Thursday, September 30, 2004


Vote Early and Often

Swarmy DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe helpfully reminds us:

"National and local news organizations will be conducting online polls during and after the debate asking for readers' opinions. Look for online polls at these national news websites, and make sure to vote in every one of them:"

ABC News:
CBS News:
Fox News:
USA Today:

"And be sure to check the websites of your local newspapers and TV stations for online polls. It is crucial that you do this in the minutes immediately following the debate."

Hey, thanks Terry!

Kerry exasperated

The Legend of the Fast Finisher

Can Kerry come from behind a beat President Bush in November? That’s the last slim straw of hope many Democrats are clutching.

The New York Times reassures the enlightened with a front page story of how Kerry focused in the last weeks of his campaign against Bill Weld to keep his Senate seat.

. . . he and his supporters are counting on the reputation he cemented in that 1996 campaign and again in the Democratic primaries this year as a candidate who runs best from behind, a political Seabiscuit who pulls ahead after from his anxiety-producing slow starts.

I wouldn’t count on it.

First of all, Kerry came from behind in early polls to beat a Republican in liberal Massachusetts.

Second of all, '96 was a presidential election year and Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole in Massachusetts by 33 percentage points . . . one of the largest margins in any state in any presidential election in history.

Kerry’s margin of victory? Seven points

So Kerry was the incumbent Democrat in a Democratic state with a massive Democratic tide behind him and he still managed to win by only 7 points. That can’t be comforting news for professional Democrats.

The fact is, Kerry is not a “closer” as the Times would have you believe. He is a loser.

tony blair

Here's Why I Like Brits

" . . . [if you] take the first view, then when you see the terror brought to Iraq you say: there, we told you; look what you have stirred up; now stop provoking them.

But if you take the second view, you don't believe the terrorists are in Iraq to liberate it.

They're not protesting about the rights of women - what, the same people who stopped Afghan girls going to school, made women wear the Burka and beat them in the streets of Kabul, who now assassinate women just for daring to register to vote in Afghanistan's first ever democratic ballot, though four million have done so?

They are not provoked by our actions; but by our existence.

They are in Iraq for the very reason we should be. They have chosen this battleground because they know success for us in Iraq is not success for America or Britain or even Iraq itself but for the values and way of life that democracy represents. They know that. That's why they are there.

That is why we should be there and whatever disagreements we have had, should unite in our determination to stand by the Iraqi people until the job is done."

Tony Blair

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


I Due Simonas

The release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta is good news at last for the Italians. Yet some people still manage to find a cloud in all the sunshine.

But the kidnapping seemed to harden the position of many opponents of the war, who have said it stood as tangible proof that Mr. Berlusconi's policy creates greater dangers for Italy and Italians.

Francesco Rutelli, an opposition leader, said Tuesday that "we are all filled with joy" at the women's release. But he added, "We know full well that there are clear differences in our judgments of this war and the postwar, which unfortunately is creating more victims."

But wait a second. Aren’t the “insurgents” still holding two French journalists? Isn’t France’s policy on Iraq the polar opposite of Italy’s? What tangible proof is there that Chirac’s policy has eased the dangers for France and Frenchies?

Oh, I suppose you could say Italy rescued the two Simonas by paying a ransom so it doesn’t count.

But who among us doesn’t think France is attempting the same thing right now? Bribery is not only tolerated in French foreign policy, it’s encouraged. Why wouldn’t they want to give the Islamists lots of ransom money? Just put it on our tab, they’d say.

How come, with all the money changing hands and all the fraternal relationships France claims to have in the Islamic world, france can't seem to get it's people released from the "freedom fighters?"

What have the French gained so far by opposing the liberation of Iraq, opposing the stabilization of Iraq, opposing free elections in Iraq, and encouraging the fascists guerrillas? Kind words from their barbarian friends is about all:

Kidnappers of two French journalists sent an e-mail message to The Associated Press in Cairo, the news agency reported late Tuesday, praising France's "positive steps toward the Iraqi people," after a statement on Monday by the French foreign minister that an international conference on Iraq should include Iraqi political groups, including the "armed resistance," and should consider the withdrawal of American forces.

But the message did not mention two captives, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.

I truly hope the French hostages are released alive with their heads. But so far it doesn’t seem like appeasement has helped this time.


Quien Es Mas Macho?

My point exactly.

John Kerry tries to shore up support by appealing to his base constituency in the all important Asshole-American community.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

kerry football6

Quien Es Mas Macho?

During a rally in some obscure Red state backwater, John Kerry reacts forcefully to a heckler who confronts him with the dreaded sign of the W.

A young Chicano boy had to break up the nasty slap fight that ensued.

Even more than the flip-flip issue, the thing that seems to drive Kerry up the wall is any suspicion that he may be a dork.

Look how hard he tries to appear manly. He’s always posing for photos doing some ridiculous sport or another and he invariably looks like a fool.

Moreover, he’s always reminding the media that he is the boss. Here’s an example from The New York Times:

Instead of delegating authority to a single adviser, Mr. Kerry relies on different people for different advice. And, he made a point of saying in the interview, none of them have too much authority. "I am always in charge," he said.

What’s really bugging Kerry?

Is it that he feels that his masculinity is in question? Does he feel some shame about being so beholden to his wife’s fortunes? Is he insecure about not having any friends?

Whatever it is, he’s transmitting some strong self-doubting vibes. Yesterday’s Washington Post poll showed that with about a month to go before the election, more people dislike Kerry than like him.

This is absolutely remarkable for a presidential candidate. Even after years of vociferous BushHate™, lots more people like W than dislike him.

If it weren’t for his electability I’d say the Democrats made a fatal mistake in nominating John Kerry.

kerry beer1

Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

Have you had a beer with me yet?” Kerry replied. “I like to have fun as much as the next person and go out and hack around and have a good time.”

Look at the expression on that "regular guy's" face. Yeah, he's having a good time. He's soaking up the Kerry charisma at close range.

I bet he's thinking, "so this is what hacking around is all about."

Saturday, September 25, 2004

No Room for Debate

The New York Times Letters section is the closest the “paper of record” has to a comics page. It’s certainly as amusing and imaginary.

This morning Jonathan Margolis of Boston writes:

The dubious authenticity of the documents that CBS used in reporting on George W. Bush’s National Guard service should not obscure the truly important point in the affair: neither the White House nor the Bush campaign has challenged the essential accuracy of what the network reported, even after CBS issued its apology
Actually, the documents themselves would seem to challenge the essential accuracy of the report. In fact, as Margolis notes, the network itself has apologized for using crudely forged documents to support what, in the absence of manufactured evidence, is an untrue charge.

The rule of thumb here is that it is usually unnecessary to forge documents to support a true statement. Forgeries are most often associated with lies. I could be wrong but I don’t think there are a lot of people out there forging accurate documents to substantiate things that actually happened. I guess I could devote some time to reproducing Margolis’ letter to the Times but what would be the point?

Margolis concludes his missive by writing,

There is no more room for debate on this issue.
Yup, no actual evidence except fake documents and disregard from the White House. I’m convinced. Case closed.

Doesn’t this remind you a bit of that scene in Spinal Tap where, when recalling the death of their drummer, one of the band members says the police declared that this was one mystery that was better left unsolved.

Dan Rather’s reliance on primitively forged documents in his coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign has won over at least one fence-sitter. Says Arlene Williams of Sparks, Nevada:

The CBS memo story has made me more likely to choose Dan Rather for my news.
I suppose there’s something admirable about a person courageous enough to so flatly declare their ignorance in public.

I have to applaud Mr. Rather for sticking his neck out and not backing down until he knew the documents could not be authenticated.
Ms. Williams presumably is looking for a news outlet that will report first and authenticate later so it’s hard not to agree that Dan Rather is her kind of journalist.

Of course, if we could attach magnets to Edward R. Murrow’s cadaver and surround it with copper wire we could generate a fair amount of electrical current right about now.

And what would the Letters page be without a nod to the all powerful, master of both time and space who alone thwarts the inevitable victory of the forces of progress. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld of Los Angeles does the honor:

Karl Rove . . . should be asked some very deliberate questions about possible involvement in this setup.
And while you’re getting to the bottom of how Rove convinced Rather and CBS News to aggressively report a politically damaging story about George Bush and coordinating its attack with the Democrats, you might also ask him how he convinced the DNC to nominate a pompous Boston billionaire as their candidate for president.

But by all means, let’s end debate now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

bush cowboy

The Fortunate Son

The New York Times tries hard today to peddle the scandal of young George Bush the irresponsible fortunate son.

But they’ve been to this well so often and with so little success that now they’re slipping into self parody:

After the election, Mr. Bush returned to Houston, moving out of his small rented bungalow in Montgomery. He left the place a mess, with a broken light fixture and piles of debris, according to Mary Smith, whose husband was the bungalow's caretaker. Ms. Smith said her husband, who has since died, sent Mr. Bush a bill for professional cleaning but never heard back.

Good Lord! Is this the kind of man we want for President? Oh wait a second . . . he is President.

The BushHate™ crowd is surely being driven insane by all this. If Bush is an imbecile frat boy, why is he beating us? And not just beating us, but whipping us like a rented mule.

What they forget is that Bush as the prodigal son is central to the image of W: the ordinary man who rose to an extraordinary challenge. True or not, the legend of W is meant to be a reflection of the average American’s experience. Most voters spent their 20s acting like 20 year olds. If they had enough influence to avoid Vietnam, how many would not have used it?

Hypocrisy? No more than running a war hero as the candidate of a party of pacifists.

The Kerry campaign is trying almost as hard as the Times to tarnish Bush’s image along this vein. They’ve gone so far as to play “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival at campaign rallies.

The trouble is, this doesn’t tarnish Bush’s image . . . it reinforces it. It’s like these guys have never heard the lyrics of Amazing Grace. They are clueless once they’re out in Fly-Over Country.

Also, isn’t it a little risky for John Kerry campaign to be talking about fortunate sons? I think it’s the political equivalent of pouring gasoline on a concrete floor. Pretty harmless until someone says the words “Swiss boarding school.”

Then someone could get burned.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Kerry soccer

Kerry Hack Around Watch

Regular guy John Kerry spontaneously mixes it up with a cross-section of America's youth in the most natural of settings, a busy airport tarmac.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

CBS spokesman

Marian in Ratherland

A tightly coiled Dan Rather gave a breathtaking performance last night as he escorted 86-year-old Marian Carr Knox through the wilderness of mirrors that is Ratherworld like a Border Collie leading a particularly feeble sheep.

It was classic television.

The thrust of the “news story” is that while the memos saying young George Bush received special treatment in the National Guard are crudely forged and demonstrably false, they are nonetheless “accurate” in some cosmic sense.

Of course, if the story is accurate why is the only proof of it a set of forged documents and the memories of an elderly woman? That’s never explained and is clearly a pesky distraction to the investigative reporters at 60 Minutes.

But the more interesting story is the most obvious one.

It’s not whether or not a weekend reservist took a scheduled physical during a war thirty years ago. The explosive news is who used forged documents to damage a sitting president and influence the outcome of an election during a war that’s taking place right now?

The National Guard story is only interesting to people who already detest Bush. It’s just another screech in the BushHate™ echo chamber. To the rest of us the fascination is with the very public implosion of Dan Rather, CBS News, and the establishment news media.

It’s like watching Titanic but without the tedious Leonardo DiCaprio scenes. You know how it’s going to end but you still can’t take your eyes off the great ship twisting and contorting in its death throes.

The New York Times ends its coverage of the wreck today with a quote from Josh Howard, identified as the “producer” of “journalist” Dan Rather.

As of late yesterday morning, at least, Mr. Howard said that he still had the utmost confidence in the initial report. “Everything I’ve seen makes me completely confident in the documents, in the reporting, in the story, in what we’ve done,” he said.

Man, talk about whistling past the graveyard! I half expect a statement from CBS spokesman Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf saying there are no Americans in Baghdad.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Bush memo

Journalistic Integrity Watch

Here’s a notable item from the indispensable Power Line.

Do you notice anything odd about the memos regarding George Bush’s National Guard service that “60 Minutes” posted on their site yesterday?

They certainly seem pretty damming. They say Bush used influence of people “upstairs” to get him special treatment in the Guard back in the early 1970s

But for those of you alive and sentient back then, don’t the memos look a little unusual?

In the days before computers people wrote letters on a machine called a “typewriter.” IBM made one of the top of the line typewriting devices. It was called a “Selectric.” The Selectric could do amazing things in the analogue days. But one thing it couldn’t do was superscript.

Look at point number 2 in this memo where it says “Report to the 111st F.L.S. administrative officer . . .” That little "st" after 111 was not possible on an IBM Selectric, or any other typewriter of the era.

For that matter, I believe the default font of the Selectric was Courier not Times Roman which coincidentally is the default format for Microsoft Word which is fairly common today but rare in 1972.

I'm not one to traffic in conspiracy theories but these memos certainly look forgery-esque. But why would anyone do this? And in an election year no less!

Who among us doesn't want to see George Bush reelected by a commanding margin?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

kerry football3

Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

John Kerry hits the dirt after a high school football player yells "CHARLIE!! INCOMING!!!" loudly at the Democratic Presidential candidate.

kerry kitesurfing

Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

Sixty-year-old John Kerry demonstrating that unlike Mike Dukakis, he will never allow himself to be photographed looking like an utter fool.


Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

John Kerry connects with the common man by riding his $7,000 European racing bike around Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Do you get the feeling that Kerry really doesn't want to win this?

graceful kerry

Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

John Kerry trying hard not to soil his khakis or ruin his loafers while he hacks around some Godforsaken red state with a bunch of his closest friends.

kerry corndog

Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

Regular guy John Kerry seems unfamiliar with a corn dog.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

kerry football

John Kerry "Hack Around" Watch

“Have you had a beer with me yet?” Kerry protested when a local reporter once asked about his reputation for aloofness. “I like to have fun as much as the next person, and go out and hack around and have a good time.”

I’ll let the professional politicos figure out the real reason why John Kerry is losing to George Bush. My own opinion is entirely superficial. John Kerry is an asshole and nobody likes him.

Kerry is always at pains to show that he is just a regular guy . . . someone who likes to go out and “hack around.”

What exactly does “hack around” mean anyway?

Does he like to roam through backalleys in the small hours overturning trash cans? Does he relax by pitching pennies against a cement wall? What could he possibly mean? What sort of regular guy even uses the phrase “hack around?” It sounds like something a prep school dillitante might say to describe what “regular guys” do.

“I like to have fun as much as the next person,” is not the sort of thing a person who likes to have fun would actually say. It’s one of those sayings that cancels out its own meaning -- like the word “classy.”

Bush, on the other hand, is cool. He’s genuinely funny and he knows how to get other people to lose their own cool. Critics like to say that W was a drunken loser until he was 40 as if that was a slur.

Most people find that a refreshing change from all the obnoxious high school hall monitors who dreamt of being president since their earliest conscious moments even though everyone in class despised them.

John Kerry, like Al Gore and Richard Nixon, needs to be president. He is not complete without becoming president. His yearning is written all over him. He tries too hard.

People may not like some of Bush’s policies but the majority has always liked Bush the man.

People will never like Kerry.

And frankly, what’s more important anyway?