Thursday, September 30, 2004

My Debate Notebook: Part 1

I've skimmed a few sites including some liveblogging and the scorecard, but these points are based almost exclusively on the notes I took:

Q: Is the war in Iraq a mistake?

Kerry says:
It's not a mistake, providing we have the leadership.
Well that's great but I don't get it. Does that mean that it's a mistake now because President Bush is the leader but somehow if Kerry gets elected the "mistakeness" goes away??

Kerry made a similar point on Good Morning America the other day and I think Diane Sawyer was just as confused. Either it's a mistake or it's not. It shouldn't be dependent on the leadership since he question is concerning a single event, that is, the liberation of Iraq.

A favorite moment of the President's:
He wonders what Kerry would say to these other countries after saying such bad things about Iraq:
"Please join us in Iraq for a Grand Diversion."
Exactly. I've said it before, why in the world would these countries want to work with Senator Kerry if he thinks that this is a bad idea? It's like saying to your friends every morning "My wife/husband/mom/dad is a lousy cook, I can barely stand to eat those meals." and then one day saying "Hey, want to come over for dinner?"

Kofi Annan
Kerry mentioned that Kofi and the UN wanted to be involved in Iraq. Maybe, but didn't Kofi just say that going into Iraq was "illegal?" If that's true, why would he want to be involved at all? That's like saying "Please let us be involved in your illegal activities."
I think in this case Kerry overstates Kofi's interest in involvement. If not, then it seems that he's implying that we simply didn't kow-tow to the UN enough. We didn't coddle them enough to get them involved. What's up with that? Kofi had a chance to be involved and he and the UN refused. Think they were scared about what's coming out now concerning Oil for Food? I do.

Shaking my head in disbelief
Did Kerry actually say "I've had one consistent position"? Yup. I think he did. Powerline confirms it. Unbelievable.

Al Qaeda, 9/11, Iraq
Kerry got it right the first time when he said that there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11, but he got it wrong after that by saying there's no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. The 9/11 Commission report says otherwise.

More to come...

Debate Scorecard

Hugh Hewitt has one that he's continuing to update. It's a grid with the questions and the answers of both candidates. He gives a letter grade to each and then an assessment of Lehrer's questions, which is important because the questions drive the debate and as you can see from the grid, Lehrer's focus was interesting.

I'll have some quotes up soon, but was anyone else out there making hash marks for how many times the idea of Vietnam was brought up by Senator Kerry? I counted an even set of Five.

Safe and Friendly Debate Alternatives

If you're not planning to watch the debate tonight (or your taping to watch in pieces later so as to maintain a healthy blood pressure) here's some educational reading from earlier in the week on a variety of topic. Choose by day or interest :)

Domestic Issues = Monday
Mort Kondracke discusses where the candidates on two domestic issues:
(1) How will this country afford the retirement costs of the baby boom generation? And (2) how can Americans maintain their standard of living in an increasingly competitive globalized economy?

Contemporary History = Tuesday
Voter Fraud in 2000? Not so much, according to an investigation...completed in 2001!! And yet we keep hearing about it don't we? Amazing.

Fact Checking Kerry = Thursday
That's what Bob Novak does in the Chicago Sun Times:
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.

Finally, if you'd rather read a lot about the debate instead of having to watch it, check out the full list of links Thursday's featured Articles at RealClearPolitics. There are lots and lots from which you can choose.

Consider both the "Flip" and the "Flop"

The Kerry Campaign and all of its surrogates in Congress (and in the press) have been trying to assert that President Bush is participating in his own kind of flip-flopping. They site issues such as the intelligence director and further deployment of the military. Their point is that it's perfectly reasonable to change your mind as the times and circumstances change. There is some truth to this, September 11th changed a lot things. Now, I could go into detail as to how this is all different, how Senator Kerry's changes of position often occurred on the same side of September 11th, meaning he held two contrary positions after September 11th or before. But I won't do that. Instead, I'll leave it to a reader email that Jonah Goldberg posted today. It sets us all straight:
You and Kerry both miss the point of the flip-flopping charge. Changing one's opinion isn't a problem. It's changing one's opinion (the flip), then changing BACK to the original opinion (the flop). THAT is what Kerry keeps doing, and Bush doesn't.

Dan and the Draft

As if Dan Rather doesn't have enough trouble, he decided to weigh in on this bogus draft claim. This New York Post Editorial (Via The Corner) lays out the whole situation.
Consider: Both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry say they adamantly oppose reinstitution of the military draft, which was ended in 1973. The Pentagon also says it is vehemently opposed to giving up the all-volunteer army.

But that didn't stop "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" and reporter Richard Schlesinger from airing a story Tuesday about a Pennsylvania woman's fears that her sons will be drafted.
So why? Why in the world would they step into this? The Post throws out a few ideas:
Could it be because charges of a secret plan to reinstate the draft just happen to be a key talking point of the Kerry-Edwards campaign?

Former presidential candidate Howard Dean charged that "George Bush is certainly going to have a draft if he goes into a second term."

And ex-Sen. Max Cleland, who has campaigned by John Kerry's side, also said flatly that "America will reinstate the draft" if President Bush is re-elected.

Meanwhile, Kerry himself suggested it is "possible" that Bush will back a draft.

But, again, there isn't the faintest hint of evidence to support such claims.

So now it's getting to the point where most people realize that this draft claim is a bunch of smoke. Why do they keeping bringing it up? Will Kerry be so bold as to mention it in the debate tonight?
I guess will just have to wait and see how desperate he is at that time...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Essential Question

I have heard this idea discussed by journalists and political commentators for weeks now. It's becoming clear that it's not enough for Senator Kerry to say, "Vote for me because I'm not Bush." Instead, he must answer the more essential question which is, "Yes, it's true you are not Bush, but what will you do differently?"

Jim Gereghty at The Kerry Spot links to a New York Observer Article, "Bush's 10 Mistakes." I think some of the points are more credible than others. In general I probably agree more with criticism on the President's domestic policy then on his foreign policy. But either way, Geraghty's comments speak to the aforementioned "essential question":
[A] column like this reveals that a serious challenger to Bush could have pressed the president on any one of these issues. Instead, Kerry's campaign has been, "I served in Vietnam, Halliburton is the embodiment of evil, I'll make the French like us again, stop attacking my patriotism, the Patriot Act is evil, I served in Vietnam, the United Nations is a serious institution worthy of respect, I served in Vietnam, we'll never win in Iraq so I'll pull us out as quick as possible, and did you know I served in Vietnam?"

Vietnam? Really?! I had no idea...

Who's directing the track?

After discussing Al Gores NY Times' debate advice for Kerry Op-Ed, James Tarranto expresses agreement with my previous statement about all the Right Track/Wrong Track hoopla.
If, as Gore says, "a clear majority of Americans believe that we are heading in the wrong direction," then why would it be necessary for Kerry to belabor the point? Because those "right track/wrong track" poll numbers don't necessarily reflect unhappiness with the incumbent, much less a preference for the challenger. If you think the country is going in the wrong direction because of Hollywood vulgarity and court-mandated same-sex marriage, you'll probably vote for Bush, the candidate who stands against these things.


Kerry's Brilliant Buzz Generating Strategy

In a football game, "time of possession" is an important stat. In my observation it's generally true that the team with the largest time of possession is the team that scores the more points (And, as Dan Fouts would say, the team that scores the most points wins).

One of the Democrats main complaints during the Dan Rather/Forged Memos Debacle was that the press was spending so much time talking about the font sizes and the fact that Microsoft Word didn't exist in 1972 that they didn't have any time left to talk about Senator Kerry. This was okay for me, but not so good for Kerry.

Well, now people are spending a lot of time talking about Kerry, but I don't know if it's good for him.
Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke and Mara Liasson are regular Fox All Stars and as such, are, along with Brit Hume, some of the finest political pundits of our time. Tonight they spent 10 minutes talking about Kerry, but they weren't analyzing what he said, or anything like that. They spent those ten minutes trying to figure out what Kerry was saying! Kerry's [current] position on whether or not he would have deposed Saddam or contained him, went to war/not went to war, voted for the resolution/voted to authorize the resolution are so unclear that these guys couldn't even agree on his current position.

At the end, as Mort was trying (in vain) to decipher it one final time, one could hear Fred Barnes, off camera saying simply, "I give up."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Inexplicable Makeup of the Democratic Party

By which I mean - in many cases it makes no sense why certain people belong to the Democratic Party.

Case in Point: Today I was driving on Rt. 224 in an area that is high-traffic (as most of 224 is). A car sped around me and cut into my lane, with no signal. After shaking off the shock of that I looked at the car. There was a Kerry-Edwards Bumper sticker as well as some sort of Unions support Kerry Bumper sticker. I was then reminded of the unfortunate fact that this area of Ohio has so many union democrats who support Kerry as the Democratic candidate just because they have always done so. But why do they continue to do so? Many of the manufacturing plants that have closed down around the country did so because the companies went bankrupt under the financial duress of democratic environmental regulations. Regulations about emissions and disposal etc etc. Of course, I love nature, and I'm all for the environment, but not to the exclusion of people, lives, jobs and so forth.

And today, Ramesh Ponnuru points out another area in which the Democratic Party chooses earth over life:
One usually doesn't find this sort of thing in the MSM: "The Democrats are likely to lose the Catholic vote in November-and John Kerry could well lose the election as a result. It's about abortion, stupid. And 'choice,' make no mistake, is killing the Democratic Party." I think the columnist, Melinda Henneberger, misses a few things: It's not just Catholics who have ditched or are ditching the party over abortion; casting issues such as the environment in moral terms, while perhaps a good idea for other reasons, is not likely to cause many pro-life voters to switch sides (and shouldn't); the Vatican's statement on how Catholic voters should weigh abortion is tougher than she allows. But still--remarkable.

It's true, the party that favors the spotted owl and the Kyoto treaty on moral grounds, rejects favoring life on those same grounds.
Therefore, it's not surprising that a party that holds inconsistent positions produced a candidate incapable of consistently holding a single position.

Again with the secret Plans

As an update to my assertion that there is so "secret plan" about Dairy farmers:

James Taranto agrees:
If the plan is secret, how does Kerry know about it?
And what's Kerry doing looking out for dairy farms? Didn't he say he was going to make Osama bin Laden the priority?
Yeah, I definitely think that milk is important. Very very important, and so I appreciate that Kerry plans to look out for the dairy farms. However, doesn't he plan to look out for the rest of us? Isn't that what the War on Terror is about, looking out for the safety of our country, not just our dairy supply.

And in case you thought this was the only "secret plan" Kerry's been mentioning, The Kerry Spot had a whole list of them, including:
secret plans to privatize Social Security, wage nuclear war, cut social services, manipulate oil prices to benefit the Saudis, cut VA Benefits, cut Education Funding, and send jobs overseas.

In addition to the "secret plan" about the draft which Kerry surrogates (including Rock the Vote) are touting as well.

[Non] Draft Update from Rock the [Democratic] Vote

Powerline posts an email sent out by "Rock the Vote," a group that claims to be non-partisan...but we know better.
The email asks people to register to vote, but only after telling them they've "been drafted" and warning of an upcoming draft if the "situation" does not improve.

But the interesting thing is, in what way does Kerry plan to improve the situation? If Kerry plans to improve the situation by removing us from Iraq, that's one thing, but the email states possible upcoming problems with "Pakistan, North Korea and other Nations." Kerry's plans of appeasement and more false promises from North Korea don't prevent the possibility of future problems. Moreover, as we've seen, Kerry doesn't have a great ability to even be kind to foreign leaders, let alone inspire them to remain peaceful and be our friends.

UPDATE: France wants out:
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.

Kerry the Wordsmith

I thought the "W is for Wrong" thing was lame. But this from yesterday was lameness wrapped in dorkiness swaddled in wimpiness. Yesterday, after whining that Bush's negative ads were getting so mean that the American people were getting scared from all the nastiness he declared:

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

At least when Bush butchers a word he does it by accident. Kerry probably sat down and hammered this out with aides. I wonder why they didn't go with distortials or miscommercials.

I also wonder why I could only find this tidbit in foreign newspapers

War Time Elections

Thank you Peter Robinson.
He has a post at The Corner this morning which is just what I was thinking about yesterday, only more well-informed, discussing American Elections in 1812, 1864, 1968, 1972 :)

In 1864, General George McClellan attempted to deny President Abraham Lincoln a second term, accepting the nomination of a Democratic Party that denounced the Civil War as “four years of failure.” Although McClellan argued for a continuation of the war, he attempted to have the issue both ways, making it clear that he remained open to some form of negotiated peace. Lincoln insisted instead on outright victory.

Lincoln won.

I would make the additional point that this election happened during our Civil War. If in fact things become a Civil War in Iraq, on what grounds can we say that their election during wartime is not legitimate considering we did the very same thing?
Also, notice the phrase "outright victory."

In 1968, Hubert Humphrey proved increasingly critical of the war in Vietnam as election day approached. By contrast, Richard Nixon remained committed to the defense of South Vietnam.

Nixon won.

In 1972, George McGovern proved unambiguously dovish, calling for [a] withdrawal from Vietnam, while Richard Nixon remained, once again, committed to American war aims.

Nixon won.

My point? That in attempting to portray Iraq as a second Vietnam, John Kerry is not only making obvious mistakes on the substance—the military situation in Iraq is entirely different from that of Vietnam, and even now we have suffered only as many casualties during the entire conflict in Iraq as we suffered in Vietnam every two months. Kerry is also demonstrating an astonishing ignorance of the character of the nation. When the country is at war, Americans reject vacillation, voting for strength.

Exactly. Senator Kerry and his advisors would be wise to consider this history before Thursday night.

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer said on Special Report tonight that in the 1864 Presidential election, 11 states did not even vote (plus remember there were fewer states then) and in the 1868 election, 3 states didn't vote. I don't know about you, but I would still claim that Abraham Lincoln was legitimately elected 1864.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Things that need clearing up...

*The Bush Administration is not talking about reinstating the draft.

*Swift Boat veterans for Truth is in fact a 527, but so is Whenever someone rips on the loopholes in the Campaign Finance reforms and says something like "527 organizations like Swift Boat Vets..." in a degrading tone, they need to acknowledge the millions that George Soros has been investing in for years. Remember that contest that had? Remember those commercials that were airing that bashed Bush, before Kerry was even the nominee? Well, just because you forgot, doesn't mean it didn't happen. If we shut down the Swift Vets, we have to shut down and Texans for Truth and the rest of the people who are practicing free speech.

*The Bush administration does not have a "secret plan" to financially kill the Wisconsin Dairy Farmer. I know this for two reasons:

#1: I am in the top 10% of the milk consumers in this nation. If there was a secret plan involving milk, I, as a valued milk customer, would know about it.

#2: If the President had a "secret plan," I am quite confident that John Kerry and his operatives would know nothing about it.

On these two bits of evidence I conclude not that Bush will crush the Dairy farmers, but instead that Kerry is desperate for Wisconsin's Electoral Votes and will do anything to get them. Don't give them to him Wisconsin!

J-Lo Strikes again

Jennifer Loven, that is, and she has a little something for everyone.

This morning, the infamous AP writer has this article: Bush's New Ads Slam Kerry's Iraq Comments.

Now before I get started on this piece of "news" has anyone seen an AP story where "Kerry" is the subject of the sentence. Something like "Kerry's Ads slam Bush's actions on Iraq" - because Kerry ads have certainly done that.

But I digress.

J-Lo Quote #1 - something incorrect
The Bush campaign is trying to portray Kerry as an indecisive candidate who shouldn't be trusted to serve as commander in chief.

No, that's not right. The Bush Campaign isn't trying to portray Kerry as indecisive, because they don't have to - Kerry is doing it for them, by, you know, talking.

J-Lo Quote #2 - something oddly placed and possible irrelevant:
In the middle of talking about Ohio's electoral votes and harping on how often Bush has been in the state, (with no mention of how Kerry never leaves!) she says:
The state's unemployment rate has risen to 6.3 percent and nearly 240,000 jobs have been lost since Bush took office in January 2001.
Relevance? Well, she's implying this is Bush's fault. She's wrong of course, as I've said before, but more importantly, people seem to know it's wrong. Even in the face of all that distressing data, data that makes it seem that Kerry thinks that whole state is about to burn to the ground, Kerry is behind in the polls, as she herself seems forced to admit:
Along with his frequent visits, Kerry is spending aggressively on television ads to court Ohio voters, but polls find him trailing Bush in the state.

And I think there is a correlation there.
The more he comes here, the more the smart, mostly employed voters of Ohio see him, the more they say, "Oh, what were we thinking by supporting him ever. Please stop coming to Ohio."
Again, I must state that I am unemployed - one of the 3.3% of college graduates who are unemployed and yet still support the President.

So that's the article. It could have been worse, but we have a lot of day left to go.

Additionally, here's an update on how the power of the people can impact the AP's liberal headline writing. (There's a bit about Ms. J-Lo in there as well.)

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Well, now we really have to dig in...

...because it appears that President Bush has lost the Sugar Beet Vote.

Warning: The above article is penned by the Associated Press, and as such it is possible that it is more a Campaign press release than a news story about what I'm sure will become known as the "Great Sugar Beet Uprising of 2004". Or maybe not.

At any rate, if you are interested, you can read more about other AP/Kerry Campaign maneuvers here and here.

Right Track Wrong Track...

Fox News just showed a poll asking people whether they think that the country is on the right track or the wrong track:
47% Right Track
51% Wrong Track

But here's the question, what does this have to do with the President? The response may have something to do with him, but not necessarily so. For instance, I think the country is on the wrong track, but I think it's on the wrong track because of people like Senators Daschle, Kerry, Clinton, Harkin, Kennedy and Dayton. I think the country is on the wrong track because of Courts like the 9th Circuit in California.

On the other hand, I think the President is one of the few people who is trying to put this country back on the Right Track. The fact that the country is not yet there is the reason that we need to re-elect him.

Are we thinking ahead?

This morning I read Ramesh Ponnuru's National Review article "If He Wins" which reminds Conservatives of the reasons they have to worry about a Kerry Presidency. Along with the somewhat obvious concerns about the Kerry's stances on the Patriot Act and taxes, as well as the Supreme Court judges he would nominate had he the chance, there are other concerns as well:
Over the last four years, much of liberalism and the Democratic party has gone on a bender. Liberalism has produced books and movies that are rancid with paranoia, and Democrats have not just refused to condemn them but have actively celebrated them.

Hmm...reminds me of the Arab Street: Leaders refusing to condemn terrorist attacks and everyday Arabs throwing block parties when 3000 Americans are killed on 9/11.
Not a day goes by without a liberal accusation that Bush "lied," an accusation that usually turns out on inspection to be an example of liberal nitpicking.

Or just plain wrong: See Dan Rather, Boston Globe, Sen Harkin, Terry McAuliffe etc etc etc.
Well-qualified Bush nominees to the courts have been filibustered on flimsy contexts...The allegations that the 2000 election was stolen; the symbiosis that has developed between the foriegn policies of the Democratic party and those of the French government; the activist, conspiracty-inventing press: None of it should be allowed to succeed. It shouldn't be allowed to be seen to succeed, either, or we will see more of it. It is not the most important reason to vote for Bush. But it would be a reason to savor his victory.

Though I would say that it is a reason to vote for President Bush because as the DNC continues to embrace such fanaticism and paranoia, the policies it supports will begin to resemble that fanaticism and paranoia. That is something I don't want for our country

Additionally, Powerline addresses that same issue through a Bill Kristol article and then moves on to make the point that Dan Rather isn't the only "news"man we have to worry about these days by referencing Mark Steyn.
(And let me say this: If including Bill Kristol and Mark Steyn in the same post isn't enough to get you to read said post, then I might as well just through up my hands and admit defeat... :)

Dear Senator Dayton...

The Ranger is from Le Sueur, Minnesota and as such reacted strongly to hearing Brit Hume report this week that Senator Dayton (D-MN) did not choose to come to Iraqi PM Allawi's speech to the joint session of Congress. In my last post I said that I think Sen. Dayton should apologize. Well, being from Minnesota, the Ranger took a little more action and sent him a letter:
Senator Dayton,
As one of my representatives in the U.S. Senate, I am extremely disappointed that you chose not to attend Prime Minister Allawi’s address to Congress on September 23, 2004. Your lack of attendance and subsequent comment describing the address as a “staged production” is disrespectful and reflects badly on the United States of America and Minnesota. I would have thought that you would understand this given your party’s preoccupation with how America is viewed by other nations and whether or not the rest of the world likes us.

You also said, “[Allawi] ought to be over there [in Iraq] running his country.” Should the president ever leave the United States to visit a leader or government body in another nation? Do you spend any of your time on the job in locations other than Washington D.C. or Minnesota? If you answer no to those questions you are consistent, but obviously wrong. The leaders of nations often travel to foreign countries in order to properly fulfill their responsibility to govern.

Since you refused to be informed, any comments that you now make on the situation in Iraq lack credibility.

Simply put, it was your job to attend the address. By failing to do so (and not even watching it on TV as you claimed), you are failing to represent the people of Minnesota. The voters in your state will hold you accountable for your actions. If you continue to disregard your duties and deny the people of Minnesota proper representation, the voters will not re-elect you to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Le Sueur, MN

I encourage other Minnesotans to do the same. Write him, call him up, remind him of the definition of the word "represent."

Friday, September 24, 2004

On the issue of fairness...

Captain Ed calls for an apology by the Republican National Comittee after they sent "mass mailings to residents of two states warning that "liberals" seek to ban the Bible."

There's no talk at all of this happening, just like there's no plan by the Bush Administration to reinstate the draft just to clarify, as Captain Ed points out. So, the RNC should apologize. And the DNC, Kerry and his various hangers on should all apologize for spreading the draft rumor. And while were at it Captain Ed has some other apologies that should be delivered. Here are a few samples:
* Terry McAuliffe should apologize for calling President Bush "AWOL" and repeatedly asserting that Bush dishonored the country. McAuliffe has never presented a shred of evidence for those charges, and unless he does, he should apologize.

* Madeline Albright and Teresa Heinz Kerry should apologize for insinuating or outright stating that Bush already has Osama bin Laden and are holding him secretly until just before the election.

* Pat Leahy and a raft of other Democrats should apologize for calling Dick Cheney a "war profiteer" because of his sealed, blind trust that contains his deferred compensation from Halliburton. That money exists regardless of Halliburton's work, and the pay is fixed; any profits Halliburton made since the deferral have no impact on its value, and everyone knows it. Cheney lost a lot of money when he cashed out his options in his former company. It's a baseless and cowardly smear.

I would also add Senator Harkin (as I mentioned before) should apologize for running with the CBS document story. And while we're at it, has the Boston Globe apologized?

And I think that every Senator without a really really good excuse should apologize for not coming to PM Allawi's speech yesterday. That man is incredibly brave and a hero in this war against Terrorism. He deserves the respect of our country and especially the elected officials that represent its citizens.

PM Allawi on Iraqi Elections

As has already been stated, Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi's speech was important and informative (regardless of what Senator Kerry has to say about it). So, I wanted to quote one of the more informative pieces of his speech, concerning the hopeful and persistent nature of the Iraqi people. (and you can read the entire transcript here)
As we move forward, the next major milestone will be holding of the free and fair national and local elections in January next.


I know that some have speculated, even doubted, whether this date can be met. So let me be absolutely clear: Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time.


For the skeptics who do not understand the Iraqi people, they do not realize how decades of torture and repression feed our desire for freedom. At every step of the political process to date the courage and resilience of the Iraqi people has proved the doubters wrong.


They said we would miss January deadline to pass the interim constitution.

We proved them wrong.

They warned that there could be no successful handover of sovereignty by the end of June. We proved them wrong. A sovereign Iraqi government took over control two days early.

They doubted whether a national conference could be staged this August. We proved them wrong.

Despite intimidation and violence, over 1,400 citizens, a quarter of them women, from all regions and from every ethnic, religious and political grouping in Iraq, elected a national council.

And I pledge to you today, we'll prove them wrong again over the elections.


Our independent electoral commission is working with the United Nations, the multinational force and our own Iraqi security forces to make these elections a reality. In 15 out of our 18 Iraqi provinces we could hold elections tomorrow. Although this is not what we see in your media, it is a fact.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Back to Reuters...

Apparently, Reuters is not to be out done in the "Which Wire Service has the more Ridiculously Biased 'News' Stories" contest, because they just couldn't let today's AP Kerry/Allawi fiasco slip by without providing their own entry.

Remember how Reuters complained about the word "terrorist" being placed in their articles?

Well, it seems that the (not-to-be-called) terrorists are close friends of Reuters, as they show their care and concern for such terrorists with this submitted article, Bomber's stunned family has little time to grieve
Here's the problem, as reported by James Taranto, who calls the article a "weepy piece about the family that produced [a] savage":
Not a word of sympathy from Reuters about the families of the men she murdered. Meanwhile, Arutz Sheva reports that the murderer was the hostess of a children's television program, and her wealthy family owned the station on which she appeared. So much for poverty as the "root cause" of Palestinian barbarism.

Teresa essentially "Whatevers" Arizona

The Kerry Spot is laughing over this priceless exchange between Teresa Heinz Kerry and a reporter:
News Reporter: Most of the polls are tracking that Sen John Kerry as doing a better job on the economy. My question is, why hasn’t that transferred overall in the poll numbers?
Teresa: It has, of course. Of course it has.

Reporter: He’s still down.

Teresa: He’s not. Did you see the polls today? You saw Zogby and ARG —

Reporter: Yes, but he’s still down in Arizona.

Teresa: Oh, who cares? You know, one state is not a whole state. In the whole United States, he is even, even, and in some of them one point ahead, and in some one point behind.

You can see video of this exchange by going here and clicking on "Teresa Kerry talks about the campaign in Sun City."
"Priceless" indeed :)

The AP weighs in, Kerry Agrees

After hearing about this AP headine: Bush: Terrorists May Plan More Attacks , I was a little miffed, because both the President and Allawi had great messages of hope and victory in Iraq.

And now, Powerline has an even more distrubing update about the AP Campaigning for Kerry
Hindrocket details the main object of the offense:
[T]he bulk of the AP's account of Allawi's speech is not devoted to an account of Allawi's speech. It is devoted to undercutting and contradicting Allawi's statements, and suggesting that his address to Congress was merely a political ploy by the Bush administration.

He quotes the AP stories linked in my earlier post and then points out why the APs actions are so dangerous:
This kind of shameless electioneering is typical of the Associated Press's news coverage. And, because the AP is the dominant wire service, its blatantly biased story will appear in hundreds, if not thousands, of newspapers.

And he's absolutely right. Go and try to find an article covering Kerry's speech that doesn't have the same quotes or the same information, or simply the AP story reprinted on their news site. It's difficult because I tried earlier. AP and Reuters run the show, and apparently, as Hindrocket updates, Kerry is using their articles for his speeches because his ridiculous rebuttal contains the same themse as the AP story.

Leaving Aside the AP, the more important question of Kerry's position is addressed:
Kerry's idea of how to "behave like we're at war" is to hang around the U.N. hobnobbing with "foreign leaders." Of course, Prime Minister Allawi is a foreign leader, too. But Kerry has a highly selective list of "leaders" and "allies" to whom we should defer, and he is remarkably quick to denigrate and insult leaders and allies who don't suit his political purposes.
the Democratic Party's candidate for President is on record as saying that January elections are impossible; or, if held, they will be illegitimate. The primary purpose of the terrorists' current terror campaign is to force the postponement or cancellation of the Iraqi elections. A secondary objective has been to secure the election of John Kerry. Through Kerry's own actions, those objectives have now become one. Kerry's message to the terrorists is: What you're doing is working. Keep it up. If I'm elected, you'll get your wish and there will be no elections in Iraq.

I added the emphasis because I've been thinking about this lately: Kerry doesn't talk about being victorious in Iraq, but when he talks about Iraq, he's talking about being victorious here in November. Iraq has to be a disaster, American soldiers have to die so that then Kerry can say "See I was right, Bush can't do it, but I can."
Let me say that another way: The worse things in Iraq become, the better it is for the Kerry Campaign. That's devastating - For Kerry, for the Democratic Party, for the Coalition forces, for our country and for the entire Worldwide War on Terror.

UPDATE: Kerry Spot has a note for Senator Kerry:
But if you want to be the next president, and the Prime Minister of Iraq comes to Washington to address a joint session of Congress, where should you be?

In the U.S. Capitol chamber!

Not in a Columbus, Ohio firehouse!

Ditto. And I would add "Not in Ohio at all. Ever."

Again with Ohio

After reading my lament about Kerry's refusal to vacate Ohio, the Ranger asked me if I thought he would come back before November.
"Uh, he's here now. That speech he gave this morning was from Columbus"
"You're kidding?!"
Nope. He's here now. I don't know when he's leaving, but I have recieved an interesting theory:
Has John Kerry moved to Ohio? He's been there for several months, right? What are the laws there? Can he stay long enough to establish Ohio residency and cast his vote for Team Kerry in a crucial swing state?

I have no idea about the law, but I think that he probably has enough "days in residence" built up.
The email goes on to express concern for Kerry:
I hope the senator doesn't become too depressed living in a state that he essentially describes as a third world jobless wasteland.

And, on the subject the continued subject of inauthenticity, Fraters has posted some "Forged Memos We'd like to see on CBS News". Ha.

UPDATE: The Ranger wants it to be known that he knew that Kerry would be back and he asked the above question sarcastically, for those who wouldn't automatically assume that he was well aware of Kerry's fondness for the Buckeye state.

Reminder: The Whole World is fighting Terror

An update tomy post earlier this month about Russia's reaction to the Beslan massacre:
This article (subsciption only) by Weekly Standard's Frederick W. Kagan. The most important points are quotes from Russians themselves.
First, a Russian Policeman:
In the United States, after September 11, there were not any more attacks. Here they have not done anything. We get kicked from all sides.

Second, Russian President Putin who "implicitly praised the U.S. response to 9/11 under Bush's leadership" by saying:
Events in other countries prove that terrorists meet the most effective rebuff where they confront not only the power of the state, but also an organized and united civil society.
We have to admit that we failed to recognize the complexity and danger of the processes going on in our country and the world as a whole.

Do we have anyone in America who is failing to "recognize the complexity and danger" of what's going on in our country?
It's John Kerry, who just today delivered a slap in the face to Iraqi PM Allawi by saying he contradicted himself and implying that the PM doesn't know what's going on in his own country [more on this later].

But Kagan connects this together and sums it up nicely:
[T]he events of recent weeks have shown clearly that the simplistic approaches and criticisms coming from the Kerry camp are far less likely to succeed than the more complex and sophisticated strategy the Bush administration has pursued. The right program is not, as Kerry says, to "internationalize" the coalition in Iraq, to be cautious and defensive in the use of our power, to ensure that we move in lock step with other states that, quite wrongly, do not feel themselves as threatened as we do. The right strategy is to attack the terrorists where they live and train, to pressure their sponsors to stop supporting them, to build up our defenses at home and abroad, and to be willing to fight to prevent attacks on our homeland. This is the essence of the Bush strategy in the war on terror, supported by the president's single-minded determination to protect Americans' security. It is the only strategy, as events have shown, that has any hope of success.

Iraq and Fallujah are not interchangable

Or, in the exact words of Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi today in the Rose Garden Press Conferance:
You cannot substitute 'Fallujah' for 'Iraq'.

He went on to explain that the city is a small part of the country as a whole. The President supported this in a previous statement that there are "25 million people" in Iraq, the "vast majority" of whom want to live in peace.

Also, PM Allawi just said there are 18 provinces in Iraq, and of those 18, 14 to 15 are completely safe, and he goes on to list them.

Earlier in the week, Hugh Hewitt posted an email from a Marine office who had just returned form Iraq. That officer commented on just this topic (emphasis added by me):
In the wake of all the unbelievable things that are being said about this war right now in the media, I thought that I might pass along a couple of things that won't make it to the news.

First, I would like to remind you all about the actual size of this country. It is roughly the size of California. Baghdad is the biggest city with a population of about 6 million, so it is a little bit bigger than Los Angeles. The reason why I tell you that is because the media is leading you all to believe that this entire country is "tumbling into complete chaos." Please don't believe that! What is happening in Baghdad and parts of Fallujah and Sammarah (A combined total population of 7 million) does not reflect what is being done around the whole country. It reminds me of the time when I was stationed at Fort Ord, CA early on in my Army career. I was talking to a friend of mine from back east and she said, "Don, are you alright? I mean, are you safe?"

A little puzzled, I replied, "Yeah, I'm fine, why do you ask? "

"Well, I heard about all the violence that is happening lately in Los Angeles and I wanted to know that you were OK," she said.

"Uh, thanks, " I said with a smile that must have went right through the phone. "You do know that Los Angeles is almost 350 miles away right?"

But she had never been to California. To her it was all the same. But ask a person who lives in Northern California and they will tell you that their part of the state is VERY different from Southern California.

And the same is true in Iraq. What is happening in Baghdad does not reflect what is happening in Southern Iraq where the UK brigade are continuing to "win the hearts and minds" of the people in Al Basrah and Al Hillah. Or ask my friend Jake who is stationed near An Nasiriyah. In one of his emails to me, he sent me a picture of him riding on a camel and this statement, "Here's me doing some crazy stuff with some of the locals. They are great people and so friendly. 90% of this country are people like these who simply want a safe country to live in."

That's a big quote, but it's an important point. Iraq is a big place. We may say that America is in a bad situation because of the violence that goes on in many big cities (and even small towns) each and every day, but we would never say it's "a mess" in the sense that people are saying Iraq is. We would never say that we should Abandon democracy in America because it must not be working if people are killing other people.

Iraq wants to live in freedom. "It is tough work" as President Bush just said, but "we will complete our mission."
The Free Nations of the World are trying to help Iraq live in Freedom, and we should continue to do so.

Please let it be Ohio, please please...

It seems Senator Kerry just won't leave Ohio. So, when I saw this article, Kerry pulls campaign ads in four states I had some hope that Ohio was one of them.
No such luck:
John Kerry has canceled plans to begin ... commercials in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and ...Missouri.
Kerry is still strongly competing in several GOP-leaning battlegrounds, including Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Nevada.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Oh yeah? Kerry and which (European) Army

Admittedly, I got into a bit of a rant yesterday when talking about Kerry's plans to keep America from going alone in Iraq.

Well, just to make the point again


I have recently found two articles to support this fact, and I know there are many more out there, because it's you know...a FACT.
Moreover, these authors can make this point without ranting. Here is the first one: but beware, he does include some French, which I've omitted here for obvious reasons, but if you follow the link hide your children's eyes...

Weekly Standard's Gary Schmitt on Kerry's Phony Foreign Forces
ON MONDAY, in Brussels, Republican strategist Charles Black debated Kerry campaign adviser and fundraiser R. Scott Pastrick on the implications for Europe of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. As reported from Europe, Pastrick stated that a Kerry administration would be "culturally sensitive" to European concerns and that the candidate himself had a "natural tendency to march with Europe." Of that point, we have no doubt.

But "march with Europe" in which direction? John Kerry has accused President Bush of living in a "fantasy world" on Iraq. But Kerry claimed in his recent, much-touted "plan" for Iraq that, if elected, he would reduce American troop levels in Iraq by replacing them with troops from France and Germany. Who lives in a "fantasy world"? If Kerry indeed knows anything about Europe, he knows there isn't the smallest chance that these countries will provide troops, not even to their friend John Kerry. Anyone familiar with the state of German forces knows that Germany cannot and will not send troops to Iraq. The Germans are already hard pressed to keep a few thousand troops in Afghanistan. They are not going to deploy significant new numbers to Iraq even if they wanted to--which they emphatically don't.

As for Paris, well, French president Jacques Chirac made it quite clear on Monday, while in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, that Kerry's possible victory in November would have no impact on France's decision to stay out of Iraq: "French policy with regard to Iraq has not changed and will not change." [French translation omitted- A.B]

So, yes, it is true that Kerry will have a "tendency to march with Europe." He will march right out of Iraq, leaving behind chaos and a new terrorist base in the Middle East. In the meantime, he is deceiving the American people by promising French and German help which he knows will never come.

So much for the big Europe promise. What's next Senator? Bashing the countries that are already involved? Oh, you've already done that, have you? Riiiiiight. I remember now. I read that article too. I'll be posting it very soon...

It must have been the floor...

...the hardwood floor that is.
I think Beverly's computer is a lot like her - opposed to the drafty nature of hardwood floors. But now, after a lot of consideration, which caused Beverly a lot of consternation, the computer has apparently decided that the floors here are carpeted (or tiled or something) and so it was safe to return.

Welcome back Beverly (and your computer)!

Praying the vote

USA Today credits the importance of the Christian base coming out to vote for President Bush come November:
A footnote to the 2000 presidential election results contains a key to whether President Bush will be re-elected this year.
That is, the turnout among a core Republican constituency — conservative, white evangelical Protestants — was lower in 2000 than it was in 1996.

As always, we should pray. My love for God inspires me to love my neighbor and it is my love for my neighbor that makes me care about this election. I care about the election because I care about the people in this country: that they are safe, happy and prosperous. So, Get out the vote, friends, get out the vote.

Ordinary and Extraordinary

Rush Limbaugh just had a wonderful monologue about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things, and framed it in the context of the blogosphere brining down media giant CBS. He also said that the critiques of the blogs right now are very similar to the critiques he faces when he started his show: no checks and balances, no respected reputation, etc.
He said that talk radio and Fox News had their turn and now the bloggers are the focus because "we all take our turns in the criticism carousel of the Left."

Yes, I particularly liked that phrase of his, but on a deeper level, the idea of ordinary Americans who are anonymous because they are not well known (as opposed to being anonymous because they can't be known) and yet still are keeping the country going on a day to day level is quite inspiring.

Why Iraq is Good Enough...

Jonah Goldberg is willing to concede (at least) ten cricisms about Iraq. He ends up with more than ten, but they are valid criticisms, many of which have been heard from pundits for weeks.
In fact, it's pretty easy to pass ten. In other words, I don't think things are going swimmingly in Iraq. In fact, I don't know anyone who does.

Now, none of this is to say that there aren't good responses to many of the points above. Very quickly (indeed, with a brevity that makes a mockery of thoughtfulness and thoroughness)

He goes on to address most of the criticism list, which is a valuable exercise, considering how often we hear these critiques.

Here are two example of critiques (C) and his responses(R)(they are number 1 and 8 from his list, respectively):
C:Iraq is a mess.

R:Iraq would be a mess today no matter what steps Bush took. It would be a different mess, but a mess nonetheless. Picking an arbitrary date and saying "It's a mess now, therefore it wasn't worth it" is silly, and could be done to every major enterprise ever undertaken, from the building of the pyramids to putting men on the moon.
C:The war has cost us dearly in the eyes of many nations around the world.

R: Many of the nations that hate us for Iraq hated us anyway. The myth — oft-repeated by Jim Carville and others — that America was beloved by the world until the Iraq war or George Bush is hogwash. Anti-Americanism — in France, in Greece, throughout the third world — has been raging for a long time and actually increased with the defeat of Communism and on Bill Clinton's watch. That's not to say it was Clinton's fault in any significant way. It was merely a fact of life. Iraq is an excuse for America-bashing among nations that clearly couldn't be counted on no matter who was in the Oval Office.

Jonah then goes on to contast this war with the Cold War, calling it "the complete and total opposite." And he's right in all of this. Iraq isn't great, what war ever is "great." We look at wars as a success only after victory is had, and then only marginally so. President Bush is fighting this war with victory in mind. Kerry is not. Or, as Jonah ends his article:
So sure, Bush hasn't done everything right — never mind perfectly — in Iraq. Churchill didn't conduct World War II perfectly every time either. Dunkirk wasn't the sort of thing that happens when the war goes swimmingly. But Bush gets all of this. John Kerry doesn't, in my opinion. Or, to be more accurate, John Kerry "gets" everything and therefore nothing. If the choice were between Bush and a better commander-in-chief, I might not vote for Bush. But that's not the choice, now is it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Blogging" Author's biased blog...

Ms O'Brien has a blog. Remember her from my post about the MSNBC show last night? Well, I didn't know anything about her site, but Rathergate was onto, and called Keith Olbermann on his lack of transparency for not revealing this woman's bias.

How do I know about her bias? Well, the subtitle of her blog is "Chronicle of Our Nation's Crisis (the Bush Administration)" so we know where she stands.

She posted that I was angry with her (though she used more colorful language, both in the post and in her comments), which I was not. In fact, I felt bad for her because I saw the situation as one where Olbermann steered the conversation in a direction which forced her to cast doubt on the validity of the bloggers who broke the story. But that is not the case.
See, I had been wondering why she didn't mention said bloggers, why she didn't mention Powerline et. al. and instead mentioned Drudge. Well, Powerline is a conservative website, and i don't think she wanted to give any credit or free advertising as it were to conservative bloggers who are vetted and reputable and who were able to move beyond vague and bias statements by posting readers legitimate concerns about the documents. She believes bloggers are influential, just not the conservative bloggers apparently.

Moreover, as Powerline has said again and again, they didn't have to do a lot of research for this story, they merely posted the information that readers were sending them, corroborating it when necessary. And if operatives really have been "feeding junk" to Drudge as Ms. O'Brien thinks, this certainly wasn't part of it. Drudge saw Powerline and linked to it and that was it.

I had also been wondering why she didn't give herself any free advertising, why she didn't mention her blog. Every other blogger I've seen on TV since this happened has had their blog mentioned in one way or another. But since her blog is so obviously slanted, either she or MSNBC must have felt it would be too much to show her blog address. You see, they had to be careful because she was on there alone, she wasn't paired with another blogger or pundit (the way Powerline blogger Scott Johnson went up against the more Liberal Juan Williams earlier today on FoxNews), she was by herself. Appearing alone gives the impressing of being impartial, a commenter there to comment because of her expertise. It's true that there was no "overt" mention of her bias, but a careful viewer could see it.

She mentioned Drudge with the idea to discredit the story, as Jeremy said yesterday. She didn't seem at all offended by the mention of the blogger-right-wing conspiracy theory which I think would annoy any blogger associated with the breaking of this story.

Ms. O'Brien's post includes a transcript of the interview, in case you missed it.

In the end Perhaps Keith Olbermann wasn't so clueless afterall. He knew she had a blog and he refused to mention it. He refused to site her bias, which if he even looked at the top of her website would have been obvious.

That is MSNBC. It's not transparent, and neither is Ms. O'Brien. And she is certainly not "fair and balanced".

But I was not angry with her over her appearance. I was merely confused and curious as to why the interview went the way it did. Now it's all a lot more clear to me.

Kerry's "news" is old news

Fox news reports that President Bush said about the Kerry Doctrine what I said earlier today.
Bush dismissed Kerry's four-point plan as a proposal for 'exactly what we're currently doing.'

I think Senator Kerry must have misunderstood when he was pressed for what he would do in Iraq, though I admit it's nice of him to alert the public to the President's current plan.
James Taranto comments along with his readers. One of whom says:
I've been waiting for someone to explore what Kerry's pitch to foreign leaders will sound like. "Hey, Jacques, we're engaged in a war at the moment. It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would you be willing to send some French soldiers to help us fight it?" That sure sounds like a winning sales pitch, doesn't?

Yeah. I even heard tonight that Kerry and his people admit that neither France nor Germany will be committing troops, as Chirac himself is said. So who's left???? Someone please tell me who Kerry plans on bringing into Iraq, even laying aside the fact that he keeps bashing the whole idea of the war everywhere he goes.

Meanwhile, the FoxNews article quotes Sen. Tom Harkin as saying

With our military tied down in Iraq ... we are less, not more secure, and more vulnerable, not less vulnerable,

I don't know about you, but I think this is tired rhetoric, and I'm still waiting for Senator Harkin to apologize for jumping on the CBS forged document bandwagon right after the 60 minutes report.

To Understand the worldwide ideological battle...

...-- especially the one between America and Western Europe and within America itself -- one must understand the vast differences between leftist and rightist worldviews and between secular and religious (specifically Judeo-Christian) values.

That is the first paragraph of Dennis Prager's article: The left thinks legally, the right thinks morally.

As I just heard on the radio today, the Left is scared of moral absolutes, and they avoid it at all costs, in arenas.

Dennis continues:
Whatever their feelings about George W. Bush or about attacking Iraq, for most of those on the Left, the rightness or wrongness of toppling Saddam Hussein's regime was determined by its legality (i.e., whether it was authorized by the U.N. Security Council). On the other hand, for those who supported attacking Iraq, whether the war was deemed legal played no role in their assessment of its rightness or wrongness.
To those who supported removing Saddam Hussein by force, if the United Nations did not authorize it, it was a reflection on the morality of the United Nations, not the morality of the war.

He asks why the Left loves worldly law so much (especially to the exclusion of God's laws) and answers:
First, the Left, which is largely secular, regards morality not as absolute, but as relative. This inevitably leads to moral confusion, and no one likes to be morally confused. So instead of moral absolutes, the Left holds legal absolutes. "Legal" for the Left is what "moral" is for the Right. The religious have a belief in God-based moral law, and the Left believes in man-made law as the moral law.

Second, whereas they cannot change God's laws, those on the Left can and do make many of society's laws.
In fact, the Left is intoxicated with law-making. It gives them the power to mold society just as Judeo-Christian values did in the past. Unless one understands that leftist ideals function as a religion, one cannot understand the Left.

His days are numbered...or are they?

The Elder is running a poll on when Mr. Rather will be shown the door at CBS. This is interesting because CBS's position is pretty tricky. If they want to salvage their reputation with the public as a responsible news organization, they should toss him now. However, if they keep him, they salvage their reputation with him and they try in vain salvage his reputation with the public. So which will it be?

My guess, CBS will try to stall Rather's departure, but the outcry of viewers, affilates and sponsors will force them to change their minds. In the same way that the outcry from all of the above plus the blogosphere causes CBS to give up the stonewalling about the documents in the first place. I would be very surprised if CBS learned its lesson.

The bottom line of the Kerry Doctrine

Arthur Chrenkoff lays out the "Kerry Doctrine" on Iraq and then asks all the questions that need to be asked. He also points out relevant flaws in the doctrine, or places where Kerry seems to want to do exactly what President Bush has been trying to do all along.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Reuters admits to having "slant"

...and they don't want it edited.

From Taranto's Best of the Web today:
The Reuters "news" service, a pioneer in fake-but-accurate journalism, is crying foul because editors at CanWest, a Canadian newspaper chain, have been inserting the word terrorist into Reuters stories about terrorists, the Canadian Broadcast Corp. reports:
The global managing editor for Reuters, David Schlesinger, called such changes unacceptable. He said CanWest had crossed a line from editing for style to editing the substance and slant of news from the Middle East.

"If they want to put their own judgment into it, they're free to do that, but then they shouldn't say that it's by a Reuters reporter," said Schlesinger.

Reuters' slant must not be edited! Except, of course, when it's Reuters doing the slanting. Remember the story of Deanna Wrenn,, the Charleston, W.Va., stringer whose dispatch on Jessica Lynch the "news" service turned into an anti-American screed? "I asked Reuters to remove my byline," she said. "They didn't."

Well, those who commit terrorists attacks are terrorists, and it's pretty bad when Canada, a country where some citizens are preparing a monument for "draft dodgers," is willing to call a spade a spade in this case.

UPDATE: Jeremy posted about this and his title and first few sentences are funny enough to deserve an update.
"Some Perhaps Very Unwise Choices Made by Angry Persons Who Clearly Feel Very Strongly About Certain Things About Which They Care Very Deeply"
The title of this post is just a stab at how one might use a headline to get at the truth in a non-emotive way, á la Reuters. A sub-headline could read something like: '20 'Children' Die' or 'Captive Beheaded.' There are really no wrong answers.

Exactly. Liberal=No Wrong Answers=Lack of Moral Clarity.
Hmm...reminds me of Dennis Prager's article.

All kinds of funny

1. Newsprint Funny that's funny because it's so sad: Patterico's repsponse to the the idea (in the NY Times today) that CBS officials are now "beginning to believe" the documents were forged:
Welcome to the party, guys.

He reminds us of recalls some of the previous statements by Rather and CBS such as "the sources are rock solid".

And, lastly this:
Former CBS executive Jonathan Klein was actually right when he said: "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of check and balances [at "60 Minutes"] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing."

The contrast is indeed looking starker with each passing day.

2. Scrappleface Satire Funny (via Patterico post above):
Dan Rather Uncovers Memo forgery, Demands Resignation
The kicker on the story:
Mr. Rather said he plans to spend his retirement "sitting around the living room in my pajamas, posting my thoughts to my new blog."

"Blogging" author implicity bashes blogosphere

Barbara O'Brien, author of "Blogging America" was just on Keith Olbermann. She's plugging her book, but she's also down on the blogosphere. She didn't shoot down Keith's idea that the furor in the blogosphere "originated" by Buckhead on Freerepublic was some sort of pipeline from the White house...or...something. I don't know, it wasn't really clear, they admitted it was some "alternative conspiracy theory" relating to the White House setting up CBS. Unbelievable. But the line of information that Ms. O'Brien gave was Buckhead to Drudge to "Major News Media."

She then said that she questioned Buckhead's arguments and people complained to her about it and (here's the victim card) she was forced to shut down her site. Now I am totally against leaving mean comments using anger or profanity or anything like that on someone's site, but Ms. O'Brien has left out something important. By leaving out the important blogs like Powerline and Little Green Footballs, she leaves the impression that it's only "anonymous" bloggers that are out writing about this and that their arguments may be skeptical. And in fact, Keith's closing line related to people "using their real names."

Now this is notable because we've all been around and around about the authenticity and credentials of Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker at Powerline (in fact, they've written two columns in the New York Post today with Edward Morrissey, the blogger from Captain's Quarters. You can read them here and here.) and Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs.
But I think there's an additional, stranger, point: Why is MSNBC interviewing people skeptical of the documents on the same day that CBS finally caves and admits the forgery??

Is Keith now going back to the old guard idea and trying to salvage some Bush beating out of this afterall??

UPDATE: Instapundit has some good obervations about "clueless" Keith O. on MSNBC tonight.

UPDATE 2: Mike from and RedState.orgwas called a "Shadowy Republican Operative" by Keith O and says MSNBC never contacted him about the story.
This is from the email he sent to Keith O. about the story:
I missed it, but I understand you used the "shadowy republican operative" line again. Phooey. launched five days AFTER the 60 Minutes broadcast. Not only that - the WHOIS registry was clear as a bell.
[D]escribing a website as anonymous without checking the registry isn't like claiming someone's hiding a phone number by making it unlisted, it's like making that complaint WITHOUT OPENING THE PHONE BOOK.

That is a great point. This is amazingly irresponsible of Keith considering that this whole story started because of a lack of research by CBS!!

But Keith is clueless after all...

UPDATE 3: Jeremy (who is actually in Ms. O'Brien's book) on the effects of discussing Drudge "non-roll" in breaking the story:
"to mention that name is to sprinkle magic anti-credibility dust over a story"

Rather isn't the only one with an authenticity problem

But at least Dan and CBS have admitted the forgery today. (That's the AP, who we don't usually trust, so you can read other articles here and here if you want, as well as the full CBS statement)
[Free registration required for NY times article. Or you can use mine: UserID:abigailb Password:newyork]

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt commented this weekend extensively onThe Meta-Meme: The Forgery is John Kerry, and John Kerry is the Forgery.

I'll save you some time and reprint some hi-lights:
The forged docs have hurt Rather and CBS because he and it ought to have seen through them. They shouldn't have been fooled because the docs were so obviously inauthentic.

Which brings us to John Kerry, the candidate who is defined by his inauthenticity.

Kerry is one of the most liberal members of the United States Senate --the most liberal member if you believe The National Journal-- but Kerry has tried to portray himself as a centrist.

At heart an opponent of the war in Iraq --openly in 1991, after the fact in 2003/4-- Kerry has tried repeatedly to protest his resolve in the war on terror and to avoid condemning his own vote to authorize the war while condeming the war that has actually been waged.
Kerry has said he believes life begins at conception, but he is an ardent supporter even of late-term abortions, also called partial birth abortions.
The memories that were "seared, seared" into him of his Christmas Eve in Cambodia in 1968 were made up, and many suspect his tale of a magic hat from a CIA man he ferried into Cambodia, and of running guns into Cambodia, are also fables. Whether or not you believe the Swift Boat Vets entire indictment, they have been targeting Kerry's truthfulness from the first day of their campaign.

The aroma of opportunism is all around Kerry's antiwar activism, and all around his maneuvering these days when he discusses his statements from that era thirty years ago. Did he or did he not believe the things he said then? Has he or has he not released his entire military record? Will he or will he not attack the president's national guard service? Does he or does he not keep company with Michael Moore and the fever swamp Democrats?

Is there anything real about this guy at all? Or is it just John Kerry 5.0?
And then [Kerry]he drops from site of reporters asking questions, ... It has been [50] days since the cameras rolled with John Kerry taking a series of questions from a Russert or a Wallace or a Hume? Dr. Phil? You can throw in a Dr. Phil, but you can't substitute Dr. Phil for Brokaw or Jennings or one of the heavies. Not, at least, if you are a real presidential candidate, an authentic candidate.

Authenticity is the precursor to trust, a necessary though certainly not sufficient condition to trust.
The first Bush was authentically a public servant of the old East, and his son a Texan tough guy with faith and charm. But Kerry...he's a lot of things, and none of them appear to be authentic. Like Gore. Like the Rathergate docs. Manufactured, not created.
You can't run for president as someone you are not, at least not anymore, and especially not in the wake of a forgery scandal. Daschle's got the same problem in South Dakota, and Boxer and Murray may have the same problem in their states as well. You can't pretend to be a centrist, or smart, when you are the spokesman for a party in the left ditch, or when you win, place or show in the dumb contest in the Washingtonian.

Steyn: What you don't hear about Iraq

The Ranger took Hugh's advice from this morning and sent me a link to this outstanding Mark Steyn article. As it turns out, I read the article last night and I've been working on this post. It is, as I said already, an outstanding article, and I encourage you to read the whole thing, but if you only have time for seven short paragraphs, then these are it. In them, Steyn begins by comparing Iraq to what is happening in Northern Ireland and then moves on to discussing Islam's growth throughout the world. (Keep in mind this picks up in the middle of the article, but the beginning is important as well, covering the Kofi Annan comments from last week...)
Do you remember that moment of Fallujah-like depravity in Ulster a few years ago? Two soldiers were yanked from a cab in the wrong part of town and torn apart by a Republican mob. A terrible, shaming episode in the wretched annals of Northern Irish nationalists. But in the rest of the United Kingdom - in Bristol, in Coventry, Newcastle, Aberdeen - life went on, very pleasantly.

That's the way it is in Iraq. In two-thirds of the country, municipal government has been rebuilt, business is good, restaurants are open, life is as jolly as it has been in living memory. This summer the Shia province of Dhi Qar, south-east of Baghdad, held the first free elections in its history, electing secular independents and non-religious parties to its town councils.

The Kurdish North, which would be agitating for secession if real civil war were looming, is for the moment content to be Scotland. The Sunni Triangle, meanwhile, looks like being the fledgling Iraqi federation's Northern Ireland for a while to come.

That's a pity. But, if you can quarantine it, the difference between it and the rest of the country will become starker, month by month.
But the beauty of handing over "sovereignty" to Ayad Allawi is that the new Prime Minister has more freedom of manoeuvre than Paul Bremer ever had, and, as he doesn't have to give press conferences on CNN every morning, there will be fewer questions afterwards.
And, in the end, the reality is this. A few weeks ago, Prof Bernard Lewis, the great historian of the Muslim world, told Die Welt that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century". That seems demographically unavoidable.

Given that much of what we now know as the civilised world will be Muslim, it seems prudent to ensure that what is already the Muslim world is civilised. And, for those who say that Islam is incompatible with democracy, we might as well try to buck that in Iraq today than in France, Scandinavia and Britain the day after tomorrow.

Don't hesitate to reread those last two paragraphs. I read them many times before it was finally clear to me what was being said. Islam is spreading, and if Islam and democracy really are mutually exclusive, then we have a lot more problems than we can even imagine...

Would you rather....?

No, this has nothing to do with Dan Rather.
It's a lot more fun, interesting and, perhaps, accurate than that.
Saturday night's Fox News Watch wondered if we had too many polls and asked if you would rather watch the leaves change color than go vote. The data to cause the question? The TNS Marketing group reports the following:
54% of americans are excited about the leaves changing this fall
48% are excited about the upcoming Presidential election.

There may be a lot of polls, but considering that most polls poll less than 1000 "likely" voters, I think you need a lot of them because one on its own seems to not check with enough people.

And even with all these polls, I've only been polled once in my life - and I think it was by the Ohio DNC. Come on, call me again, I'm ready for you.

(ps: to those of you who might have seen the broadcast I say this: "How did MSNBC's Keith O. beat CNN's Anderson Cooper??" Enough said.)

Are you a true sports fan?

If so, FootballFansForTruth explains why you can't possible support Kerry. They claim the "evidence is compelling", and with facts like these, I think they're right:
*Last month, John Kerry lauded "Lambert Field" during a visit to Wisconsin. He has yet to acknowledge Lambeau Field, the historic home of the Green Bay Packers. (Look for a Football Fans For Truth billboard coming soon near Lambeau Field, educating Wisconsin football fans about Kerry.)

*Kerry praised the Ohio State Buckeyes football team--during a visit to Michigan.

*Kerry once praised "Manny Ortez" of the Red Sox. There's no Manny Ortez on the Sox lineup--or indeed, any other MLB roster. Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz play for the Red Sox. Maybe all baseball players names sound alike to the Democrat nominee.

And there's much much more...

Lastly, I think this statement from their site should be their mission statement:
Football Fans for Truth is dedicated to informing the American sports fan of the great risk that could befall our country.

Those considering supporting Kerry should keep all this in mind. He is the "risk" of which they speak.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Where were you then? Where are you now?

I now get WSJ Opinion Journal's Best of the Web delivered by email (It's free, so you can too). In the first item on Friday's roundup, James Taranto quoted an email from one of his readers:
Your excerpt of Kerry's interview by Imus reminded me of something that has puzzled me about Kerry for a while. Whatever you may think about his 1971 testimony to the Senate, there was one thing admirable about it: It was unequivocal, clear, and direct; Even today, almost two generations later, no listener can be left with a doubt about what he meant.

To my knowledge this is the last time he ever talked like that. It has been my experience that the great majority of people learn from their mistakes, in particular when they are young. I have also observed that many people learn the wrong lessons. While Kerry could have learned, "Don't ever get in the wrong side of America" or, "Patriotism matters to voters," the lesson he learnt was "Be slippery."

Taranto then adds:
The only lesson Kerry seems to have learned since 1971 is that it isn't a good idea to demonize American servicemen as war criminals. (Though he remains too stubborn to apologize for having done so then.) But his relentless badmouthing of the war effort--without offering any clue as to how he would wage the war differently, or even a clear statement that he is determined to win--can only demoralize our soldiers and please our enemies. Which is exactly the effect his antiwar activism had in 1971.

This reminds me of something I heard Glenn Beck say on the radio this week. A caller was trying to say that President Bush and Senator Kerry were the same in that they both did things in the past that they are not proud of doing. The caller is mistaken, of course, and Glenn pointed out why. He said that President Bush has said "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible." I'm sure that is true for many of us, and it's admirable to admit it.

On the other hand, as the above email implies, as Glenn pointed out, and as the Kerry Campaign will not stop pointing out, Kerry's argument is "I defended American then, I will defend American now" with the understood additional prepositional phrase "in the same way." Kerry isn't ashamed of what he did in Vietnam (nor should he be). But neither is he ashamed of what he did after Vietnam.

Glenn's point: I don't want a President who claims to be the same person he was 30 years ago. I think the President's growth of character should be on the upswing.
And he's exactly right. Even as young as I am, I recognize that I don't want to be the same person in 5 years as I am right now, let alone 30 years from now. Additionally, I vigorously defend accusations that I am the same person that I was 5 or 7 years ago. On some level, we should all want to grow as people, growing in character, intellect and, hopefully, faith.

As I said before, even Bill Maher thinks that President Bush has changed after finding Jesus and growing up. Meanwhile, John Kerry bases his campaign on the fact that he's the same as he was then. Okay, Senator, we believe you. You've convinced us, but it's not gonna help you out come November.

A better return than "Coke" Classic

It never occured to me before, but Wizbang composed an interesting comparison between John Kerry and Bob Dole.

It seems that Bob Dole Classic is coming out to take on John Kerry. Guess who comes out looking better in the end?

Comment disclaimer: I can vouch for the family-friendly nature of the original post only, I'm recommending the post only. In the blogosphere, one should always read comments with caution.

Hot on the trail...

Marty has done some investigation into the "new 527" called "Move on for America" and followed the breadcrumbs to a brick house is Nashville that is probably rented.

Go figure...

(He also mentions that this group has managed to trick the AP. I, for one, am shocked that the AP would be swayed by a group with the words "move on" in its name.)

Meal Plan

From what I've seen so far, Stones Cry Out is shaping up to be a great Christian-run site. Moreover, he's got one of my favorite blogroll categorizations ever. It's so good, it makes me want to go back to beating my head up against the rock that was my "try to set up the blogroll" experience :)

Friday, September 17, 2004

The Oil-for-Food [for Saddam and his henchmen] Program

The Ranger fired a barrage of emails at me today, most of them containing news article links.
One of them said this:
If you are looking for a challenge, sort through this and give me a report or poster presentation.

He linked a FoxNews investigative piece(Possible Saddam-Al Qaeda Link Seen in U.N. Oil-for-Food Program), with Claudia Rosette as the contributor. It's a dense story and I don't have the flow chart all worked out yet, but Claudia broke this oil for food scandal story months ago, both Hugh Hewitt and Lileks talked about it a lot. Now Fox News will air a special on it Sunday night at 9pm. Cause really, how else did Saddam afford all those palaces?

He doesn't even believe her...

Somehow I caught Bill Maher interviewing Kitty Kelley...and you know what, Bill Maher doesn't even think that George W. Bush did the things at Camp David that she says he did. In fact, he seems to almost defense the President, saying something to the effect of "You don't think he grew up, changed, found Jesus etc etc..."
So, while it's true that he's derogatory about the President's faith with that sentence, even he doesn't believe that the President is the kind of man to be doing drugs that late in life.

I think Kitty Kelley needs a new day job.

46 days

46 days since John Kerry had a news conference or sat down with a reporter (the last time was Chris Wallace on FoxNews).
46 days until the election.
Kerry had been saying that he would have a new conference this week, but instead says now that he will continue his "Charm offensive" which utilizes "warm and fuzzy" interviews with the likes of Regis & Kelly, David Letterman and Dr. Phil.

Jim Angle's advice to Campaign Carl Cameron after giving this report: "Hang in there Carl."

Meanwhile, I heard Bill O'Reilly say last night that President Bush is making a stop in the No Spin Zone. Regardless of my issues with O'Reilly (i'm not the only one), that's definitely a harder place to be than you know, answering Kelly Ripa's questions about your billionaire wife's shoe collection.

Double take

I taped something that aired on CBS after I went to sleep last night and I was just watching it and I saw an interesting commercial. It's Dan Rather saying:
Trust the CBS Evening News to report on Campaign 2004, from where it happens, to where it matters most. Your home. Because every story is a local story...

He then goes on to plug the local news channel blah blah. But... is this a new commercial? I've never seen it before, but either way I think it's funny that they are asking us to trust them now

Thursday, September 16, 2004

AP is still Antagonizing, but Jonah Goldberg is my Hero

Yes yes, the AP is at it again:
A former Texas Air National Guard official who served at the same time as President Bush says he believes the bigger story about gaps in Bush's service is being overlooked in disputes over the validity of certain Guard documents.

This is basically what Dan Rather said that other night that the larger "thrust" of the story on 60 minutes has not been questioned. Have they been keeping Rather sequestered during all the minutes when he's not on TV or talking to the press?? How can he not know that those issues are being addressed, that the reason that those issues even exist is because of those "documents" and if the docs are fake then the story falls apart? Even the most Liberal Fox All-Star, Juan Williams ceded that point today. And still, Rather forges ahead thinking that the President did something somewhere and by golly he's gonna find it.

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg rejected this attempt by the Left to get back "on message" in an incredibly amusing way that gets extra points for linking it to Indiana Jones.

Something to look forward to, if you need a nap...

I somehow managed to make a few notes for later, but John Kerry's Wall Street Journal piece about his [current] economic policy is what I read to put myself to sleep last night. Read it at your own risk, and with a pillow handy...

Beyond the Campaigns of Hate

Chuch Colson condemns this year's mudslinging, attributing it to both parties, and both party's 527 hangers-on. (Though personally I don't think the Swift boat Vets are guilty of mudslinging. Instead, they have just told the world what they already knew about John Kerry.) He concludes though, but saying that Character is at the heart of the matter. He's right and he says this about President George W. Bush:
While I can’t endorse candidates, I can defend the faith and character of people I know well. I’ve worked with George Bush for ten years, beginning when he, as governor, invited us to bring the first faith-based prison in America to Texas. I’ve seen the president keep his word when it would have been easier to break it.

The rise of the "Pajamahadeen"

James Geraghty of The Kerry Spot provides a commentary to Tuesday night's report from the CBS Evening News.

It's an important piece because he points out where Dan Rather and the reporter, John Roberts, try to turn the story away from them and back to Bush by interviewing those (like Terry McAuliffe) who will continue to present untruths as facts. Roberts even implied that First Lady Laura Bush, in her radio interview, was lying.
Geraghty's response to that:
To quote ESPN's Stuart Scott, "Oh no he dint!" He "dint" just insinuate that the First Lady a liar! He "dint" just suggest there's no evidence the memos are forged. And he "dint" just throw down that gauntlet in front of the pajamahadeen! Oh, he did? You're gonna regret that one, boy.

I know I've put a lot out there recently, but read this if you have the chance because it straight shoots where CBS is trying to dive under the rock.

Kerry candidacy: Gift from God to the Catholic Church

National Review's Austin Ruse on Catholic Bishops & Election 2004.
Informative article. I had no idea about any of this. Here's the first paragraph:
The Presidential Questionnaire from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is dead. But do not mourn. Its death is a good thing, and is important not just for Catholics but for all who were concerned that candidate Kerry was about to get official Church cover for his pro-abortion position.

The entirety of the article implies that those who write the questionnaire intend it to gain Catholic support for Liberal candidates. I wonder if Conservative Catholics would be surprised to hear about this. Maybe the Brilliant Philosopher will have something astute to say about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What did he say?

I heard the CBS statement today, but I had no idea what it actually said. In case I'm not the only one who didn't understand the long-awaited statement, Powerline has kindly translated it for us. (I posted the content here cause it short and I want to save you all time :)

Statement from CBS:
"We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing."

Translation by Scott Johnson:
CBS has played its cards; it holds none. CBS now undertakes efforts to discover evidence bolstering a story that has blown up in its face. Its efforts should be redirected to facing reality and acknowledging culpability. It is now at the least complicit in a fraud of monumental proportions.

Other reactions:
An Instapundit reader said this:
The best part is the president of CBS news can't spell! I guess that's proof they didn't use Microsoft Word!

Instapundit also noted that the memos have gone from "Authentic" to "accurate." What's up with that? Are we still supposed to believe the 80+ year old Anti-Bush former secretary that says those "ideas" seem to match some stuff she heard 30 years ago? Or more incredibly, that there actually were documents that said such things? If there were...where are they now? CBS is dragging their feet, creating more problems for themselves.

Meanwhile One Hand Clapping humorously imagines what it was like for the blogs to wait for the release of the statement. (via Instapundit)

Finally, If you are desperate for even more reaction to this (cause I know you love it) you can find it here,here (with a good picture), and here(with the winning title "Double plus ungood").

UPDATE: CBS sent a longer statement to its affiliates. Little Green Footballs posts it in full, but if you want to read it with running commentary/translation, check here. [Beware, it's pretty long.]

Reuters, AP, Same Difference

Maybe I should be emailing Reuters now after this story. James Taranto posts this on Opinion Journal:

"In a dispatch discussing the Rather Scandal, Reuters 'reports':
First lady Laura Bush, in an interview with Radio Iowa, said the documents in question were "probably" forgeries. "I think that's terrible, really," she said. She did not explain why she thought they were forgeries

Uh, maybe because everyone but CBS says they are?"

And now, for some funny...

Scrappleface cracks me up, but I'm a fan of satire.
His latest article:Dan Rather: 'I Flat Out Lied' About Bush Memos
CBS News reporter Dan Rather, with characteristic candor and objectivity, told his Evening News audience tonight, "I flat out lied" about the authenticity of memos which seem to show George W. Bush tried to evade service in the Air National Guard in the early 1970s.

"People have placed their trust in my words for four decades," said Mr. Rather. "With that kind of credibility, I never thought anyone would question the memos. I figured by the time the news broke, President Kerry would have named me as White House spokesman."

Mr. Rather added, "In light of the revelation that I lied through my teeth to the American public, I am announcing my retirement so I can devote full time to writing my memoir."

Random House has already offered the veteran newsman an $8 million advance for the book, according to photocopies of a memo distributed by Mr. Rather.


[Oh, that's the whole thing. I posted it here because I can't vouch for the commenters on his site. Sometimes they are not very family friendly]