Saturday, July 31, 2004

I’m not sure, but I think I’ve been insulted!

Mark Kilmer: “Including cable and its FOX News Channel ratings leader, JF Kerry's speech was supposedly watched by 24.4-million people. An estimated 23.6-percent of them were bloggers affiliated with Blogs for Bush [humor].”
Tim Blair says Kerry is “bounceless”: “By the way, if John Kerry is the guy America turns to for "help", what are America's problems? Can't tie a reef knot? Bicycle keeps falling over? Wife nuts?” (Hat tip to Ryne)
Long before Viking Pundit, my first "blog" was the Smarter Harpers' Index. Over the past couple months, the demands of the 2004 election have kept me from updating, but a recent Spinsanity article on Harpers' editor Lewis Lapham was too good to pass up. Check it out.
Non-political interlude: Saw a great movie today called "Clockwatchers" starring Toni Collette and the always-great Parker Posey. It's like "Office Space" but with bitter female temp workers.
Mark Steyn: “How Dems delude themselves” (HT: Betsy)
“What do you want?” Man, that is one cold stare by a Marine. Check out this picture of Kerry talking to a less-than-thrilled Marine at a Wendy’s. It’ll cut right thru-ya!
Sorry for the weird formatting (extra carriage returns) - it looks like the Blogger software is acting up again and now I can't go in and edit posts. Ah well.

There were so many other stories I wanted to blog this past week, so I'll throw 'em out here:

First and foremost: Poliblog has the post-convention Bite-O-Toast roundup.

Jay Caruso: "I just get the feeling Democrats now feel they failed to nominate the right guy."

Little Green Footballs is bewildered (and frightened?) by Kerry's approach to terrorism: "Kerry will respond."

Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe called Kerry's acceptance speech "Buzzwords and cheap shots."

Political Prognostications: "It is my estimation, however, that good as the presentation may have been, Kerry didn't close the deal with a majority of Americans."

Jonah Goldberg in USA Today wrote: "Kerry: Undecided to the End"

The world may be consumed by the maelstrom, but Kerry will guarantee that America remains in the eye of the storm. He'll do this by conjuring chimerical "strong alliances" and negotiating in "good faith" with sycophantic foreign leaders around long tables festooned with bottled water and clever cheese. Never mind that these are impossible promises — much like Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time." Indeed, impossible promises are often the ones voters want to hear most.
The Patriette has a good speech review in "Gut Reactions" and the California Yankee called John Kerry "hopeless."

That's it for now!

Friday, July 30, 2004

Too late
Michael Totten: “There has got to be some buyer’s remorse in the Democratic Party right now. I can still hardly believe they actually picked Kerry.”

San Francisco Gate: “They should have picked Dean.”
White House, take note

This post on Red State rebuts so many of Kerry’s positions so deftly, I can only hope that the White House speechwriters are reading.  Forget about the suicidal Kerry doctrine of “Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.”  (Horse / barn door).  As Jay delineates in a convincing fashion, the keyword here is victory, and victory first
The WashPost is not impressed

Because of the late timing of Kerry's speech, few of the major East Coast papers held out an opinion this morning.  However, the Washington Post was disappointed in their lead editorial "Missed Opportunity":
In the end, Mr. Kerry will be judged not in a vacuum but against the record compiled by Mr. Bush. But he will be judged in part on how he chose to present himself last night, and on that score, while he may have been politically effective, he fell short of demonstrating the kind of leadership the nation needs.
Sounds right.
Jinxed! - From the Boston Globe "Balloon drop dribbles instead": "In what was later cited as an omen of a doomed campaign, President Jimmy Carter waited in vain for balloons to rain on him at the 1980 Democratic convention."

John Hawkins of Right Wing News kicks off his analysis of Kerry’s speech thusly: “As I turned off Adam Sandler's "50 First Dates"…

In that movie, there’s a character named “Ten-second Tom” who has short-term memory loss. His life is spent in ten-second bursts where he continuously forgets what happened only moments ago. It occurred to me that even Ten-second Tom would never be without the knowledge that John Kerry served in Vietnam.

For those of us with normal memories, it’s somewhat more difficult to remember if John Kerry did anything else:

Then, after this long rendition of his childhood, he tells us at length what it was like to serve in Vietnam for the four months that he was there. So far, so good.

But then he spent only about one minute talking about what he has done since.
And here’s The New Republic in “Apocalypse Kerry

Regarding his own Vietnam, as opposed to the Hollywood production staged around him, Kerry asked his audience "to judge me by my record." The question has been asked before, but Kerry did not answer it in his speech: If his Vietnam service offers proof that he is "decisive," then why is it that for two decades Kerry has been "only an average Senator," as pro-Kerry columnist Al Hunt wrote in yesterday's Wall Street Journal? If his wartime feats prove that Kerry is "strong" on national security, then why did he oppose virtually every stand-out weapons system in the U.S. arsenal today, speechify against the first Gulf War and refuse to fund the second? Why, indeed, unless no correlation exists between his biography and his record?
Here’s David Frum:

John Kerry last night presented himself as the survivor of some kind of freak accident: Like a man waking up from a coma, he doesn’t seem able to remember anything he did between 1969 and September 11, 2001.
Finally, Crush Kerry has the historical reference breakdown.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The aftermath

David Brooks: “A very good speech.  Very nationalistic.”
Mark Shields: “John Kerry needed to give the speech of his life.  He did.”

Golly, did we see the same speech?  Kerry was near-rabid throughout, making only the vaguest of outline on how he would lead the nation.  He misrepresented his own record on so many issues: NAFTA?  Never heard of it!  Iraq War resolution?  What about it?  Voting against funding for soldiers? Let’s move on! I don't know nothin' about no Patriot Act!

At nearly an hour, the speech was a grab-bag of benefits without a hint of responsibility (except for those awful “rich” people).  What will America do about the untenable situation on Social Security?  “I won’t privatize it.”  Duck and cover.

I agree with Polipundit – a lousy speech.

Also - here we go again, dragging out 4-year-old Jack at 11 o'clock.  Whatever.

Other thoughts - Mark Kilmer: "The attacks were merely scurrilous and unfounded snipes. It might be best for the Bush campaign to push this convention to the side and say [sic] on message. Kerry's not a winner."

Wizbang - "What's Kerry been doing for the last 19 years? If record of accomplishments seems to have stopped with his three months of in theater service in Vietnam."

Captains Quarters - "Most of where Kerry defined himself relied on comparing himself to Bush, a sure sign that Kerry fears his ideas only stand up in opposition, not in leadership."

Instapundit: “I don't think it will swing the momentum in his favor, which is what he needed. It may turn some people off.”

My prediction: a 2-3 point PR bump that disappears in a week.
After a willful misrepresentation of his own record, Kerry now calls for civility.  So if the Bush campaign responds, then they're the heavy.  Nice try.
Abridged Kerry speech: "Loud populist pronouncement of the obvious!" - Repeat.
"We won't raise taxes on the middle class" - no wait! "I will cut taxes on the middle class"

Kerry is proposing nearly $2 trillion in additional spending over ten years, while raising taxes on the rich will only bring in $250 billion.  Where will the tax revenue come from?  Look in the mirror.

Candy for everyone!

Jonah again – “Does Kerry really think that rolling back tax cuts will allow him to do all of these things and closing the deficit? Come on.”
"I will not privitize Social Security, I will not cut benefits" - I will allow Social Security to swallow the entire federal budget!  I will offer no alternative plans!
John Kerry has amnesia – He cites bad intelligence while he sat on the Senate Intelligence committee and condemns a war he voted for.  But never mind!  He was in Vietnam.

Here comes the “go it alone” line.  Those thirty countries in the “fraudulent coalition”?  Feh!
The New England Republican has some questions about Kerry’s “positive” campaign.  Well done.
"I ask you to judge me on my record" - He voted for stuff.

"I will appoint an Attorney General who will uphold the Constitution."  A chop-block, cheap applause line aimed at John Ashcroft, coming from someone who voted for the Patriot Act.  Shameless.

Empty boilerplate rhetoric so far.
"I'm not kidding, I was born in the West Wing" - This overweening ambition is one reason I automatically reject John Kerry...just like that other son-of-a-diplomat, Al Gore.

Update - Jonah agrees.
In the nine-minute biographical video just screened at the DNC, I counted maybe 15 seconds noting Kerry's career in the Senate.  Allegedly, he is/was a "foreign policy expert."

Update - David Brooks just noted the same thing: "The video skipped over his whole Senate career."
55 minutes?!?  - "'He is a riveting speaker,' said communication director Stephanie Cutter.
Winning the war on terrorism: Captured Terrorist Suspected in Embassy Bombings
Eh-Oh, Flipsy!
Put it on the taxpayers' bill

I thought this anecdote was pretty humorous:
[Fox News reporter] Liza also got to learn the inner workings of Washington budget management. Standing in line for a Dunkin' Donuts coffee inside the FleetCenter ("everyone knows they have the best coffee, after all), Liza was behind Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. As he approached the front of the line, he asked the cashier if credit cards were accepted. The cashier said no, which led to Wyden then buying a bran muffin and asking for a receipt.

"Nothing like charging a bran muffin to American taxpayers," she said.

Why am I not surprised?
Margaret Warner on the News Hour just noted something I've been saying all week: all the speakers talk about John Kerry's four months in Vietnam but say virtually nothing about his twenty years in the Senate.

Now Jim Lehrer is asking Mark Shields why the Democrats aren't talking about Kerry's Senate career.  His response: "Because it's slim pickings."  Nice!

David Brooks: "John Kerry's Senate career stands in contrast to this convention" - that is, the DNC is "hawkish" while Kerry's voting record indicate that he's voted against defense and intelligence programs over and over again.
Tabula rasa

Jeff Jacoby stands amazed at the empty vessel that is John Kerry:
It is the oldest rap on Kerry, and the truest: He seems to have no bedrock of conviction, no deeply held first principles -- nothing like Ted Kennedy's passionate Great Society liberalism, which the Democratic National Convention so lustily celebrated on Tuesday. Kerry is disciplined, smart, and studious; he does his homework, isn't lazy, eats his peas. But the questions never go away: Who is he? What does he stand for? Why does he come down on every side of almost every issue? Is he driven by anything more than ambition? Underneath it all, is there any there there?

Kerry's acceptance speech at the Fleet Center tonight will be the climax of the convention. There will be more eyes on him as he takes the podium than at any point since the campaign began. And who knows? Maybe the Democrats' standard-bearer will have found his true north at last. Maybe he'll tell us where he wants to lead the nation, not merely what he thinks most voters want to hear. Maybe after tonight no one will ever again wonder who the real John Kerry is.

But I wouldn't bet on it.

I've been saying for months that the lesson of 9/11 is that we live in serious times.  The American people must have a clear vision of the future, not the bland and broad equivocations of "The Great Straddler."
From the WashPost lead editorial today: "Mr. Kerry's Task": "At times the Democrats seem to argue that they can slow change by restricting trade or damming the flow of jobs overseas by tinkering with the tax code. "We will . . . bring good-paying jobs to the places that need them," Mr. Edwards vowed last night -- as if that magic trick could be conjured by a Kerry administration."
Dick Cheney: Comedian
The man Edwards seeks to replace, Vice President Dick Cheney, took a pointed jab at Edwards during a speech in Utah yesterday, using self-deprecating humor to underscore his Democratic competitor's relative lack of experience: "They say Senator Edwards got picked because he's charming, good-looking, sexy. . . . How do you think I got the job?" As the crowd broke into laughter, Cheney added: "Always bothers me when people laugh at that line. I'm not sure why they do."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Flash analysis: Both Mark Shields and David Brooks on PBS are panning John Edwards' speech; they felt he rushed through it, whether because of nerves or adrenaline.  I thought it was OK, but the "Hope is on the way" chant was contrived ("Help is on the way"?) and not terribly inspiring (esp. coming from someone who never helped anyone who didn't write him a check first.)

Another thing: was it necessary to drag out four-year-old Jack and six-year-old Emma at 11 o'clock at night?

Side note - After added consideration it occurred to me: Edwards didn't say a single thing about Kerry's Senate career.  Did anybody?  Will Kerry?  Or did his entire rationale for the Presidency begin and end in Vietnam?  Just wondering.
Dean Esmay has a striking post on Kerry’s Vietnam “brothers” – “That said, you might want to be aware that most of the men who served with Kerry in Vietnam believe he is unfit for office, and vigorously opposed his winning the Democratic nomination.”
Beautiful Atrocities has the very funny “Idiots Guide to Bumperstickers”  Don’t miss it.
Newsflash for John Edwards…
…who said tonight that John Kerry “volunteered! volunteered! volunteered!” for Vietnam.  Well, yes and no:

Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

He wrote to his local recruitment board seeking permission to spend a further 12 months studying in Paris, after completing his degree course at Yale University in the mid-1960s.

The revelation appears to undercut Sen Kerry's carefully-cultivated image as a man who willingly served his country in a dangerous war - in supposed contrast to President Bush, who served in the Texas National Guard and thus avoided being sent to Vietnam.
As I’ve said before: reality is optional for the Democrats.
Waiting for John Edwards...I've only been half-watching the Dems convention but I think I can pinpoint why it is so deadly dull (and has such rotten TV ratings):  every single speech is almost exactly the same.  It's like going to a childrens' piano concert and hearing Fur Elise a hundred times, over and over.
I really liked “Loose cannon Tuesday - PoliBlog has a mini-toast edition up for the DNC convention.
USA Today gives Kerry an “F” on school accountability.  Don't hold your breath for that "Sister Souljah" moment.
Wednesdays are for W
Allow me to take a break from the circus to remind readers of two stories that came out today: “Durable goods orders climb in June” and “Home sales still sizzle.”  President Bush came into office in the midst of a recession and, thanks to his economic policies, America is continuing to experience economic growth unseen for twenty years.

Today’s the day that the “Wictory Wednesday” bloggers ask readers to donate or volunteer to the George W. Bush campaign.  Please do what you can – it’s important.
Choices on energy independence - a "pre-buttal"

The Boston Globe is reporting that John Kerry’s acceptance speech will link national security to reducing America’s dependence on Mideast oil.  In stump speeches, Kerry has stated: “No American soldier should ever have to die for Middle East oil.”  But the proposals that Kerry has put forward to ostensibly address the energy independence issue rely on developing technologies that do not currently exist, such as repeated calls for “a new generation of fuel-efficient vehicles.”

Putting aside the cost and feasibility of replacing the American automotive fleet with hybrids, Kerry’s energy proposals cannot avoid an impression of demagoguery and a lack of seriousness.  As they stand, all of Kerry’s initiatives would require decades, if not generations, to reduce America’s appetite for foreign oil.  If nothing is more critical than protecting American troops and our national security, surely more sweeping and decisive steps must be taken than offering incentives to automakers (i.e. tax breaks to rich corporations).

One option – unpopular as it may be – is to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.  Then all the money that could be going to Saudi Arabia would instead stay in America: a double benefit.  But John Kerry has (proudly) opposed development in ANWR because it would upset the caribou.  Here’s how Charles Krauthammer characterized this mindset:

ANWR is the poster child of cake-and-eat-it-too eco-petulance. It's a place so remote and so desolate that not one American in a million will ever see it. Exploration would affect no more than 8 percent of the refuge. Rather than disturb the mating grounds of caribou, however, our exquisite environmentalists have prevented exploration of what could be our next Prudhoe Bay.
Instead, over and over, John Kerry has insisted that we can meet the energy demands of a 21st century America through the development of renewable energy.  Fine: one company called Cape Wind wants to build 130 wind turbines off the southern shore of Cape Cod; according to the Department of Energy, the wind farm could free up enough natural gas to power 100,000 Massachusetts homes.  But when the sacrifice of alternative energy affects John Kerry’s Nantucket mansion view, well, the flip-flopping begins:

In December, in New Hampshire, when asked his position on wind power, Kerry brought up Cape Wind. "I am in favor of wind power, and I think we ought to find a place that is appropriate off the coast of New England to build some wind power," the Manchester Union-Leader reported him saying. "The question is, what is the site process going to be? You can't just allow anybody to go build one anywhere they want without some kind of process."
Even Greenpeace is calling on the Senator to explain his position:

“Kerry is the one who really needs to be called out on this stuff,” said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace. “He’s been pretty mum so far. We don’t know where he stands.”
Davies added, “He’s obviously very pro-renewable energy; he knows the climate better than almost anyone in the Senate. And by that logic, he should be in favor of this project being implemented.”
But no.  So when John Kerry tells you that national security goes hand-in-hand with energy independence, his position (as usual) comes with qualifications: our security is no more important than Alaskan caribou or Ted Kennedy’s Hyannisport ocean view.

[Cross posted on Blogs for Bush]
Ben Affleck makes a bold prediction: “I think Sen. Kerry is gonna carry Massachusetts.”  Mark his words, folks!  (Disclaimer: Affleck thought "Gigli" was a good movie, too).
All over the map (of Iraq)
If you have a high-bandwidth connection (sorry, dial-ups), check out the RNC’s new video on John Kerry’s Iraq flip-flops here.  The video, using Kerry’s public statements, is just absolutely devastating.  The Kerry Spot has a summary: “While the charge that John Kerry is a flip-flopper is nothing new, rarely has the case been made so comprehensively, in such detail, relying almost entirely on the Democratic senator's own words.”
Right Wing News has the list of History's Impact Players.  I think just about every figure I nominated made the top 20.
So nice, they listed it twice
Real Clear Politics has a list of recommended articles updated every morning.  Today, they listed William Safire’s “The Great Straddler” twice (since fixed).

Oh…it’s about John Kerry.
Democratic National Quagmire watch

From the Boston Globe: “Shops’ dreams don’t pan out

Boston merchants who anticipated jingling cash registers with the arrival of the Democratic National Convention say the promise has been a bust as an exodus of locals, a boycott of Boston by commuters, and slower-than-expected convention trade have driven down sales at many businesses by more than 50 percent.
Maybe this is what John Edwards meant by “Two Americas” – one for rich Democratic delegates and the other for the storekeepers in Boston.
Two words: Dukakis + tank

 Smile for the camera, bubble boy!

The NY Times: “Not Quite Ready for his Close-Up” - “If there was anything Senator John Kerry's strategists were hoping to avoid this week, it was the image of a Massachusetts liberal in funny headgear.”  (Hat tip: Convention Bloggers).

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dean’s screamless speech: “You’ve got the power…or something.  Yadda yadda yadda”  (Also, see Jonah and Rich on the Corner).
What misery index?  Consumer confidence hits a two-year high.
Where’s Gore and his Smoot-Hawley picture when you need ‘em?
The Democrats’ position on world trade is so counterproductive that the WashPost excoriated the Dems in an editorial today titled “Poor Platform for Trade.”

Possibly the worst thing in the platform is its unilateralist bent in threatening trade sanctions, a move that would trigger retaliation. If Mr. Kerry were to follow this prescription, he would not merely fail to advance trade but actually hinder it. His party's platform doesn't bode well for where a Democratic administration would lead, or fail to lead, in this field.
As usual, Kerry and the Dems were pandering to the unions on trade policy, but it looks like all that sucking up didn’t help:

Breaking sharply with the enforced harmony of the Democratic National Convention, the president of the largest AFL-CIO union said yesterday that both organized labor and the Democratic Party might be better off in the long run if Senator John F. Kerry loses the presidential election.
Quote of the DayDavid Brooks: “Kerry has been talking for years, and yet such is the thicket of his verbiage that he has achieved almost complete strategic ambiguity.”
How liberal is John Kerry?  Robert Musil explains how Kerry’s much further to the left than USA Today describes.
Myth into untruth
Fox News has a story today alleging that “Gays more anti-Bush than pro-Kerry.”  It would seem they’re angry that the President wants to preserve the traditional definition of marriage – as does the Democratic nominee (ambiguously).  The Democrats are working to put homosexuals in that “victim” cubbyhole reserved for minorities and Florida voters.  

"George Bush has decided that this year you are the scapegoat, and I'm here to tell you that nobody is going to make you a scapegoat," said Sen. Barbara Boxer.
No examples were forthcoming of how the GOP is “scapegoating” gays, but no matter.  Reality will always take a backseat to propaganda:

Although not a delegate, David Loper, a homosexual from Alabama, traveled up to the convention and described the DNC-organized activities as "so welcoming." He praised Kerry for his work opposing the constitutional amendment against gay marriage that failed in the Senate earlier this month.
Patently false: other than making statements that the issue of gay marriage should be left up to the states, Kerry was nowhere near Washington while the Federal Marraige amendment was being debated; in fact, both Kerry and his running mate were the only two Senators to miss the vote.
Refresher for Al Gore: “It may have been close, but without question, Bush won & Gore lost. It's just that simple for people who aren't blind partisans or sore losers.”
More crushing of dissent at the DNCTriumph the Insult Comic Dog is ejected.
Best use of a dual definition today
Mark Steyn in “Kerry can’t shoot deer or stop terror

Both Iran and North Korea are likely to come to the boil during the next presidential term, and nothing in either John Kerry's record or temperament suggests he's up to settling either of those crises in America's favour. So our hopes of avoiding Armageddon may rest on how effectively Kerry bores his candidacy into the ground.
Nice one!  You spelled “favor” wrong though.
One benefit of campaign finance reform: Kerry campaign to “go dark” in August

Monday, July 26, 2004

Watching Bill Clinton, I’m reminded of this quote by Mary McCarthy, (speaking of Lillian Hellman): “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’

Just replace “she writes” with “he says.”  In the end, a forgettable speech.

Update:  Well, everybody (too many to link) seems to think that Clinton’s speech was just boffo, so I’m definitely in the minority here.  But if I could just highlight one portion and explain why I thought it fell flat:

Clinton: “John Kerry and John Edwards are good people with good ideas…”

This line came in the final minute of Clinton’s bloated speech, after the self-congratulatory hagiography of his own administration and the unveiled swipes at Bush.  At long last, some substance…or not:

“…ideas to make the economy work again for middle-class Americans, to restore fiscal responsibility,”

The Kerry camp is proposing – I lost count – nearly $2 trillion dollars in additional spending over the next ten years.  His health-care proposal alone is estimated to chew up $900 billion in taxpayers’ money.  But Kerry claims he’s only going to raise taxes on the “rich” to the tune of $250 billion over a decade.  Where will the rest of the money come from?  Middle-class Americans.  There goes your fiscal responsibility.

to save Social Security,”

Oh no no no.  Kerry has no ideas, concepts, plans, designs or blueprints to save Social Security other than “not privatizing it.”  The “answers” on his web site include (magically!) “growing the economy” and “restoring fiscal discipline” (see above)

to make health care more affordable, college more available,”

Because there’s no private industry that can’t be improved by government intervention.

to free us from dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs with clean energy and a cleaner environment…”

As I’ve declared many times, Kerry’s energy policy is a complete farce that does nothing whatsoever to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil.

to rally the world to our side in the war against terror and to make a world with more friends and less terror.”

Oy, again with the Europeans.  For the sake of argument let’s submit that since 9/11 Bush has alienated all of our so-called allies.  We’re friendless in the world!  And yet, since 9/11 there has not been another terrorist attack against the United States.  When everybody in the world loved us, we had the U.S.S. Cole, Khobar Towers, the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and World Trade Center I.  I’d rather have fewer “friends” and more security, myself.

After that, Clinton finished up with some massaged history and that trite “we’re all in the same boat” metaphor.  “Send John Kerry?”  Massachusetts did, and he’s done almost nothing for us.  Now he wants a promotion?  Clinton can’t be denied style points, but on substance it was a poor speech that was kept afloat on the Dems’ hero-worship of Clinton and unvarnished Bush-bashing.
The Convention Crater
From ABC News: “High-Stakes Convention - Poll Shows Support for Kerry Weakens on Issues and Attributes

The critical convention season begins with John Kerry losing momentum at just the hour he'd like to be gaining it: President Bush has clawed back on issues and attributes alike, reclaiming significant ground that Kerry had taken a month ago.
On terrorism alone, the “trust” split between Bush/Kerry has shifted from 48%/47% a month ago to 55%/37% today – a 17% shift in Bush’s favor.
Name one

Senator Splunge was heckled in Ohio yesterday: “After shaking hands, Kerry was rushed back to his SUV as the soundtrack to the TV show "Flipper" blared from a Republican house.”

And please explain this:

"I would have long ago reached out to the clerics, imams and mullahs, to leaders of other religions, to the true leaders of Islam to isolate radical Islamic extremists instead of having the extremists isolate the United States of America," he said.
True leaders of Islam?”  There is no Vatican of the Islamic religion, Senator.  Maybe you mean someone like Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais whom the BBC called “the world’s most celebrated imam” (last item):

After Muslim leader Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais gave a speech in London last week, the AP quoted him as saying -- "The history of Islam is the best testament to how different communities can live together in peace and harmony." And the BBC called him the -- "world's most celebrated imam," and cited his calls for -- "community cohesion."

But neither the AP nor the BBC noted his past speeches to non-Western audiences, including a sermon a year and a half ago at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in which he called for the annihilation of Jews, calling them -- "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, ... [and] the offspring of apes and pigs."
Whoops!  Well, I’ll leave it to you, Senator.  Name one “leader of Islam” that you would suck up to reach out to.  (How about these guys?  No?  Hmmmm.)
Speaking of the French: It's nothing short of shameful to see so-called Americans genuflect before the alter of "international approval."  I haven't seen a single Democrat - so far - express the renegade opinion that the United States must act unilaterally when necessary even while other nations oppose us for ulterior motives (e.g. the U.N.'s "Oil for Food" scandal).  They should be kept far, far away from the instruments of government.

Update: Liberal mouthpiece Mark Shields (perhaps reading off his DNC talking notes) just said that the United States is "isolated" in the world.  Mark, we've been "isolated" since the Soviet Union crumbled as the sole superpower in the world.  There is nothing we could ever do to please the rest of the world unless we accept treaties (e.g. International Court, Kyoto) that abdicate American rights to the will of the EU.  Grow up.

Extra: Hey, Kevin heard it too! – “I'm pretty sure I heard Carter say, "What America needs is leadership that won't piss off the French."”
Wrong answer
I can’t tell you how much cringe-worthy statements like this fill me with a cold dread that Kerry has a remote chance of getting close to the White House:

Kerry said Thursday that if he were elected and not enough progress had been made on the [9/11 commission] recommendations, he would convene an "emergency security summit" to bring together congressional leaders of both parties and heads of the intelligence agencies. "Mark my words," he said after a campaign appearance in Detroit, "if I am elected president and there still has not been sufficient progress rapidly in these next months on these issues, then I will lead."
He will “lead” by calling a meeting.  No doubt the French will be invited.
Man of the People: “Mr. Edwards even sued the American National Red Cross three times, winning confidential settlements on claims that HIV had been transmitted through contaminated blood supplies. During his career of allegedly championing the helpless, he took no pro bono cases.”  (Hat tip to A Stitch in Haste by way of Agitator)
Andrew Sullivan flip-flops for Kerry.  Vodkapundit, Silent Running and the Ace of Spades retort.
Was he booed or cheered?  The Boston Globe sports page doesn’t do nuance: “Nominee-to-be John Kerry (D-Mass.) arrived in time to throw out the first pitch and was booed as if he were wearing a Yankee jersey.”
Another brand-new House of Ketchup is up!  They're coming fast now that the circus is in town.
Dems hate the war, tolerate ticket that voted for it
The Boston Globe polled the delegates to the Democratic National Convention and found that 95% of them believe the United States should not have gone to war in Iraq.  Expat Yank has a picture that illustrates the everyday horror of the American occupation in a post-Saddam Iraq.
Smiling through clenched teeth

Robert Novak says that the Democrats are angry but the WashPost says the “Party aims for upbeat tone at convention.”  And then there’s Maude Teresa:

It has frequently been said that the Left and the Democrats are not so much pro-Kerry as anti-Bush. Well, Mrs. Kerry — or whatever she calls herself — and her son Chris have been wearing a pin that has a black "W" with a red line through it. Is that quite sporting? I mean, what if the wife and children of the Republican nominee wore pins expressing nothing but contempt for the Democratic nominee? Wouldn't the media in general say that was kinda sorta distasteful — or something?
I think that’s a rhetorical question.
Happy birthday, Betsy!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

And it's all on tape

Teresa calls for more civility in politics, then tells a reporter to "Shove it!"

Oh, I'm going to sleep well tonight.

More: Here's the WashPost story.

Mad props update: Michelle Malkin called it months ago.
Kerry Vote Watch
Mr. “Call to Service” who has spent his life “fighting” for Americans will be giving his big speech on Thursday.  It will almost certainly gloss over the fact that – Bob Shrum populism aside – Kerry has done almost nothing in his Senate career to address the very issues he claims to fight for now.  Twenty years in the Senate has produced three significant laws, two of them on fishing rights.

But then, the nuts-and-bolts of the legislative process is too base for Prince Kerry, who prefers to summer in Nantucket while lesser Senators toil away in Washington.

Days worked this session: 4
Missed vote percentage: 146 / 163 = 90%
Number of paychecks Kerry has returned: 0
The Poliblog Toast-O-Meter is back!  Steven Taylor has the pre-DNC version.
They can’t help themselves
For those of us who follow politics closely, this is certainly a dog-bites-man story:

DNC chair Terry McAuliffe has expressed concern that nonstop Bush bashing from the podium could quickly spiral out of control and backfire.

DNC staffers have also been told to be on the lookout for "unreasonable" Bush bashing signs held by delegates on the convention floor which could be highlighted on television.

"We are not Michael Moore," McAuliffe has told his top staffers, according to a well-placed source.
Well, the Democratic Party may not quite equal the mass of Michael Moore, but they’re certainly enthusiastically supportive of his vitriolic, facts-challenged rhetoric:

“Clearly the star of the week will be Sen. Kerry and Sen. (John) Edwards, but having Michael Moore in Boston to enjoy the events just adds a lot of excitement to everything else going on,'' Massachusetts Democratic Party spokeswoman Jane Lane said.

“I don't see it diminishing the real star of the week, but I think every Democrat in Massachusetts will be thrilled.”
Evidently, the Democrats will not be following the advice of Jeff Jacoby who writes: “Bush haters do Kerry no favors.”  But since the unifying agent of the Democratic Party has so thoroughly devolved into hatred, it’s hard to kick the habit.
Leftover business

Here are some topics I wanted to cover last week, but just didn't get the chance:

Sean at the American Mind has an extra-long, convention ready House of Ketchup ready.  Be sure to check it out.

Tim Blair captured the Quote of the Week with this Israeli ambassador's response after a United Nations vote against the Israeli security wall:
As Israeli UN ambassador Dan Gillerman said following the vote: "Mr President, allow me to start with a vote of thanks. Thank God that the fate of Israel and of the Jewish people is not decided in this hall."
A summer without Ken Jennings?  Oh no!  Betsy has a huge roundup on the Jeopardy juggernaut.

Blogs for Bush has launched the Democratic National Quagmire watch (here and here).

Thanks to Election Projection and PoliPundit - I love you guys too!

And Martin Devon bemoans John Kerry's call to action against terrorism by...calling a meeting.  Actually, it's the way Kerry says things that drives Martin (and me) up a wall.  America - do you want this guy in your living room for 4 years?
Oy, great. Kerry will call a meeting, because Bush hasn't had enough meetings. But that's besides the point. Beyond what he said was the way he said it. His voice grates on my nerves. I'm a political junkie and *I've* forgotten. How many people are leaning Kerry without having heard him talk? Quite a few, I'll bet. Mickey really isn't joking. Kerry's best chance is to lay low.

I know that 'W' has a style that annoys many people, but the point is that his style is well known. If you hate him, you already hate him. But Kerry has the chance to alienate a whole bunch of voters who don't know him at all. And he will.
As Jon Stewart said: "They don't call him Mr. Excitement for noth....OK, they don't call him Mr. Excitement."

Saturday, July 24, 2004

What?  What did I do?
Holy cow…I posted that pizzeria story below then went to visit my Mom for a couple of days.  I just got back tonight to discover my inbox jammed and my average visits per day increased ten-fold.  I’m getting hits from Instapundit, Fark, NRO’s Kerry Spot, and Reason’s Hit and Run, who posted this:
At least as interesting as a pro-Bush pizza-maker being slapped around by the Beantown Demo machine is the way the Net can turn the story into national issue with a few keystrokes.
 A national issue?!?  This is all a little heady.  Give me a chance to catch up with everything.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Scenes from a Boston pizzeria 

This is such a great story from today’s Globe: “Sign of Bush’s support surfaces” 

Even though he voted for George W. Bush four years ago, Mark F. Pasquale was looking forward to the Democrats coming to town, especially since the pizza shop he has run for the past 23 years is right across the street from the FleetCenter. But then the barriers started going up, the security rules kept getting changed, and he finally had enough. He's closing during the convention and leaving behind a banner in support of Bush.
''It seems like there was supposed to be a party, but it turned out to be a private party," said the 51-year-old Pasquale, who was deluged with media attention yesterday as the 24-foot-long, 4-foot-high banner draped across the building started getting noticed. ''They have 30,000 prepared meals . . . I put my food against anybody, but you can't compete against a free meal."
Now there’s a man of principle.  (Check back in two weeks for the vandalism report.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

For what it's worth: I haven't seen a transcript, but National Review's Byron York was on O'Reilly Factor tonight and said that the documents that Sandy Berger "mistakenly" stuffed into his briefcase included a "scathing" criticism of the Clinton administration's response to the "Millennium" terrorist plot.  The memo was written by Clinton's terrorism chief Richard Clarke.
The first time “Miss America” and “MIT graduate” have ever appeared on the same web page. (via Fark)
Anger management
Or, in the case of the Democrats, how to manage anger to their advantage: “Democrats using 2000 Florida fiasco as object lesson.” Here’s a quote to save: 

''When Kerry says, 'Every vote counts, and we're going to count every vote,' that's a reference to 2000," campaign spokesman Michael Meehan said. ''We'll have lawyers in every state who know the law and will make sure every vote is counted."
The Florida recount, Meehan said, ''is something that's certainly part of the Democratic history." But, he added, "our convention is going to be more about our plans for the future."
  Sure, sure it will!  Al Gore won’t mention Florida at all.
Newt Gingrich explains why President Bush was correct to turn down the invitation to the NAACP.
Jeopardy Juggernaut
A look into the future? The cult of Ken Jennings.  Plus, here are some of the different ways Ken has signed his name.  (P.S. - He won again tonight.)
Halliburton Cheney and Enron Ed? - Oh man, this really smells like panicked damage control.  Spin, baby, spin!

GMTA, part 2 - From the Man w/o Q: "If this is true, it's no wonder that the Kerry campaign and Democratic-leaning media representatives have been panicked."
The Washington Post finds that somebody lied, but it wasn’t President Bush, in today’s editorial: “The Sixteen Words, Again.”  John Cole notes on the editorial: “Common sense from the press. It is sickening that this feels so refreshing to read.”
Document Sock
(A song parody to the tune of “Crocodile Rock” and dedicated to Sandy Berger) 

I remember when Donks were young
Me and Clinton had so much fun
Bombing tents and Afghan stones
Had my intel briefings and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was stuffing a thing called the Document Sock
While the other wonks were rockin’ round the clock
I was hopping and bopping in my Document Sock
Well, Doc-Socking is something shocking
When your stockings start to fill
I never got in trouble then, when I was working under Bill
National Archives – Friday nights
And notes tucked in my tighty-whites
The Document Sock was out of sight.
But the years went by and my clearance died
Clinton left the White House but he still would lie
Long nights dreaming of the NSC
Cramming secret papers in my old blue jeans
But they’ll never kill the thrills I got
Stuffing notes in my Document Sock
Now caught with papers in my heel
Gotta get John Ashcroft to cut me a deal

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Well, I'll be sock-doggled - via the Cracker Barrel Philosopher, here's the cover of today's NY Post.  Heh.

Hugh Hewitt notes that “The Berger scandal is accelerating faster than any scandal I can remember”:

There's much much more to this, as Berger's slap-dash --at best-- treatment of the nation's secrets in a time of war again underscores the Dems' fundamental unseriousness about national security.  On issue after issue they speechify and then act irresponsibly.  They attend Michael Moore premiers and change positions on Iraq weekly.  There is no substance at all within their ranks, simply the manueverings of time-servers and pyramid climbers.  Berger's antics underline this Democratic habit of subordinating everything to political advantage, and I don't think it is going to pass unnoticed by an American public that knows full well we remain in a war. 
And if you believe Tiny Little Lies, Sandy Berger may make G. Gordon Liddy look like a piker.  Hat tip to Ryne McClaren who has an extensive roundup today.
Shhhhh!!!  Red State wants to know the details behind Kerry’s “secret” plan to win the war in Iraq and his “secret” definition of success.
Hamburglar update
Sandy “Docs in Socks” Berger has resigned from the Kerry campaign.  And Joshua Marshall breaks the silence of the lefty blogs by declaring his outrage…over the timing of the Berger story.  Natch.
Senator Maynard G. Krebs

"So here's what we're going to fight for, and we're going to fight for it every single day, not just through this election, but from the day we win until the day we raise our hands and every day thereafter. You're not going to have to look for us on vacation. You're going to find us working for America." --- Kerry Delivers Remarks At Campaign Event, Cleveland, OH, 7/7/04 (Drudge)

AP: “Kerry heads to Nantucket Home” – “The Massachusetts senator will spend Saturday through Tuesday at the beachfront home owned by his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, who is planning to join him for the weekend.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is still in session. Kerry will not resign his Senate seat to allow Massachusetts full representation...but he won’t give up his Senate salary either, despite his nearly non-existent presence there this session.

Great minds think alike

Me, yesterday: "We’ll see the response from the Democrats and the Kerry campaign tomorrow, but my guess is it will be “muted.”"

Steven Taylor, today: "Indeed, the main reason I noticed is because I was curious as the more Democratic side of the Blogosphere's reaction, which was muter than I expected."
Gore’s roar is hard to endure

The Boston Globe on Al Gore’s irrepressible anger:

Gore's convention speech next Monday just before Jimmy Carter's is likely to be far more argumentative even than the populist people-against-the-powerful speech he gave four years ago. Gore isn't going gently into the darkness that surrounds most former Democratic presidential nominees. His fury at the Bush administration, juiced by his regrets, is an alarm bell that keeps ringing.
Forecast for a “stolen Florida” reference: 99%
Robert Mugabe’s homemade WMDs – Spartacus has all the critical info on the Zimbabwe tyrant’s plans to starve out his enemies, along with much of central Africa. Naturally, the United Nations folded like a cheap umbrella when pressured by Africa’s Kim Jong Il.
The Ken Jennings Jeopardy! drinking game.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Security breach

I was preparing to add my two cents to the uranium story, with links to William Safire’s “Sixteen Truthful Words,” Michael Barone’s “The ‘Bush Lied’ folks can’t be taken seriously” and Richard Benedetto’s “Where are Democrats and the media — now that Bush may have been right?

But now word is just coming off the wires that Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor (and John Kerry's foreign policy advisor) Sandy Berger removed, and possibly lost, documents relating to the 9/11 investigation. According to the AP, Berger’s been informed that he is the subject of a criminal investigation.

We’ll know better tomorrow the extent of Berger’s transgressions. Until then, Kevin Patrick’s comments ring true: if Berger was a Republican, the New York Times would be frantically re-setting their front page headline for tomorrow. We’ll see the response from the Democrats and the Kerry campaign tomorrow, but my guess is it will be “muted.”
Update - The NYT doesn’t disappoint: “Sandy Berger story is on page one of USA Today. New York Times? A-17, in a small box, on the bottom of the page--the last possible point for news in the paper. (The editorial pages begin on 18.) What does the paper than claims "All the News That's Fit to Print" have on the front page instead? A story on untucked shirts as a fashion statement.”
Ramesh Ponnuru on the AARP: "It has an ad where a guy tries to drum up funds to save Social Security by going up to rich people to ask them to donate money. The conclusion: If it were that easy, you wouldn't need AARP. It's a pretty good ad. But in the interests of accuracy, shouldn't the guy be mugging children?" Too right.
Cathy Young in the Boston Globe on “Moore’s anti-US populism”: “[Michael] Moore isn't just antiwar and anti-Bush; he is also virulently anti-American. That's a label some right-wing pundits tend to slap on anyone critical of the war and of President Bush. In Moore's case, however, the label fits.”
Quote of the Day

From a WashPost story "Daimler Bosses May Give Up Pay if Workers Agree to Cuts":

"We have to ensure that we don't end up with blind, total capitalism," party head Franz Muentefering said in Berliner Zeitung's weekend edition.
Germany’s GDP growth for 2004 is estimated to be an anemic 1.8%. Maybe they could use a little more “blind” capitalism.
This Atkins craze is out of control

Actual sign I saw driving home tonight:

Low carb
Oil change

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The NYT gives up all pretense of objectivity

I gave up on the New York Times a long time ago but, coming back from camping in New Jersey, I picked up a copy for the ride home. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't. In section after section, the "Paper of Record" engages in veiled and not-so-veiled attacks on President Bush and Republicans.

Most egregious in my opinion was the cover of the NYT Book Review that stated: "What the Democrats should do" in reference to books by Mario Cuomo, Gary Hart, George McGovern, Robert Reich, and E.J. Dionne. Will the Times offer similar advice to the GOP when the Republican convention rolls around New York in August? Don't bet on it.

For good measure, the Times printed this hopeful article in the Week in Review titled: "What Boston can do for Kerry." The Times should just drop the artifice and ask "What can we do for John Kerry?"
Extra: Mickey acidly comments on the convention story: "You have to love the clumsy, a__-saving, offends-all-sides, don't-make-me-take-a-position quality of that "perhaps disingenuously" in the first graf."
Kerry Vote Watch

Well, let’s get our weekly business out of the way. Only three votes were held in the Senate last week – Kerry missed them all. Same story, different week. Yawn.

Days worked this session: 4
Missed vote percentage: 140/157 = 89%
I'm back - We had a great time camping, although I'm starting to wonder if the concept of "roughing it" has any meaning. Almost the entire campground was populated by Winnebago-style trailers. Our puny (but respectable!) tent looked primitive by comparison.

Let me catch up on the news. More later.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Goin' up the country

I'll be taking another brief blogging hiatus as I'll be doing a little camping this weekend with the family. In the meantime, check out all the fine bloggers to the left. I'll be back Sunday night - hope everybody has a great weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I used to be a huge Doonesbury fan - no more. Garry Trudeau's satire has become corrupted by partisanship that smothers any humor and doesn't even try to sway the reader towards another viewpoint. Ryne McClaren has some ramblings by the once-great cartoonist.
Fark on Senator Splunge's inability to read intelligence briefings before accusing President of same: "In an effort to look worse than Bush, Kerry admits to sleeping on the job." Heh.
A new, extra long, House of Ketchup is available at The American Mind.
What the heck?

My Blogger template has no buttons for bold, italic, or HTML links. I'm typing in all the HTML code. Great...thanks Blogger.

Of course, everytime something like this happens, I'm deluged with E-mails reading: "I can't believe you're still on Blogger!" I know...but I'm cheap.
What the heck? I was going to post some stuff, but Blogger has no formatting icons or HTML linking. I guess I'll try again later.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I totally agree with Captain Ed on the Whoopi Goldberg/Slim-Fast controversy: “Shortly, we will hear howls of protest from Hollywood about chill winds and McCarthyism and political repression.” It’s the standard martyrdom syndrome of the Left (see: Michael Moore).
Weird Science - Top 10 dumb moments in sci-fi cinema
Eye candy - The Bush daughters in Vogue

Although I’ve been very, very critical of Senator Splunge over the past six months, I don’t think there’s been a time when I’ve declared that a single vote, position, or action has disqualified him for the Presidency.

Until now: “Kerry Didn't Read Iraq Report Before Vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic candidate John Kerry, whose campaign demanded to know on Wednesday whether President Bush read a key Iraq intelligence assessment, did not read the document himself before voting to give Bush the authority to go to war, aides acknowledged.

Here are some comments from Red State.
Wednesdays are for W

Another reason to support Bush’s re-election: he passes on some great genes (niiiiice):

On a more serious matter, this election is a critical showdown of direction and values. Visit the GWB election site and donate or volunteer - it's important.
Everybody “knows

K (Men in Black): 1500 years ago, everybody "knew" that the earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody "knew" that the earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you "knew" that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll "know" tomorrow.

William Safire notes in “The New Groupthink” that we’re all really smart now:

The salient news in the Senate Intelligence Committee report is this: all you have been hearing about "he lied to us" and "they cooked the books" is a lot of partisan nonsense.

The 511-page Senate report concluded this: Nobody in the White House or the Pentagon pressured the C.I.A. to change an intelligence analysis to conform to the judgment that the world would be a safer place with the monstrous Saddam overthrown.

Ah, second-guessers say, but what about "groupthink"? Before Gulf War I, the consensus held that Saddam was five to 10 years away from producing a nuclear bomb, but when we went in, we discovered that his W.M.D. were less than six months away.

The group then switched. When Saddam later obstructed U.N. inspectors — forgoing $100 billion in oil sales to keep out prying eyes — groupthinkers logically concluded that the "Butcher of Baghdad" had been hiding weapons. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat who is privy to secret intelligence, spoke for the group in late 2002: "Saddam's existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America now."

Today, as Election Day approaches, groupthink has swung back again, to this: Saddam not only had no terror weapons, but he had little or nothing to do with Al Qaeda — therefore, our liberation of Iraq was a waste of lives and money.
And, speaking of shifting realities, be sure to read “What it all boils down to” on Real Clear Politics for more background on how the pre-9/11 Democrats once swore they would force regime change in Iraq…but did nothing whatsoever to accomplish this goal. It’s something that a lot of them would like to forget.
No such luck - Since the United States is spending more on AIDS prevention than all other countries combined, Jay at Classless Warfare asks: “How about a thank you?”
James Lileks onPretty faces, ugly words”: “Kerry took the stage at the end of the rally and praised the performers as the "heart and soul" of America. Yes, that's the crowd that best exemplifies this country: 3,000 rich celebs who don't know what they pay in taxes unless the accountant tells them.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Kerry prepares to ignore a campaign funding pledge...again

The campaign buzz is that John Kerry absolutely intends to accept public funding of his campaign after the Democratic National Convention…

"We are taking the federal money," Kerry finance chair Louis Susman said yesterday. Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan was more adamant: "We are not opting out. We are taking public funds. No, N-O, no, we are not opting out.", unless he doesn’t:

Kerry officials voiced one caveat: They would reopen the debate over rejecting federal money if they learned that President Bush planned to use privately raised money to finance his general election campaign.
The Kerry campaign is itching to spend beyond the limits of the public financing rules, as evidenced by that disastrous trial balloon to “acknowledge but not accept the nomination” in Boston and extend out privately-funded campaign spending.

Here’s my prediction: the Kerry campaign will file a wafer-thin grievance against the Bush campaign sometime after their convention and declare that the GOP has violated campaign finance rules. They won’t even need to produce evidence because a compliant media will simply assume it’s true and report it as such. Then they’ll cast off public financing and rake in (even more) cash from George Soros and Barbra Streisand.

How do I know that John Kerry will find some pretext to violate campaign finance rules? He’s done it once before:

The candidates [Kerry and former MA governor William Weld] made a personal pledge to each other to abide by a cap on overall spending and media costs. They also agreed not to spend more than $500,000 in personal wealth. But in the final weeks, with Weld outspending Kerry, the incumbent blew off the cap, mortgaged the Beacon Hill townhouse he jointly owned with his wife [that sounds familiar!], and poured $1.7 million into his campaign kitty. He claimed Weld was buying more media time than their agreement allowed, but there was scant evidence to back that up.
John Kerry will do anything to win, including violating the very laws he boasts to have sponsored. Mark my words: he’ll do it again.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
How do you sharpen a sponge?Kerry hones campaign themes
It’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma

Rich Lowry wonders: “What’s the Dems’ position on Iraq?”

People of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq.” — Democratic-platform draft language

What to make of a political party that doesn't officially have a position on the biggest policy question in our politics? The Democratic-platform language on Iraq is almost meaningless. People of good will disagree about most everything, up to and including abortion and child labor — yet the Democrats manage to have positions on those issues. Iraq war, yes or no? The Democrats answer with a definite maybe.
This is precisely why I call John Kerry an unserious candidate. Read the whole thing and check out John Podhoretz for good measure.

Monday, July 12, 2004

"American Chopper" jumps the shark

What the hell did they do to one of my favorite shows? They're using film cameras instead of video, so now everything looks grainy and staged. Also, the show is edited to death, into hundreds of five-second scenes, like a bad MTV video. They barely focus on the bike design and the director seems to be goading Paul Sr. into petty fights with Junior. Almost overnight, the show is unwatchable.

[Sigh] - At least there's a new "Amazing Race" tomorrow night.
Paranoia runs deep - into your life it will creep: "Election paranoia rampant on the left"
Quote of the Day

The Democrats are in a tough position: they simply cannot snub former Massachusetts governor, former Presidential candidate, and former Kerry boss Mike Dukakis when they meet in Boston for the Democratic National Convention later this month. Or can they?

Didn’t I hear ... that he was going to be out of town?” Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said recently.
"Mike! We scheduled your speech for three to three-fifteen a.m., OK?"
Welcome Red State!
My commentary on the timing and quality of John Kerry’s charitable donations is up over at Blogs for Bush.

Attention to John Hawkins: Maybe this should be #41 on your list?

More: Crush Kerry has more on the Senator’s uncharitable behavior.
Maybe he’ll parachute into the Fleet Center

Kerry in June: “I don’t cross picket lines.”

From today’s Boston Globe: “Labor protests are expected as convention nears - Unions vow pickets amid contract talks

Two weeks before the Democratic National Convention begins, hope has all but disappeared that labor protests can be avoided during the huge party gathering, despite last-minute pressure to hurry the dispute into arbitration.
I smell a flip-flop a-comin’!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Kerry Vote Watch

After two weeks vacation, the Senate held only two floor votes this past week. Still, Kerry missed them both, as did his new running mate.

Days worked this session: 4
Missed vote percentage: 137/154 = 89%
This is good news: “Iraq and Syria to seal frontier” – “Iraq says it has reached an agreement with Syria to seal their long desert border and stop the infiltration of foreign insurgents

This too: Iraqi security forces show early successes
The Patio Pundit has a bunch of great posts up right now, so just check ‘em out and keep scrolling.
Is that all there is?

From the AP: “Edwards makes little difference in polls

The Kerry campaign tried to enlist a fast-talking, aw-shucks, Southerner to sell a lemon. Whatever bounce Edwards brought to the ticket was purely due to news coverage; as Steven noted: “the buzz over Edwards is going to die off relatively soon.” Then the spotlight will be back on everybody’s second choice, Senator Splunge.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Joe Wilson, darling of the anti-war left, is a bald-faced liar (or, as Sully says: “a complete, partisan fraud.”)

Extra: The Minuteman has much more, as does Belgravia Dispatch and Mark Kilmer who notes (on Wilson) “at least he got a book deal.” With regrets to the Hokey-Pokey, that’s what it’s all about.

Double extra: Josh Marshall embarrasses himself with this “shoot the messenger” broadside on the bad news (that is, Wilson’s lies):

Susan Schmidt is known, happily among DC Republicans and not so happily among DC Democrats, as what you might call the "Mikey" (a la Life Cereal fame) of the DC press corps, especially when the cereal is coming from Republican staffers.
Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, Josh.
MTV declares Blogs for Bush “great” despite a dearth of discussions on how to “pimp” your ride.
At the risk of appearing petty and mean-spirited, I’m just going to say this once for the record: Teresa Heinz Kerry really creeps me out. Does she ever smile? She’s perpetually sullen even at star-studded campaign rallies. Check out some of the pictures on Country Store. Oog.

Extra - Jonah Goldberg this morning on the Corner: “In the wake of the 60 Minutes interview, it's become clear to me that by the end of this campaign Mrs. Heinz Kerry will be seen as a considerable liability for the Kerry team.”
Jobs in America: Earnings are up

The non-partisan Factcheck, which has found fault on all ends of the political spectrum, declares that Senator Splunge is full of it when he says the economy isn’t producing good jobs – “Economy producing mostly bad jobs? Not so fast”: “A new set of figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show higher-paying jobs growing faster.”

Know what’s a good job? U.S. Senator. You can skip work nearly every day and still pull in a cool six-figures. Sweet!
Feel the heat

From the Boston Globe: “Kerry camp on the defensive after celebrities bash Bush

John F. Kerry and John Edwards boasted yesterday about the positive tone of their presidential campaign hours after celebrities at one of their fund-raisers unleashed a stream of invective against President Bush that sparked outrage from Republicans and calls by Bush supporters for Kerry to make public a tape of the event.

Monitors showed Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, laughing through much of the concert. Afterward, he told the audience that the performers "conveyed the heart and soul of our country." His only quibble was with Goldberg's repeated references to Edwards as "Kid." Kerry said his 51-year-old running mate, who is nine years his junior, is "a man."

The Radio City event prompted a sharp rebuke from the Bush-Cheney reelection committee, which noted that Kerry attended the concert despite saying earlier on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he had not had enough time to get an intelligence briefing. The administration warned Thursday of Al Qaeda plans to attack the United States and offered to brief Kerry. Kerry's campaign said he has scheduled the briefing for Sunday.

"It is a great example of John Kerry's priorities that on the day he said he did not have time to receive his intelligence briefing on threats to America, he found time to attend a Hollywood fund-raiser, filled with enough hate and vitriol to make Michael Moore blush," Bush-Cheney campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said.
All of that terrorism stuff is secondary to Job One.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Quagmire watch: The Democratic National Convention is now budgeted at $95 million, or twice the original estimate. The Boston Globe considers the cost in “Counting ways to blow the convention’s budget.”
Moronic Quote of the Day: "Because of Bush's tax cuts, I saved a million and a half in taxes last year. Does anyone think that's fair?" - Ben Affleck

Know what’s unfair, Ben? People still pay you large sums of money to “act” in movies while I toil away at my socially-useful job. Also, I haven’t slept with Gwyneth Paltrow (yet).
The Instapundit echoes a theme I've repeated many times - John Kerry is an unserious candidate: "Like I say, he's not serious. I wish he were, but he's not."
The video that could guarantee Bush’s re-election

Two words: Wellstone “funeral.” Right before the 2002 midterm elections, Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone died in a fatal airplane crash. Walter Mondale was tapped to take his place on the ballot and the Minnesota Democrats (the “DFL”) arranged a memorial service for Wellstone that, by any objective estimation, morphed into a partisan political pep rally. See the Real Clear Politics or PowerLine archives for a timeline of the funeral and the ensuing fallout. The disgusting display of politics caused a broad backlash that led not only to Mondale’s defeat but, according to Time, also sparked a backlash against the entire Democratic party:

Did the memorial service for Paul Wellstone cost Democrats the election?

A backlash against the politically charged service almost certainly helped Norm Coleman beat Walter Mondale for Wellstone's Minnesota Senate seat. And a private poll by Bill Clinton's former pollster, Mark Penn, suggests the service backfired on Democrats nationally as well.

Penn found that 68% of voters knew about the service—a high awareness of an event broadcast live nationally only on C-SPAN. What's more, 49% of voters said the service made them less likely to vote for a Democrat—and 67% of independents said they felt that way.
Now here’s an ironic twist. The one person who recognized that the Democrats had overplayed their hand was John Kerry:

One Democrat who quickly sensed that the service was a political disaster was Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, a possible 2004 presidential contender.

The next morning Kerry called Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott, who had been booed at the memorial, to tell him how bad he felt. Penn believes national security was ultimately a bigger issue. His poll shows a stunning 65% of voters thought Democrats weren't supportive enough of the President's war on terror. "That was the issue," says Penn. "But the memorial didn't help."
This is precisely why Democratic operatives are currently tracking down and burning every video of the rally in New York last night. Like the Wellstone rally, the Kerry fundraiser last night put the Democrats and the Hollywood half-wits who support them, in sharp relief. Elect John Kerry and you’re supporting the values (such as they are) of the celebrity set and the Hollywood elite.

Last night, John Edwards said "it was "a great honor" to be there and insisted, "This campaign will be a celebration of real American values."” Let America compare the values of the Democratic party to their own: release the video.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Air America is hot, hot, HOT!

Not ratings-wise, but thermodynamically-wise:

Over at WLIB (1190 AM), the flagship station for Air America, the staff are having a hard time keeping their cool, and it's not a political thing. The liberal talk network has been without air conditioning in the studio for a while, which, depending on your political persuasion, can either be viewed as a right-wing conspiracy or a character-building challenge.
They don't represent America, and they have no air. Now that's karma.
Quote of the Day: "I want Bush in there, because the other guy is like sending a boy to do a man's job," said Glenn Foldessy, 45, of Streetsboro, Ohio, outside Cleveland.
Is Maine now a battleground state? Very, very close!
More bad economic news...for Democrats: Jobless claims hit three-year low
Signs that Hollywood is full of no-talent, brain-dead, hacks

1. Supports John Kerry
2. Police Academy 8
The Ken Jennings juggernaut

This past season, the game show Jeopardy! changed their rules such that a defending champion can keep coming back until he or she is defeated. Good move: all of America is riveted by a Mormon named Ken Jennings who, as this Slate article notes, is “the Michael Jordan of trivia, the Seabiscuit of geekdom.” Tonight, he won another $40K for his 28th victory in a row, putting his grand total just one win shy of $900K. Wow.
He's a fighter, not a worker

Here’s a telling statistic from John Kerry’s speech announcing the addition of Senator Handsome to the Democratic ticket: Kerry used the words “fight” or “fighting” eleven times but used a variation of “work” only once. Appropriately, Kerry used the past tense form of “work” (“Throughout those two years as well as four years before that, I have worked with John Edwards side by side and sometimes head to head.”) as Kerry has all but given up on his Senate career by missing 90% of the votes this session.

But if Kerry is committed to the fight fight fight for average Americans, an obvious question is: where has he been for the past twenty years? In the stump speech, which Andrew Sullivan ripped as “dreadful,” Kerry proclaimed he’ll be fighting for national healthcare, for energy independence, for a stronger military and for better jobs. Listening to the junior Senator from Massachusetts, you would imagine that he’s been toiling away the hours, pushing legislation through the Senate to redress these critical issues.

In fact, in two decades in the Senate, John Kerry has never sponsored legislation to address any of these issues. Here’s the Associated Press (via Fox News) with “Kerry’s Senate career short on law-making.”

Asked what he has accomplished during his 19 years in the Senate, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry gives a lengthy answer but has a short list of laws that bear his name.
And the New York Times explains how he got his nickname of “Live Shot Kerry” (mirror copy on John Edwards’ blog!):

The rap on Kerry's Senate career, according to fellow senators and congressional aides, has been that he is more interested in high-profile investigations — like those into the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and Gen. Manuel Noriega of Panama — than in the grinding details of legislative procedure. He has deferred to his colleague Kennedy on most bills involving health and education and has few major bills to his name; when asked to summarize his legislative accomplishments, he often seems to struggle.
As well he might. In three-and-a-half terms in the Senate, here’s the sum of Kerry’s labor:

The Associated Press last July found that only eight laws had Kerry as their lead sponsor, five of them "ceremonial," two relating to the fishing industry, and one providing federal grants to support small businesses owned by women.
Never before has one man fought so hard – yet worked so little – to gain the Presidency.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]