime change in Iran and North Korea.

It Isn't All Bad

According to the Democrats and their press stooges, all is going wrong in Iraq. That's not nearly true. Here's a roundup of good news, and it's really not that hard to find.

Another Amendment

As noted above, that darned old constitution just keeps letting people talk even when politicians with they would shut the hell up. Well somebody has discovered another Constitutional amendment that deserves respect, the second.

Washington, DC "passed an almost complete ban on the ownership of firearms, leaving me with no real means to defend my home or property. On Wednesday, the House will vote on a bill to restore to the residents of the District of Columbia the right to defend themselves.

The citywide gun ban is one of the country's strictest, requiring even the few rifles and shotguns that are allowed be disassembled, unloaded and locked up. But because of the district's status as a federal enclave, the Constitution gives Congress the ultimate authority over what laws govern it. Congress usually doesn't countermand laws passed by the district's elected government, but the gun ban not only blatantly defies the Second Amendment but has also proved to be a manifest failure.

Preventing law-abiding people from owning guns in their homes (there is no talk of allowing residents the right to carry concealed handguns) has done nothing to reduce crime, which has skyrocketed in part due to police mismanagement and corruption. In the five years after the ban took effect in 1976, the murder rate rose to 35 per 100,000 people from 27. In fact, in the three decades since the ban took effect, the annual murder rate has only once fallen below what it was in 1976. In 2002 the murder rate hit 46 per 100,000 people. Robbery rates have also risen dramatically.

No, We Like Patty Bin Murray And Baghdad Jim McDermott

Washington stands out from much of the rest of the country in that it's likely to vote for John Kerry. While Kerry falls behind in other Democratic strongholds, such as New Jersey, Wisconsin and Minnesota, he hangs on in Washington.

"We're in good shape because George W. Bush isn't the kind of politician the people of Washington like," state Democratic Chairman Paul Berendt said.

"They don't like his cowboy politics, this evangelical edge he has. John Kerry is front and center on issues we care about."

Unabashed Hypocrit - A Democrat of Course

Only a fool would have expected the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill to fulfill its promise. Only a tyrant would have wanted it to do so.

Meet George Soros.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

David Broder, Heal Thyself

David Broder worries that the media has lost its credibility.

We don't yet know who will win the 2004 election, but we know who has lost it. The American news media have been clobbered.

If Broder wants to know what ails the mainstream media, he need not read any further than his next paragraph.

In a year when war in Iraq, the threat of terrorism and looming problems with the federal budget and the nation's health care system cry out for serious debate, the news organizations on which people should be able to depend have been diverted into chasing sham events: a scurrilous and largely inaccurate attack on the Vietnam service of John Kerry and a forged document charging President Bush with disobeying an order for an Air National Guard physical.

Please tell me Mr. Broder - which of the Swift Boat Veterans' charges are scurrilous and inaccurate. To my knowledge, not one has been discredited and Kerry has all but admintted that they were correct in at least five of their accusattions. His was not the only boat stay in the battle zone to rescue John Rassmun. In fact, Broder's own paper found that Kerry's was the only boat to flee the scene, running perhaps a full mile, before returning to give help the other boats that never did leave the disabled boat behind. And Kerry has not yet managed to reconcile his claim that he rescued Rassmun under heavy fire with the absence of bullet holes in any of the 5 boats involved. Kerry was never in Cambodia on a secret mission. Period.
Kerry really did shoot an already wounded Viet Cong in the back, the episode that "won" him the Silver Star. Incidentally, he has not yet explained his "combat V." He has admitted that his first purple heart was likely a self inflicted wound. And, his third purple heart was self inflicted a well, when he blew up a civilian rice bin and took shrapnel is his butt because he didnt' get far enough away before the grenades exploded. It seems to me that the Swift Boat Vets record of accuracy greatly exceeds Kerry's.

The problem with the media is precisely what Broder demonstrated in this column - arrogance and a blinding leftwing bias.

Blogging From The Front

A very cool article on blogging by soldiers on the front line.

"Then, all of a sudden, this really skinny Iraqi kid comes running up to us with a f---- HAND GRENADE in his hand," Buzzell wrote on his war blog. " 'Drop the f---- hand grenade! Drop it now!' We all started yelling. The little kid, still with this proud smile on his face that said, 'Look what I just found' just dropped the grenade on the ground, and walked over to my squad leader and said, 'Give me money!'"

The grenade didn't go off.

The squad leader explained to his men that an Army division that had been in the area earlier had paid children for weapons or unexploded ordnance.

Natural Causes

Another terrorist bites the dust. Initial reports state that his death was, by the standards of Hamas, a natural death.

A car bomb killed a suspected Hamas military chief in Damascus on Sunday. The Palestinian militant group blamed Israel and vowed to retaliate.

Izz el-Deen al-Sheikh Khalil, believed to be in charge of Hamas's military wing outside the Palestinian territories, died when an explosive charge placed under the driver's seat ripped through his SUV car in the Az-Zahera neighborhood of the Syrian capital, witnesses said.

The explosion went off shortly after Khalil started the engine, witnesses said. Three passers-by were wounded.

"He (Khalil) said good morning to us like he does every day and then walked to his car," a neighbor who identified himself only as Nabil said.

"He got into the car and then the phone rang. When he took the call we heard the explosion. We rushed toward his car and found him in pieces in the back seat."

Of course it was the Israelis. Palestinians would have killed 20 children on a school bus.

A Truly Dumb Campaign

When John Kerry takes a firm stand on anything, it's usually very bad for his electoral prospects. And the New York Daily News is not happy about it.

Example: Iraq. Bush says it was right to take down Saddam Hussein. Kerry says it wasn't worth it. Bush says that Iraq is part of the war on terror, Kerry says it isn't. Bush says that America is winning, Kerry says America is losing. Bush says elections will be held in Iraq, Kerry says they won't.

These propositions are all debatable, but it is a debate Kerry can't win - at least not by Election Day. Nobody will know on Nov. 2 if Iraq can stage an election next year. Nobody will be able to say for sure whether America is safer with Saddam out of power. There will be no final answer to the question: Is the U.S. engaged in Vietnam II or World War III?

What voters will know is that President Bush is optimistic on the war, Kerry pessimistic. Pessimism is not considered a winning trait in American politics, certainly not in wartime. By going negative on the war, Kerry's position can be vindicated only if some major disaster occurs.

Five weeks out, Kerry has dealt Bush every trump card - God, family, low taxes, optimism and victory.

It is impossible to imagine Bill Clinton - or any competent politician - doing such a thing. It is only slightly more possible to imagine Kerry winning with the hand he has dealt himself.

Truly Narrow Minded

I remember once, back when I had a much stronger stomach, I was listening to NPR's ironically misnamed "Fresh Air" program, hosted by Terry Gross. She was interviewing the left wing author of a book on conservatism. The two of them were exploring the ideology of conservatism like a couple of parasitologists examining a new species of hookworm.

Of course, conservatism came out looking pretty bad. It apparently never occurred to Terry Gross to have a conservative on her show to explain conservatism.

Ellen Goodman seems to have a similarly narrow minded view of the world. Today she does a psychological evaluation of President George W. Bush using what she learned about conservative parents from a book written by a left wing author who seems to consider conservatism a form of mental illness.

And, of course, for her final word, she ultimately consults that great upholder of families, Bill Clinton.

These beliefs reflect what George Lakoff has described as the two different worldviews of conservatives and liberals. A linguist by training and an ardent "reframer" of progressives politics, Lakoff describes the great divide as related less to political ideology than to child-raising models. Conservatives subscribe to the "strict father model" while liberals abide by the "nurturant parent model."

In a small handbook for progressives -- with the unfortunate name "Don't Think of an Elephant" -- he draws a line from the moral values of the strict father family to foreign policy in the starkest terms: "Good and evil are locked in a battle. . . . Only superior strength can defeat evil and only a show of strength can keep evil at bay." This is the language that Bush uses against evildoers and in his unshakable defense of the war in Iraq.

Nurturant parents have every bit as much at stake in protecting their children and their country. They have no illusions about empathizing with terrorists who behead their captives. But they have a (forgive me) nuanced view of the world in which security is not just calculated by body counts but also by the changing minds of those who can become either tomorrow's terrorists or democrats.

Most Americans carry both models in their minds, but in times of trouble they fall back to the protection of the strictest of fathers. As Bill Clinton once warned, "When people are uncertain, they would rather have somebody who is wrong and strong than somebody who is weak and right." That is precisely Kerry's dilemma.

But, Are We Any Safer?

Once upon a time, nobody would have said that this was anything but good news. But that was before the ghost of Howard Dean's abortive campaign took control of John Kerry.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


A liberal Washington Post columnist allows that honest, decent people can oppose John Kerry and find his conduct in Vietnam and in the United States after his return, and still be decent people themselves.

Those who dismiss critics of John Kerry's Vietnam service as just a bunch of right-wing Republicans out to advance George W. Bush's cause don't know what they are talking about -- or they are engaged in wishful thinking. Okay, I may have once thought that about the critics, too. But after poring over the large volume of e-mail I received after my Aug. 28 column, "What Matters About Kerry and Vietnam," I don't any longer.

I had taken to task the authors of the blistering anti-Kerry bestseller "Unfit for Command" for giving readers an unbalanced view of Kerry's service in Vietnam, and for not revealing their own connections with the Bush campaign and the sources of their financial support. The column also criticized "Unfit for Command" for smearing Kerry, a decorated former naval officer, as disloyal because of his antiwar activities. Writing as a former Army officer, I concluded: "Speaking for myself, it is enough that he served."

Former assistant secretary of the Air Force Rodney Coleman, a Clinton appointee and a Democrat wrote Colbert King to add his voice to Kerry's detractors.

"I vividly recall Kerry's antiwar testimony in April 1971. I was a White House fellow at the time, on a leave of absence from active duty, as were five of the 17 fellows selected. Two of them had Vietnam experience with Silver and Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts awarded for their heroism. In early April 1971, I volunteered to go to Vietnam after my year as a White House fellow. I could have very easily taken steps to forgo a tour in 'Nam, but as an Air Force captain committed to the ideals of the oath of office I took, Vietnam was the only game in town."

When Kerry made those critical statements of the war," Coleman wrote, "my parents, God bless them, went ballistic about their son going in harm's way. My military colleagues in the fellows program who had been there and were shot up were incensed that a so-called military man would engage in such insubordinate actions. At the time Kerry made those unfortunate remarks, America had POWs and MIAs, among them my friend, Colonel Fred Cherry, the longest-held black POW of the Vietnam War. How could a true American fighting man throw away his medals, while thousands he fought alongside of were in the midst of another example of man's inhumanity to man?

"I served my 13 months in combat. Returned in 1972 with the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Technical Services Honor Medal to a very anti-Vietnam America. [Harry] "Butch" Robinson, Denny [Dennis] Hightower, and many more that you know did the same. We endured the pain of separation from our loved ones, were frightened when the rockets came in to camp and lives were lost. But we were never unfit for command.

"Kerry still hasn't satisfied me and many others. . . . It's September and I'm still conflicted. Speaking for myself, it is NOT enough that he served!"

Maybe There's Another Reason He Takes His Time

Recently, John Kerry popped off, accusing the Bush Administration of secretly planning a huge call up of reserves after the election. It turned out that the call up was not secret at all and was simply a scheduled troop rotation.

Next he claimed that the Bush Administration would institute a draft if reelected. There was absolutely no evidence of such a plan and only Democrats had had introduced bills attempting to reinstate the draft.

Recently, he attacked and ridiculed Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, after Allawi thanked America for liberating his country and promising to pursue the Arab world's first democracy. Bad move.

And now, the New York Times is trying to tell us that Kerry is often slow to respond because he has such deliberative leadership style.

Mr. Kerry was described by his associates as more interested in the finer points of public policy than the mechanics of politics. Scott Maddox, the chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said he could not recall getting a call from Mr. Kerry checking in with what was going on in that critical state.

Mr. Kerry reads briefing books and newspapers in the morning (often grousing about stories critical of him) watches television interview shows like Charlie Rose's late at night (sometimes leaving phone messages for his friends who appear as guests, offering critiques of their performance), and dials senators and old friends at all hours.

At meetings, Mr. Kerry poses contrarian questions in an often wandering quest for data and conflicting opinions, a style that his aides, sometimes with a roll of the eyes, call Socratic.

Mr. Kerry, in an interview, said, "I ask the people delegated and responsible what their take is on a particular event, and then I'll have a series of things on my agenda I want to talk about."

In his quest for information, he is always consulting an ever-widening circle, rarely comfortable with relying on one person or giving anyone too much power. There is no Karl Rove in Mr. Kerry's orbit.

Well gee! How would you expect Kerry's associates to describe him - as an ill-informed dunce who has to be carefully handled by his team, because when he speaks on his own, he makes a fool of himself?


Morton Kondracke still can't find a coherent message coming from John Kerry.

Kerry does not inspire confidence as a replacement manager of the Iraq enterprise. For one thing, his strategic aim remains unclear. He says that his purpose is to "succeed" and that his "objective" is a stable Iraq.

But he also has established what amounts to a deadline for beginning U.S. troop withdrawals (six months) and for total U.S. withdrawal (four years). There's a distinct flavor of "Aikenism" about his pronouncements.

During the depths of the Vietnam War in 1966, Sen. George Aiken (R-Vt.) famously advised that the United States "declare victory and withdraw" whether the mission was accomplished or not.

It would be a tragedy - for the United States, the Iraqis and the world - if the United States pulled out prematurely and left chaos behind.

Bush has said that his objective in Iraq is to "prevail." Since he regards Iraq as the "central front in the war on terrorism," and since his goal is to "win" that war, he seems more likely to persevere than Kerry is.

A Foreigner Who Is Not For Kerry

Cut and run, the latest Kerry strategy, is not a viable option.

What was bound to happen, has happened: Sen. John Kerry has decided to adopt Sen. Edward Kennedy’s slogan: Iraq is another Vietnam!

For months, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, resisting the temptation of following the senior senator for Massachusetts, continued to defend his initial support for a war that destroyed one of modern history’s most barbarous regimes. By last week, however, it had become clear that Kerry could not be both pro-war and anti-war in this campaign. Having made his calculations he decided to recast himself as a more sober version of Howard Dean, the early champion of the anti-war faction.

Kerry’s shift should be welcomed by those who want the presidential campaign to deal with the substance of issues rather than conspiracy theories, real or imagined heroics in the Mekong Delta, and real or forged National Guard documents, dating back 30 years.

In the larger scheme of things, Iraq per se may not be the ur-issue of future global politics. If Iraq has any importance it is as the first major test of American power in reshaping the Middle East in the post-Cold War era.

Does anybody doubt that the Middle East needs re-shaping?

Maybe Kerry Can Go To Work For The European Union

The morning of November 3, John Kerry will have to start looking elsewhere for somebody who appreciates his towering diplomatic skills more than Americans. Perhaps he could try France - no really. After all, European Union diplomacy hasn't yielded much in Iran.

In any event, events in Iran are heading toward a crisis. An unstable, terrorist regime cannot be allowed to build a bomb.

The “tactical” talks about Afghanistan and Iraq never expanded into a broad, strategic dialogue about all issues that are of common interest to the United States and Iran. Such a dialogue could have provided the framework for handling the nuclear issue, which was coming to a head. New intelligence gathered since 2002 about the extent of Iran’s nuclear program left no doubt that Iran was at the very least developing the necessary infrastructure for making nuclear weapons. The Bush administration relied on others—the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and above all the
EU—to bring Iran back into line because the United States had already exhausted all sanction options it had at its disposal. The administration was not willing to pursue a policy based on incentives.

The policy outsourced to the IAEA and the EU was accompanied by a “carefully worded escalation.” That was how one “senior White House official” described Bush’s statement in June 2003 that the United States would not tolerate Iran’s building of nuclear weapons. Although Bush did not specifically mention military options, he made it clear shortly thereafter that “all options remain on the table.” As far as is known, such hints at using the military are also supported by contingency plans that have been drawn up in case of a crisis.

But this would be no easy undertaking. The nuclear facilities are broadly scattered and it is likely that there are smaller ones which are not known yet. At least one is purportedly built to withstand a conventional weapons attack. Should military force ever be used, it would presumably be directed against the light water reactor in Bushehr and the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, among others. But these options entail considerable political risk, whether in the form of increased anti-American sentiment or terrorist attacks in revenge.

Not Just Mary Mapes

CBS 60 Minutes II producer Mary Mapes is described by her father as a radical feminst. Her leftist tendencies prompted her to coordinate her attacks with the Kerry campaign and the Democrat party.

But, she's not the only problem. Josh Howard, the executive producer of the show is also a Democrat stooge.

Josh Howard served on the staff of Rep. Stephen Solarz and worked for Sen. Charles Schumer when Schumer was a state assemblyman, a background confirmed by CBS. Federal election reporting records show that Howard, identifying himself as a CBS employee, contributed $1,000 in each of Solarz's last two campaigns for Congress in 1990 and 1992.

When CBS first conceded possible defects in the documents about George W. Bush's military service, Howard said: "If the White House had just raised an eyebrow -- they didn't have to say they were forgeries -- but if there was any hint that there was a question, that would have sent us back."

No wonder Dan Rather feels so comfortable with this crew.

Most Of America Is Extreme?

According to John Kerry, president Bush is an extremist.

A day earlier, Kerry told The Columbus Dispatch that the president’s actions in Iraq and elsewhere show Bush masquerading as a mainstream conservative while pursuing extremist policies.

“I don’t view these people as conservatives,” Kerry said. “I actually view them as extreme, and I think their policies have been extreme, and that extends all the way to Iraq, where this president, in my judgment, diverted the real war on terror — which was Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida — and almost obsessively moved to deal with Iraq in a way that weakened our nation, overextended our armed forces, cost us $200 billion and created a breach in our oldest alliances.”

I guess sucking up to communists from Vietnam to Nicaragua, as John Kerry has done is just what any hard hat wearing union worker would approve of.

Meanwhile, his anti-terror plan is quite narrow minded. He continues the foolish John Dean line that terror can be faught and defeated by capturing Bin Laden.

Friday, September 24, 2004


What is it that makes John Kerry make ludicrous accusations? What is it that makes Dan Rather so sure that the substance of his story is right, even when it is proven that his evidence is forged?

It's arrogance. And it's why the Democratic Party as we know it is doomed.

Those who profess to be Democrats are reaching historically low numbers. Many prominent Democrats are hypocrites: Feminists Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton were uncouth womanizers; the principled war critic Senator Byrd cut his teeth in the Klan; and the self-proclaimed moralists Senators Harkin and Kennedy have both been caught in postmodern problems with the truth. Being rich and a lawyer helps too. Most prominent Democrats and their enablers are either lawyers or multimillionaires, and now often both. Running a hardware store may explain your Republicanism; inheriting the profits from a chain of 1,000 hardware franchises will likely make you a new Democrat.

My Bad

Can you remember the DNC, or for that matter any liberal admitting a mistake like this?

Dan Rather would be standing by this story for weeks.

Unimpeachable Source Fingers Joe Lockhart

Bill Burkett says that Joe Lockhart encouraged him to give the forged documents to the Kerry campaign.

During a single phone conversation with Lockhart, Burkett said he suggested a "couple of concepts on what I thought [Kerry] had to do" to beat Bush. In return, he said, Lockhart tried to "convince me as to why I should give them the documents."

According to the Associated Press, Lockhart said he listened to some campaign advice from Burkett for a few minutes and does not recall talking about Bush's National Guard records.

But Clinton's former press secretary and professional liar disputes Burkett.

Tour of Doodie Author Disses Kerry

"John Kerry was not the war hero we thought he was," said Douglas Brinkley, the historian and author of a friendly biography of Mr. Kerry's war years, acknowledging that Mr. Kerry's opponents had succeeded in raising questions about his service.

Following the example of Dan Rather, Douglas Brinkley yields to the overwhelming evidence that he too got it wrong.

But What If It's True?

The Washington Post seems bothered today by accusations against Kerry, charging that he is undermining our war effort and encouraging our enemies. But is there any doubt that it's true?

Just yesterday Kerry not only blasted George Bush over the war, but called the new Iraqi Prime minister a liar and ridiculed the upcoming Iraqi elections. Gee, don't you think Abu al-Zarqawi loved hearing that? I doubt if any enemy has been so encouraged by John Kerry since North Vietnam's overall commander General Giap read John Kerry's rhetoric in the 1970's.

After Kerry's performance yesterday, can Cheney's retort be considered anything but justified and accurate?

"I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage, when he rushed to hold a press conference and attack the prime minister, a man America must stand beside to defeat the terrorists," Cheney told several thousand supporters.

"John Kerry is trying to tear down all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive to our effort in Iraq and in the global war on terror," Cheney said. "As Prime Minister Allawi said in his speech, and I quote, 'When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourages more violence.' End quote."

This is what the Washington Post considers excessive, not Kerry's defeatist rhetoric.

And we must realize John Kerry is trying to sell us on the concept that he is the world's greatest diplomat. Is it really such good idea to mock the leader of the country that the next president, whomever he is, will have to do business with if we are to have a successful outcome in Iraq?

And let's remember, Kerry has been ridiculing anybody on our side for over a year now. Only those who stand against us enjoy Kerry's respect. And most recently, his campaign has tried to drive a wedge between us and Australia.

The terrorists' objective is to intimidate all countries allied with America. Make them bleed and tell them this is the price they pay for being a U.S. ally. The implication is obvious: Abandon America and buy your safety.

That is what the terrorists are saying. Why is the Kerry campaign saying the same thing? ``John Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard government's support for the U.S. in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.'' So reports The Australian (Sept. 18).

When you consider all that John Kerry has said and done to undermine our troops, can anyone really say anything that would qualify as excessive?

But What If It's True?

The Washington Post seems bothered by Republican criticism of John Kerry for his increasingly shrill anti-war stance. His defeatism, even going so far yesterday as to ridicule Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Sen. John Kerry on Thursday accused President Bush and interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of misleading Americans on how the war against Iraqi insurgents is faring.

Allawi, addressing a joint session of Congress Thursday, said Iraqi elections were on track for January, but Kerry said the volatile and violent situation there made such a vote unlikely.

"The United States and the Iraqis have retreated from whole areas of Iraq (news - web sites)," Kerry said. "There are no-go zones in Iraq today. You can't hold an election in a no-go zone."

In a continuation of his newfound strategy of hitting the president hard on Iraq at every opportunity, the Democratic candidate accused Bush and senior administration officials of contradicting themselves.

Is this how Kerry plans to win the war on terror - by calling the Iraqi Prime Minister a liar and by ridiculing our allies?

I think that Dick Cheney's subsequent criticism of Kerry was relatively mild, considering the offensiveness of Kerry's comments.

"I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage, when he rushed to hold a press conference and attack the prime minister, a man America must stand beside to defeat the terrorists," Cheney told several thousand supporters.

"John Kerry is trying to tear down all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive to our effort in Iraq and in the global war on terror," Cheney said. "As Prime Minister Allawi said in his speech, and I quote, 'When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourages more violence. End quote"

If the Washington Post finds that unacceptable, then perhaps they should point out one word that is untrue or inaccurately describes Kerry's comments yesterday.

The overall commander of North Vietmanese forces, general Giap, credited John Kerry with handing the communists a victory they never could have won by force of arms. Today, John Kerry is trying to achieve something similar for the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarquawi.

Old Liberal Soldiers Never Lie

Old liberal soldiers never lie, they just back away. They back away from previous assertions that is. John Kerry has done a lot of backing away lately. But the press will never call the stories he backs away from lies.
So far, John Kerry has had to back away from claims that he spent Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia on a secret mission. He has had to back away from at least one of his purple hearts, as his campaign admitted that the wound was likely self-inflicted. He has adjusted his own recollections to conform to Swift Boat Vets’ accounts that he earned his Silver Star by shooting an already wounded Viet Cong in the back. And there’s no way he earned a Silver Star with a “combat V” as he claims. Navy regulations forbid it.
More than once I’ve heard the term “discredited” attached to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I’ve read that their accusations against John Kerry were disproved. But, in all of my searching, I could only find one thin shred of evidence that favored John Kerry’s version of events. And that evidence is the official account of Kerry’s supposed rescue of John Rassman under “heavy” enemy fire.
But, how much credence should we give the official record? The original version’s author was probably John Kerry. In his 1971 testimony before the Senate he confessed to grossly inflating such reports. Further, he noted that his whoppers were multiplied by superiors. If the official records from 1969 now conform to John Kerry’s 2004 claims, then that only means that he has puffed up his original exaggerations to match those of the official record.
Douglas Brinkley’s slavish biography of Kerry, “Tour of Doodie,” gives us a taste of Kerry’s capacity of exaggeration. Consider this paragraph from one of Kerry’s letters to his contemporary sweetheart – one who wasn’t rich enough to qualify as marrying material.
“I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war and gross insensitivity. I am really very frightened to be honest because when the news [of the combat death of his college friend, Dick Pershing] sunk in I had no alternatives but to carry on in the face of trivia that forced me to build a horrible protective screen around myself....
The world I'm a part of out there is so very different from anything you, I, or our close friends can imagine. It's fitted with primitive survival, with destruction of an endless dying seemingly pointless nature and forces one to grow up in a fast — no holds barred fashion. In the small time I have been gone, does it seem strange to say that I feel as though I have seen several years experience go by.... No matter [where] one is — no matter what job — you do not and cannot forget that you are at war and that the enemy is ever present — that anyone could at some time for the same stupid irrational something that stole Persh be gone tomorrow.”
Gripping stuff, particularly when one takes into account that that Kerry wrote this letter while in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was not yet even in the same hemisphere as Vietnam.
Toss out the written record and we have the physical evidence. Kerry claims that Rassman was knocked out of the boat by a mine, but Kerry’s boat suffered no damage. And, if the boats were under “heavy fire,” in a narrow river, then where is the battle damage? Battle damage assessment recorded only three .30 caliber bullet holes in one boat, incurred the previous day in a sniper incident. These were big, thin-skinned targets. Heavy fire would have left them shot through.
Regarding Kerry’s “combat V:” In 1996 Chief of Naval Operation Jeremy Boorda committed suicide rather than face the embarrassment of being exposed for wearing a “combat V” he had not earned.
Senator Kerry had this to say about it at the time. "Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes."
And, "If you wind up being less than what you're pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value, self-esteem and your sense of how others view you."
Do you think John Kerry might want to back away from that one too?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Evil Sorcerer

It's Karl Rove of course. Even after two high up muckey mucks from the Kerry campaign were caught the the tar still on their fingers, the looney left still thinks that memogate was all a dirty trick orchestrated by the sinister Karl Rove.

Karl Rove says, Bwahahahahahaha!

Actually, he said, "Obviously, you know the answer is no. Do you feel good about asking that question?" he said before repeating, "The answer is no, obviously."
He also called Mr. McAuliffe "a wild-man ranter and raver."

"He's probably the only person in America that still thinks there's a possibility these are true and accurate documents," Mr. Rove said.

Further, Karl Rove points out the obvious coordination between CBS and the Kerry campaign. Are the Democrats claiming that he manipulated their side of the affair too?

He then said Mr. McAuliffe and the DNC must answer questions about their own series of attacks on Mr. Bush's National Guard record, which he said "broke coincidentally with the CBS story."
"I mean, they'd have to be awful nimble to have prepared all those ads and materials without foreknowledge. And the question is: Did they have foreknowledge, and if so from who, and why?"
Mr. Rove said the Kerry campaign has shifted in the past few weeks toward a strategy of personal attacks with the addition of new advisers, some of them former Clinton aides, including Mr. Lockhart.
"When they arrived, they made it clear that they were going to run a campaign of character at the president, which was a polite way of saying they were going to run a campaign of character assassination. And they've been true to their word," he said.
"When you have to defend as many different positions and votes as he has offered up, you want to change the subject. And the best way to change the subject, as this crowd on the other side believes clearly, is to go after the personal character of their opponent."

Not As The Times Normally Portrays It

Of course, its a contributor to the Op-Ed page who supplies an observation contrary to the Times' conventional wisdom.

While two out of three Afghans cited security as their most pressing concern in a poll taken this summer by the International Republican Institute, four out of five respondents also said things are better than they were two years ago. Despite dire predictions from many Westerners, the presidential election, scheduled for Oct. 9, now looks promising. Ten million Afghans have registered to vote, far more than were anticipated, and almost half of those who have signed up are women. Indeed, one of the 18 candidates for president is a woman. Even in Kandahar, more then 60 percent of the population has registered to vote, while 45 percent have registered in Uruzgan Province, the birthplace of Mullah Omar. With these kinds of numbers registering, it seems possible that turnout will be higher than the one-third of eligible voters who have participated in recent American presidential elections.

According to a poll taken in July by the Asia Foundation, President Hamid Karzai is drawing substantial support around the country. He has emerged not only as a popular leader, but also as a shrewd player of the kind of hardball politics that would have warmed the heart of Lyndon Johnson. This summer he dropped his running mate, Mohammad Fahim, a power-hungry general who had pompously awarded himself the title of field marshal after the fall of the Taliban. And this month Mr. Karzai forced Ismail Khan, the governor of the western province of Herat, to resign. These moves not only neutralized two powerful rivals, men who could field their own private armies, but also increased the stability of the central government.

Slow Learners

California's Democrat dominated assembly once again passed a bill awarding drivers liceneses to illegal aliens. This time however, it was terminated.

Blame The Pajamahadin

And blame cable news too, for Dan Rather's arrogant meltdown.

Fear of missing the bandwagon is behind all the hype about the brilliance of bloggers who blew the whistle. You'd think "Buckhead," who first spotted the flaws in the documents, is the cyberworld's Woodward and Bernstein. Now the conventional wisdom is that the media will be kept honest and decent by an army of incorruptible amateur gumshoes. In fact, cyberspace is populated by a coalition of political obsessives and pundits on speed who get it wrong as much as they get it right. It's just that they type so much they are bound to nail a story from time to time.

The rapturing about the bloggers is the journalistic equivalent of the stock market's Internet bubble. You can see the news chiefs feeling as spooked as the old-style CEOs in the '90s who had built their companies over 20 years and then saw kids in backward baseball caps on the cover of Fortune. It finally drove them nuts. It was why we saw Time Warner's buttoned-down corporate dealmaker Gerald Levin tearing off his tie and swooning into the embrace of AOL's Steve Case.

But ultimately, Tina Brown betrays the Old Media's biggest flaw. It's not the fast news cycle and it's not competititon from the internet. It's the media's left wing know-it-all arrogance.

Says Tina, "Documents or no documents, everyone knows Bush's dad got him out of Vietnam. Everyone knows he thought he had better, funner things to do than go to a bunch of boring National Guard drills. (Only a killjoy like John Kerry would spend his carefree youth racking up high-minded demonstrations of courage and conscience, right?) Like O.J. Simpson's infamous "struggle" to squeeze his big hand into the glove, the letter was just a lousy piece of evidence that should never have been produced in court. Now because CBS, like Marcia Clark, screwed up the prosecution, Bush is going to walk."

I can tell you this, John Kerry's acceptance into the Naval Reserves was assisted by his father as well. I knew a lot of guys who tried to escape the draft that way and not one got in. If John Kerry had not been called up, would that have made him a draft dodger too?

Why Should We Give A Rat's Rear End About The UN

The United Nations is one of those sacred cows that everyone of responsibility is expected to celebrate as a force for peace.

Victor David Hansen pronounces BS upon the UN and its advocates and says what Bush should have said before the General Assembly.

International women's rights groups vie for the world's attention to stop the shameful international trafficking in women and children, whether as chattel or sexual slaves. The president now pledges to organize enforcement to stop both the smugglers and the predators on the innocent.

For a half century, liberals rightly deplored the old realpolitik in the Middle East, as America and Europe supported autocratic right-wing governments on the cynical premises that they at least promised to keep pumping oil and kept out communists. Now President Bush not only renounces such past opportunism, but also confesses that "for too long, many nations, including my own, tolerated, even excused, oppression in the Middle East in the name of stability." He promises not complacency that ensures continual oppression, but radical changes that lead to freedom.

The Taliban and Saddam Hussein were once the United Nations' twin embarrassments, rogue regimes that thumbed their noses at weak U.N. protestations, slaughtered their own, invaded their neighbors, and turned their outlands into terrorist sanctuaries. Now they are gone, despite either U.N. indifference or veritable opposition to their removal. The United States sought not dictators in their place, but consensual government where it had never existed.

What was the response to Mr. Bush's new multifaceted vision? He was met with stony silence, followed by about seven seconds of embarrassed applause, capped off by smug sneers in the global media. Why so?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Oh, What A Devil That Karl Rove Is!

First, Karl Rove fakes out Dan Rather and the entire Democratic Party with those fake memos. Now, he's tricked John Kerry into draft conspiracy theories. And, Charles Rangel is in on it too.

Old Media Discovers A Boogeyman (wearing pajamas) In Its Closet

USA Today knows the jig is up. Never again can the Old Media dictate truth to us.

"There's no question we all have to take them seriously," says Terence Smith, media correspondent and senior producer at PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. "They do provide, at least potentially, a useful fact-checking function. ... After all, there's an expert out there on everything."

For the old media, "this must have been what it was like for the Catholic Church when movable type was invented," says Jack Shafer, who writes a media column called "Press Box" for the online magazine Slate. "Until then, the Church controlled who would be the scribes."

Creating A Stain

Until, three weeks ago, Joe Lockhart had never met John Kerry. Now he's already in the middle of a scandal. Ah, it's just like old times for Clinton's former press secretary.

Insider Trading?

Public school teachers are sending their kids to private schools.

More than 25 percent of public school teachers in Washington and Baltimore send their children to private schools, a new study reports.
Nationwide, public school teachers are almost twice as likely as other parents to choose private schools for their own children, the study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found. More than 1 in 5 public school teachers said their children attend private schools.
In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools.

What do they know?

Two Visions

The Deanification of John Kerry has yielded one good result. Americans will have a choice.

At the marble podium of the United Nations, Mr. Bush on Tuesday morning described an Iraq that "has rejoined the community of nations" and is well on the way to being "secure, democratic, federal and free" if the world, and America's allies, do not lose their nerve. It was the kind of declaration that prompts cheers at campaign rallies; at the United Nations, it was greeted with the General Assembly's customary silence.

The day before, just two miles to the south, Mr. Kerry spoke of an invasion of Iraq that "has created a crisis of historic proportions," and warned that "if we do not change course there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight." He went on to describe a country that bore no resemblance to the one Mr. Bush portrays, one of bombings, beheadings, rampant unemployment and few allies sharing the burden.

It is no accident. Those diametrically opposed images reflect diametrically opposed strategies for the final six weeks of the presidential campaign.

Wanna Go A Round With Hanna Rosen Mr. Annan?

While UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was stealing a few headlines the other day with his charge that the US-led war in Iraq was, "illegal," Hanna Rosen was keeping an eye on the UN under Kofi Annan's leadership.

But if Mr. Annan wants to discuss right and wrong in Iraq, which seems to be the real issue, then it is time to talk about baby formula. Why? Because Mr. Annan's preferred means of dealing with Saddam was a mix of U.N. sanctions and the U.N. relief program called Oil-for-Food. And the heart and soul of Oil-for-Food was supposed to be the feeding of sick and hungry Iraqi babies--including the purchase by Saddam, under U.N. auspices, of large amounts of baby formula. When Oil-for-Food was launched in 1996, it was advertised by the U.N. as a response to such horrors as pictures of starving Iraqi children and alarming statistics about infant mortality in Iraq, released by one of the U.N.'s own agencies, Unicef.

It was in service of that U.N. mix of sanctions and humanitarian relief that Mr. Annan after visiting with Saddam in Iraq in 1998 returned to New York to report: "I think I can do business with him."

And oh what a lot of business the U.N. did. Mr. Annan's Secretariat collected more than $1.4 billion in commissions on Saddam's oil sales, all to supervise the integrity of Saddam's $65 billion in oil sales and $46 billion in relief purchases. The official aim of this behemoth U.N. aid operation was solely to help the people of Iraq, while the U.N. waited for sanctions to weaken Saddam enough so he would be either overthrown from within or forced to comply with U.N. resolutions on disarmament. Instead, Saddam threw out the U.N. weapons inspectors for four years, and, by estimates of the U.S. General Accounting Office, fortified his own regime with at least $10.1 billion grafted and smuggled out of Oil-for-Food.
But of all the abuses of Oil-for-Food committed by Saddam--and not only allowed but in effect approved and covered up by Mr. Annan's U.N.--the most cynical has to have been the trade in baby formula. This was one of Saddam's imports that few even among the U.N.'s critics dared question. Who could be so heartless as to object to food for hungry children? And given the secrecy with which Mr. Annan ran Oil-for-Food (as hapless servant of a Security Council packed with big-time business partners of Saddam, such as France and Russia), no one outside the U.N. except Saddam and his handpicked contractors knew much in any event about Baghdad's traffic in baby formula.

The U.N. insisted that the identities of Saddam's contractors and the terms of his deals remain confidential. Even today, though the names have leaked, many of the vital details of these contracts (such as quantity and quality of goods) remain smothered in the continuing secrecy imposed by the U.N.-authorized investigation into Oil-for-Food, led by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker. And Mr. Volcker, apparently focused mainly on bribery allegations involving officials of the U.N. itself, may never get around to such broader but also important matters as Oil-for-Baby-Food.

But since Saddam's fall, a few windows have opened through which one can glimpse Saddam's U.N.-approved trade in nursery nutrition. Chief among them is a pricing study carried out by the U.S. Defense Department's contract auditing agencies last year, shortly after Saddam's overthrow. Lest anyone suspect the Pentagon of bias, it would of course be handy to draw on other studies as well. But there are none. Mr. Annan's Secretariat, while swimming in cash from its 2.2% commission on Saddam's oil sales, never got around to systematically examining Saddam's contract prices. That was a notable omission, given that Saddam's scam on relief contracts was one of the oldest and simplest in the book: overpaying for goods, using relief funds meant for the Iraqi public; then collecting part of those overpayments in the form of kickbacks.

Who's In Fantasy Land Now?

For weeks now, the Kerry campaign has accused the Bush Administration of living in fantasy land where Iraq is concerned. Now, after one semi-coherent speech, Democrats are "giddy" with optimism. What's got them so excited? Well, because for a change, John Kerry did not sound like John Kerry.

Kerry supporters, meanwhile, were giddy, as if they'd just discovered their new love that morning. Timothy Paulson, political director of the New Democratic Majority, rushed up to Kerry as he walked in to tape the Letterman show and gave him his hand. "You're on the right track now, man," he told Kerry. "And he gave me the eye, like 'Are you saying I wasn't before?' "

Like many of the activists who stocked Kerry's events Monday, Paulson originally hails from the Howard Dean campaign. They liked Kerry because he sounded less like himself and more like Dean.

"He finally spoke from the heart," Paulson says. The campaign had given Paulson's group 100 tickets to Kerry's afternoon fundraiser, and after a flood of e-mails they had to request 100 more, a sign, says Paulson, of a mass conversion.

"Everyone's honestly coming around" to Kerry, he says. "I feel like once again we're harmonizing with the candidate. Everyone's like, 'We love John Kerry.' They're not saying, 'We disagree with this or that.' I mean maybe just over coffee, on the side."

What Was It When Democrats Accused Karl Rove?

With absolutely no evidence, the Democrats immediately accused Karl Rove of planting the forged Texas Air National Guard memos that have caused CBS so much grief. Now that there is a clear record that CBS's source was in contact with at least two high level Kerry campaign officials, the Democrats are crying "smear" when Republicans point out the obvious.

"The coordination between the Kerry campaign and Burkett is highly troubling. . . . The idea that a top-level political operative like Mr. Lockhart had no conversation about the essence of the [Guard] story with either the producer or Bill Burkett is shocking to believe."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie raised similar questions, telling Fox News: "I think it is time Senator Kerry came clean about all the contacts between CBS and his campaign and Bill Burkett. What did they know and when did they know it?"

Lockhart said Bartlett and Gillespie have declined invitations to debate him on several cable and network morning shows. Instead, he said, they are "besmirching my reputation" and trying to deflect attention from the war in Iraq.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe, saying the DNC had no involvement with Burkett, said Republicans are finding it "a lot easier to talk about Dan Rather than to talk about George W. Bush and the persistent, unanswered questions surrounding the president's National Guard service." He added that Bush's "discharge seems less and less honorable with each passing day. . . . This goes to his character and his credibility and whether he's being honest with the American people."

The White House pounced yesterday on the disclosure that a CBS producer put the source of discredited documents about President Bush's National Guard service in touch with a senior adviser to John F. Kerry, saying this shows "coordination" between the Democratic nominee's campaign and the "60 Minutes" report.

Joe Lockhart, the Kerry aide who called CBS's source, former Texas Guardsman Bill Burkett, dismissed the charge as "a smear campaign" by Republicans. Another Kerry aide, Michael McCurry, said Kerry has been briefed and is "satisfied" with Lockhart's explanation that it was an innocuous conversation.

Seismic Shift

The Washington Post - yes the Washington Post - liked George Bush's speech before the United Nations yesterday, using words like "lofty" and "idealistic." Check out this headline: Bush Stands His Ground, Sets Himself Apart

President Bush's speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday was the verbal equivalent of a "greatest hits" album, repackaging and summarizing the key foreign-policy themes the president has embraced in the past four years. He faced a tough audience -- many of the world leaders listening are quietly rooting for the victory of his opponent in the upcoming election -- but without apology or retreat, the president cast the war on terrorism as a defining moment that will usher in democracy across the globe.

In the speech, Bush signaled he will continue to deal with the world on his own terms. He brushed aside the United Nations' refusal to back the war -- and Secretary General Kofi Annan's recent comment that the war was illegal -- by asserting that "a coalition of nations enforced the just demands of the world." Despite the inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- the stated reason for the attack -- Bush also said: "We're determined to prevent proliferation and to enforce the demands of the world, and my nation is grateful to the soldiers of many nations who have helped to deliver the Iraqi people from an outlaw dictator."

Meanwhile, Kerry's response sounds shrill and tinny. "I believe the president missed an opportunity of enormous importance for our nation and for the world," Kerry told reporters in Jacksonville. "He does not have the credibility to lead the world. And he did not and will not offer the leadership in order to do what we need to do to protect our troops, to be successful and win the war on terror in an effective way."

And Kerry fancifully imagines that Saddam would simply have fallen from power once weapons inspectors proved that he had no weapons of mass destruction. "If you don't have weapons of mass destruction, believe me, Saddam Hussein is a very different person," Kerry said. "That's what kept him in power. And I believe Saddam Hussein would not be in power. This president avoided approaching this in responsible ways, and it's a tragedy."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Triumph Of The Pajamahadin

The good guys win.

People living under authoritarian regimes seem to grasp this potential more quickly than Americans do. It's no wonder that a recent poll found that Iranians trust the Internet more than any other medium. They may perhaps know something we don't.

Fortunately, the blogosphere is now a force to be reckoned with. In the lonely cool before dawn, you hear their hard drives whirring along, but when you get to the link they're gone to the next thing. In a world full of bias, they're proving resistant to spin.

Miss Saudi Arabia

Okay, if you can't parade beauties in bathing suits, this is all that's left for you.

Poor Dan

He was misled. But, isn't it even more accurate to say he "misfollowed?"

Say It Ain't So, Tyler

Tyler Hamilton has been accused of blood doping at the Vuelta de Espana.

The Vuelta a España has been rocked this morning by news that Tyler Hamilton (Phonak), has returned two positive blood tests that showed evidence of a homologous blood transfusion. One test was performed at the Athens Olympics and another at the Vuelta on September 13. Both tests showed evidence of a "mixed red blood cell population, an indication of a homologous blood transfusion," Phonak's press officer Georges Lüchinger was quoted by AP as saying. The results of the counter-analyses are not yet known.

If verified, Hamilton would have to return his Olympic gold medal.

Quick, Call John Kerry!

Only he can save us. Iran paraded its new missiles yesterday. The missiles were daubed with slogans including "We will crush America under our feet" and "Israel must be wiped off the map".

"It is the Zionist regime which possesses a considerable atomic arsenal and uses the worst forms of terrorism in Palestine while we are partisans of peace, stability and a region free of atomic weapons," President Khatami said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is based on detente," he added, "but we also insist on strengthening our military."

A White House That Won't Answer Question?

Joe Lockhart has been running off at the mouth on CNN saying that George Bush is dodging questions.

Meanwhile, it has been 50 days since John Kerry has faced a question from a journalist.

Terms Of Surrender

Stanley Kurtz offers terms to CBS.

We need to arrange a trade. This nation would be released from continuous conflict over the question of media bias if our major news outlets were roughly equally divided between liberals and conservatives. So to put this needless battle over media bias behind us, I propose that we convene a summit of liberal and conservative media leaders. These distinguished representatives of both ideological camps could solve our national dilemma by dividing up the media pie on a far more equitable basis. Just as the Congress of Vienna was able to apportion territory so as to establish a stable balance of power in Europe after the fall of Napoleon, so a congress of American media notables can establish a stable balance of power between liberals and conservatives in the newspapers, magazines, and airwaves in the wake of the Rather Affair.

To negotiate on behalf of conservatives, I nominate Paul Gigot, editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page; Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News; Rich Lowry, editor of National Review; William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; and Rush Limbaugh, dean of conservative talk-radio hosts. To represent the liberal media, I suggest Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of the New York Times; CBS news president Andrew Heyward; Peter Jennings, news anchor at ABC; NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr; and Al Franken, aspiring deacon of liberal talk radio.

More On That Unimpeachable Source

The man CBS News touted as the "unimpeachable source" of explosive documents about President Bush's National Guard service turns out to be a former Guard officer with a history of self-described mental problems who has denounced Bush as a liar with "demonic personality shortcomings."

Hmmm. Sounds like just the kind of guy Dan Rather would feel right at home with.

And, it's not as though this guy's biases were difficult to discover.

Burkett's allegations against Bush and leaders of the Texas National Guard were featured prominently in a controversial book, "Bush's War for Reelection," by a former reporter, James Moore, that was published in February. The book led to Burkett's briefly becoming a TV talk-show celebrity, with his allegations of corruption and favoritism in the National Guard.

Stories about Burkett appeared in dozens of newspapers, including the New York Times, along with outraged denials from former Bush aides. Burkett said he overheard a conversation in 1997 between Joe M. Allbaugh, who was then Bush's chief of staff, and the commander of the Texas National Guard on how to "sanitize" National Guard files to prevent any political embarrassment to Bush, who was running for reelection as governor of Texas.

A Feb. 13 story in the Boston Globe noted that a former Guardsman cited by Burkett as a key corroborating witness denied that he led Burkett to a room where Bush's records were being vetted.

The Post also notes that, in their rush to get this phony story out, CBS left a trail that allowed more diligent reporters than Dan Rather to track the forgeries back to the unimpeachable source.

In the rush to air the documents Burkett provided, CBS producers inadvertently left clues about their confidential source. People asked by CBS to authenticate the documents said the papers bore a header showing they had been faxed from a Kinko's in Abilene, Tex., 21 miles from Burkett's home. Documents examiner Emily Will said the footer indicated the document had been sent at 6:41 p.m. on Sept. 2.