Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Blogging hiatus

Well, I’m off on another business trip, so unless I find an Internet portal in Stuttgart, Germany, I’ll be taking a brief break from blogging. See you Saturday – E
If you look closely, Condi dotted the “i” with a little heart


Photograph of a note from U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to President George W. Bush, released June 28, 2004, confirming the formal handover of power in Iraq, delivered during the opening session of the NATO Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28.

That’s one for the archives.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Kerry on defense

Here’s Senator Splunge in an interview to Army Times. I actually had a much longer post typed out, but I think I’ll just let the interview stand for itself. Suffice to say that Vietnam is mentioned. However, I will point out this part at the end when the interview is wrapping up:

Q: Thanks.
Kerry: Well, I like talking about this stuff. I think we can have a far more effective military structure than we have today and a lot of smart people in the military I talk to about it who are waiting for the civilian leadership that really wants to do these things.
Q: Do you have anyone in mind for secretary of defense?
Because I sure as hell don’t want to consider the other “civilian leader!” Whew!
Do you want this man in your living room for four years?

Andrew Sullivan says “I think not.”

The minute Kerry starts to speak, you can hear the life drain out of a room. When he appears on television, the right hand gravitates almost instinctively toward the remote. The word 'pomposity' doesn't quite capture the condescension of the man. Think Clinton's ambition matched with Gore's endlessly self-calibrating mind. Now remove all charm whatsoever. There's a reason he went un-noticed in the primary campaign. No sane human being would ever want to notice him. He's a human anti-histamine. He's Botox for the brain.
There’s something about Kerry (pomposity? frigidity? superciliousness? all of the above?) that is just so repulsive, I think the Presidential debates will turn this current 2000 replay into a 1988 Dukakis-style rout.
Captains Quarters makes just a devastating argument against Senator Splunge and his vaunted diplomatic skills. How’s Kerry going to get bankrupt European countries to commit troops when he can’t even negotiate an agreement with supposedly-friendly unions in Boston? Good question!
Jonah Goldberg approves this post (Disclaimer: Jonah does not approve this post)

From what I’ve heard about the crockumentary Fahrenheit 9/11, it sounds exactly like this scene from the Simpsons:

Homer: Ehh, someone had to take the babysitter home. Then I noticed she was sitting on the gummi Venus, so I grabbed it off her. Oh, just thinking about that sweet, sweet candy...[moans lustfully] I just wish I had another one right now. But the most important thing is --
Jones: That was really great Mr. Simpson. We got everything we need.

Later, on the “news” show “Rock Bottom”:

Homer: Somebody had to take the babysitter home. Then I noticed she was sitting on [splice] her sweet [splice] can. [splice] -- o I grab her -- [splice] sweet can. [splice] Oh, just thinking about [splice] her [splice] can [splice] I just wish I had he -- [splice] sweet [splice] sweet [splice] s-s-sweet [splice] can.
Jones: So, Mr. Simpson: you admit you grabbed her can. What do you have to say in your defense?
Homer: [looking lustful in a clearly-paused VCR shot]
Jones: Mr. Simpson, your silence will only incriminate you further. [paused shot of Homer grows larger] No, Mr. Simpson, don't take your anger out on me. Get back! Get back! Mist -- Mr. Simpson -- nooo!
Man: [quickly] Dramatization -- may not have happened.
Blogging News

Blogs for Bush has just added its 600th B4B to the blogroll!

In other news, Viking Pundit is now more popular (#268 on the Blogging Ecosystem) than John Kerry's blog (#271).

Ha!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Kerry Vote Watch

Usually this is where I give my usual update as to the absence of my Senator over the past week. Except this time is different: Kerry showed up for work! For a couple of hours…then it was back onto the campaign trail.

The Senate held a remarkable 22 floor votes this past week. Kerry flew into Washington for the day to vote on an amendment to the defense appropriations bill but then, depending on who you listen to, either the vote was intentionally delayed to frustrate Kerry, or the Senate refused to hurry up for the fly-by-vote Senator. Considering the final vote on the Daschle amendment wasn’t taken until 10:43 p.m. the following day, well, you can draw your own conclusions.

Bottom line: with the Senate in session since January, Kerry is now one working day short of what most of us drones consider a full work-week.

Days worked this session: 4
Missed vote percentage: 135/152 = 89%
Scott Elliott has updated his Election Projection and the latest estimate shows a replay of 2000 is in the making. The big switch in this update is a state poll throwing Florida back to Bush. It’s still a squeaker, though.
The nature of the beast

Late word coming in is that an American Marine – who is also a Muslim – was (somehow) lured away from his post and is now held hostage by the Islamic fanatics:

"I'm also Muslim, but despite this they didn't release me," he said, bowing his head. "They are going to cut the head of any person regardless of whether he is a Muslim or not."
Doesn’t the Koran specifically proscribe against killing a Muslim? They don’t care. They have no country, no religion, no philosophy. They only live to hate.
The WashPost knows it won’t be Edwards: “Purely in terms of campaigning this fall, the Massachusetts senator also must consider whether Edwards's sizzle would make his own more prosaic style seem unacceptably wooden by comparison.” Plus, there’s plenty in the article to suggest that Kerry and Edwards just don’t like each other.
Flip-flop in the making

Headline from today’s Boston Globe: “Kerry refuses to cross picket

Declaring his refusal to cross a union picket line, Senator John F. Kerry yesterday moved closer to canceling a speech before the US Conference of Mayors as union demonstrators marched on an evening event hosted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Watch this one. I guarantee that Kerry will find some “accommodation” to give his speech before the mayors’ conference. This grandstanding is just another obsequious bow to the unions before he does what he plans to do anyway.

Update - Color me wrong: “Kerry cancels speech to mayors

"I don't cross picket lines," Kerry said last night, shortly after attending Mass at St. Vincent's Waterfront Chapel. ''I never have."
The statement leaves open the question of what he will do if the contracts are not settled before next month's Democratic National Convention.
Well, this is a pickle.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

How to interpret statistics

According to this survey:
62% of viewers of "Fahrenheit 9/11" were rabid Bush haters who saw the movie to have their personal beliefs confirmed
29% of viewers were Bush supporters who saw a lot of selective facts and editing.
More on brainless Democrats

Here's Powerline: "The Democrats' position is that it is OK for Democrats to produce that show images of Adolf Hitler morphing into George Bush; but it is terrible for Republicans to reproduce those images to point out how nuts the Democrats are. Not all Democrats are crazy. But the Democratic Party has gone insane."

Meanwhile, That Liberal Media reviews Godwin's Law.
Hoisted by their own petard: The Kerry campaign complains about images of Hitler injected into presidential campaign. The Bush campaign responds: “We agree, it’s disgusting.” Buuuuuurn.
Oxblog on Kerry’s incredibly dishonest fundraising ploy: “I'm not sure whether this is malice or incompetence on the part of the Kerry Campaign -- and I suspect the answer is incompetence -- but it doesn't bode well for them either way.”

Oops – I just noticed that Instapundit has almost exactly the same post. Great minds think alike, and all that. But in partial response to counter-critics: why is it unfair to associate Michael Moore with John Kerry when the DNC is hosting a showing of his movie? How about Al Gore and Dick Gephardt? They’re all campaigning for Kerry and drinking the same Kool-Aid.
Quote of the Day

CAVUTO: All right. Sir, a couple of little issues I want settled, or maybe to get the real skinny on. One was this blowout you had the other day with Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. What happened?
CHENEY: Well, I guess you could say we had a little floor debate in the United States Senate.
Heh.
Moving forward: European Union pledges to help rebuild Iraq

Friday, June 25, 2004

Holy Hyannisport, Splungeman!

Andrew Sullivan “supports” his “Case for Edwards” with this bizarre argument: “Edwards, whatever his faults, has plenty of zip. People like him. No one really likes Kerry. Edwards also gets the fact that a successful Democratic candidate has to have soul and passion.”

Working from the axiom that Americans (almost) never vote for a ticket because of the vice-president, doesn’t Sullivan’s statement actually frame the case against Edwards? Joyboy Edwards will make Kerry look even more dour, no matter how many footballs he tosses around the airport tarmac.

Plus, as I argued with Mark Kilmer, Kerry is all about gravitas. He’s got the baritone voice and the Kennedyesque pompadour; he measures every word for historical import. All of that will be diluted by Edwards. It will impossible for a Kerry-Edwards ticket to escape comparison to Batman and Robin.

Also, can you imagine a Dick Cheney – John Edwards debate? It’ll be Grandpa versus the Paperboy. It’s not gonna happen.

For the record, I’m now betting on Tom Vilsack, despite my impeccable logic several months ago in Dodd’s running mate pool.
The New England Republican reviews an updated analysis by Larry Sabato titled “This is not 1980” and the various trends that are breaking for the President. It’s the feel-good post of the day.
John Cole at Balloon Juice has a load of great posts on Michael Moore and those dirty rotten Democrats. Keep scrolling.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

New Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll

Two-way: Bush 48% - Kerry 42%
Three-way: Bush 47% - Kerry 40% - Nader 3%

Regardless of how they plan to vote, half of the public believes Bush is going to win in November, 30 percent believe Kerry will win and 20 percent are unsure or think it is too early to say.
That seems to jibe with the sentiment on the Iowa Electronic Market.
Those are our felons!

Some Arizona Democrats filed a lawsuit claiming that Ralph Nader used illegal workers to circulate petitions for the state ballot:

Democrats Dorothy Schultz and Betty Elizabeth Hughes alleged that some of the people who circulated petitions for Nader didn't meet residency requirements and other qualifications.

Three of the petition circulators are prohibited from gathering signatures because they are convicted felons, the lawsuit said.
Instant karma’s gonna get ya:

A Democratic group funded by Bush-hating billionaire George Soros is hiring felons — some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary — to go door to door registering voters in key states, it was revealed yesterday.
Martha Stewart was unavailable for comment.

Bonus: Here’s the front page of today’s Boston Herald for an extra laugh.
This is one time I agree with the New York Times: “Despite their control of Congress, Republican leaders are in the embarrassing position of failing one of the annual tests of effective government: enacting a new budget.”

Partisan wrangling and political posturing aside, Congress must perform its most basic function of funding the U.S. government. Voters will not look kindly on this Congress – or the GOP – if they fail to pass a budget.
Kerry’s Flip-Flop Du Jour

He’s either an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist:

Democrat John F. Kerry yesterday countered Republican attempts to label him a pessimist about the US economy, arguing that criticism of the Bush administration's record of job creation actually reflected optimism that the economy could do better.
He’s also optimistic that by raising the tax rate on the rich, they’ll work harder to help pay for the trillion dollars in new spending he’s proposed.
James Pinkerton in Newsday argues that “Fahrenheit 9/11” will convert away no Bush voters, and could have the unexpected consequence of turning anti-war voters towards Nader instead of Senator Splunge (who voted for the war in Iraq).
Why I refuse to give out personal information even on “secure” databases.
Excellent post on the sources of division and partisanship, via Paul at Wizbang.
They were both leaders of large countries

In yesterday’s edition of Opinion Journal, Bret Stephens begged for a little sanity in the Left’s rhetoric in “Just Like Stalingrad” which had the subtitle “If Bush is another Hitler, what words are left to describe Hitler?” In the article, Stephens calmly notes:

The point here is not that Mr. Bush has a flawless or even a good record or that his critics don't have their points. The point is that, at this stage in his presidency, Mr. Bush cannot credibly be described as some kind of world-historical disaster on a par with James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover, nor can he credibly be accused of the things of which he is accused.
Sounds reasonable enough. Alas, this sage advice escaped movie reviewer Rex Reed who had this to say about Michael Moore’s movie:

Mr. Moore, who has tackled corporate greed (Roger & Me) and gun control (Bowling for Columbine), now feels driven and obligated to strip the fa├žade from a swaggering, bow-legged, grammatically challenged bully and a cabinet that is beginning to look more like the Third Reich every day.
Followed in quick order by Crazy Al Gore:

In an hour-long address punctuated by polite laughter and applause, Gore also accused the Bush administration of working closely "with a network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops."
Why is everybody beating up on Bush? Here’s another prominent Republican who accidentally-on-purpose revealed the true plans of the EEEE-VIL Republican party.

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women.”
That was supposed to be a secret!
Hooray! Our ship is sinking slightly slower

Both Michael Tanner on Fox News and David Hogberg on The American Spectator take on the recent report that Social Security is expected to go bankrupt only a little bit later than originally predicted. Opponents of Social Security reform have seized on these numbers in an effort to tamp down efforts to reform the national Ponzi scheme.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Kerry is for veterans, except when he’s not

The Boston Globe has an article today titled “Rare Kerry appearance causes uproar in Senate.” It seems that Kerry suspended his campaign for a day to rush back to Washington and vote for legislation on health care for veterans. Because Kerry, a veteran, wants to help out all the veterans who served their country and later became veterans. Some veterans served in Vietnam and Kerry wants to support his brothers-in-arms veterans.

But what’s this buried down in paragraph eleven of the Globe story?

According to Senate roll call records, Kerry has missed at least three votes this year on veterans' issues, including one on a Democratic proposal that would have allowed up to $2.7 billion in extra spending for veterans' medical programs, though he has regularly supported such funding increases in the past.
How about an ironic comment to close out this post, Senator?

"This is a very important issue, taking care of veterans -- I hope they're not going to delay veterans for political purposes."
Bravo [sarcastic clapping]
Al Gore to criticize Bush. Nation prepares to roll eyes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

AFI's top 100 songs

They're running down the best songs from movies tonight and one of them was "The Rainbow Connection" from "The Muppet Movie."

Kermit the Frog, who performed the song, appeared on the CBS show to talk about it. You know, even though that movie is 25 years old, Kermit still looks the same. I mean, he hasn't aged a day.

Update - Well, I called "Over the Rainbow" as #1 before the show started. And I picked the top three about half-way through. But no "Trouble" or "Til there was you" from "The Music Man"? That's a travesty, with a capital "T"!
Crush Kill Destroy

There are a mere 50 charter schools in Massachusetts, but they are attracting the best teachers and students, and achieving education goals. Therefore, as Jeff Jacoby writes in today’s Boston Globe, the Massachusetts teacher unions must destroy them:

If teachers unions in Massachusetts spent as much time trying to improve the large number of public schools they control as they do trying to hurt the minuscule number of charter schools they don't control, public education in the Bay State would be the pride of the Western world. Alas, quality of education has never been the highest priority of the unions and the many school-district bureaucrats who do their bidding. Like other monopolists, they are less interested in improving their product than in trying to stomp out competition - especially when it comes from a tiny but popular upstart.
Leave the charter schools alone and let the best school win.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Err America uses Enron accounting

The Air America saga has reached a level of bathos unforeseen by its most strident critics. Via Random Nuclear Strikes, here’s an American Thinker article “Air America stiffs its creditors” and Professor Bainbridge reveals more with the help of the Wall Street Journal:

Many of Air America's investors and executives say they thought the network had raised more than $30 million, based on assurances from its owners, Guam-based entrepreneurs Evan M. Cohen and Rex Sorensen. In fact, Air America had raised only $6 million, Mr. Cohen concedes. Within six weeks of the launch, those funds had been spent and the company owed creditors more than $2 million.
So they have thirty six negative two million in the bank. I originally thought that Air America would pack it in a week after the November elections. Now I don’t believe they’ll make it through the summer. It is to laugh.

Update from the NY Post: “Air America hits sour ratings note” – “Encouraging preliminary ratings for all-liberal Air America in New York have collapsed along with the fledgling radio network's finances.”
The Byrds' lesser-known hit: 62 Miles High

Wow! SpaceShipOne achieves space travel. Rand Simberg is there. (Fox News too)
If Ralph Nader gains the Green Party's endorsement...

The Green Party has ballot access for a presidential candidate in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
Key states happily highlighted.
Listen to Hugh Hewitt: "BlogsforBush just keeps getting better and better. Bookmark it for the the duration of the campaign."

Yes, they have some fantastic writers over there.
Bummer - Robert Prather is calling it quits on Insults Unpunished. Maybe now would be a good time to get the Safety Valve back on line. Send your urgent pleas to Toren today.
Send lawyers guns and money - Scott at Election Projection says the electoral vote count currently stands at 269-269. Throw it to the House of Representatives!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Happy Fathers Day - I had a great weekend with my kids, who both gave me cards saying "I love my Dad because he takes me swimming." So - I couldn't avoid it and watch the U.S. Open - I had to take them swimming today. At least I had a great Fathers Day nap.
Kerry Vote Watch

Different week – same story. The Senate was unusually productive last week, holding 19 roll call votes on judicial nominees and defense legislation. Kerry missed them all, even though he was in Washington for a period when the Senate was in session.

Days worked this session: 3
Missed vote percentage: 116/130 = 89%


Fun with Google searches

"Blogs for Bush" = 68,400 hits
"Blogs for Kerry" = 110 hits

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Gloom Campaign is faced with inconvenient facts

This WashPost editorial “Jobs and Mr. Kerry” notes that Senator Splunge’s rhetoric on the employment picture is running against reality:

If Mr. Kerry's message seems exaggerated now, it will seem even less convincing soon. Job markets recover in three phases: As the economy picks up, employers ask workers to put in extra hours; when they've exhausted that option, they hire new workers; when new workers become hard to find, labor scarcity pushes wages upward. We are now well into the second stage and may be entering the third.
We should all be as lucky as Kerry. If he fails to gain the presidency, he’ll always have his old job to fall back on.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Late Night Poll - Via Hedgehog Report - Harris Poll: Bush opens up a 10% lead among likely voters (51%-41%) Some doubt this can be true, but the Real Clear Politics composite poll is definitely showing some trending towards Bush.
Maybe the Saudi police are just very good

Vinny at Insignificant Thoughts (with the new address – update your blogroll) thinks the Saudis caught – and killed – that Al Qaeda guy suspiciously quickly. Betsy is also wondering if there’s something fishy going on.

Extra: Brian quotes a particularly apt scene from Macbeth. The Viking Pundit, who has a degree in English, is suitably impressed.
Hollywood's easy stereotyping

A while ago, I read a review for the execrable Jennifer Lopez movie “Enough” that opined that Hollywood would never make a movie where a black woman, terrorized by her black husband, would seek help from a white man. Yet the trope of a black person helping a helpless white person is as heavily ingrained in Tinsel Town as portraying Republicans (always) in smoke-filled rooms.

And now, as Jonathan Last notes in Opinion Journal, evangelical Christians are the subject of Hollywood’s cruel humor, in the movie “Saved!” Typical stuff.
Quagmire Watch

You can’t make this stuff up: on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, there will be a tribute to the other, less liberal, Senator from my state, Ted Kennedy. Oh, and it just happens to fall on the 35th anniversary of Chappaquiddick. (Hat tip to Tim Blair.)

Mass Backwards has the bumper sticker.
Our friends, the Saudis?

I started to write an angry screed about the sub-humans who murdered Paul Johnson and the complicity of the Saudis, when I saw this breaking story: “Saudi Al Qaeda Leader Killed

Abdulaziz al-Moqrin is at the top of the list of suspects in Saudi Arabia and is believed to be the leader of the group calling itself Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the beheading of American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr.
Will this (finally) mark a turning point in terms of Saudi cooperation in the War On Terrorism? It’s a good start.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

No way will it be Gephardt

Kerry’s much ballyhooed meeting with Richard Gephardt, putatively to see if the Missouri representative would make a good vice president, is nothing more than a stage play for Big Labor. “Hey, I wanted him on the ticket but we just didn’t mesh.”

Gephardt is too old school, too Washington, and – worst of all by far – he served in the Air National Guard during Vietnam. Man, Vietnam is the only thing that Kerry’s got going over Bush and he’s not going to let Gephardt take it away. Not a chance in Hades.
Quagmire Watch - that's how Jaws Blog is characterizing the endless stream of bad news out of Boston lately, regarding the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

Today's installment: "Mayor says Democrats responsible for convention overruns"

I can't wait until Sharpton's speech.
Uber-linkage! Our very own Blogs for Bush founder Matt Margolis got a link on Opinion Journal's Best of the Web today. Way to go, Matt!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Values that Kerry believes in, but doesn’t live by

Ipse Dixit found this quote from a speech John Kerry gave in New Jersey:

"Working families all across our country are living by the oldest and greatest of American values - hard work, service, and caring for one another. I'm running for president because I believe that our government should live by those values, too."
Stop right there.

Hard work – In twenty years in the Senate, John Kerry has sponsored and passed exactly three bills of any consequence: two on fishing rights and one for small businesses. Except in the most peripheral and vicarious way, he’s never championed successful legislation on health care, energy policy, funding for higher education, or any of the other issues on which he now campaigns.

Service – John Kerry has missed 87% of the roll call votes in the Senate this session; he missed 64% of votes in the last session. Senate colleagues consider him more of a show horse than a workhorse and his penchant for high-profile investigations over passing legislation earned him the nickname of “Live Shot Kerry.”

Caring for one another – Before he launched his campaign for the White House, Kerry’s contributions to charity were, by any measure, paltry. From 1991 to 1995, tax returns indicate that Kerry donated a miserly sum of $3,034 ($0 in both 1991 and 1995) while showering himself with expensive gifts.

Leading by example seems to be a foreign concept to John Kerry.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Kerry: Undeterred by facts

From the WashPost Business page: “Kerry Misfires in Economic Blame Game

Undeterred by these facts, Kerry's campaign has dredged up the old "middle-class squeeze," which emphasizes rising costs for energy, health care and college tuition. This analysis conveniently ignores falling prices for other basics like food, clothing, airfare or phone service, or lower monthly payments for homes and cars. It also suggests that the president is largely responsible for price increases largely outside his control.
One metric that the Kerry campaign cites ad nauseum as a evidence of middle-class “misery” is the rising cost of college tuition. First, I’d like Kerry to explain how federal policy can somehow restrain rising college costs. Then I’d like him to explain how this affects Americans (such as me) who don’t have kids in college yet.
Movies with Philosophical Themes (Hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy)
Via Outside the Beltway, Ben Shapiro writes that the time has come for American Jews to re-evaluate their allegiance to the Democrats.
Improbability factor: High

If Kerry won’t resign his dust-covered Senate seat, will he at least give back his salary?

In 2000, then-Texas Gov. George Bush reimbursed his state a day's salary for every day that he was campaigning out of state and then-Lt. Gov. Rick Perry had to step in as acting governor.
Extra: Tagorda calls this latest salvo against Kerry “a brilliant tactical move.”
Juan Williams writes that “Bush shouldn’t write off the black vote.” He cites school vouchers, religion, and promotion within the Bush administration as openings for the GOP. In my opinion, Williams forgets an issue that the NAACP will use to bludgeon Bush this fall: the University of Michigan affirmative action case. (Here’s my two cents on that issue from a year ago).
Mark Noonan is in a good mood. See why.
Wednesdays are for W

As the Democrats seek even more funding for their troubled national convention, they'll be tapping George Soros and the Hollywood elite. Show your support for President Bush on the grass roots level by volunteering or donating to GWB's re-election. Then visit the other bloggers on the "Wictory Wednesday" blogroll. It's important. Thanks.
More trouble for the Democratic National Convention: “Convention going $10m over budget.” Time to mortgage another house!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Quote of the Day

From the NY Times today, here’s Kerry economic advisor Gene Sperling:

"No question, George Bush had a couple of bad breaks on his watch," Mr. Sperling said, "most specifically 9/11 and the slowing economy of 2001."
Yeah, that wholesale murder of Americans was terrible luck for Bush. The New York Times, as is their wont, doesn’t ask Sperling to explain his remarks. The Boston Globe, however, had a follow-up:

Asked later about his labeling of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, which killed nearly 3,000, as a ''bad break," Sperling said, ''I, obviously, was not trying to give a description of 9/11, which was truly one of the most grave and a tragic moment in our country's history. What I was trying to do was recognize that President Bush did inherit or did have some things that hurt the economy that were beyond his control."
Well, that's a relief.
The Doom and Gloom campaign can’t compete with reality

From the Weekly Standard – “Bush Conquers Europe”:

All of this is a misfortune for John Kerry. His campaign rests on a three-legged stool. The first leg is that Bush is a job-destroyer; but the economy has created almost one million jobs in the past three months, and is probably adding better than 10,000 every day. The second leg is that Bush has antagonized America's allies and is isolated; the 15-0 Security Council vote to recognize the Bush-backed Iraqi government saws that leg off. The final leg is that the Bush tax cuts have been a disaster. Ronald Reagan's death has brought renewed attention to the fact that the late president's tax cuts helped to end the recession he inherited from Jimmy Carter, just as Bush's cuts kept the Clinton recession short and mild.

Not a good week for the president's foes, here and abroad.
For more on how bad things are going for the Democrats, see “Hiring plans near boom levels” or “Trifecta of Horrible News” by Jayson on Polipundit.

Extra – Or this line in the WashPost: “But a recent spate of positive economic news threatens to complicate, if not contradict, Kerry's impending attack.” Heh.
It’s about time

Boston Globe: “Romney administration calls for Kerry to resign

"It's not fair, it's not right and the public is not being well-served," said Healey, who said she was acting on behalf of Gov. Mitt Romney. "I'm calling on John Kerry to resign so that we can fill that office with someone who is 100 percent devoted to the job of representing the people of Massachusetts."
As I’ve noted, Kerry has appeared in the Senate for exactly three days this session. This works out to about $50,000 for every day he’s shown up for work.

Monday, June 14, 2004

What's up with American Chopper?

The past two weeks have been very annoying with the wide-angle camera shots and the new "Operations" guy Keith. Why are they messing around with a successful formula? Anybody?
People just don’t like Kerry

Back in January, I posted: “Take note Senator Splunge: your support is a mile wide and an inch deep.” Suddenly everybody is picking up on the theme that Democrats are less-than-enthusiastic about their candidate.

WashPost – “Doubts Linger as Kerry Advances”: “These Democrats say the enthusiasm for defeating Bush runs much stronger and deeper than the passion for electing Kerry.”

NY Post: “But can Kerry win simply by being the Other Guy? Recent polling suggests not.”

Powerline notes that Kerry’s strategy is to hope that everything goes wrong: “But if Kerry continues his present strategy of running as the not-Bush, and doesn't do more to present himself positively to the American people, he will be at the mercy of events should the last tide before November's election flow in a Republican direction.”

Byron York has a great roundup in “The Left Hates Bush, Kinda Likes Kerry

and Matt Kilmer calls this the Political Story of the Year: “So far, the political story of the year has been the lack of personal support for the Democrats' evident candidate, JF Kerry” – a statement supported by this line from the WashPost article: “Despite Kerry's two decades in the Senate, not many Democrats consider themselves "Kerry Democrats" or ardent loyalists, or even close friends.”

So, unless something unprecedented happens, Democrats are going to hold their collective nose in July and nominate John Kerry. Then they’re going to hope that the rest of America does too.

Last minute extra - From Silent Running:

But one thing a lot of us do see is a blatant opportunist with no real agenda other than self promotion and a lust for power and prestige. A triangulating politico, with no core values that can't be altered, or just plain discarded, when they run up against the all powerful polling and focus group pressure.

Bubba lite, all the rudderlessness, with less than half the charm.
Testify!
Mmmm...yeah. If you could just read this blog, that would be great.

Right Wing News has the list of bloggers favorite fictional characters. I offered up a dozen suggestions, but only one made the honorable mention list (Howard Roark in "The Fountainhead".) Here are my other choices:

Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces" (book)
Tom Joad from "The Grapes of Wrath"
D-FENS from "Falling Down" (movie) - I'm still amazed that Hollywood made this movie
Alex P. Keaton from "Family Ties" (TV)
George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life"
Jeeves from the P.G. Wodehouse books (many titles in Jeeves & Wooster series)
Juror #8 in "Twelve Angry Men" (the Henry Fonda character)
Judah Ben-Hur in "Ben Hur"
Mister Roberts in "Mister Roberts" (movie)
"Dad"/Jack Arnold on "The Wonder Years" (TV)
Bill Lumburgh in "Office Space"

I also wanted to add Nigel Tufnel or David St. Hubbins from "Spinal Tap" but I just couldn't split them up.

Update: John reveals his personal picks.
The Washington Post criticizes underhanded 527 groups that circumvent campaign finance law with a wink and a nod. “If the new law is to succeed, the courts need to step in to tell the FEC to enforce it the way Congress intended.” That'll happen.
The American Spectator says there are only six states to watch in November: Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Take two - added 10th word

"Serendipity!" cried persnickety Professor Hornblower as his rival, a flibbertigibbet with the insufferably onomatopoeic nickname of “Buzz,” threw himself into a kerfuffle over literary theory, juxtaposed his feet, became discombobulated, and caused his own defenestration – Hornblower watched with a plethora of glee as Buzz’s callipygian ass tumbled earthbound from the faculty lounge window.
Deploy the lime-green vests! Via Hoy, Lt. Smash infiltrates an A.N.S.W.E.R. rally in La-la land. Good fun, with pictures.
Ben, “The Hack” and “Haircut BoyPeggy Noonan has a touching story about an unsung hero in the Reagan White House who did his job well, then left for civilian work. He didn’t sell his story or write a tell-all book; he just did his job.
Then and now

From today’s Boston Globe, here’s an excerpt from an article titled “A President on the right side of history”:

At the time, Bush’s "Saddam-bashing" and "bellicose" rhetoric, as it was branded in the press, elicited widespread disapproval from the pundits. Malcolm Toon, former US Ambassador, deplored "the awful ‘you’re either with us or the terrorists’ speech." Then-New Republic editor Hendrik Hertzberg told The Washington Post that "words like that frighten the American public and antagonize Al-Qaeda," condemning the speech as "not presidential." "Primitive: that is the only word for it," sniffed then-New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis. "What is the world to think when the greatest of powers is led by a man who applies to the most difficult human problem a simplistic theology . . . ?"
Whoops...that’s my slightly re-worded version. Here’s how the same paragraph originally appeared:

At the time, Reagan's "red-baiting" and "bellicose" rhetoric, as it was branded in the press, elicited widespread disapproval from the pundits. Malcolm Toon, US Ambassador in Moscow from 1976 to 1979, deplored "the awful `evil empire' speech." Then-New Republic editor Hendrik Hertzberg told The Washington Post that "words like that frighten the American public and antagonize the Soviets," condemning the speech as "not presidential." "Primitive: that is the only word for it," sniffed then-New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis. "What is the world to think when the greatest of powers is led by a man who applies to the most difficult human problem a simplistic theology . . . ?"
If Reagan and Bush represent “simplicity,” then give me simplicity over Kerry’s nuance, Clinton’s equivocation, and Carter’s fecklessness.

Bonus: Little Green Footballs contrasts communism with Islamofascism.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Kerry Vote Watch

There was a single vote in the Senate last week: a resolution honoring President Ronald Reagan. It passed 98-0-2 with John Kerry and Max Baucus (D-MT) not voting.

So when John Kerry said that he was suspending his campaign in deference to the late President, it didn’t mean he would actually do his job in Washington. Nor did it mean he would show any deference to the American President. Natch.

Days worked this session: 3
Percentage of votes missed: 87%

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Kerry-McCain urban legend

On tonight’s Capital Gang, Robert Novak’s “Outrage of the Week” was that the Kerry campaign keeps playing a disingenuous game of footsie with John McCain to show that Kerry is open to conservatives (he’s a bipartisan uniter!).

Golly, I can’t believe they think this idea will fly. Isn’t it much more likely that Americans will wonder what is wrong with the Democrats that they can’t even find a decent #2 for Kerry? Also, it reeks of political calculation. Finally, I’m looking forward to the GOP National Convention when John McCain is introduced as the man the Democrats wanted for their ticket.
She didn't win a Toyota: Via Spartacus comes this story of a waitress who thought she won a car. She was understandably upset.
Economist: The Man who beat Communism


Choice line: "Oddly enough, he had what it took." Damn straight.

Friday, June 11, 2004

It must be raindrops, cause a man's not supposed to cry

The final tribute to Ronald Reagan was very emotional and Nancy broke down once the mahogany casket was stripped of the American flag. I think up until then, Reagan was the President; after the flag was removed, he was her husband again. The Reagan children were great also.

I was a little teary-eyed, I must admit.
Thank heaven for C-Span

I had to work today, but C-Span just replayed the entire funeral service at the National Cathedral. President Bush gave a magnificent speech to honor the full measure of Ronald Reagan.
Slant Point has some touching pictures of a Reagan vigil from Bryant Park in New York City.
Ben Domenech details his visit to see the Gipper one last time in "This Was a Man."
Now work on Pennsylvania and Ohio: Ralph Nader gets on the ballot in Arizona. (Bush over Gore in 2000 by 6%).
More trouble in Boston: Federal marshals are dispatched to keep order at the site of the Democratic National Convention

Also, via Daily Pundit, there's this story of "The Democrats' looming debacle in Boston" on American Thinker.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Daddy, take your hat off

The Corner is posting E-mails from people who visited the Rotunda today to pay final respects to President Ronald Reagan. Read here and here and here and here and here.
Erick the Political Junkie posts some graphs from the Economist on Reagan’s impressive economic legacy.
Way back when John Kerry showed up for work

As Robert Novak points out today, there was a time when Senator Splunge would make an appearance in the Senate. Ten years ago (yes, that’s how far back Novak had to go to uncover something approaching labor) Kerry sponsored an amendment to slash the U.S. intelligence budget, only a year after the first attack on the World Trade Center.

When this column asked about Kerry's past position this week, campaign spokesman Chad Clanton replied: "You bet, John Kerry voted against business-as-usual in our intelligence community. It is no secret that we've got some serious problems with our intelligence."
Kerry’s answer wasn’t to reform intelligence gathering, or even allocate more funds, but to spend less. That’s a nuanced approach if I ever saw one.
Hey, I just noticed, that was post #3000!

And this is #3001. Wheeee!
Petty

How small is the New York Times? In a week that has seen an outpouring of emotion for Ronald Reagan, some have floated the fanciful idea of replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with the Gipper. A more confident paper would have just let it pass as idle hero worship, but not the Times. In an editorial today, they want everyone to know that it’s a bad idea. Whatever.
Someone in the crowd yelled, "God bless you, Nancy!"

All Reagan, all the time. Real Clear Politics has links galore. Also, this Washington Post article “A Day of Ritual and Remembrance” is a good roundup of yesterday’s events.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

All the people tell me so, but what do all the people know?

This past Sunday, the Boston Globe had a book review for James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds.” This new book explains why the collective intuition of the masses is often much better than so-called “expert” opinion:

[There are] four characteristics of wise crowds: ''diversity of opinion (each person should have some private information, even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts); independence (people's opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them); decentralization (people are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge); and aggregation (there's some mechanism for turning private judgments into a collective decision)."
I can imagine that this concept must horrify the liberal elite who consider most of America as“flyover country” full of Bible readers and Nascar Dads. Even James Lileks (in this Bleat praising Ronald Reagan) once succumbed to sophomoric hauteur:

“The people have spoken, the idiots,” I wrote in my journal after he [Reagan] was elected in 1980.
Lileks was so much older then, he’s younger than that now. The masses are not asses, and this post on Political Wire warmed my heart:

Despite months of plummeting approval ratings and recent polls that show Sen. John Kerry ahead, political futures traders are still predicting President Bush will win re-election. Futures sold through the Iowa Electronic Markets allow politics buffs to bet on election outcomes, and the markets have proven surprisingly accurate in recent years.

In the Iowa Electronic Markets, Bush current trades at 0.55 to Kerry's 0.45 on the dollar. At Tradesports.com, the futures have a similar spread.
The difference between these markets and your standard polls is that, with the former, people are betting their own money on the outcome. At the latest update, the Iowa Electronic Market is still showing a 55-45 Bush-Kerry split. Listen to the people.
Wednesdays are for W

The George W. Bush re-election web site has temporarily turned into the Ronald Reagan memorial website; a fitting tribute to our 40th President. But we still need your support, so volunteer or donate for President Bush's re-election; then visit the other bloggers on the "Wictory Wednesday" blogroll. It's important. Thanks.
Robert Samuelson extols Reagan's "Unsung Triumph": "It's a magnificent irony. Amid all the affection and adulation for Ronald Reagan, one of his greatest achievements stands all but overlooked. He helped subdue double-digit inflation, setting the stage for the prolonged economic expansions of the 1980s and 1990s. High inflation largely brought Reagan to power; low inflation made his presidency popular and successful."
Matthew Hoy comments on Joe Biden’s grandstanding and how some politicians depend upon the force of parchment to (somehow) guarantee human rights. Isn't that quaint?
And they want to run the country – a continuing series

The Democrats can’t even organize their own convention. From the Boston Globe: “Police union’s picket line halts work on convention”:

Democratic National Convention organizers were forced to shut down the start of FleetCenter construction yesterday after some construction workers and delivery trucks refused to cross a picket line led by Boston police officers outside the arena. More construction problems were expected today, as city and convention officials scrambled to cope with the unanticipated disruptions.
That’s some delicious irony.

Update: The union-bustin’ Boston mayor takes his case to court.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

USA Today on “Rays of Light in Iraq”: “At least for this moment, as Reagan might have said, it's a brighter morning in Iraq.”
Kerry Vote Watch

After a week’s vacation, the Senate reconvened last week for a three-day workweek, holding seven floor votes in the process. No surprise: Kerry missed them all bringing his “missed vote” percentage up to 87%. He missed a vote to support U.S. troops by approving funds for an emergency fund for Iraq and Afghanistan; it still passed 95-0-5. But Kerry also missed a vote on a Democrat-sponsored amendment to increase funding to handle nuclear waste. That amendment was rejected 48-48-4, with Senator Splunge and John “Boy Wonder” Edwards out on the campaign trail.

Days worked this session: 3
Voting percentage: 14/110 = 13%
One circus forces out another circus

Cirque du Soleil, which opens a limited Boston engagement of its latest show, "Varekai," late next month at Suffolk Downs, has canceled three performances because of road closures scheduled during the July 26-29 Democratic National Convention.
More lost revenue for Boston.
Kaus on Kerry: “Let’s face it – he’s the Man from Mope!”
Maine Democrats refuse to vote for Kerry!

Well, they refuse to vote at all unless Boston can resolve its union disputes before the Democratic National Convention. From the Boston Globe article “Labor rejects a no-strike agreement”:

Meanwhile, in a sign of growing uneasiness in the Democratic Party, the chair of the Maine Democratic Party said that her state's 36 convention delegates would probably not cross a union picket line at the convention. Dorothy Melanson said she is confident the city can settle its contracts before the convention begins July 26, but said that if the police union has no contract and sets up pickets at the FleetCenter, Maine Democrats would be inclined to respect it.

"We're a party that supports labor all the way," said Melanson, who added that she intends to discuss the issue at a meeting for delegates scheduled next week. "We would honor picket lines."
"The delegation from Maine - out on Causeway Street - casts its votes for..."
We report, we decide

The New England Republican has an excellent investigation comparing the full transcript of Tom Brokaw’s interview with President Bush and the video as presented. It turns out that some important context on certain questions was removed for the video presentation. Check it out.
They want a president who believes that the country he leads is uniquely good and great.” - Hugh Hewitt believes that the memorials to Reagan will remind America that the struggle against evil reflects well on the current President.

Monday, June 07, 2004

He wore nice suits

If there was ever any doubt that the New York Times has become the Pravda of the American Left, look no further than today’s editorial on Ronald Reagan. It rankles with back-handed compliments that cannot conceal an undertone of contempt. The message: Reagan was an amiable dunce who fell ass-backward into good economic times (thanks really to Carter) and an age of freedom (thanks really to Gorbachev.) Everybody thought Reagan was swell, but he was “far more than some kind of chief executive turned national greeter.” Well, that’s a relief.

Extra: The Man without Qualities has his own take on the NYT’s editorial: “This hilarious editorial proves that even years after the fact the Times is still incapable of seeing things that Ronald Reagan saw so clearly and correctly when they still lay years in the future.”

More: Jay at Classless Warfare noticed too. Appropriately so, I guess (since the NYT engages in classless, and brainless, warfare.)

Sunday, June 06, 2004

How I’ll remember Ronald Reagan

I’m a Republican because of Ronald Reagan, but not for purely ideological reasons. Reagan demonstrated to America that, with the courage of one’s convictions, unyielding action can change the course of history. In my mind, one of the Gipper's greatest virtues was his Manichaean position on communism. To Reagan, communism was not a matter of debate, it was not a philosophy to be reasoned with or nuanced. Communism was evil and those who promoted the Marxism system were keeping people in chains. So when Reagan called the Soviet Union the “evil empire” and later demanded the destruction of the Berlin Wall, it wasn’t some kind of political ploy. It was the genuine sentiment of a man who wanted to see people free.

There’s no better commentary on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the legacy of Reagan than P.J. O’Rourke’s essay “The Death of Communism” from his 1992 book “Give War a Chance” (faithfully re-typed here). Here’s the setup for the conclusion: it’s November 1989 and P.J.’s watching everybody dismantle the Wall with ball-peen hammers when an East German security guard sticks his hand through a hole, asking for a piece as a souvenir:

The hand of that border guard – that disembodied, palm-up, begging hand…I looked at that and I began to cry.

I really didn’t understand before that moment, I didn’t realize until just then – we won. The Free World won the Cold War. The fight against life-hating, soul-denying, slavish communism – which has shaped the world’s politics this whole wretched century – was over.

The tears of victory ran down my face – and the snot of victory did too because it was a pretty cold day. I was blubbering like a lottery winner.

All the people who had been sent to gulags, who’d been crushed in the streets of Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw, the soldiers who’d died in Korea and my friends and classmates who had been killed in Vietnam – it meant something now. All the treasure that we in America had poured into guns, planes, Star Wars and all the terrifying A-bombs we’d had to build and keep – it wasn’t for nothing.

.....

And the best thing about our victory is the way we did it – not just with ICBMs and Green Berets and aid to the contras. Those things were important, but in the end we beat them with Levis 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system with all its tanks and guns, gulag camps and secret police has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes. They may have had the soldiers and the warheads and the fine-sounding ideology that suckered the college students and the nitwit Third Worlders, but we had all the fun. Now they’re lunch, and we’re number one on the planet.

It made me want to do a little sack dance right there in the Cold War’s end zone. We’re the best! We’re the greatest! The only undefeated socio-economic system in the league! I wanted to get up on the Wall and really rub it in: “Taste the ash-heap of history, you Bolshie nose-wipes!” But there was nobody to jeer at. Everyone over there was in West Berlin watching Paula Abdul videos.
God bless you Ronald Reagan.
George Will on Ronald Reagan

From MSNBC, here’s the concluding graf:

Reagan always believed that the world was watching America. Indeed, he thought the point of America was to be watched—to be exemplary. Hence the complete sincerity of his reiterated references to the City on the Hill. And when the democratic revolution against communism came, Tiananmen Square in Beijing and Wenceslas Square in Prague and points in between rang with the rhetoric of America's third and 16th presidents. The 40th president was not surprised.
By force of will, Ronald Reagan freed millions around the world. Yet his predecessor has a Nobel Peace Prize. Go figure.
I really really like this line on PowerLine: “At a time when America's elites said that the United States was in an irreversible decline, and the rest of us should just get used to it, Ronald Reagan stood athwart what was then considered the tide of history and said: "No."”

And from the man himself: “Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.” (HT: Right Wing News)

Finally, here’s a great news and blogger round-up from Outside the Beltway.

Goodnight.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Skipping Culture Club, though: in memory of Ronald Reagan, I'm listening to all my 80s compilation CDs tonight.

The Eighties: a decade of great Presidents and rotten music.
Where were you when you heard?

This question is popping up all over, so I'll add my story to the narrative. I was out for dinner in Amherst with my family and I noticed the TV over the bar was holding a picture of Reagan for an unusually long amount of time. Walking closer, I saw the "1911-2004" caption underneath.

A couple minutes later, they switched the TV to the Weather Channel.

My wife said: "People don't want to see sad news when they're out for dinner."

I wryly responded: "Here in Amherst, it's probably cause for celebration."

When I got home, I called my college roommate and we talked about the Gipper until the battery ran out on his phone.
NRO’s Corner, which is normally very slow on the weekends, is understandably active tonight. They’re posting a lot of reader correspondence, too.

By the way, I'm not going to talk about or link any stories from the Democratic Underground or other left-leaning sources. I don't need to repudiate their statements tonight, or even give them any notice at all.
From the White House

Remarks by the President Upon the Death of President Ronald Reagan

Excerpt:

Ronald Reagan won America's respect with his greatness, and won its love with his goodness. He had the confidence that comes with conviction, the strength that comes with character, the grace that comes with humility, and the humor that comes with wisdom. He leaves behind a nation he restored and a world he helped save.
Flashback to 1985

[Dr. Emmett Brown is doubting Marty McFly's story about that he is from the future]
Dr. Emmett Brown: Then tell me, "future boy", who is president in the United States in 1985?
Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor?
[chuckles in disbelief]
Dr. Emmett Brown: Who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis?
From "Back to the Future" (1985)
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America

Friday, June 04, 2004

Backseat driver: The National Review on Kerry’s “Me Too! Only Better” positions. No wonder liberals are still pining for Howard Dean.
Shameless self-promotion interlude: Add Viking Pundit to your blogroll. Help Eric get to a measly 2000 unique hits a day!
Here’s the world’s smallest violin just for you: John Hawkins of the super-popular Right Wing News used to run a web page called Brass Knuckles but dropped it because it was getting only 2000 unique hits a day. Poor John.
Dave loves stinky cheese!”

Via Fark, the Smoking Gun is showcasing the “The Greatest Backstage Rider Ever” from the Foo Fighters. I thought this demand was particularly humorous:

Artist shall not be required to share dressing room with any other performer, except Supergrass, Oasis, or maybe Led Zeppelin.
Supergrass?!? I actually have one of their CDs! I’m so cool.

By the way, I was surprised there was no mention of Mentos during the song "Big Me."
Quote of the Day from Crush Kerry: “Not since “The USS Minnow” or “Spinal Tap” has a “Tour” been as disastrous as John Kerry‘s “National Security Tour“ which will soon be coming to a merciful end.”

He’s got *this* much talent.
More trouble for the Democratic National Convention

If you’re running a highly visible political event during a time of heightened security concerns, there are two groups you don’t want to tick off: the police and the media. First, the Boston Globe reports that Beantown police officers are going to picket the Fleet Center:

A federal judge has cleared the way for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association to picket all FleetCenter entrances starting Tuesday morning, meaning construction workers charged with readying the arena for next month's Democratic National Convention will have to make their way past lines of police officers.
And the American Spectator Prowler reports that the DNC is so crunched for cash, they’ve been forced to move the media outside the security barriers to save money:

The Democratic National Committee is being squeezed so tightly for cash for its convention in Boston, that it is penalizing the very people who will be there to make them look good: the press.

On Thursday, most newspapers and TV outlets learned that their offices will not be quartered within the security compound of the Fleet Center, where the Democratic Convention will be held.

Instead, for budget reasons, the DNC was giving up its 54,000-square-foot space originally intended for the media center, and placing the journalists in a 42,000-square-foot facility about a block from the Fleet Center.
That’s right, Dan Rather. Every day you’ll be marching through the metal detectors. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Man without Qualities echoes many of my beliefs about Election 2004: it will not be decided on national security, which favors Bush anyway, but on the economy…and all the stars are aligning for the President. (In fact, if you believe Yale economist Roy Fair, it will be a huge blowout).

Update: 248,000 new jobs in May 2004. More "GOODNEWS".
Dog bites man story: Kerry misses another vote

But this time it was on a $25 billion supplemental funding bill for the very soldiers he claims to support. Bill Hobbs has the details in “Kerry skips chance to support troops
What media bias? Ryne McClaren summarizes Newsweek’s predictions for Election 2004.
Why Tenet fell

Not (necessarily) 9/11 but the more immediate failure of Iraq (i.e. the “slam dunk”)

George J. Tenet's resignation may have been hastened by a critical, 400-page report from the Senate intelligence committee that was presented to the Central Intelligence Agency for comment last month.
I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he should have resigned two years ago. (HT: Poliblog).
One to bookmark: the Iowa Electronic Market for the presidential race.
Good news: “Top Iraqi cleric endoreses new government
More good news: “OPEC production increase may drop gas prices by 10 cents
Good news to come: Tomorrow’s job report – 220,000 jobs in May?
Why I love satellite radio

Sometimes you never can tell what might come through the speaker. I was laughing hysterically at this song written ten years before Steve Bartman: it's Steve Goodman's "A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request".
Can you feel the enthusiasm? A continuing series

From the American Spectator Prowler today:

Perhaps even Sen. John Kerry is beginning to sense the total lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy. Kerry seemed alarmed by the complete absence of applause, or other audience interaction, he was receiving from a small crowd in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday.

Kerry was there to accept the endorsement of a national union of emergency first responders, and to hold a "conversation" with local residents about his plans for protecting the nation from bio-terror attacks.

On several occasions, Kerry paused, seemingly expecting applause for his lines. For example, at one point he said, "I will do what I think is best for the country," then waited for applause that only developed after one of his advance staffers began leading a weak round of applause.
That’s an applause line? [Crickets]

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Wednesdays are for W

Today’s the day that I ask my readers to volunteer or donate to George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, along with all my “Wictory Wednesday” buddies. I know that the first impulse to this request is to think that Bush has enough money. Perhaps that’s true, but the Democrats are hell-bent to use any means necessary, legal and otherwise, to circumvent campaign finance laws.

For example, in today’s Boston Globe, an article reported that the financially-troubled Democratic National Convention is suddenly very close to its fundraising goal. What benefactors are helping out the Dems? Nobody knows:

Many of the largest recent donors, including several that the Kerry team persuaded to contribute, have asked that their names not be disclosed until after the convention, host committee officials said. That is legal because Boston 2004 is officially a nonpartisan, not-for-profit entity, with looser public-reporting requirements than a political campaign.
Will the names be disclosed? Don’t bet on it.
Bad economic news...for John Kerry

From the Boston Globe: "Manufacturing gains steam"

NEW YORK -- US manufacturing activity expanded for the 12th consecutive month and construction spending rose to its highest level ever, signaling that the economy is picking up steam as it heads into summer.
Oh, and people were so worried about gas prices, they rushed out and bought more SUVs:

"Gas prices didn't seem to be much of a factor," said Dan Poole, vice president of equity research at Cleveland's National City Corp., which manages $23 billion, including Ford and General Motors shares. "It was just the opposite, with a big increase for GM trucks. If we still see two bucks a gallon in August it may be a problem, but it doesn't seem to be right now."
It's looking like $2/gallon gas won't be a problem in August.
But Al Gore gave it two green thumbs up

Echoing a thought I had earlier this week, my local liberal rag "arts" weekly concluded a review of "The Day After Tomorrow" thusly:

If you give a damn about the issues it raises, you’ll depart this movie convinced that it’s a cunning right-wing plot to smear the scientists and politicians who champion this cause. A terrible film about an important subject doesn’t boldly get folks talking; it gets folks snickering.
The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy strikes again!
I finally updated the new address for Howard Bashman's How Appealing. Be sure to check it out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

From the Rose Garden

THE PRESIDENT: I'm converting this into a full-blown press conference; it's such a beautiful day. (Laughter.) Do I get credit for it? (Laughter.)
Here’s the transcript. Bush is very upbeat and forward about the developments in Iraq.

Extra: Tony Blankley agrees in “Bush wings it – and does well.”
Also in the WashPost: is 2004 shaping up like Truman-Dewey in 1948? It’s tight now, but all the foreign and domestic policy stars are aligning for Bush, making the outcome of 1984 a more likely scenario. (Hat tip to Polipundit).
The ennui-building Kerry campaign

From today’s Washington Post, here’s a quote from a Kerry supporter in New Jersey about the Democratic nominee:

"I don't feel a connection with him. He's basically another politician. In my heart of hearts, I think they could have dug up somebody better."
There’s still Kucinich....
The California Yankee says that “Kerry Gets it Wrong” with his nuanced approach to reform in the Middle East.
Because I’m the Vet!

Did you ever see that Seinfeld episode where Elaine dates the deranged man who’s the spokesman for The Wiz (an electronics chain in NYC)? When he gets his old job back, he dons a crown and loudly proclaims: “I’m the Wiz!” while marching through Monk's Restaurant.

According to the American Spectator, despite warnings from his staff to keep a low profile, Kerry just couldn’t keep from playing politics at the World War II memorial ceremony:

"It was unseemly," says a major fundraiser for the memorial who was present on the dais with the president, his father, and other dignitaries. "The president and the White House went out of their way to make sure that the people this day was intended for didn't lose the spotlight. Then Kerry shows up with his film cameras and veterans groups and puts people out. It just didn't play well, as far as I'm concerned."
Are you attacking his patriotism? You can’t! He’s the vet!