Thursday, September 30, 2004

John Kerry kept saying that he would use the tax cuts for the wealthy to help fight terror. I thought he was using that money for health care and all sorts of domestic issues.
I agree with Jim Geraghty's assessment of the debate. I hope he's right on the polls.
Overall thought: Compared to past debates, like Gore's sighing and "lockbox", the Clinton-Dole snoozers in 1996, and Perot's nuttiness in 1992, this was a great back-and-forth debate. Two guys who just see the world completely differently, got up there, and each guy confidently made his case.

Prediction One: The Kerry camp will come out of this high-fiving, convinced their man did no worse than a draw on a debate that was supposed to be Bush's best area. They probably feared Bush was going to put this race away tonight, and so far there's not much sign he did.

Prediction Two: The Bushies will be a little down. Every time Kerry opened his mouth, conservatives thought of the eight different responses and attacks that they wanted to see, and Bush mostly didn't use them. Bush focused almost entirely on principles tonight, not policies.

Prediction Three: Here's my shocker: No bounce for either side out of this. This evening's comments just reinforced the messages that came out of each party's convention. Of course, Kerry got no convention bounce, while Bush got a fairly solid convention bounce, so maybe he'll get a little bump.

But my sense is that in the coming polls, Bush retains his lead, outside the margin of error, in the mid-to-high single digits.

Well, the consensus seems to be that Kerry did himself some good here. CBS, NBC, and ABC are all reporting that undecideds liked Kerry more. Fox thought Kerry held his own and the President looked irritated and tired. MSNBC is talking to Ron Reagan. I refuse to watch. CNN is talking about the role bloggers will play in the spin game.
CBS had a poll of 200 undecided voters that showed Kerry doing better, particularly among women. So, they have an unscientific poll with a small sample. That's useless.
If I ran a news network, I would never talk to either side after the debate. Interviewing Karen Hughes or Michael McCurry is totally useless.
All of Lehrer's questions seemed to be on what Bush has done and if that was wrong. Why weren't there any questions on what Kerry has or hasn't done in the Senate or has said he do or not do.
Instapundit has a list of bloggers who are liveblogging.

One question is off the table. Kerry is not sweating. And he doesn't look orange. In fact, Bush looks darker than Kerry. They must have swathed so much makeup on Kerry to tone down that tan.
Are we going to get to North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Russia, etc? We're just getting repetitive here.
Okay, eat another chocolate. Kerry can't go a half hour without referring to his Vietnam service.

Bush's answer to that question about was it worth it in Iraq was the best yet. He does very well when he talks from his heart about what he has thought and gone through in making tough decisions.

I'm sick of Kerry's ideas of having a summit. I bet that will not impress Americans. Kerry's approach to the war on terror is to hold a meeting?!!
I'm glad to see Bush going after Kerry's claim that he could get more allies. It's a good point to say you can't get allies if you call it "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."

This idea of having a summit of allies is so extremely lame. What would we have to give all the little podunk countries to get them to help? What would we have to get France and Germany to do anything? They've said that they won't send any help? So, what then? Kerry's summit will then be all those countries he's pooh-poohing.
What's the deal with Kerry nodding his head every time Bush zings him on a flip flopper? Is he agreeing, "Yup, I flipped on that one, too."
Why it is a good idea to wear cheerleader boots. You never know when they'll protect you from a bullet.

Here is one prediction that a reader sent me. I would love to see it. I don't know how sharp Bush can/will be on zinging Kerry back for Kerry's mendacities.

Don't know if anyone else has made this prediction about tonight, but here's mine --

Kerry is certain to use at least one of the many thoroughly debunked "facts" that Democrats have been throwing around for the past year. At that point, Bush will point out that Kerry should know it is false because he is provided with national security briefings and intelligence assessments (in addition to being on the Senate Intell comm.) which clearly showed the allegation was false (e.g. yellowcake lie). If Kerry does it more than once, Bush can say "there you go again."

This is a double whammy for Kerry. It suggests that he knows better and is a liar. Or that he doesn't keep up with his security briefings (reference his pitiful attendance record in the Senate Intell comm). I wouldn't be surprised, given his record in the Senate, if Kerry hasn't skipped many of his briefings (see Bill Clinton). If so, and Bush knows it, he can use it when he points out Kerry's factual errors.
Newt Gingrich suggested that what Bush should do when Kerry says something is just say lightly, "I liked your answer of a few weeks ago much better," and leave it at that. Sounds good to me.

I'm so psyched.
Oops, he did it again. Carl Cameron had the scoop on Fox News tonight that John Kerry took the time this afternoon to get a manicure. A manicure!! Does he think there will be a close-up of his hands? And this is after the tan in a can fiasco. Can this guy try anymore to come across as a metrosexual?
Yeah! The guy I'm pulling for on Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, Tom Walsh, won the first night tonight. I thought the Final Jeopardy question was pretty easy. Tom knew the acronmym for the PATRIOT Act. the other two didn't. Tsk, tsk.
A reader just wrote me that Kerry just said that he thinks Bush is referred to in Texas as" All hat and no saddle."

This guy is so lame.

And they make fun of Bush misspeaking.
Poliblogger has a list of things you can do to entertain yourself during the debate tonight.
Lorie Byrd has a nice list of points that she would like to see Bush make tonight. ALl very fun, but no chocolate involved.
Gary Gregg says that Kerry is at a cultural disadvantage in this election because so many key states are in the Bubba Belt.
Christopher Buckley has uncovered some of the other secret elements of the Debate agreement between Bush and Kerry.
Paragraph Six: Hand gestures.
“Italian,” “French,” “Latino,” “Bulgarian,” or other ethnic-style gestures intended to demean, impugn, or otherwise derogate opponent by casting aspersions on opponent’s manhood, abilities as lover, or cuckold status are prohibited. Standard “American”-style gestures meant to convey honest bewilderment, doubt, etc., shall be permitted. Candidates shall not point rotating index fingers at their own temples to imply that opponent is mentally deranged. Candidates shall at no time insert fingers in their own throats to signify urge to vomit. Candidates shall under no circumstances insert fingers into opponent’s throat.

Paragraph Seventeen A: Bodily fluids-Perspiration.
Debate sponsors shall make every effort to maintain comfortable temperature onstage. Candidates shall make reasonable use of underarm deodorant and other antiperspirant measures, subject to review by Secret Service, before the debates. In the event that perspiration is unavoidable, candidates may deploy one plain white cotton handkerchief measuring eight inches square. Handkerchief may not be used to suggest that opponent wants to surrender in global war on terrorism.

Paragraph Forty-two: Language.
Candidates shall address each other in terms of mutual respect (“Mr. President,” “Senator,” etc.). Use of endearing modifiers (“my distinguished opponent,” “the honorable gentleman,” “Pookie,” “Diddums,” etc.) is permitted. The following terms are specifically forbidden and may not be used until after each debate is formally concluded: “girlie-man,” “draft dodger,” “drunk,” “ignoramus,” “Jesus freak,” “frog,” “bozo,” “wimp,” “toad,” “lickspittle,” “rat bastard,” “polluting bastard,” “lying bastard,” “demon spawn,” “archfiend,” or compound nouns ending in “-hole” or “-ucker.”

Even the Australians are talking about Kerry's "tan."
The Turkish Press has found its own place to do polling - latrines in Iraq.
Since I'm such a sober individual and want to provide a good example for my students, I won't recommend a drinking game for the debates. But I fully endorse a chocolate game. Eat some candy every time John Kerry makes a reference, however oblique, to his experiences in Vietnam. And take a whole fistfull of candy for every different position Kerry takes on the war on terror. If Kerry says he'll be better able to bring other countries in to fight in Iraq, down a few more candies. And raise your blood sugar some more if Kerry recommends that we be more multilateral in Iraq and also be unilateral in North Korea.

Have some fun with the debates. I'll leave it to the liberal blogs to come up with their own proposals for Bush.

Hey, maybe No Child Left Behind is working. Here are some nice results just in time for the debates on domestic issues.
Donald Lambro argues that the debates don't really decide elections. He has some good examples, but I question using exit polls to determine why people voted. I bet, even if someone changed his mind based on the debates, that they would still mention something like the economy or security when asked by a pollster. The debates will set the conversation about the campaign for the next two weeks. Since Bush is ahead, that could freeze the campaign or hurt Bush if the media is able to portray him as tanking in the debates. If he can hold his own and state his positions clearly, I doubt that there is much Kerry can do to change the dynamic. And if Kerry's personality shines through as it did with Diane Sawyer yesterday on GMA, he will sink even more.
Ann Coulter has some fun revisiting stories the media ran before some other elections.
Among the "dangers" for Reagan astutely noted by the Times was "the very fact that he appears so far ahead of Mr. Mondale." (Of course, the principal "danger" as far as the Times was concerned was that Reagan might win the Cold War and dispatch the left's favorite country.)

Times headlines in 1984 mostly ignored national polls and instead lavished a lot of news coverage on the enthusiasm of women voters for Mondale: "Women Voters Found Equally Divided in Poll" and "Ferraro Gets Feminists' Praise at Enthusiastic Rally in Manhattan." (According to the Times' own exit polls that year, Reagan won 57 percent of the women's vote. Mondale and John Kerry (news - web sites) won their own states that year solely on the basis of the women's vote.)

In August 1984, Tom Wicker claimed on the Times' op-ed page that Mondale -- who would go on to lose every state in the nation except Minnesota -- had a shot at winning Texas. Texas! Not Massachusetts, not New York, not Vermont, but Texas. Wicker's Aug. 26 column, "A Chance in Texas," confided to his readers that "leading" Democrats in Texas "think that's possible." This was the historical equivalent of a headline in a newspaper from 1836: "Alamo forces confident of quick victory over Santa Anna."

As late as Oct. 12, 1984, Wicker was still promoting the Texas theory, telling his readers that if Mondale "is no more than 6 to 8 points behind President Reagan" in Texas the Friday before the election, the Mondale campaign was predicting a "comfortable victory" -- "perhaps by as much as 53 percent." After spending a week doing the math on that, Wicker began writing columns with headlines like: "The Ugliest Campaign" -- using the traditional definition of an "ugly" campaign as one the Democrats are losing.

Dan Rather's defenders would assure us that the media's refusal to believe any polls but the ones that say the Democrat is ahead is NOT evidence of reporters having an agenda. Instead, they say, the media just love a horse race! But like so many thoroughbred enthusiasts, the media are evidently not above trying to fix the occasional race.

Curiously, the media did not love a horse race in 1996, when Republicans ran Bob Dole (a certified, genuine war hero) against Bill Clinton (news - web sites) (a certified, genuine draft dodger). The Times never discerned any "unease" or "danger ahead" for Clinton when polls consistently showed him ahead of Bob Dole, aka "Tax Collector for the Welfare State," as Newt Gingrich called Dole.

To the contrary, Times headlines in 1996 were exultant: "Clinton Shows That He, too, Has Support of Executives," and "Suburbs' Soccer Moms, Fleeing the GOP, Are Much Sought." Another 1996 Times headline said: "Dole Camp Looks to Coming Debates as a Last Chance." When will the Times be referring to the upcoming debates as Kerry's "last chance"? In my poll of me, I predict that after Bush beats Kerry in the debates, the Times will call it a draw.

Today, September 30, is the anniversary of the Neville Chamberlain "peace in our time" speech after he returned from the appeasement conference in Munich. Something to think about.
Michelle Malkin looks at all the place where stories of attempted voter fraud are cropping up. The list keeps growing. And doesn't this seem like a trend? (link via Powerline)
Powerline notes a correction in the New York Times. The Times had said that Kerry had met with both sides in Paris during the Vietnam War when he actually he only met with the North Vietnamese. Read the examples - they'll make your blood boil. Here is Hindrocket's perceptive conclusion.
Notice that when the Times mentions the Swift Boat Vets, it usually makes a point of saying that their claims are "unsubstantiated." In the three instances cited above, the Times used the claim that Kerry had met with "both sides" in Paris to imply that the Vets' ad was false or unfair.

Only it wasn't. What the Vets said was true. Kerry didn't meet with "both sides," as the Times has now admitted; he met with both of the two Communist delegations. The Times misinformed its readers in order to defuse the impact of the Vets' ad and to promote Kerry's candidacy.

Why, exactly, does the Times (along with virtually every other mainstream media source) persist in repeating the mantra that the Vets' ads are "unsubstantiated"? What is "unsubstantiated" about footage of Kerry testifying before a Senate committee? What is "unsubstantiated" about the meetings with Communists in Paris, about which Kerry boasted in 1971? What is "unsubstantiated" about the ad in which Stephen Gardner says that Kerry's boat was never in Cambodia?

Given today's correction, do you suppose the Times will start referring to Kerry's responses to the Swift Boat Vets' ads as "unsubstantiated"?

The Wall Street Journal has a crib sheet for Kerry about the myths that that Kerry has been spreading. Just so Kerry will know what lines to avoid.
Tonight's first Presidential debate will cover foreign policy, and you can be sure John Kerry will be on the attack over Iraq. Fair enough, we're all for making this election a war referendum. But as a helping hand to the Senator, we'd like to warn him to stay away from some of the lines he's been using on the stump. They could get him into trouble.

For example, we hope Mr. Kerry steers clear of his vow that, unlike President Bush, he will get the French and Germans to send forces to Iraq. This would give Mr. Bush the opening to quote Peter Struck, the German Defense Minister, who recently told Der Spiegel that "No German soldier shall enter Iraq."

Or Mr. Bush could cite Monday's article in the Financial Times: "French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if John Kerry, the Democratic presidential challenger, is elected." Foreign Minister Michel Barnier added last week that France had no plans to send troops "either now or later." No debater wants to get caught contradicting his own political allies. And if he wants to appear gracious, Mr. Kerry might even congratulate Mr. Bush on last week's NATO agreement to help train Iraqi military officers.

Read the rest.
Joel Mowbray revisits some of the elections that Jimmy Carter has vouched for in contrast to how Carter is casting aspersions now on Florida.
None of this is to suggest that what happened in Florida was a shining moment for American balloting, but never in the history of the world has so much scrutiny been applied to any electoral process. And guess what? Notwithstanding doctored news articles in Fahrenheit 9/11, every single analysis by every major news organization found that no matter the rules for a recount, President Bush won, fair and square.

Was Florida perfect? Of course not. Not even Jimmy Carter could point to an election anywhere that ever was. But if anybody could talk about dictators disguising themselves as democrats through fixed elections, it would be our 39th President.

Because of provisions in the infamous Oslo Accords, Palestinians in 1996 had their first—and to date, only—opportunity to elect their own leader. Not that they had much of a choice, though.

Controlling all major television and radio, Yasser Arafat made sure that he dominated the airwaves. Editors and reporters at newspapers not directly under Arafat’s thumb were threatened and intimidated with beatings and arrests. And Arafat’s sole opponent was a 72-year-old woman, a social worker named Samiha Khalil who got, in the words of the New York Times, a “surprisingly high” 9% of the vote.

Hardly the stuff of a real election, yet Carter described this mess as “open and fair.”

Carter’s love of thugs has not waned over the years. Last month, he certified the widely condemned referendum in which Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez supposedly won by a wide margin of 59-to-41.

Exit polling conducted by the highly regarded Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, however, found the exact opposite result: 59% opposed the communist “President,” with only 41% in favor.

As explained by the Wall Street Journal’s Mary O’Grady, Carter lacked the ability to prove the exit polls wrong (which could not have been 36 points off), because he only had access to a sampling of the easy-to-manipulate software tabulations printed out by voting booths. Not that it stopped him, though.

It should come as no surprise that Carter sided with the despot over a respected (Democratic) polling firm. Not just because of his disturbing track record, but because he and Chavez share a close, mutual friend: Fidel Castro.

In a stomach-turning first-person essay on his trip to Cuba in May 2002 that reads like a “My summer vacation with a bloodthirsty tyrant,” Jimmy Carter writes, “President Castro and I had a friendly chat about growing peanuts” on the way to the hotel, and then later “[t]hat evening President Castro and I had a general discussion of issues and then enjoyed an ornate banquet.”

With prose that might make even Castro’s PR flacks blush, Carter lavishes praise on Cuba’s “superb systems of health care and universal education,” “a remarkable medical school,” and the “amazing musical and dance performances” of “mentally retarded and physically handicapped children.” Then, this doozy: that the “fundamental right [of civil liberties enjoyed by Americans to change laws] is also guaranteed to Cubans.”

What Carter neglected to mention was that while he was staying at a hotel off-limits to ordinary Cubans, Castro was probably busy killing a political enemy or jailing innocent citizens.
Remember how the Europeans hated Reagan? Twenty years later, we don't care about the Europeans. It will be the same with Bush.
Robert Novak nails Kerry. Kerry is so desperate now that he is spreading lies. It seems to be the only hope he has.
John Kerry in a press conference last week repeated his accusation that Gen. Eric Shinseki was "forced out" as U.S. Army chief of staff because he wanted more troops for Iraq. The trouble is that the Democratic presidential nominee was spreading an urban myth. The bigger trouble is that it was no isolated incident.

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

Exaggeration is a familiar political staple, but presidential candidates usually are held to a higher standard. Kerry's recent descent into myth making may reflect the campaign's anxiety in the final weeks. The immediate questions are whether he will engage in misstatements during Thursday's first presidential debate, and whether he will be challenged if he does.

Kerry is voicing inaccurate statements that have been repeated so often on the Internet, on radio talk shows and by campaign surrogates that they have come to be regarded as the truth -- for example, the explanation for how Eric Shinseki's long and distinguished military career ended.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Here's on more reason to vote for Bush. I just heard the despicable Julianne Malveaux say on Dennis Miller's show that if Bush wins, she'll be down at the passport office on November 3. If only. Of course, we're still waiting for Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand to hightail it out of here.
James Lileks thinks that the Democrats are so worried about keeping their base that they've regressed to Deaniac madness. In the process, they're losing the middle.
Worst political rhetoric ever. Appalling! Un-American! Can you believe it: A candidate's supporter suggests that voting for the other guy might get America nuked.

We're talking about Ted Kennedy, of course. He was pitchforking the red meat to the faithful the other day, insisting that the war against Iraq was a diversion that gave al-Qaida free reign, and now they're going to nuke us. It's a Democratic talking point: The moment the troops started massing in Kuwait, the order went out to our Afghanistan troops, "Drop your guns and look at your shoes until further notice. Do not -- repeat do NOT -- pursue al-Qaida."

This notion suggests that dropping armored divisions into the vast raw maw of the Pakistani outlands would make bin Laden pop up like a gopher whose hole had been flooded. But sending tanks to that theater would be as silly as sending Swift boats. Different fronts have different needs.

In any case, the same week Kennedy made his accusation, coalition forces killed al-Qaida notable Amjad Hussain Farooqi, wanted for his role in the beheading of Daniel Pearl. Pakistani forces were instrumental in the action. (Say what you will, but these coerced and bribed eBay nations come in handy from time to time.) Distracted? If Ted says so.

Perhaps Kennedy was sent out to fire up the base with intemperate alarmism. Perhaps the base is all they have left, and from now on all the Kerry campaign rhetoric will write off the moderate middle. Speaking of the president's disregard for the plight of Americans, Kerry recently used some magic words: "Income's goin' down, and (Bush) just doesn't care. He's still fightin' for Halliburton and Enron."

Enron? What other vital, crucial issue might we be hearing about soon? Teapot Dome? The Copper Trust? Vietnam?

....Let's recap: Kerry wouldn't have invaded Iraq. He would have done things "differently" and he would have exercised "patience."

Well, patience with Afghanistan and Al-Qaida's Taliban protectors bought us Sept. 11. And "our allies" might just strike the Security Mom demographic as the equivalent of the layabout hubby's two useless friends Pierre and Hans, who might show up to help move the armoire, if they can pry their cans off the stools at the Sports Bar.

Sure, the Security Moms fear a nuke strike. They might also have seen a recent story on Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist who said Saddam could have restarted his nuclear weapons program at the snap of a finger. Obeidi also noted that Saddam was quite close to getting a nuke before the 1991 Gulf War.

Jonah Goldberg identifies Kerry Syndrome.
"When your horse is drowning, it's a good time to change horses in midstream," John Kerry declared this week. Maybe he got this line eavesdropping on his staff. How many strategy meetings are delayed as Kerry consultants daydream about how they'd be knocking down swing states if Dick Gephardt, Howard Dean, John Edwards or even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man were their boss? By the way, when do the milk cartons with John Edwards' face on 'em start showing up on grocery shelves?

I have a theory to explain why the Democratic presidential ticket is growing lamer by the week. It suffers from a little-understood condition known as the "Kerry Syndrome." This is closely related to Simple Chronic Kerrytosis, a malady that causes poll numbers to drop when the candidate opens his mouth.

The Kerry Syndrome is a rare variant of the Stockholm Syndrome. The latter phenomenon is the condition where hostages - Patty Hearst, for example - grow to sympathize with, and in extreme cases become like, their captors. The Kerry variant, first diagnosed in the junior senator from Massachusetts, works along similar lines, prompting the patient to ape his enemies. The Democratic nominee, for example, seems to have been captured by George W. Bush and, to a certain extent, by Richard Nixon.

Read the whole thing. It's hilarious.
I'm glad to see that George Nethercutt is going on the attack against Patty Murray and her stupid comment praising Osama Bin Laden's outreach programs.
The ad shows Murray telling a high school audience in 2002 that bin Laden had been at work in unnamed countries "for decades building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities. And the people are extremely grateful," she says.

"He's made their lives better. We have not done that," she adds.
Linda Chavez has some advice for George Bush. He should follow his own advice that he gave for her.
George W. Bush once gave me some good advice -- which I never got the opportunity to use -- now I'd like to return the favor. Back when he picked me to be Secretary of Labor in 2001, the then president-elect sat me down in the Texas governor's mansion for a little heart-to-heart talk. "You know they're going to come after you in the Senate confirmation hearings," he said, fully aware that organized labor and other left-leaning groups vociferously opposed my nomination. "I know you can take care of yourself. You could probably come right back at them, and you might be tempted to do that," he added with a smile. "But here's my advice -- and you can take it or leave it: Don't get bogged down in winning the argument. Don't bite at their bait. I'm not telling you what to do," he said, leaning forward in his chair, "but it's what I'd do in your position."

I think he's done a good job of following his own advice. Think of all the attacks he's undergone and how few he's responded to. Imagine how much whining Kerry would have done if he'd been attacked to the same degree that Bush has been.
What a surprise. Democratic senatorial candidates in red states are running as fast as they can away from John Kerry.
I guess that John Kerry and Mick Jagger are kindred spirits.
USA Today looks at how the Kerry campaign is trying to keep Teresa out of sight. She just doesn't wear all that well.
Though she's logging thousands of miles in her personal, 1979-vintage Gulfstream jet, the Flying Squirrel, Heinz Kerry is playing a less prominent campaign role than before the Democratic and Republican conventions. Staffers had worried that her blunt remarks were costing Kerry votes. If she makes national news these days on routes that are off the beaten track, it's strictly by accident.

"Teresa has disappeared, by and large," says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a public policy analyst at the University of Southern California. That's the way Kerry's aides prefer it because she is prone to controversial outbursts, Jeffe says. "Every time they let her out, she says something that they don't like."

Celluloid Wisdom has some proposals for other ways John Kerry could explain his "I voted for it before I voted against it" line.
"I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I recognized that to have any chance at winning the Democratic nomination I was going to have to appeal to the anti-war crowd that was threatening to throw its weight behind Howard Dean. The truncated mini-tyrant.

"As a rule, I’m really quite indecisive. Sometimes. Vietnam."

"Instead of concentrating on what I say, try concentrating instead on my presidential hair and voice."

"Who wants a chili dog? With onions. My treat."

"Oh, c’mon. Everybody knows a single vote doesn’t make a damn bit of difference, anyway."

"The truth is, I was holding out for $87 gazillion! Because unlike Mr. Bush, I really really really support our troops."

"Sure I can explain my vote. In fact—wait, look! Isn’t that Barbi Benton?"*

"Two words: hanging chad."

"Honestly? I have no idea what I’m talking about."
Bless the Cheneys. Mrs. Cheney made a joke about Kerry's tan. Oh, they're so vicious. I love it.

During a campaign stop with her husband, a group of volunteers moved into the crowd with microphones for the question-and-answer period. Vice President Dick Cheney told supporters to look for the people with dark orange shirts.


When Cheney paused as if searching for the words to describe the shade of orange, Lynne Cheney said, "How about John Kerry's suntan?"
Awwwwww.
More good economic news. And just in time for the debates.
The U.S. economy grew more rapidly this spring than an earlier report suggested, as the level of imports flowing into the country turned out to be lower than previously estimated and businesses bulked up their stockpiles.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that gross domestic product increased during the April-to-June quarter at a 3.3% annual rate, revised upward from an earlier estimated 2.8% advance. That was stronger than the average 3.0% revised reading expected by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC.

John Kerry had another of those "I was a liar before I was a truth-teller" moments as noted on The Corner.
This morning on GMA, Kerry blamed his I-voted-for-beofre-I-voted-against soundbite on fatigue: "It was a very inarticulate way of saying something and I had one of those moments late in the evening when I was tired in the primaries and didn't say something clearly. But it reflects the truth of the position, which is, I thought, to have the wealthiest people in America share the burden of paying for that war. It was a protest. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted."

Turns out he said it at a noon event.
"I actually did vote for his $87 billion, before I voted against it," he told a group of veterans at a noontime appearance at Marshall University
Folks, John Kerry's campaign is the gift that keeps on giving.

What inquiring minds want to know is "Was John KErry still orange today?" If you saw the show, please let me know.
Dick Morris lays out the task that Kerry has in front of him to do well in the debate. It's a tough list, well nigh impossible.
Kerry has a tough line to walk. He has to criticize the war in Iraq while seeming supportive of the men and women who are waging it. Attack the mission we seek to achieve without seeming to dampen the morale of the men and women listening on Armed Forces Radio. Knock Bush's claims that the war is being won without appearing to echo enemy propaganda.

And Kerry must do all this without seeming to be dour or pessimistic. He can't come across as the bad news bear, lest people decide they don't want to listen to doomsday prophesies for the next four years.

Yet he must take his positions firmly and strongly, discarding subtlety and making sure not to stand on legalistic distinctions. He has to defend his vote for the war even as he attacks it, explain his vote against funding it at the same time as he ardently supports its prosecution.

Finally, he must explain why his four-part program differs from what Bush is already doing. Why is his call for arming and training Iraqi troops and police more worthy of support than Bush's current efforts to do so? Why will he be successful in attracting Coalition partners even as Bush tries to do the same thing? He has to attack the war in hindsight while trying to distinguish what he'd do from what Bush is already doing.

Is this an almost impossible burden? Yes. John Kerry can thank the geniuses whom he has brought in to run his campaign for the quandary in which he finds himself.

Howard Kurtz looks at how Kerry's campaign and surrogates are all now pushing the message that Bush has made the country more unsafe and vulnerable to terrorism. That will negate any whining they do about the Bush people pushing the same message.

Some people will complain and say all of this is over the top. I say bring it on. This is the most important issue of this year's campaign. People can judge for themselves how credible they find these accusations.
Well, I saw the news today about Kerry's activities. I noticed that he was not orange on Good Morning America. They must have made him up with some good green makeup. Apparently, you use green to tone down red for people who suffer from rosacea.

Then I saw a clip of Kerry speaking later in Wisconsin as he was getting a send-off to go to Florida. And he was as orange as yesterday. I guess he doesn't dare wear that much makeup when people will see him close up. So, he won't be orange for the debate tomorrow. The fun thing will be the comparison shots before and after the debate when he can't wear that much makeup.

Someone on Hugh Hewitt's show had the best orange joke.

John Kerry is trying to follow the life cycle of a pumpkin: Orange in September, Carved up in October, and thrown in the garbage in November.
Michelle Malkin explains the real reason why Kerry's poll numbers are falling. People just don't like him.
This will no doubt impress the like-minded lefties in America's newsrooms and Hollywood salons. But in America's living rooms, a man's unvarnished character -- how he carries himself, how he treats others, how he responds to adversity -- speaks volumes over the stilted platitudes and smoothly memorized factoids that come out of his mouth.

This isn't a race for prom king or "Jeopardy!" champion. It's a race for leader of the free world.

Throughout the course of the campaign, Kerry has demonstrated a holier-than-thou hubris that continues to alienate security moms, Reagan Democrats and swing voters of all backgrounds. It's not just his disingenuous vacillation on foreign policy (he was for the war before he was against it, but he'd vote the same way) that bothers folks. It's not just the Kennedy-esque photo-ops of Kerry in athletic settings that scream vanity instead of vigor. It's the ugly little things that pile up and create the indelible image of a Royal Jerk:

She has lots of examples of how he's tried to shift blame to someone else for everything that has gone wrong with his campaign.

Last year, I assigned my students in the Fall to follow each of the Democratic primary contenders. They had to present to the class the campaign techniques that each was using and how it was working. When they were done, I asked them if they liked the guy they were following and were pulling for him. The Dean group were entranced and were sporting bumper stickers and buttons. The Gephardt and Lieberman people basically liked their guys but thought they had no chance. The Wesley Clark guys liked his record but thought he was campaigning poorly. The John Edwards kids were all laughing about "two Americas." Even last November, teenagers thought that was a joke. And the Kerry kids said that the more time they spent on him, the more they disliked him. They were sure that he was going down. And then when he wrapped up the nomination, many of my Democratic students were as glum as could be about their party. I think the adults in the country are waking up to what my kids are glommed onto a year ago.
Catherine Wilkinson, the correspondent who sent me the original e-mail that was circulating through colleges to scare kids about the draft, has started her own blog. She is a clearinghouse of everything you'd want to know on this story.
Good. The Supreme Court took the New London eminent domain case.
This explains why the Justice Department is looking at the New York Times. This may turn out to be a scandal as big as Rathergate.
Gallup is defending their practice of not adjusting their sample to reflect partisan identification from the last election. They have an interesting chart to show how the partisan self ID has been shifting around. It is now way in favor of Republicans, hence explaining why they are getting good results for Bush. Zogby doesn't do that and uses the split from exit polls from the last election. So, his polls skew Democratic.
Actually, it's what Gallup doesn't do that is at the heart of the debate. The polling firm does not adjust its "pool" of voters to add or subtract Republicans or Democrats in an effort to mirror those parties' estimated make-ups.

Among the reasons Gallup doesn't try to do that:

• It believes there are no reliable data on which to estimate exactly how many Republicans or Democrats there are in the country. Some states, for example, don't require voters to register by party affiliation. Basing an adjustment on previous year's exit polls, "means you're 'weighting' one poll based on the results of another poll, which has its own built-in sampling error," Newport said.

• It believes party affiliation "is an attitude, not a demographic trait" and that voters can change their minds about which party they identify with more than once during an election year, Newport said. That would explain, he said, why the number of people who identified themselves as Republicans went down during this year's Democratic primaries — when Kerry and his competitors were in the news.

Most polling firms use the same methods as Gallup when identifying party affiliations. Among those are the surveys done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Andrew Kohut, the center's director, said in a statement last week that "important shifts in voter sentiment" could be missed if pollsters tried to apply rigid party formulas to results.

This election will be a real case study for pollsters to see if their methodologies are accurate.
Thomas Sowell explains why it is riskier to treat Social Security the way it is being treated now instead of allowing some privatization.
Bless the New York Post. They won't ignore a fun story. They consult experts to try to figure out how and why John Kerry turned orange.

Don Imus is making fun of Kerry's weird skin color today. And he's interviewing Kerry later this morning. That will be a tough interview, I'm sure.

Hugh Hewitt
was having a blast yesterday on his radio show, playing the oompa loomp song as well as the music from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." People called in with all sorts of jokes such as "He was first white before he was orange." Or he's orange because it's a combination of yellow and red.

The Washington Times
also consults experts. One expert theorizes that he got something called a Mystic tan and that it will last a week.

Poor Kerry can't win for losing. Now, the whole public conversation yesterday and probably today will be about Kerry's weird skin color. No one will pay attention to what he says. Everyone will be thinking about what type of real man uses something artificial to get a tan. Now, I bet the Bush people are hoping that there are joint shots of them together at the debate. Seeing them together will make Kerry look even more unnatural.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Christian Science Monitor describes how people are still flocking to companies like Haliburton to work in Iraq despite the kidnappings and beheadings.

Every Friday and Saturday, they line up before dawn: people from around the country who, despite recent news reports, still want to work in Iraq.
The beheadings haven't swayed them, they say, as they wait to find out what openings are available with Houston-based KBR, the subsidiary of Halliburton, which won a $4.5 billion government contract to provide support to the US military.

There are spots for cooks, carpenters, truck drivers, even entertainment specialists - and plenty more open up every day as those who thought they could make it come home.

While last week's beheadings of two American contract workers sent shock waves through communities from Hillsdale, Mich., to Marietta, Ga., remarkably it didn't shorten the lines at recruiting fairs.

"We all know that Iraq was a dangerous place before [these acts of terrorism] and will continue to be a dangerous place after them," says Peter Singer, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "So while the beheadings are spectacular and horribly disgusting, they don't alter the general number of people wanting to go."


Ratherbiased, unlike most everyone in the country, still watched the CBS News show. And they look at how CBS had a story tonight about fears that the draft will be brought back. This is all part of a liberal tactic to scare people into voting against Bush because they fear a draft will be brought back.

Last week, I posted about an anonymous e-mail going around to college students scaring them about the draft. However, almost everything in the e-mail was a lie. Here's a thorough debunking at Factcheck.org.

Hindrocket posts tonight about another e-mail being sent around by Rock The Vote (supposedly a non partisan group - Ha!) scaring kids about a draft.

I guess this is the only way the Dems can think to retake the advantage among women and young voters. Focus groups must be showing that this is a winner for Kerry. So, in order to get some political advantage, liberals are willing to scare kids and their families about something that is just not going to happen. But people seem to be so ignorant about what it would take to get such a bill through Congress that they can buy this scare-mongering. Does anyone think that the GOP would push such a bill and that the Democrats would not filibuster it? Besides, the Pentagon doesn't want a bunch of draftees in the army. They much prefer an all volunteer military.

So, if you get this e-mail - delete it like the spam that it is.
William F. Buckley looks at the debate and the strengths each has. He concludes with this modest coda.
Well, John Kerry is a skillful debater. In his column, Richard Reeves writes, “Kerry was called the ‘second-best’ debater he handled by the distinguished and revered Yale debate coach, Rollin Osterweis. The best, said Osterweis, was William F. Buckley.”

Well, Mr. Kerry should be satisfied to continue in his career as runner-up.
Roger L. Simon says exactly what my husband and I were thinking. If we had known that the DNC and Soros were going to advertise on my site, we would have raised our rates. Lots.
David Hill thinks that Edwards is pulling down the Kerry ticket. It's hard to believe that Kerry with Edwards is so much more of a downer than Kerry alone, but Hill has the numbers.
Some woman named Margaret Drabble (what a great potential for ridicule that name is) goes on and on in the London Telegraph about how she hates America.
knew that the wave of anti-Americanism that would swell up after the Iraq war would make me feel ill. And it has. It has made me much, much more ill than I had expected.

My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world.

I can hardly bear to see the faces of Bush and Rumsfeld, or to watch their posturing body language, or to hear their self-satisfied and incoherent platitudes. The liberal press here has done its best to make them appear ridiculous, but these two men are not funny.
Did this woman ever get physically ill from hating Saddam Hussein and what he was doing to his own people? Think of all the horrific people there are in this world and terrible things that are being done. Think of the concentration camps in North Korea and the genocide in Sudan and the children-killings in Israel. Does Ms. Drabble ever feel such anger and hatred for those vicious killers? No, she reserves that for Americans.

Pshaw! Away with her. There is nothing we can do to please such people so I say that we should just ignore their quisling quibbles.

UPDATE: Someone just pointed out to me that Drabble wrote this drivel a year and a half ago. I never even checked the date. Sorry.

Here is a response that Barbara Amiel wrote in response to Drabble.
The key to understanding Drabble's lunatic rant is her reaction to what she says she saw on CNN celebrating the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war. She describes an old, shabbily dressed Vietnamese man bartering for dollars. The horror of this moment - an "elderly, impoverished" Vietnamese man wanting that terrible currency, American dollars, for heaven's sake - just put the lid on it for Drabble. She writes: "The Vietnamese had won the war, but had lost the peace."

Well no, Miss Drabble. The Vietnamese fought the war for communism and they won communism. That, indeed, is why the old man is impoverished, shabbily dressed and bartering for dollars. In your deliberate obtuseness, you become blind to the most self-evident conclusions and an apologist for the appalling regimes that are so far removed from your ostensible values.

Forgetting the danger Saddam posed to those outside his borders, we have now seen that removing him from power cost fewer Iraqi lives than just one of his killing sprees. Would you have condemned the Iraqi people to another 12 years of Saddam's murderous nightmare?

Are you too sophisticated for Coca-Cola and Disneyfication but not for Saddam's garish palaces and his giant posters on every street corner? After Stalin, Hitler and Mao, this horrifying man probably captures fourth place in the great mass murderers' list, or fifth after Pol Pot.

David Brooks reminds us what it was like when El Salvador had a democratic election admist an insurgency in 1982.
Conditions were horrible when Salvadorans went to the polls on March 28, 1982. The country was in the midst of a civil war that would take 75,000 lives. An insurgent army controlled about a third of the nation's territory. Just before election day, the insurgents stepped up their terror campaign. They attacked the National Palace, staged highway assaults that cut the nation in two and blew up schools that were to be polling places.

Yet voters came out in the hundreds of thousands. In some towns, they had to duck beneath sniper fire to get to the polls. In San Salvador, a bomb went off near a line of people waiting outside a polling station. The people scattered, then the line reformed. "This nation may be falling apart," one voter told The Christian Science Monitor, "but by voting we may help to hold it together."

Conditions were scarcely better in 1984, when Salvadorans got to vote again. Nearly a fifth of the municipalities were not able to participate in the elections because they were under guerrilla control. The insurgents mined the roads to cut off bus service to 40 percent of the country. Twenty bombs were planted around the town of San Miguel. Once again, people voted with the sound of howitzers in the background.

Yet these elections proved how resilient democracy is, how even in the most chaotic circumstances, meaningful elections can be held.

They produced a National Assembly, and a president, José Napoleón Duarte. They gave the decent majority a chance to display their own courage and dignity. War, tyranny and occupation sap dignity, but voting restores it.

The elections achieved something else: They undermined the insurgency. El Salvador wasn't transformed overnight. But with each succeeding election into the early 90's, the rebels on the left and the death squads on the right grew weaker, and finally peace was achieved, and the entire hemisphere felt the effects.

Go to the Washington Post and vote on your favorite blogs.

It is so funny that George Soros is buying up blogads on conservative blogs. I'm quite happy to take his money and hope he decides to continue his campaign to convince people not to vote for Bush. I somehow doubt that many anti-Bush people, or even undecided voters read conservative blogs. I am not sure of the great tactical plan of the DNC and Soros for advertising on my blog, but I think they need to extend this advertising plan at least until the election.
Brendan Miniter looks at Kerry's claims on the military.
The third component of Mr. Kerry's strategy, however, is not so easily dismissed. Whether or not Iraq eventually proves to be a quagmire, keeping 138,000 troops engaged in a shooting war halfway around the world isn't easy, and some signs of strain are beginning to show. The U.S. is pulling back some troops from the demilitarized zone in Korea and repositioning troops out of Western Europe to better meet security needs. Without the war in Iraq, such rebasing may not have proved necessary. The military is also using "stop loss" rules that prevent soldiers from leaving the service while their unit is deployed in a combat zone. And, of course, since Sept. 11 the military has leaned heavily on the reserves--partly because military police and other sought-after skills are heavily concentrated there.

Last summer a rash of reports of low morale in the Army appeared in the media. Today we see similar reports that the National Guard is likely to miss its recruiting goals this year in part because reservists aren't happy with long combat deployments and won't reup at the end of their enlistments. Mr. Kerry hopes to take the concern about military strain one step further by telling those likely to be most affected--service members and their families--that during a second term Mr. Bush would make their lives a lot harder. Mr. Kerry has said Mr. Bush has a "secret plan" to escalate the war after the election, and while other Democrats keep raising the specter of a return of the draft, Mr. Kerry says what the administration is doing amounts to a "backdoor draft."





The problem for Mr. Kerry is that there isn't a lot of substance to these attacks. Wars are tough and they are costly, but that doesn't necessarily mean the military is weaker as a result. Fighting an insurgency in the heart of the Middle East has arguably made the U.S. military more adept at identifying the bad guys in that part of the world. The combat lessons they're learning on the battlefields of Iraq are making their way back into military classrooms in the U.S.
What's more, Iraq is proving to be the front line in the war on terror. The Marines stationed near Fallujah are camped out in a massive complex that housed four terrorist training camps during Saddam Hussein's regime. The military is also successfully killing and capturing terrorists every day in Iraq. With al Qaeda operatives active in Iraq and foreign fighters comprising half or more of the "insurgents" killed in some battles, it's really a misnomer to describe what's going on there as an insurgency. No patriotic American enjoys seeing American servicemen killed in battle, but most of us would rather see the war on terror fought out in the streets of Najaf than in New York.

It's true that the National Guard will likely report 51,000 new recruits this year, 5,000 short of its goal. But that's only half the story. The number of people trying to get into the military isn't decreasing. In fact a record number of students applied to the Air Force Academy this year. One of the reasons the military is finding it hard to hit its recruitment numbers is that the force size is actually increasing. The military is larger now than it was on Sept. 11 because the administration has been able to add about 20,000 troops to the rolls temporarily. Meanwhile, Congress is readying legislation that would add as many as 30,000 soldiers to the Army along with 10,000 Marines. And yesterday the New York Times reported that the Army is considering getting away from 12-month deployments in Iraq in favor of six-month combat tours. That's what the Marines do now, and they aren't having any trouble meeting their recruiting goals.

How lame can Nedra Pickler get? She has an article about how Kerry is using humor on the campaign trail. The examples are so far removed from humor, that you need Pickler to let you know that they are funny.
Even while speaking on the very serious topic of Iraq last week at New York University, Kerry made the audience laugh six times at President Bush's expense. Most of the guffaws came when Kerry stated Bush administration positions in a tone that suggested they were the height of ridiculousness.

Kerry said the occupation of Iraq is riddled with problems, "yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way." Kerry paused for affect before asking sarcastically, "How can he possibly be serious?"

....Even while speaking on the very serious topic of Iraq (news - web sites) last week at New York University, Kerry made the audience laugh six times at President Bush (news - web sites)'s expense. Most of the guffaws came when Kerry stated Bush administration positions in a tone that suggested they were the height of ridiculousness.


Kerry said the occupation of Iraq is riddled with problems, "yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way." Kerry paused for affect before asking sarcastically, "How can he possibly be serious?"

Perhaps his audiences are laughing because they're partisan rent-a-mobs brought in from the nearest union hall. Anything ridiculing Bush would get a chuckle out of them.

And, as James Taranto points out, Kerry recently chided the President for making light of the situation in Iraq.
Bush's rhetoric dovetailed with his new TV spot. ``How can John Kerry protect us when he doesn't even know where he stands,'' asks the ad, which shows quick snippets of the Democrat's comments on the war.

The Kerry campaign dismissed Bush's comments and the ad, arguing that Bush is refusing to face the violent consequences of his decision to invade Iraq. ``The American people don't want jokes and fantasy spin from their president, they want to hear the truth,'' Kerry said in a statement.

Remember how they were whining last week about the windsurfing ad. Jokes are fine when they're attempting to make them. It's fine to go on Jon Stewart and Regis and Dr. Phil, but let the President air an ad or make a joke, and Kerry is back to whining again. How can he whine and go on late night talk shows, when this country is at war and people are being beheaded?
John Hawkins has done a great public service. He has a compiled a list of great Lileks' quotes. There are a lot of gems there.
Jim Geraghty has the script of the new Swift Boat ad. Boy, it sounds devastating.
This blitz will be accompanied by satellite media tours featuring the wives and other POWs, hundreds of talk radio interviews, opinion-editorial placements, local media events, etc.

CLIENT: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
TITLE: “Never Forget”
VIDEO:
CG: Mary Jane McManus
Wife of Former POW
CG: Phyllis Galanti
Wife of Former POW
CG: www.swiftvets.com
www.stolenhonor.com

CG: “…they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads…”
John Kerry’s Testimony
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
April 22, 1971
CG: Paid for by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

AUDIO:

Mary Jane McManus: Three months after we were married, my husband was shot down over Hanoi.

Phyllis Galanti: Paul and I were married in 1963. Two years later he was shot down over North Vietnam.

McManus: All of the prisoners of war in North Vietnam were tortured in order to obtain confessions of atrocities.

Galanti: On the other hand, John Kerry came home and accused all Vietnam veterans of unspeakable horrors.

McManus: John Kerry gave aide and comfort to the enemy by advocating their negotiating points to our government.

Galanti: Why is it relevant? Because John Kerry is asking us to trust him.

McManus: I will never forget John Kerry’s testimony. If we couldn’t trust John Kerry then, how could we possibly trust him now?

Wow. How do you diss the wives of POWs? Are they just being partisan?
John Hawkins examines why it is not such an amazing thing to imply that Al Qaeda would prefer that Kerry win the election.
The reality is that if you want a Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy type of candidate in office who's more concerned about whether the French & Germans like us than defending America, then John Kerry is your guy. But, he's also al-Qaida's guy because there's nothing they could use more right now than a 4 year long break to catch their breath, rebuild their organization, and pursue weapons of mass destruction. If John Kerry's supporters were honest about what they want and expect him to do when he gets in the White House, they'd admit that what I'm saying is the truth. If you want a candidate who's going to fight the war on terror, you're voting for Bush, not Kerry...


Everyone understands that. That is why people (and not only the GOP) worry about a terrorist attack in the US before the election. What would be the point of such an attack if not to turn voters against Bush? Perhaps the Bush administration can't come straight out and say that now, but we all know that is true.

I love that Hawkins compares Kerry to McClellan in 1864. As a history teacher in my other life and one who teaches the Civil War, I see lots of analogies to the election of 1864. And that was narrowly won, mostly due to Union victories in Atlanta, Mobile Bay, and the Shenandoah. If McClellan (the peace candidate) had won, he might have negotiated a peace rather than have fought it through to the end.
Drudge is having fun with Kerry's skin color. He looks like he's been in a tanning booth. Maybe that is where he is doing his debate prep.
Here's David Letterman's list of George Bush's top ten debate strategies.
Top Ten George W. Bush Debate Strategies


10. Ask the question, "We've never had a horse-faced president so why start now?"

9. Instead of witty retorts, have secret service wrestle Senator Kerry to the ground.

8. Use Kerry's long-winded answers to take much needed bathroom breaks.

7. Hope one of them hurricanes cancels the debate.

6. Instead of water, fill Kerry's mug with Red Bull and vodka.

5. Find time to work in joke prop--giant waffle.

4. Moving his lips to pretend microphone isn't working.

3. Handle it same way he handled national guard duty--don't show up.

2. If Kerry makes a good point, distract him with some chaw spit in the eye.

1. Point out Senator Kerry's mispronunciation of the word "nucular."
David Frum explores what he thinks is going on at Harvard Law School. He discusses Laurence Tribe's admission that he lifted quotes from another book in his own book. Alan Dershowitz has the defense that law professors can plagiarize.
Tribe has now confessed and apologized. But not all of his colleagues share Tribe's remorse. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Tribe’s friend Prof. Dershowitz contended that Tribe was the victim of – wait for it – a vast right-wing conspiracy. And Dershowitz produced this ingenious multicultural defense of Tribe’s actions:

“[Dershowitz] said that judges frequently rely on lawyers’ briefs and clerks’ memoranda in drafting opinions. This results in a ‘cultural difference’ between sourcing in the legal profession and other academic disciplines, Dershowitz said.”

As a 1987 graduate of the Harvard Law School, I have to reluctantly concede that there is some truth or anyway basis to Dershowitz’s defense.

Law schools – and Harvard perhaps more than any other - suffer from a deep identity problem. They regard themselves and hold themselves out to the public as scholarly institutions, just like the other graduate departments of the university. Yet most of the faculty of the Harvard law school when I was there were not scholars at all. They were extremely clever lawyers who had been hired young for their intellectual potential – and who were then valued by the school for their charisma, their teaching ability, and their activist outside legal work. The only scholarship that was usually required of them – scholarship meaning original academic research and writing – was a single substantial article for a law review. A bright young man or woman could get tenure at Harvard Law School with a publishing record that would not even qualify him for a job interview at the Harvard History Department.

There were exceptions to this rule, of course, and ironically enough Tribe was and is one of them. But Dershowitz is correct that most Harvard lawyers simply play by different rules than other academics do.

Christopher Hitchens is disgusted with the Democrats hinting that Bush is just waiting until October to capture Osama Bin Laden.
There it was at the tail end of Brian Faler's "Politics" roundup column in last Saturday's Washington Post. It was headed, simply, "Quotable":

"I wouldn't be surprised if he appeared in the next month." Teresa Heinz Kerry to the Phoenix Business Journal, referring to a possible capture of Osama bin Laden before Election Day.


As well as being "quotable" (and I wish it had been more widely reported, and I hope that someone will ask the Kerry campaign or the nominee himself to disown it), this is also many other words ending in "-able." Deplorable, detestable, unforgivable. …

The plain implication is that the Bush administration is stashing Bin Laden somewhere, or somehow keeping his arrest in reserve, for an "October surprise." This innuendo would appear, on the face of it, to go a little further than "impugning the patriotism" of the president. It argues, after all, for something like collusion on his part with a man who has murdered thousands of Americans as well as hundreds of Muslim civilians in other countries.

I am not one of those who likes to tease Mrs. Kerry for her "loose cannon" style. This is only the second time I have ever mentioned her in print. But I happen to know that this is not an instance of loose lips. She has heard that very remark being made by senior Democrats, and—which is worse—she has not heard anyone in her circle respond to it by saying, "Don't be so bloody stupid." I first heard this "October surprise" theory mentioned seriously, by a prominent foreign-policy Democrat, at an open dinner table in Washington about six months ago. Since then, I've heard it said seriously or semiseriously, by responsible and liberal people who ought to know better, all over the place. It got even worse when the Democratic establishment decided on an arm's-length or closer relationship with Michael Moore and his supposedly vote-getting piece of mendacity and paranoia, Fahrenheit 9/11. (The DNC's boss, Terence McAuliffe, asked outside the Uptown cinema on Connecticut Avenue whether he honestly believed that the administration had invaded Afghanistan for the sake of an oil or perhaps gas pipeline, breezily responded, "I do now.")

This accusation is so despicable. Hitchens does a good job of exploding how vile it is.
Jonah Goldberg is not impressed with the new tact that Kerry has taken in criticizing Bush's ads.
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 know my kids thought the "W is for Wrong" slogan was deeply lame. They all thought it sounded like Sesame Street. And they thought of things that they couldn't say in class that the F in John F. Kerry stood for. I tell you, when teenagers are making fun of everything you try in your campaign, you're going down, down, down. I'm old enough to remember how they all thought Bob Dole was such a joke. And we know how he fared in 1996.
Governor Bush puts the smackdown on Jimmy Carter.
Florida officials yesterday accused former President Jimmy Carter of a politically motivated effort to undermine voter confidence after the Democrat said in a newspaper column that the state is "likely" to repeat the voting problems that plagued the 2000 presidential election.
State officials also said the former president made no attempt to get up-to-date information before writing a critical opinion piece and never tried to contact the governor's office or that of Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood.
"This is a shockingly partisan opinion piece, and it's unfortunate that a person such as the former president is being used by the Democratic Party for low-level political rhetoric," said Jacob DiPietre, press secretary for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"It's clear that [Mr. Carter] doesn't have his facts straight. The governor believes that it's ironic that someone who has spent so much time and so much energy encouraging faith in the elections of Third World countries would go to such lengthy, partisan extremes to undermine voter confidence in his own country," Mr. DiPietre said.
Carter thought that the blatantly corrupt election in Venezuela was just swell, but he's got his panties all in a knot about Florida!? What a weasel he is!
In addition to my fixation on blogging and politics, another fascination for me is Jeopardy. I am a co-coach of our school's Quiz Bowl team (first in the state) and love questions on trivia such as on Jeopardy. They're doing the Tournament of Champions and Tom Walsh, the previous record holder before Ken Jennings, just advanced into the finals by knowing that Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the poet laureate of San Francisco. (A question I knew, said she modestly.) I'm pulling for Tom because he blogs about his Jeopardy experiences. Check out his blog. Also, he used to be a staffer in the Senate for (I think) Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee. He seems like such a nice guy from his blog. Good luck in the Finals, Tom. Even though it was filmed months ago, I'll be pulling for you.
Daniel McKivergan in the Weekly Standard castigates Kennedy and Kerry for the line that they're now taking on the war in Iraq. They claim that the war made a nuclear attack more likely. Remember, that these are guys who both voted against the first war in Iraq. And it was after that victory that we discovered how far along Iraq was in its nuclear program. If we'd followed Kennedy and Kerry's ideas in 1991, Saddam would have had a bomb. Are these the guys whose advice you want to follow on foreign policy? Or anything?
Here's another sign of Kerry's desperation. He's calling for an end to all advertising. As if.
Which professions would you choose as the sweatiest? This is what one survey found.
The company recently surveyed 1,029 adults to find that 60 percent of them equated sweat with stress and 42 percent were repulsed by sweat marks. Respondents proclaimed stockbrokers — followed by politicians and reporters — to be the sweatiest people in the world.
Come on. What about construction workers or anyone who works outside? Reporters wouldn't even make my top ten sweatiest list. I agree that it is very unappealing to see Bush and Kerry sweating it up out there. I always think that they could have changed their shirts before their appearances. I found Kerry's sweaty face during his acceptance speech distasteful and distracting, but I just can't stand the guy so that could explain my reaction. Maybe he'll need some botox injections to keep the sweat off during the debates.
Four states have ballot measures that would limit malpractice awards. The battle is on between lawyers and doctors. Whom do you think people lie more. It will be wonderful if these measures pass and the trend then continues across the country.
John Podhoretz looks at the military and political situation in Iraq. Compared to six months ago, the military situation has deteriorated. But, compared to six months ago, the political situation is vastly improved.
Are things worse in Iraq than they were, say, six months ago? If you measure solely by the number of attacks against U.S. and Iraqi targets, the answer is undoubtedly yes. The insurgency has demonstrated a terrifying capacity for organized terror.

Their capacity is dispiriting and depressing. And that's the point of it: It has no military value. The terrorists will not win a single head-to-head fight against the United States. Their purpose is to make us feel that the chaos will never end and therefore we should cut our losses and get out.

Thus, if President Bush and Prime Minister Allawi were to take John Kerry's advice and face the "reality" he describes, they would have no choice but to throw up their hands in despair.

But the "reality" he describes is not reality. It is the prosecutor's brief in Kerry v. Bush.



Prosecutors' briefs are not balanced and fair documents. They include everything and the kitchen sink — every factoid, however sketchy, that helps make the case for disaster, despair and disillusionment.

But if the security situation is worse than it was six months ago, the political situation is so dramatically improved that it's almost a miracle. In almost every respect, the transition to Iraqi sovereignty has gone better and has had greater success than anyone could have predicted half a year ago.

Read the rest and you'll feel better.
The International Herald Tribune has an article on what France has put forth as requirements before they would have an international conference on Iraq.
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.

Paris also wants representatives of Iraq's insurgent groups to be invited to a conference in October or November, a call that would seem difficult for the Bush administration to accept.
What an understatement. It might "seem difficult" to accept the idea that insurgents should have a place at the conference table. You want to shout WAKE UP! We don't reward murderers with a place at the conference table. The French might. But the U.S. doesn't, at least not with Bush as president. Bush could bring this up in the debates if Kerry starts blabbing about how he wants to bring more allies aboard. Bush can ask him if he agrees with the French on involving insurgents in negotiations. (Link via Powerline)

Bill Roggio has more on the French over at The Fourth Rail. He pulls together a lot on how slimy the French are.
The polls that came out today do not have any good news for Kerry. Here's the summary from the Washington Post poll.
Bush's relentless attacks on Kerry have badly damaged the Democratic nominee, the survey and interviews showed. Voters routinely describe Kerry as wishy-washy, as a flip-flopper and as a candidate they are not sure they can trust, almost as if they are reading from Bush campaign ad scripts. But Kerry's problems are also partly of his own making. Despite repeated efforts to flesh out his proposals on Iraq, terrorism and other issues, he has yet to break through to undecided voters as someone who has clear plans for fixing the country's biggest problems.

Bush remains a polarizing figure, strongly admired by his supporters and despised by partisans on the left. Some swing voters who disagree with his policies nonetheless see him as a confident leader and express reluctance to vote him out of office in the middle of the struggle against terrorism, unless Kerry convinces them that he can do a better job.

This is what I'm finding with my students. I'd say that 60 to 70 percent of my students are liberal. Most think the president is stupid. But, they have even more contempt for Kerry. When asked to describe Kerry in one word, they all shout out "flip-flopper." The really liberal kids are depressed. If they reflect their parents' views, Kerry is in serious trouble.
The Jerusalem Post writes about what the Israeli government has said in a report on terrorism. The key tidbits are how terrorism has decreased since parts of the barrier were completed and also how Yasser Arafat is behind some of the terrorism. What a surprise that is, I'm sure.
There has been an 84% decrease in the number of Israelis killed in terror attacks since the completion of the first portion of the security fence in August last year that comprises 134 kilometers between Salem and Elkana.

A Shin Bet report released on Monday that summed up the first four years since the outbreak of violence in September 2000, revealed that terrorist organizations operating in Samaria succeeded in perpetrating 6 suicide bomb attacks inside Israel in which thirty Israelis were killed since the fence's completion. 73 suicide bomb attacks killed 293 Israelis since the outbreak of violence in September 2000. A total of 1017 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in terror attacks in the past four years.

Interrogation proves Arafat involved in terror attacks

The report notes that the questioning of senior terror leaders incarcerated in Israeli prisons such as Marwan Barghouti, Nasser Aweis, Ahmed Barghouti and Nasser Abu Hmeid revealed that in many instances PA Yasser Arafat authorized the funding of Tanzim activities fully aware that it was to be used in preparation for attacks against Israelis. In many cases, weapons used in terror attacks against Israeli citizens were taken from PA weapons storehouses and distributed to activists in the field.

Over the past four years, the report claims, "many hundreds" of members of the Palestinian security forces have been involved in terror attacks, transporting suicide bombers to launch attacks and smuggling weapons and bombs to activists in different areas. The trend was first noticed in the beginning of 2002, but there has been a noticeable increase in the involvement of Palestinian security officials since last year. The majority are affiliated with the Fatah Tanzim and received instructions from Hizbullah operatives abroad.

Monday, September 27, 2004

One Ohio Republican says that we should encourage our leftists to emigrate to Europe where they'll be happier.
For the sake of America, we need to abandon our strategy of verbally defending her when leftists make accusations against her. Unless their accusations are made in the presence of many others and our goal is to prevent those others from being deceived, such a defense is counterproductive. Instead, we need to indulge leftist self-deception. When they unfairly criticize America, convince them that Europe or Europe-on-the-border (a.k.a. Canada) would be a better place for them to live. Reassure them that they would find more like-minded people there, and their views would be welcomed. Those places are more "progressive" and "inclusive." Be sure to use those exact words. MRI scans of the leftist brain indicate that the sound of those words is positively exciting.

Do not remind them that Europe has historically been incapable of solving its own problems without America, and that Canada has always been on the verge of splitting at the seams. If you do, this exercise will be for naught.

Convince the leftists that there are just too many conservatives in America. Even our last Democratic president had to be a centrist to get elected (yes, they actually believe that, so you must use it against them.) Some leftists will object that America is not really too conservative, and that President Bush "stole" the last election. Again, don't challenge them, but indulge their beliefs. Tell them the "problem" goes beyond the presidency! Congress is dominated by Republicans. And the Supreme Court that "stole" the election from Vice President Gore is too (again, we know the Court is too left-leaning, but to leftists, it's too conservative.) After all, how else could President Bush have won?

The left must be made to believe that resistance to the conservative agenda is futile. Demoralizing them is a means of defeating them more easily. "America is too conservative for you," you must tell them, "but Europeans would love you, and you'd be a perfect fit in their society."

So take our poor, huddled leftists, yearning to be European--preferably take them before Election Day. The European Union is leading the secession of Europe from Western Civilization anyway, and it may as well take our leftists with it. We would all be happier.
I'm watching the HBO documentary "Nine Innings from Ground Zero." It's a heartbreaker, but reminds us of how we felt that day. To make a political point, it reminds us how great it was to see George Bush throw out that pitch at the World Series after 9/11. It also reminds us of what Rudy Giuliani did to become so well-respected after 9/11. If you have HBO, be sure to watch it next time it comes on. It will make you both cry and smile.
Radio Blogger has a list of 27 killer questions for John Kerry based simply on the story, since retracted, that Kerry's favorite gun was a Chinese assault rifle. The campaign recently said the story was a mistake and blamed some hapless aide. Here's a sample.
8. You have shown a propensity to assess blame when mistakes happen. You blamed the Secret Service for getting in your way when you careened into them while skiing, causing all of you to fall over like bowling pins. You denied owning an SUV, until it was proven you owned one. Then you said it wasn't yours, it belonged to the family. You've repeatedly blamed questions arising from discrepancies regarding your Vietnam service as attacks on your patriotism. Again in this instance, your spokesman blamed this supposed mistake on a campaign staffer who filled this out. Why didn't anyone on your staff bring this to you to make sure it was accurate before it went back to the magazine?

9. You have included in your stock stump speech over the last several weeks criticism over the President passing blame. In fact, the direct quote from several of your speeches is "President Bush’s desk isn’t where the buck stops – it’s where the blame begins." Citing the examples in the last question, and the current controversy over the Outdoor Life article, isn't that part of your speech what psychologists would call projection, Senator?

10. Since it clearly can be shown that you have participated in more blame game tactics during the campaign cycle than your opponent, how can America trust you with reigns of power if, God forbid, something goes wrong?

11. Have you ever made a mistake in your life that could hurt you politically that you've owned up to?

Tom Bevan revisits Kerry's position on preemption against Iraq in 1997.
So is it plausible for John Kerry to have believed in 1997 that Saddam was a grave threat requiring the use of significant, preemptive, and unilateral military force but to now, more than five years later and in a post-9/11 world, stand before us and argue the opposite? It is not.

John Kerry's own words both then and now damn him as a man who changes his beliefs and positions based on political expediency and nothing more. -
Visit RCP for the quotes from Kerry in 1997 and marvel at his political slipperiness.
Arthur Chrenkoff has a great roundup of good news from Iraq. It's a nice switch from the constant gloom and doom in most media. Both stories are true, but we only seem to hear one of them.
Slings and Arrows has a good round-up of all the things that Kerry has accused Bush of having secret plans to do. Gosh, the GOP sure are devious. Why, if they have all these secret plans, do they keep telling Kerry about it? Jim Geraghty links to that post at Slings and Arrows and adds this.
Meanwhile, Kerry has refused to specify some of his foreign policy and economic proposals... because they're secret, and "as president there's huge leverage that will be available to me, enormous cards to play, and I'm not going to play them in public. I'm not going to play them before I'm president."

Yearghhh!
The GOP has issued their version of Kerry's debate briefing book. It's quite damaging, yet funny.
James Taranto has some more proposed slogans for Heinz ketchup.
"French fries prefer me."


"Use liberally."


"Rich and thick."


"The official ketchup of Lambert Field."
James Taranto has several good examples of so-called neutral news story that carry an opinionated bias. I think we should just acknowledge that we have biased news outlets just like we have had for most of our country. The problem is the pretense of neutral, balanced news reporting. If everyone would just fess up on both sides of the political spectrum, we could have a lot more honesty in our journalism.
Lorie Byrd has started her own blog. She writes about her family's need for a break on health insurance and how, on paper, she sounds like the ideal supporter for Kerry and Edwards. However, she explains why she doesn't trust them and instead seeks some free market solution. Lorie still will be blogging at Polipundit, but it's great to see her striking out on her own simultaneously. Participating in two blogs, working almost full time and raising two young daughters is an awful lot for one woman. My hat's off to her.
Well, Laurence Tribe has acknowledged his plagiarism. It hasn't been a good time for Harvard professors, particularly at the Law School.
Tribe’s mea culpa comes just three weeks after another prominent Harvard faculty member—Climenko Professor of Law Charles J. Ogletree—publicly apologized for copying six paragraphs almost word-for-word from a Yale scholar in a recent book, All Deliberate Speed.

Last fall, Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz also battled plagiarism charges. And in 2002, Harvard Overseer Doris Kearns Goodwin admitted that she had accidently copied passages from another scholar in her bestseller The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys.

University President Lawrence H. Summers told The Crimson in an interview last week—before the allegations against Tribe surfaced—that he did not see “a big trend” of plagiarism problems at the Law School as a result of the charges against Ogletree and Dershowitz, but indicated that a third case would change his mind.

“If you had a third one, then I would have said, okay, you get to say this is a special thing, a focused problem at the Law School,” Summers said of the recent academic dishonesty cases.

Of course, Tribe's colleagues jump to his defense.
But both Ogletree and Dershowitz jumped to defend their colleague from the charges leveled against him.

Ogletree, speaking to The Crimson yesterday, dismissed The Standard’s allegations against Tribe as “nonsense.”

“I think Larry [Tribe] may be overreacting,” Dershowitz said yesterday, when asked whether Tribe was right to apologize. “Abraham sat on this story for 20 years. If he had a gripe, he should have written to Larry 20 years ago.”

....Dershowitz said yesterday that The Standard’s charges against Tribe were politically motivated.

“Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime,” Dershowitz said—a quotation he attributed to Soviet spymaster Lavrenti Beria. “Clearly someone was looking to pin something on the most prominent liberal constitutional scholar in the country.”

So, it doesn't matter that Tribe did something wrong if the victim hasn't complained or if the accusers are conservative and the perpetrator is liberal? Is that what they teach in criminal law at Harvard?
Jay Nordlinger has this goody in his Impromptus today.
So, do you know who's prepping John Kerry for debate? His good friend Greg Craig, of Elian Gonzalez (and other) infamy. Um, does South Florida know this (where the first debate is being held, incidentally)? Should the GOP make sure it does?
DJ Drummond had an encouraging post about how he thinks that Kerry has already lost the first debate. (Link via Polipundit)
Finally, someone says what needed to be said about Che Gueverra. I'm so sick of seeing students wearing his T Shirt to school or teachers having his poster up in their classrooms. This man was not a hero and shouldn't be lionized anymore than Franco or Castro should be heroes to our youth.
The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution's first firing squads. He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che's imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for "two, three, many Vietnams," he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: "Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …"— and so on. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967, leading a guerrilla movement that had failed to enlist a single Bolivian peasant. And yet he succeeded in inspiring tens of thousands of middle class Latin-Americans to exit the universities and organize guerrilla insurgencies of their own. And these insurgencies likewise accomplished nothing, except to bring about the death of hundreds of thousands, and to set back the cause of Latin-American democracy—a tragedy on the hugest scale.

The present-day cult of Che—the T-shirts, the bars, the posters—has succeeded in obscuring this dreadful reality. And Walter Salles' movie The Motorcycle Diaries will now take its place at the heart of this cult. It has already received a standing ovation at Robert Redford's Sundance film festival (Redford is the executive producer of The Motorcycle Diaries) and glowing admiration in the press. Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice. He stood for the ancient rigidities of Latin-American thought, in a Marxist-Leninist version, and he has been celebrated as a free-thinker and a rebel. And thus it is in Salles' Motorcycle Diaries.
Both Bush and Kerry took a class on American oratory from the same professor at Yale.
Ms. Hughes writes that she was once so frustrated that she asked Mr. Bush how a speech should be written. He scrawled out for her, she recounts, that it should have "an introduction, three major points, then a peroration - a call to arms, tugs on the heartstrings," then a conclusion, which "is different from a peroration." When Ms. Hughes asked how he knew all that, Mr. Bush replied, "The History of American Oratory, at Yale."

David Boren, a former United States senator and a 1960's Yale debater who is now the president of the University of Oklahoma, said that Professor Osterweis, his mentor, taught students two main lessons. "First, you have to have substance - values and principles that are worth conserving," Mr. Boren said. "Then you have to communicate them in a way that makes the audience feel that they have ownership of the ideas. It's almost like you have to become part of the crowd, and have them go away adopting the ideas as their own."

Mr. Boren, a Democrat who knows both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry, said that the president, with his colloquialisms and regular-guy style, had clearly learned the second lesson. "Bush puts himself inside the head of the person listening to him," he said.

In contrast, Mr. Boren said, Mr. Kerry is all policy and expertise. "I think Kerry obviously uses his speeches to be a teacher and to go into the nuances and complexities," he said. Professor Osterweis, he added, "saw the role of the president in part as being a teacher."