Thursday, September 30, 2004

Final thoughts

OK, I just got off the phone with my ol' college roommate who was much more upbeat than me. Of course, I wanted Kerry vanquished and Bush certainly didn't do that. Kerry scored with style points and he was able to rattle off facts (and some half-truths) with a clarity that Bush simply cannot match. But on substance, I can't shake the impression that Kerry would sub-lease our national security to the United Nations. The "Global Summit Test?" Here's Jonah Goldberg on the Corner echoing something I said earlier this week:
I love that when Kerry gets riled and he tries to summon up the one example of the leadership he'll offer: "I'm going to hold that summit!" Yes! Vote Kerry! Get a Summit!
Bush was relentlessly on-message, as I predicted. But that also meant he was relentlessly repetitive with the "wrong war" and "mixed messages" themes. But his facial tics were distracting as were the constant sips of water (I think he ran out). But - through the fog - you got the impression that Bush intends to win the war and transform the world if necessary to keep America safe, no matter what our allies think. Bush's closing remark, "drifting towards tragedy with unclear messages" was very good, I thought.

Bottom line: Kerry won the debate, but did nothing to convince undecided voters. The polls will not move.
Bush's final statement - We need to be "strong" and "resolute." Freedom and liberty spreading throughout the world. Big picture themes, presented somewhat haltingly.

Here comes Laura and the girls!
Kerry's final statement - "I defended this country as a young man in war and I'll defend it as President." Oh no he didn't. He's got lots of plans that involve alliances and the world and allies and the United Nations. "Respected in the world" And if they don't help us, I guess we're SOL.
Character question: Bush praised Kerry (lightly) but then hit him on the "mixed messages" again. I was praying he would criticize him on his nothing Senate record including missing 76% of Senate Intelligence meetings, but he didn't.

What's with the water, George?
I was cringing a bit at Bush in the earlier stage of this debate but either Bush is getting steadily better or Kerry is getting steadily worse. Bush is inarticulate (duh) but he's passionate and resolute. Kerry is a much better speaker, but he simply repeats the same theme over and over: that we need the world's approval to wipe our nose.
Bush is hitting Kerry for calling Iraqi PM a "puppet" and the "consistent message" theme again. It's a little muddled, but at least Bush is passionate about spreading freedom to Iraq and beyond.
Kerry is getting tiresome with the "coalition" and (twelve year) "rush to war" and the "last resort" nonsense. Is he going to keep this up for another hour?

Bush is hitting back with Kerry's own words and how Kerry "changes his policies with the politics." Better...better.

Bush: "The only thing consistent about my opponents positions is that they're inconsistent."
Finally, Bush is hitting his stride on the danger of "mixed signals." Moving better here but still stumbling a bit on the laundry lists - he should stick with the bigger picture. "A free Iraq is going to make this world a safer place."
Bush hit Kerry on the $87 billion (not very effectively IMO) but Kerry's canned answer about a "wrong vote" vs. a "wrong war" was lame and contrived. He then immediately pivoted and said it wasn't a wrong war - huh?

Oh boy, here come Halliburton.

Bush: "That's totally absurd" on Kerry's allegation that we're not working with the U.N. and allies. He's also correct that by saying Kerry is calling it a "wrong war" but that, with that rhetoric, he'll somehow attract allies.

Getting better: Kerry "denigrates" our allies. "Coerced and the bribed." C'mon Dubya - let's go.
Poor response by Bush on Kerry's laundry list of security programs: "I don't know how he's going to pay for all these programs." Nobody wants to hear that. Bush's answer and counter-response is disjointed. Not good.
Bush stumbled on the second question - "I don't plan to lose this election" - but his rebuttal to the third question was forceful and back on message. Weirdly, Kerry nodded along and even mouthed something (on the split screen).

Now Bush is hitting his stride (finally) midway through question #4. Kerry's response: "rush to war" and "plan to win the peace" and "families buying body armor."

Bush correctly asked for an extension and hammered back on Kerry's "cut and run" statement.
9:12 - First Vietnam reference "As somebody's who's been in combat."
Breakin’ da rules

No time for a full pre-debate analysis, so I’ll just make a couple of observations and predictions.

First, I agree with nearly everything that J. McIntyre says on Real Clear Politics’ commentary “What can Kerry do?” Senator Splunge will come out swinging and almost certainly will disregard the “rules” as a way to throw Bush off his game. I believe more than anything that Kerry wants to get close to Bush to accentuate their (slight) difference in height. (It’s just about all he’s got going for him.) To an equal degree, I believe the Bush team will be ready for such a stunt and turn it around on Kerry with the same devastating effect as that Dubya head-nod which dispatched Gore in 2000.

Second, I think Kerry needs to be aggressive and hyper-critical because it’s a way to distract voters from the fact that, even at this late date, Kerry still has no coherent plan on Iraq. I mean just look at this transcript from Kerry’s interview with Diane Sawyer. A day before the more important debate of his life and Senator Splunge cannot explain where he stands on any aspect of the war. I predict disaster right from the get-go.


Bush will not lose his cool, no matter what. You won’t see an imprudent outburst. Let Kerry crash his yacht on the rocks – Bush will be “Presidential.”

Kerry will speak about the violence in Iraq today as evidence of a failed policy, but Bush will turn it around as a reason why America needs to stay and fight for the future of Iraq.

Bush has the final word tonight, since he won the coin toss to make the final statement. It will be forceful and memorable repetition of the theme he’ll be hammering all night: I’ll keep you safer than this guy.

Bush will make a joke. The rumor is he’ll be using the Regis Philbin line: “Is that your final answer?” Kerry will respond in one of two ways:
1.) If he also has a joke scripted, he’ll use it to show his “human” side. The delivery will be awful and it will be met with confused laughter (think the “I was born in the West Wing” “joke” during his acceptance speech). OR
2.) He’ll make an overwrought declaration that “this is no time for joking.” If he chooses this latter course, Bush will almost certainly respond that the only “journalists” Kerry has met with over the past two months are Jon Stewart and David Letterman. Bush could also respond: “This is a serious time, which is why we need serious answers and not the basket case that is your response to the war on terror.”

Either will do.
The Enthusiasm Gap

All these polls are nice but, as the old cliché goes, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day. So which candidate has the upper hand on excited, motivated voters? Read this and weep, Bob Shrum:

Forget the gender gap. The chasm that yawns the widest this election year is the Enthusiasm Gap.

Nearly two in three likely voters who support President Bush -- 65 percent -- said they were "very enthusiastic" about their candidate while 42 percent of Sen. John F. Kerry's supporters express similarly high levels of enthusiasm for their choice, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

That's a 23-point difference in relative excitement. Although the polling record is incomplete for earlier elections, the available data suggest that the enthusiasm gap in the 2000 presidential campaign was negligible, at best.
To put this another way: Bush’s poll numbers = floor. Kerry’s poll numbers = ceiling.
The Sunshine State goes from pink to red

According to Gallup, Bush now leads by 9% (52%-43%) in Florida, outside the margin of error. Slate has updated their Election Scorecard accordingly (along with a flip for Pennsylvania) and the projected electoral count now stands at Bush – 335 / Kerry – 203.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

He’s got a ticket to ride…to heavenScott Muni dead at 74

I grew up in Northern New Jersey, in the shadow of the New York radio system and rock station WNEW-FM. At 2pm on weekdays, DJ Scott Muni would kick off his three-hour set with a John Lennon or Beatles song. On Sundays, Muni hosted the Beatles-oriented show “Ticket to Ride.” To this day, if I hear the opening chords to that song, I respond like a Pavlovian dog with Muni’s words: “Hello and welcome to this week’s Ticket to Ride.”

Rest in peace, Scottso. Enjoy some British Biscuits and some Hookie Dookies.

Bonus: Two years ago, I wrote a book review of “FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio” all about the turmoil at WNEW-FM.
The Keystone state is key – This Newsday article suggests that the Bush campaign has greatly improved its organization in Pennsylvania. And it looks like it may be paying off: Bush leads among likely voters in PA, 50%-47%.
Michelle Malkin on Kerry – “It's the ugly little things that pile up and create the indelible image of a Royal Jerk.”
Don’t jinx it

We sometimes play out a skit at work. If things are running well and there’s a vague feeling they’ll turn out OK, I’ll turn to my co-worker and say: “Hey Don Larsen! You’re on the way to pitching a perfect game! In the World Series, no less – can you believe that?”

In the spirit of that heady, premature, highly fragile optimism, here’s an article on Crush Kerry titled “How bad is John Kerry’s campaign? So bad that the race is already over.” Love it, but let’s celebrate on November 3rd.
Hugh Hewitt skewers Al Gore: “Al Gore has an op-ed in the New York Times titled "How to Debate George Bush." Really. It is right next to Al Franken's "Building a Radio Empire," Phil Donahue's "Comebacks on Television," and Martha Stewart's "Timing the Market."”
Weirdest metaphor of the day: “Whenever a candidate exceeds his allotted time, his warning light -- sure to prove a Victor Laszlo to the Rick and Ilsa of Kerry and his own voice -- will appear on television.” Ohhhh-kay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Fittingly, non-believers support Kerry

From Insight – “Seismic Catholic Shift to Bush”:

President George W. Bush has suddenly acquired a commanding lead among Catholic voters over his Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry, according to the latest survey of the California-based Barna Research Group.

Barna called this finding a "seismic shift." In May, Kerry led Bush 48-to-43 percent among Catholics. Today, the ratio has changed to 53-to-36 percent in Bush's favor, reports Barna, an organization researching opinions and behaviors of the religious communities in the United States.
But there’s some good news for Senator Splunge:

Atheists and agnostics side with the Massachusetts senator at a 2-to-1 ratio.
This gives me the perfect opportunity to wish a Happy Blogoversary to Kathy at Relapsed Catholic. Four years!?! That’s like 80 in blog years.
Speaking of the useless United Nations

Here’s Mark Steyn: “In Darfur, as I wrote more than two months ago in this space, the US agreed to do the Guardian thing and go the UN route and it looks like they'll have a really strong-ish compromise resolution ready to go about a week after the last villager's been murdered and his wife gang-raped.”

And for good measure, Boots and Sabers has a fitting editorial cartoon.
One question

Sweet mercy, take a look at this:

Senator John F. Kerry set some new markers for his diplomatic skills yesterday, saying that as president he would immediately convene a summit of all European and Arab heads of state "to figure out how together we're going to assume the burdens" of Iraq and proposing that another country could provide a base for training Iraqi security forces.
A summit. A freakin’ roundtable of wine sniffers. If I could ask one question of John Kerry at Thursday night’s debate it would be this: “Assume that as President, you determined another country posed a threat to the safety of the United States and you simply could not convince other nations to help us against this country. Would you take unilateral action?”

I guarantee that Kerry would not, could not, answer this question. He would blather on about not accepting the premise of the question, or trying again to convince our allies until they understood the threat, or prattle on about the United Nations. His “answers” to Iraq, the war on terror, environmental policy, trade negotiations, and energy security all depend on subjugating American influence and independence to French surrender monkeys.
Anti-Bush voters seek reasons to back Kerry – “Sue Hippler, who sat quietly through most of the discussion, said she was just as in the dark on who Kerry is as a person. "One of the problems I had with Kerry while I was watching the Democratic convention, is that all he got across about himself was that he was a war hero in Vietnam. . . . That was so long ago. I was left with the feeling that I don't know what Kerry stands for," she said.” (Hat tip to Derek).
Then he said: “I love that Packers quarterback, Brett Fav-ray

Captains Quarters: “Seldom has a presidential campaign seen such bald-faced pandering as John Kerry demonstrated yesterday in Spring Green, Wisconsin. With a polling deficit nearing double digits in a state Al Gore carried last election, Kerry tried stemming the bleeding by sucking up to Wisconsin's dairy farmers. Long a supporter of the Northeastern Dairy Compact that put the screws to Midwestern producers, Kerry told the Spring Green farmers that he now has seen the light.”

I made a similar observation in July: “Because he'll win Vermont and Massachusetts anyway, but he really needs to win Wisconsin: "Kerry drops support for dairy compact"”
Christopher Hitchens in Slate – “Flirting With Disaster - The vile spectacle of Democrats rooting for bad news in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Which Presidential candidate deserves the Jewish vote? Jeff Jacoby makes the case in today’s Boston Globe (web site exclusive).
Anger and delusion on the left

Sometimes I wander over to Daily “Screw Them” Kos to see what the left is saying. It’s never very pretty or accurate. On today’s top page, you’ll find:

Remember, there won't be a draft under a Kerry administration.”
While sensitive to the confidentiallity [sic] rule under normal circumstances, Bush v. Gore wasn't normal circumstances. It was a coup.”
Of course, registering the voters is the first step. Getting them out to vote will be the next. If we can get half of these people to the polls it'll be a big victory. And these are all people that are being missed by polling of "likely voters".”

Yeah, it’s funny how the pollsters discount people who have never voted from the “likely voter” pool. I smell a Karl Rove dirty trick!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Big crowd in Ohio

President Bush addresses thousands of supporters at a rally at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, Monday Sept. 27, 2004.
And here’s the ABC/WashPost poll

You can tell this isn’t a NY Times headline: “Poll Shows Bush With Solid Lead - Despite Worries, Voters Cite Lack of Clarity From Kerry

Bush holds a double-digit lead among men (53 percent to 41 percent) and a narrow lead among women (49 percent to 46 percent). Four years ago, Al Gore carried the female vote by 11 percentage points, and Kerry advisers know he must do much better among women to win the election.
There’s that gender gap again. Overall, Bush leads with likely voters by 51%-45%.
No mas! - Kerry appeals for end to election advertising war

I guarantee that the Republican response to this will be a call to immediately ban all 527 groups; the Democrats will most assuredly reject this since they're addicted to MoveOn money. Stay tuned.
Gallup poll internals - Nothing but bad news for Kerry

There’s a single bright spot for John Kerry in the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll numbers: Bush’s lead among likely voters slimmed from 13% to 8% (52%-44%) since the last time the poll was taken. However, the gap among registered voters widened from 8% to 13% (54%-41%) so go figure.

On the internals and issues, President Bush continues to hold a wide lead, one that Kerry has done nothing to narrow over the past two weeks.

For example:

- President Bush holds a 10% advantage among voters who say they are “certain” to vote for their preferred candidate (47%-37%).

- President Bush’s overall job approval rating is up to 54% - well above the 50% threshold believed required for an incumbent to win re-election.

- For the first time since 2002, Bush has a net approval rating on the economy (49%-48%).

- Almost-equal proportions of Americans approve and disapprove of the “situation in Iraq” (48%-49%), but when asked who would better handle Iraq, voters trust Bush by a margin of 14% (55%-41%).

- Likely voters chose “terrorism” as the most important issue to guide their votes this November; these voters trust President Bush on terrorism by a 27% margin (61%-34%).

- More Americans believe that John Kerry’s policies would move America in the wrong direction (44% “right” – 49% “wrong”); for President Bush, it’s 54% “right” and 44% “wrong.”

And how’s this for a final insult: asked who would better handle “relations with other countries,” President Bush leads Kerry by 52%-44%.

Looking good, but let's keep working through November 2nd.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Today’s feel-good article: “Three Strikes The debates will be Kerry’s undoing
Your one-stop foreign policy answer - Truth Laid Bear has the exchange between Kerry honcho (honchess?) Mary Beth Cahill and NPR’s Steve Inskeep on accelerating the training of Iraqi security forces. It turns out the training can be done more rapidly if we just invite the Irish and the French. No, I’m not making this up.
I hear Viking Pundit was #126 - Top 125 Political Websites
The shortest article you’ll read today

From USA Today: “Kerry touts his record in the Senate

An Associated Press study found that Kerry has been lead sponsor on eight bills that passed Congress: Five ceremonial bills, two related to fishing and marine research, and one offering grants to small businesses owned by women.
The USAT article neglects to mention Kerry’s rank absenteeism, including the documented fact that he missed 76% of all Senate Intelligence Committee meetings between 1993 and 2001:

Kerry points out that most meetings of the Intelligence Committee are closed and attendance records of those meetings aren't public, hinting that his attendance might have been better at the non-public proceedings. But Kerry could ask that his attendance records be made public, and hasn't.
Isn’t this the same guy who said: “Judge me by my record?” Please, GOP debate team, don’t forget this one.

Extra – Right on time, here's a new web site examines Kerry’s Senate career, such as it is.

Special blogger inside joke – Mark Kilmer is fond of noting about Kerry: “He still hasn't mentioned fisheries, perhaps the only policy area about which he should probably be somewhat knowledgeable.” Now you know why (if you didn’t already).

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Time: Flip-flops can be “fatal”

From a Time magazine article on the debates:

One perception that has taken root is that Kerry is a flip-flopper. Only 37% of voters say they believe he sticks to his positions; 84% say that about Bush. So it could be all but fatal for Kerry to do or say anything in the debates that might reinforce that image.
This first debate will focus on foreign policy, which means it will focus on Iraq. Therefore, if you take that Time prediction at face value, Kerry is toast. Nobody can understand his position on Iraq after making more flips than a Chinese acrobat. And you can bet your life that Bush will remind America of Kerry’s “I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” gaffe. If Kerry is forced to explain that remark – no matter that he says – he’ll be correctly characterized as a human weather-vane.

President Bush is not going to “sit on the ball” in this debate. It’s jugular time.
W’s double wows WV

A reader sent this article from West Virginia:

First daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush arrived at West Virginia University well on time for their 3 p.m. campaign stop Wednesday and for that, journalism student Liz Weber now knows who she's voting for in November.

"It's good to have the Bush girls here on time," said Weber, a registered independent. "It shows that they care more."

Weber was referring to the Sept. 2 visit by Alexandra Kerry and Cate Edwards, daughters of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and running mate John Edwards. They showed up at the WVU Mountainlair nearly two hours late and left after a five-minute speech on the economy, health care and young voters.
There she goes, there she goes again (another voter, that is).
Physician, heal thyself – Here’s an interesting article. It’s “Lessons from the CBS News Failure” on the CBS/Marketwatch home page. One lesson: “Heed the Internet.”
Kerry Vote Watch

There were only three votes held in the U.S. Senate last week, but they were all fairly important: the Military Construction Appropriations Act, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, and the approval of Porter Goss as new Director of the CIA. John Kerry missed all these votes, as did his running mate.

Days worked in the Senate since January: 4
Missed vote percentage: 170 / 187 = 91%

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Kids dig the twins

From US News & World Report: “Not so terrible twins after all
After their quirky tag-team performance for Dad at the Republican National Convention, President Bush' s twins, Barbara and Jenna, were sneeringly called everything from flirts to ditzes. Seems the stodgy political press panned their performance, their choice of clothes, and their Sex and the City joke about "Gammy," grandmom Barbara Bush. Well, as they say at CBS, never mind. Bush-Cheney campaign insiders reveal that the twins' debut was a smash hit among young voters, women, and even dads of 20-somethings. "They really worked," says a campaign strategist. "The focus groups loved them." What clicked was their lingo, clothes, and cultural references. After the initial critical coverage, aide Susan Whitson recalls thinking, "Gosh, what did we do?" Until, of course, supporters said they liked the kids. "They weren't talking to you and me," says another Bushie. "They were talking to their tribe." That would be college students like the Michigan State University men at a recent twins rally who held up a sign with their phone numbers. The message: CALL US.
They’re a double-threat!
Andrew Sullivan - Turnaround in Afghanistan
Two views on Kerry’s attack on Allawi

Mark Kilmer believes that “Kerry had no choice but to attack Allawi.” He postulates that Kerry has bet all his chips on convincing Americans that Iraq is a disaster and, therefore, anybody who says otherwise must be discredited.

Meanwhile, Ann Althouse calls the putdown “Kerry’s final mistake.”
A relatively new blog called Truth Lies and Common Sense has a number of good posts on one of my fave topics: Social Security. Any day now, the Democrats will be deploying their biannual “Scare Grandma” tactic.
The man in the mirror

Count Mark Steyn as another American unamused by Kerry's recent statement belittling the Iraqi Prime Minister - "Kerry’s looking for American failure – and he’s it":
What a small, graceless man Kerry is. The nature of adversarial politics in a democratic society makes George W. Bush his opponent. But it was entirely Kerry's choice to expand the field, to put himself on the other side of Allawi and the Iraqi people. Given his frequent boasts that he knows how to reach out to America's allies, it's remarkable how often he feels the need to insult them: Britain, Australia, and now free Iraq. But, because this pampered cipher has floundered for 18 months to find any rationale for his candidacy other than his indestructible belief in his own indispensability, Kerry finds himself a month before the election with no platform to run on other than American defeat. He has decided to co-opt the jihadist death-cult, the Baathist dead-enders, the suicide bombers and other misfits and run as the candidate of American failure. This would be shameful if he weren't so laughably inept at it.
Well put.
Ryne McClaren is on top of the contentious John Thune-Tom Daschle Senate race. The latest: Thune 50% - Daschle 47%. In the words of the Shangri-Las in “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” – “close…very very close.”
And there go the kids

The Man without a Message is already falling behind with women voters; now younger voters are turning away. From the NY Post “Kids Quit Kerry”:

Democrat John Kerry has lost his lead with under-30 voters because the iPod generation is getting more optimistic that the country is headed in the right direction, a new Newsweek poll found.

President Bush and Kerry are now in a dead heat among the youngest voters with Kerry getting 45 percent and Bush 44 — a big switch from last month, when Kerry had a 9-point lead of 50 to 41 percent among under-30s, the GENext voter poll found. Its error margin is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Kerry's core demographic is shrinking...shrinking...

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]

Friday, September 24, 2004

The opinions expressed in this post do not reflect my opinions for legal purposes

From the WashPost: “Kerry's campaign has moved ad money out of states once deemed competitive (Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Arizona and Colorado), but for now considered in Bush's column.”

North Carolina? Isn’t John Edwards from N.C.? Bwahahaha!!!....what the?...a subpoena? Hey, hey, it’s just a joke!
Pot, meet kettle - A 527 group has called for a Presidential candidate to release all of his military records. The Minuteman is suffering from irony overload.
Why I love satellite radio, part MDCCIV - Yesterday I heard "Moods for Moderns" by Elvis Costello and today I heard "Secret Separation" by the Fixx. Chance of hearing either song on commerical radio: 0.0000001%.
The debates cometh and this excellent post on QandO reveals why they may be a “disaster in waiting” for Kerry. (Cliff Notes version: nobody understands what he’s trying to say at any given time.)
I finally found somebody else who loves “The Amazing Race”. The next race is supposed to start in late October/early November. Stay tuned.
The dysfunctional couple

Andrew Sullivan, who has been no fan of President Bush lately, writes that “John Kerry is a lousy candidate” in this essay titled “Kerry’s Problem: Kerry.”

On his blog, Sully also takes a shot at Teresa:

She really is an embarrassment: a stereotype of the arrogant, mega-rich liberal, who has long forgotten that the only reason anyone is interested in what she has to say is her inherited money. My own theory is that she also has something to do with the new gender gap, where women are no longer as Democratic as they once were. Women look at Kerry's marriage and do not relate. They see a man who has married mega-wealthy heiresses twice, and they then look at the Bush marriage and see something simple and calming and traditional.
It’s conventional wisdom that the potential First Lady has almost no bearing on how Americans vote. However, with every passing day, Teh-ray-za says or does something to drag down her husband’s candidacy. Is she merely out of touch, or just plain nuts?
Publius, are you reading this?

This past week, I had an E-mail debate with a compatriot who insisted that I read a Zogby poll report. I refused, noting that Zogby is biased and his methodologies are questionable. DJ Drummond on Polipundit has a long post on the sampling practices of all the major pollsters. It looks like Zogby’s techniques employ chicken bones and small pieces of string.

Extra – As the Man without Qualities notes, even the Kerry campaign doesn’t believe Zogby.
I take it back. This is today’s must-read

Bill Kristol in the Weekly Standard calls John Kerry “Disgraceful

We really don’t know what a President John Kerry would do about Iraq. His flip-flops about the war, his inconsistencies, the ambiguity of his current position (win or withdraw?)--all of these mean we can only guess about a Kerry presidency. He would probably be inclined to get out of Iraq as soon as possible; it might be the case, however, that as president he would nonetheless find himself staying and fighting. Who knows?

What we do know is this: Kerry and his advisers have behaved disgracefully this past week. That behavior is sufficient grounds for concern about his fitness to be president.


There is some chance, after all, that John Kerry will be president in four months. If so, what kind of situation will he have created for himself? France will smile on him, but provide no troops. Those allies that have provided troops, from Britain and Poland and Australia and Japan and elsewhere, will likely recall how Kerry sneered at them, calling them "the coerced and the bribed." The leader of the government in Iraq, upon whom the success of John Kerry's Iraq policy will depend, will have been weakened before his enemies and ours--and will also remember the insult. Is this really how Kerry wants to go down in history: Willing to say anything to try to get elected, no matter what the damage to the people of Iraq, to American interests, and even to himself?
Read it all.
Today’s must-read - Charles Krauthammer is the latest to notice that Kerry denigrates our allies while promising he (only he!) can gain their help. From “The Art of Losing Friends”: “The only thing that distinguishes Kerry's Iraq proposals from Bush's is his promise to deploy his unique, near-mystical ability to bring in new allies to fight and pay for the war in Iraq -- to "make Iraq the world's responsibility" and get others to "share the burden," as he said this week at New York University.”
Good news at home – From the WashPost: “Fed Experts Predicted Solid Growth Ahead” – “The Federal Reserve's staff predicted in August that the U.S. economy would grow at a "solid" pace through next year, in part because interest rates would remain relatively low during that time.”

Good news abroad - Pakistan, India to Seek Settlement Over Kashmir
Right Wing News has the ultimate list (so far) of Kerry flip-flops on Iraq.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

CBS “News” poll: Bush leads by 9% (51%-42%) among likely voters. And, for the record, this is the umpteeth poll I’ve seen where President Bush has a net favorable rating (46%-38%), while more people rank Kerry unfavorably (32%-44%).
Proposed ketchup slogans. Here’s mine: “Shove it on your burger
Dreams can come true!

Here’s a poster on Free Republic:

At the beginning of this election cycle, I had two wishes:

1) Re-election of GWB

2) Repudiation of the mainstream media (via the election).

On wish #1, here’s the latest rundown of electoral vote estimations (all Bush-Kerry):

Electoral Vote: 336-192
Election Projection: 328-210
CNN: 301-237

On wish #2, here’s the latest from Gallup: “Media Credibility Reaches Lowest Point in Three Decades
Kerry: We need those allies that I keep insulting

Slings and Arrows reiterates one of my favorite complaints about Kerry’s Iraq “plan” – it depends on help from nations who have “resolutely refused to take any part in Iraq.”

Glenn Reynolds also notes: “What I don't get is that Kerry's big claim is that he'll get us allies, but it seems that whenever you turn around he's dissing somebody on our side.”

And the Kerry Spot believes that Senator Splunge’s comments belittling Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi’s speech is a “disastrous move.”

Also, Country Store has a good roundup of responses.
Whatever, Kofi

Victor Davis Hanson is unsparing in this Opinion Journal article: “The U.N.? Who cares?”

So Americans' once gushy support for the U.N. during its adolescence is gone. By the 1970s we accepted at best that it had devolved into a neutral organization in its approach to the West, and by the 1980s sighed that it was now unabashedly hostile to freedom. But in our odyssey from encouragement, to skepticism, and then to hostility, we have now reached the final stage--of indifference. Americans do not get riled easily, so the U.N. will go out with a whimper rather than a bang. Indeed, millions have already shrugged, tuned out, and turned the channel on it.
And Silent Running notes that the esteemed body is contaminated with anti-Israel hostility:

It's almost time to disband this bunch of clowns, espcially when you remember their highly principled behaviour in Darfur and Iran, and over the Oil For Food scam they pulled in co-operation with Saddam Hussein.
Almost? Between feckless posturing, extending false hopes, and the Oil-for-Food scandal, I think the argument can be made that the United Nations has caused more harm than good over the past decade.
Interesting tidbit from La-La Land

From the gossip page of – “Last Night’s Anti-Bush Bash

For political Hollywood, the place to be last night was David Geffen's intimate dinner party in honor of Maureen Dowd and her new book Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk. The fete was held in Geffen's totally redone Beverly Hills home (he bought the 10-acre property known as the Jack Warner estate for $47.5 million, then a record price paid for a residential property in Los Angeles). The guest list included Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Lorne Michael, Nora Ephron, Barry Diller, Will Farrell, Martin Short, Sony Pictures' Amy Pascal, Mike Nichols, Arianna Huffington and Oracle's Larry Ellison. Ellison spilled that he had just spoken to ex-Clintonian and new Kerry advisor Joe Lockhart, who says even Kerry's private polls are showing the Democratic challenger 7 points behind Dubya.
Et tu, Tom Hanks? I always thought he was pretty apolitical.
So much for that strategy

James Joyner on Kerry pulling ads from AZ, AR, LA & MO: “Stunning. This essentially means the Kerry camp is pinning all their hopes on Florida.”

Uh-oh. “Quinnpiac University has a poll out this morning showing President Bush with a strong lead in the Sunshine State. With Ralph Nader now on the ballot thanks to a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court, the President leads Kerry 49% to 41%.”

(Update: thanks to an alert reader. AK is Alaska - AR is Arkansas.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

W Wows Wisconsin Women

I sense a theme. From an ABC Poll showing President Bush with a double-digit lead among likely voters in Wisconsin:

There's a gender gap among registered voters in Wisconsin — Bush has a 17-point lead among men, while Kerry has a slight four-point edge among women. But most women as well as most men (albeit by smaller margins), trust Bush over Kerry to handle terrorism, and say Bush is a stronger leader and has taken clearer stands on the issues.
The gender gap is shaping up to be the story of Election 2004.

Update - Another Wisconsin poll: Bush up by 14% (!) among registered voters.
My name is Eric and I’m a political junkie (just like him!) – Yes, I’m going to post on the “I-4 Corridor Poll” from central Florida. I need help.

I-4 Corridor: Bush 51% - Kerry 38%
Tampa Bay: Bush 49% - Kerry 39%
Central Florida: Bush 53% - Kerry 37%
Good news from Syria – “This could signal Damascus' willingness to stand down from its non-cooperative stance toward the United States -- yet another example of the immense geopolitical shift in the region resulting from the U.S. ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.”
Earning my punditry stripes

This past weekend, I wrote: “I have been saying for years that Terry McAuliffe is the greatest gift to the GOP. He moved up the timetable for the Democratic primaries and the party lunged at non-screamer John Kerry. Now the transparently inept Kerry campaign represents the Democratic Party as a whole and Americans are turning away. Thank heaven for Terry McAuliffe.”

Today, Dick Morris writes in “Kerry’s confused campaign”: “How did the Democrats end up in such a mess? Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is to blame. It was he who decided to frontload the primaries to produce an early winner. Kerry got the nomination without any real audition. There was never a chance to road-test his candidacy or even to refine his message on a national stage.”

Advantage: Viking Pundit!
Speaking of women – From a brand-new NBC/WSJ poll: “Still, the survey has some troubling numbers for Kerry as he tries to close Bush's narrow lead: Female voters aren't flocking to the Massachusetts senator as they have to past Democratic candidates, and a solid majority of overall voters believes he doesn't have a message, or doesn't know what he would do if elected.” The poll of likely voters shows a 50%-46% split in Bush’s favor.
Women wuv W

The NY Times has an article today about how President Bush is doing surprising well among women voters, possibly because “security moms” are shifting their votes to the candidate perceived to be better on national security. Did they title the article: “Bush makes inroads with female voters?” How about “Security fears bring women into the GOP camp?” Nope. Incapable of hiding the bias for their candidate, the NY Times titled the article “Kerry in a struggle for a Democratic base: Women.

Writing in New York Metro (hat tip to Arts & Letters Daily), Naomi Wolf believes that Kerry is losing women voters in part because Teresa makes him look like a paperboy on an allowance:

Teresa Heinz Kerry’s speech [at the DNC] , which all but ignored her husband, did more to emasculate him than the opposition ever could. By publicly shining the light on herself rather than her husband, she opened a symbolic breach in Kerry’s archetypal armor. Listen to what the Republicans are hitting Kerry with: Indecisive. Effete. French. They are all but calling this tall, accomplished war hero gay.

The charges are sticking because of Teresa Heinz Kerry. Let’s start with “Heinz.” By retaining her dead husband’s name—there is no genteel way to put this—she is publicly, subliminally cuckolding Kerry with the power of another man—a dead Republican man, at that.
Kerry makes his position clear…to nobody

Considered alternate title: “One position with a thousand clauses.” Try as he might, Senator Splunge continues to confound on Iraq. The Boston Globe put on a brave face with “Kerry looks to clarify stance, views on Iraq” but the article catalogues all the contradictory statements he’s made over two years.

Tony Blankley dubbed Kerry “The Massachusetts drifter

At any given moment John Kerry sounds decided, resolved, adamant and powerfulin his convictions. But just as the appeasers against whom Churchill railed seven decades ago, Mr. Kerry soon undecides his decisions, revokes his resolution, drifts away from his adamance, liquifies his solidity and gelds the potency of his previous conviction.

Anyone with such a recent record of ludicrous reversals and re-reversals would not be taken seriously enough to be quoted by the national press (if he wasn't the standard bearer for a great party's presidential quest.)
And Slate piles on with this snarky title: “Kerry answers questions! The press still doesn’t understand his position on Iraq.”
Quote of the Day: “If it had been us, we would have been crucified.” – Rupert Murdoch of Fox News fame, commenting on the CBS Rathergate scandal.
Any way the wind blows…(gong)
Iowa Electronic Market blowout - Kerry vs. Bush aggregate probabilities
Chip & Kim win the Amazing Race – I have nothing against them, but Chip carried this “team” the entire way and they benefited from dumb luck by gaining a faster flight when the other teams’ flight was delayed. Great race, though. Looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Kerry campaign train wreck

With input from a dozen more advisors, John Kerry has settled on a strategy of criticizing the administrations’ policy in Iraq. And as George Will notes today, there’s much to criticize: spiraling violence in Baghdad and Fallujah, terrorist beheadings of Americans, and an instability that will make elections difficult if not impossible.

But Kerry continues to suffer under the same misconception that has hobbled his campaign from the start. He believed, and apparently continues to believe, that the election will be a referendum on President Bush’s leadership and that he only needs to present himself as a reasonable alternative. But as the inexorable slide in Kerry’s poll numbers attests: you can’t beat something with nothing.

Kerry’s aggressive new attack is an extension of this misconception. It is heavily laden with condemnation, but devoid of solutions. And it’s not enough to repeat – endlessly – that you have a “plan” when that plan is unworkable and untethered to reality. USA Today responded to Kerry’s speech with this headline: “Kerry confronts Bush on war with murky solution.”

The ultimate question for both men, of course, is what should we do now? On that point, the solutions offered Monday by Kerry are as unconvincing as Bush's claim that U.S. forces are making progress in stabilizing the country.
The Washington Post wrote: “Experts say solutions may be unrealistic”:

"Kerry lays out nice suggestions but I have no reason to assume they'd work any better, in the sense that there's no sign that the international community is willing to contribute to stabilizing Iraq or helping with security even if there is a leadership change in Washington," said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA Iraq expert now at the National Defense University.
Jed Babbin in the American Spectator was (ahem) less nuanced about Kerry’s “plan”:

The four-point plan for Iraq John Kerry outlined in his Monday speech is a concatenation of wishful thinking, defeatism, and moral obtuseness. And -- most importantly -- Mr. Kerry's goal is one to bring our troops home, not to win. His only idea is to talk the U.N. and NATO into taking the whole mess off our hands so we can withdraw our troops.
Kerry had a press conference today in response to President Bush’s speech to the United Nations. I heard it on the radio and the humorous part (for me) was that the reporters’ questions were inaudible; you could only hear Kerry’s response. No matter! Every answer centered on magically convincing our “traditional allies” to help out in the rebuilding effort. There is no plan “B.”

Furthermore, after months of vacillation, this insincere thrust towards a relevant position on Iraq smacks of political desperation. At the core, Kerry’s plan is nothing more than a cynical talking point for the remainder of the campaign – as a solution, it is nothing.
Florida revisited – One overlooked aspect of the Florida 2000 recount mess was that when the networks called the state for Gore before the polls were closed in the Florida panhandle, thousands of potential Bush voters turned away from the polls in dejection. By John Fund’s accounting in his new book, the gap between Bush and Gore could have been 7,500 – 10,000 votes instead of a razor-thin 527 votes.
Kerry wants to lose – On “Live with Regis and Kelly” this morning, Senator Splunge said: “The big hang-up was George Bush wanted to get life lines, you know, so he could call somebody.” Good one! It looks like Kerry’s trying to help out the Bush campaign team by lowering expectations for the debate. Then all Bush has to do is avoid any major gaffes and he’ll “win.” Thanks, Senator!
Campaign finance reform is going to pot - literally

From the Boston Globe: “Rich activists, hoping to sway voters, give vast sums to 527s Critics sue, allege FEC has failed to enforce law.” Much of it is old hat: now that soft money donations are limited, wealthy contributors are pouring cash into 527 advocacy groups. But what makes the article a hoot is that one major 527 contributor really loves the ganja:

Peter B. Lewis is one of America's most colorful billionaires. He is chairman of Cleveland's 26,000-employee Progressive Insurance Corp., owns one of the world's largest yachts, and is a major backer of efforts to decriminalize marijuana.

In 2000, Lewis was arrested for marijuana and hashish possession at a New Zealand airport, but the charges were dropped after Lewis contributed money to a drug-rehabilitation center, according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 2001, Lewis became the single largest donor to the American Civil Liberties Union, stipulating that $5 million of his $7 million gift go to the ACLU's drug-policy litigation project, which deals with drug-testing in schools and the medicinal use of marijuana. Lewis also is the largest donor to the Marijuana Policy Project, providing $485,000 to help the group advocate for the removal of criminal penalties for marijuana use, particularly for medicinal purposes.
Asked to comment on his contributions, Mr. Lewis stated “the Dude abides” then searched through his desk drawer for some Doritos.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Channeling Ian Faith

From “This is Spinal Tap”:

Marty: “The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on the current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?”
Ian: “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.”
From the NY Times “Kerry pulls ads from some states as spending is limited”:

Tad Devine, a chief strategist for Mr. Kerry, said the campaign's diminished presence on television in certain states should not be construed as a sign of faltering.

"We're not out, even if we're not on TV," he said. He described the campaign's strategy as "opportunistic," reserving its resources to take advantage of future opportunities.
"It's not a big college town."
Surround Illinois!

The Hedgehog Report has the latest from the blue states and it’s not a pretty sight if you’re for Kerry. New Mexico? Oregon? Iowa? (confirmed by Gallup!) Wow.
Where was Kerry?

In a gambit devoid of all sense of irony, John Kerry has decided to criticize President Bush on the war in Iraq. Forget about Kerry’s contradictory positions on Iraq, or his otherworldly statements on Meet the Press. Put aside the sheer chutzpah of this desperate tactic to (now) take a focus group-tested position on this critical issue. Remember this: John Kerry was once a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee – a group uniquely positioned to review sensitive information and act as a balance to the Executive branch.

From 1993 to 2001, John Kerry missed 76% of all the scheduled meetings of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

John Kerry failed to perform his most basic duties as a Senator, but now he wants to be President. Like I said: sheer chutzpah.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Chris Suellentrop of Slate doesn’t think that John Edwards was the most helpful pick for Kerry: “But on Nov. 3, Edwards will be judged not by how many places he turned blue but how many he made a paler red.” Judging by the latest polls, it won't be many.
Just making stuff up

This may shock some people, but it looks like the NY Times – the “Paper of Record” – might have shaded the truth a little bit today:

While the polls fluctuate, the Democratic National Committee is keeping the lights on with minimal buying in some states - notably Colorado, where polls now show Mr. Kerry running strong, and Missouri - to make it easier for Mr. Kerry to re-enter later.
Huh? “Running strong?” If the Times is trying to suggest that Kerry is surprisingly competitive in Colorado, it should say so. Instead, that line gives the impression that Senator Splunge is leading in the Rockies, when he most definitely is not.
"Granny does your dog bite? No child no" - Today, on XM radio, I heard "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" for the first time in years. And I repeated the lyrics like a machine. Isn't that weird?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Kerry Vote Watch

Trivia question: Why won't John Kerry resign his Senate seat since it's obvious he has no intention of performing any of his Senatorial duties through Election Day?

Answer: He'll need a job after November 2nd.

Days worked this session: 4
Missed vote percentage: 167/184 = 91%
Negative coattails

From the WashPost: “Democrats reassess prospects to win House

Democrats' hopes of regaining the House majority this fall -- never bright at best -- appear increasingly dim, in part because of Sen. John F. Kerry's lackluster campaign performance over the past six weeks, numerous analysts say.
I have been saying for years that Terry McAuliffe is the greatest gift to the GOP. He moved up the timetable for the Democratic primaries and the party lunged at non-screamer John Kerry. Now the transparently inept Kerry campaign represents the Democratic Party as a whole and Americans are turning away. Thank heaven for Terry McAuliffe.
President Bush’s “stock” price on TradeSports has now cracked 70% likelihood of re-election, while Kerry’s is diving below 30%.
Of course - Actual headline from today’s Boston Globe: “Kerry courting both sides on gun-control issue

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Red states remain steadfastly scarlet

From MSNBC: “Polls show Bush faring well in states he narrowly won in 2000” – “New polling data suggest that Sen. John Kerry has made little headway with voters in five states that President Bush narrowly won in 2000.” “Little” is a polite way to say “no.”

The breakdown (Bush-Kerry percentages):

Arizona: 50%-39%
Missouri: 48%-41%
Nevada: 50%-45%
New Hampshire: 49%-40%
Ohio: 49%-42%
West Virginia: 45%-44%

And there’s this: “Another strikingly insignificant factor in the voters’ decisions is the mêlée over what both Bush and Kerry did during the Vietnam War era.”
Obscure song roundup

Here, for no particular reason (other than to get away from politics for a moment), are ten great songs that you’ve probably never heard of:

“Curbside Prophet” – Jason Mraz
“Come to Love” – Matthew Sweet
“(Down at) Papa Joe’s” – The Dixiebelles
“Selfless, Cold and Composed” – Ben Folds Five
“Get Over It” – OK Go
“The Fall of the World’s Own Optimist” – Aimee Mann
“Wind Me Up” – Fastball
“Nation of Shopkeepers” – Graham Parker
“Philosopher’s Stone” – Van Morrison
“The Lighthouse” – The Gibson Brothers

This may be part of a continuing series of rummaging through my CD collection.
CBS staffers love the Dems

From the NY Post’s Page Six: Rather’s crew backs Dems

WITH Dan Rather and CBS under fire for broadcasting what seem to be fake National Guard documents in a story slamming President George W. Bush, probed the political contributions made by CBS News staffers. Turns out that Rather's minions are overwhelmingly Democratic. CBS News-ers have donated $17,050 to federal candidates and political action committees since 1982. Of that amount, $10,800 was for Democrats and the DNC; $3,500 went to Lenora Fulani's wacky New Alliance Party; and only $2,750 went to the GOP.
That’s right: among CBS staffers, the GOP received less money than the New Alliance party. But remember: journalists have a super-human ability to put bias aside and report the news with absolute objectivity.
The liberal cocoon – Mickey Kaus notes that the NY Times story on their own poll can’t hide their panic. For example, why is the headline “Kerry trails Bush by 8% among registered voters” instead of “Bush leads Kerry by 9% among likely voters”? And so on.
Iowa Electronic Market update: A new high for Bush and a new low for Kerry.
Fate smiles upon me! It looks like there are still problems with Blogrolling, but through some dumb turn of luck, Viking Pundit is sitting, frozen, at the top of most lists for maximum exposure. Cool.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Run Ralph Run – Nader is back on the ballot in Florida (HT: Dodd)
A brand-new House of Ketchup is up at The American Mind.
Bush up by 8% in NY Times/CBS “News” poll

What do you get when you combine the most liberal newspaper in America with the most biased network on television? Why it’s the New York Times/CBS News Presidential Race poll! Sadly, they couldn’t forge the results: “Kerry Trails Bush by 8 Points in New Poll and Faces Obstacles

In one particularly troublesome sign for Mr. Kerry, a majority of voters said he was spending too much time attacking Mr. Bush and talking about the past, rather than explaining what he would do as president. By contrast, half of the registered voters said Mr. Bush had offered a clear vision of what he wanted to do in a second term. That finding, combined with an [sic] rising unfavorable view of Mr. Kerry, underlines the complicated strategic challenge the Massachusetts senator confronts as he tries to attack Mr. Bush without alienating voters put off by negative campaigning.
The 50%-42% lead is among registered voters; for likely voters, the gap widens to 51%-42%. The telephone poll was conducted from Sunday through Thursday.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
The GOP elephant charges forward

President Bush is playing offense, driving deep into the blue states. From the WashPost: “President Ventures to Democratic Territory

Minnesota and Wisconsin, which Bush lost by 5,709 votes, have been trending Republican for at least eight years and White House strategists believe they can turn them by targeting suburbs, along with rural areas that used to be solidly Democratic, with Bush's promises of a muscular foreign policy, preservation of traditional values and attempts to lower taxes.
Meanwhile, a new Strategic Vision poll has Bush up in two other blue states: Pennsylvania (49%-45%) and Iowa (48%-47%).
The problem was Saddam

A new report from the Iraq Survey Group reveals that no WMDs have been found in Iraq. However, the report also indicates that Saddam Hussein was just biding his time until the inspectors packed up:

Drafts of a report from the top U.S. inspector in Iraq conclude there were no weapons stockpiles, but say there are signs the fallen Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had dormant programs he hoped to revive at a later time, according to people familiar with the findings.
What would have been the point of giving the inspectors more time (what, twelve more years)? Hussein was always the greatest threat to Iraq and the region. Also, a long report on Fox News reveals that Hussein’s connections with Al-Qaeda may have been more extensive than believed, thanks to the United Nations Oil-for-Food scam program.
Kerry’s doomed

From MSNBC, here’s Tim Russert of “Meet the Press”:

MSNBC: "There are only 45 days until Election Day. Is that enough time for John Kerry to make that turnaround?"
Russert: "It’s uphill. There’s no doubt about it. But the presidential debate on September 30th, in Coral Gables, Florida will give John Kerry a real chance to talk to the country in clear, understandable terms. It’s not enough to say, “George W. Bush is wrong.” He has to say what he will do."
Emphasis added. As Charles Krauthammer notes today, Senator Splunge has been so inconsistent and incoherent on critical issues that there’s “Nowhere Left to Flop.” And Jonah Goldberg wonders if Kerry’s weather vane shifts not because of the prevailing winds of the polls but because of his perception of events: “In this scenario what he calls "nuance" is actually an acute inability to grasp that today's headlines do not automatically corrupt yesterday's decisions or tomorrow's goals.” Nicely put.
Free-fall – For what it’s worth, John Kerry’s “stock” on the Iowa Electronic Market is now at its lowest price since they started tracking.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Earlier today, Rich Lowry wrote: “I'm hearing that the new Gallup number is going to have Bush up BIG

His source was not wrong: “A Gallup poll being released Friday has Bush up 54-40 in a three-way matchup, with Ralph Nader at 3 percent.”

Update: USA Today says it’s a 13% lead among likely voters – 55%-42%.

And how about this:

The boost Bush received from the Republican convention has increased rather than dissipated, reshaping a race that for months has been nearly tied. Kerry is facing warnings from Democrats that his campaign is seriously off-track.
Perhaps more advisors are needed.
Rathergate: Anything goes if you’re guilty

I’ve been steering clear of the CBS memo scandal (except for my little song parody) because so many other bloggers are covering it 24-7. (The prevailing wisdom is that it’s hurting John Kerry.) But I’m shocked at CBS’s position that the memos were “accurate but not authentic.” Maybe I’m stretching here, but doesn’t this position allow for a tacit approval of evidence planting/tampering by the police?

After all, if you know a criminal is guilty, what’s the harm of planting incriminating evidence if it will speed up the wheels of justice in the trial and/or punishment phase (i.e. a quick plea-bargain). The sliver of rationale for such an action seems parallel to the CBS position. The only difference I can see is that a law officer who used false evidence – no matter what the reason – would be punished.
Black, white, Hispanic – Crush Kerry notes that John Kerry can pander to any demographic group, using the same speech.
George Will nails Dan in the conclusion to an article criticizing Kerry: "On the second night of the Republican convention, Rather, perhaps determined to use some canned ad libs no matter how inapposite reality made them, declared that Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech had "slapped [Bush's] opponent, Senator John Kerry, around like a hockey puck." The number of times Schwarzenegger mentioned Kerry: zero."
Ted Kennedy’s boondoggle

Cost for the Big Dig: $14.6 billion (with a “B”). From the Boston Globe: “Artery tunnel springs a leakTraffic snarled; Big Dig closes lanes, seeks cause, aims for full reopening.”

Water gushed into the Central Artery's northbound tunnel for hours yesterday from a small breach in the eastern wall, backing up afternoon rush-hour traffic for miles and leaving Big Dig officials at a loss to explain where the water was coming from and what had caused the leak.
But don’t worry, because Boston officials have high-tech methods to analyze and solve the problem:

Officials and engineers were so uncertain about the origin of the water that some tasted it. The likely source, they said, was groundwater, because that portion of the tunnel sits 110 feet underground.
Unbelievable scumbags

Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards made a brief stop at the airport as he concluded his two-day bus tour to locations in West Virginia and Ohio.

Go ahead, Democrats, let's hear the stories about how the Bush people pulled a protestor's hair or shuffled an anti-war person away from a GOP event. Now tell me this isn't the lowest thing you've ever seen. You people are really consumed with hate.

Here's the AP link to the picture.
This seems like good news: "Saudis Take a Small Dose of Democracy - Results of Local Ballots May Determine Whether Electoral Experiment Is Widened" Question: do you think this would have come about if not for American pressure?

Of course, Saudi women can't drive themselves to the polls, but still.
The legacy of McCain-Feingold

It’s come to this:

Two Washington-based lawyers supporting President Bush’s re-election have registered an advocacy group, Football Fans for Truth, as a Section 527 organization allowed to accept unlimited political donations. They plan to publicize Kerry’s recent sports misstatements such as his reference to the home of the Green Bay Packers as “Lambert Field” instead of Lambeau Field.
Twenty (more) questions for Senator Splunge.
He so smart: Viking Pundit graduated from 35th best college in North America and the 44th best in the world (Hat tip to Joanne Jacobs).
Democrats, avert your eyes! – Slate’s “Election Scorecard” puts the electoral count at 329 for Bush and 209 for Kerry. And you don’t even want to see the trend at Tradesports. (Is it too late for the Torricelli Option?)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The frozen tundra of Lambert Field

"Still, it might take more than the Kennedy mystique to put the "Lambert" moment behind Kerry -- a moment Kerry aides call a slip of the tongue. The Bush campaign is planning to rehash the comment until Election Day as a way of portraying Kerry as detached from the beer-drinking, bratwurst-eating folks of Wisconsin. College Republicans in Madison, where Kerry will visit Wednesday, are planning to greet him with a new sign: "It's Lambeau, Stupid!"
Amazing Race update

Colin and Christie jumped out to a huge lead in the latest episode, but couldn’t hold it when their flight was delayed. Sensing an opportunity to knock back the most dominant team, Chip and Kim “yielded” C&C, forcing them to wait an hour before completing their next task. Colin was not happy. Dude! What did you expect? Colin & Christie have won a leg of the race five times, including the last three legs; of course the other teams are going to hold you back, given the chance. Later, we saw yet another example of a Colin-esque temper tantrum. That’s good television, I gotta tell ya.

C&C came in last, but this was yet another non-elimination round. All four teams will compete in the two-hour finale next week and I’m going to make my predictions now just in case I forget next week:

1.) Brandon and Nicole. They’ve never won a leg of the Race (I think) but, I don’t know, I just have a hunch about them. I think God is on their side.
2.) Colin and Christie. The favorites, of course, based on their record. But they’ve won three bonus trips by this point so it’s not like they’re walking away empty-handed. They won’t win the million because I sense there will be a final Colin explosion that dooms this team to second place, possibly because of lack of money.
3.) Chip and Kim. Who doesn’t love Chip? But he’s been carrying this “team” since the start. Question: has Kim ever done a Roadblock? (My kids say she dug in the sand in Egypt – that’s it after 13 episodes). Plus, they’re going to have an angry Colin on their tail.
4.) Linda and Karen (aka the Bowling Moms). The final episode of “The Amazing Race” is always more physical than previous episodes. The Moms will fall behind but they really deserve credit for getting this far.
Oh boy, I can’t wait for the updated electoral vote count

Big state poll roundup at Political Wire and it’s (mostly) bad poll numbers for Kerry all around – time to get another campaign advisor!
What media bias?

Lorie Byrd makes an excellent point here:

“The tenacity and vigor with which CBS pursued the Bush National Guard story, for five years, is incredible. What makes their bias and partisanship all the more obvious (if that is even possible) is that they did not even spend 1 millionth the amount of time they spent investigating the Bush story, looking into the Swiftboat Vets' claims relating to John Kerry's Vietnam service. The allegations against Kerry were supported by many more witnesses willing to speak on the record, and the allegations were much more relevant since Kerry's sole argument that he was qualified to be Commander-in-Chief was based on his 4 month record in Vietnam. When the Swifties' book, Unfit for Command became a blockbuster bestseller, the only mention CBS and most of the mainstream media gave it was in the context of dirty politics or an alleged coordination with the White House.”
Read the whole thing. Also from Polipundit: Here’s DJ Drummond on Rathergate and “Reverse engineering the latest lie.”
Ratings of finances at two-year high - Americans’ ratings of their personal finances have inched up to their best in more than two years, helping pull consumer confidence out of a recent slump to edge above its 18-year average.
Sidelined by too many football metaphors!
The night they drove Dan Rather down
(with apologies to The Band)

Rather Dan is my name and I talk on your TV set
Til all the bloggers came and embarrassed me again
In the summer 2004, I was biased, not really that sure
I ran with the memos that were surely forged
Now CBS wants me to fall on my sword

The night they drove Dan Rather down
A newsman bamboozled
The night they drove Dan Rather down
And all the bloggers just Googled
They went “Na na na na na na na…..”

Back at his anchordesk Dan said “They’re coming after me”
“Why didn’t I see that the notes were forgeries?”
“I got taken in by a left-wing nerd
Making copies on Microsoft Word”
“No excuse to be made, my career’s at an end
I wonder if they’re hiring at CNN”

The night they drove Dan Rather down
He was spinning faster
The night they drove Dan Rather down
To the bloggers’ laughter
They went: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….”

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

America’s police force stands with Bush

For all his blather about supporting the “first responders,” Senator Splunge couldn’t be bothered to answer some of their questions. From The Hill: “Snubbed cops union backs Bush

The nation’s biggest police union has voted to endorse President Bush, after Sen. John Kerry failed to respond to its candidate questionnaire.

The 318,000-member Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) made its decision at its national board meeting in Albuquerque on Sept. 10. This is the first time in the group’s history that it has made a unanimous endorsement, FOP Executive Director Jim Pasco said.

He said the Kerry campaign declined to return the group’s lengthy and detailed questionnaire despite repeated reminders, angering union members.

“Not only are we strongly supporting Bush,” Pasco said, “we’re mad at Kerry. Our members feel he treated them without respect — 318,000 cops. He’s galvanized our base against him. It’s just stupid.”

I know everybody’s going heavy with the CBS media bias/forgeries scandal, but this kind of lapse demonstrates why Kerry cannot be trusted.
Who said Ohio would be this year’s Florida?

It’s not close at all. A new Strategic Vision poll shows a double-digit lead for President Bush in the Buckeye State. 52% - 42% in a two-way race and 52% - 40% - 1% with Nader in the mix.

Speaking of Florida, Survey USA shows a 51% - 45% lead for President Bush. We’re cruising.
David Limbaugh reviews “The bizarre candidacy of John Kerry
Keep scrolling: Silent Running has a long line of great posts over the past couple days. Check it out.
Mama T says: "People who don't love me are idiots"

From today's NY Post Page Six:
Potential First Lady Teresa Heinz Kerry says she gets unfairly characterized as a cold fish because she's so rich. In an interview with designer Kenneth Cole for the October Harper's Bazaar, Kerry sniffs, "[People] think that if you have money you have no feelings or conscience. But when people get to know me, if I was any of that, they wouldn't dare hug me, kiss me and speak to me in personal terms."
Ain't she a pip?
A good offense is the best defense: “In short, Kerry is no longer expanding into Republican turf as much as he is defending his own.”
Typewriter for sale

This EBay listing is hilarious: “RARE 1961 IBM 72 SELECTRIC TYPEWRITER GREAT FOR FORGING - CREATE YOUR FORGED DOCUMENTS RIGHT THE 1ST TIME – CBS” High bidder: Karl Rove! (Hat tip to Q and O).

Monday, September 13, 2004

Here’s my “feedback” on the CBS memo

While others are contacting typewriter and handwriting experts, I couldn’t get the word “feedback” out of my head. Was this word really part of the American vernacular in 1972? Well, according to the Word Detective, it certainly existed in 1920 as a term used in electrical engineering.

But then the Ace of Spades blog cites the Oxford English Dictionary as noting that the word “feedback” was first used in the non-scientific context for guitar reverberation in 1971. But it’s unclear when the term first gains popularity as a term for “response.”

It seems almost moot to focus on this etymology puzzle when it’s now abundantly clear that the CBS memos are forgeries, but it’s sure fun.
Monday Night Football - Green Bay leads Carolina 10-7 at halftime. Right before the mid-game break, they flashed the camera on Condi Rice! She's so cool.
What media bias? - Tim Blair on a piece in Time magazine about Kerry, Bush, and the forged memos: “Ripley’s piece is possibly the most grotesque example of evasive, disingenuous, smoke-and-mirrors journalism committed this year.”
John KerryComedian
State update - It's all good

Bush up by 8% in Wisconsin
Leading by 1% in Pennsylvania
Ralph Nader is on the ballot in Florida.

Extra: Jayson makes a good point that I overlooked: President Bush’s job approval in that Pennsylvania poll stands at 54%.

So, if President Bush's JA rating in Pennsylvania stays at or around the level at which Rasmussen has pegged it, you can turn out the lights, Jack, because the party will be over. In that event, there simply will not be enough dead voters in Philly to tip the Keystone State to John Kerry. And if President Bush takes the Keystone State, this election is heading towards an historic landslide.
If Pennsylvania goes to Bush, there’s absolutely no way Senator Splunge can gain the presidency.
Kerry's position on Iraq - A mystery wrapped in a flip-flop

Democrats will criticize President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq but, to his credit, Bush has made his position crystal-clear and open for debate. On the other side, after a year-and-a-half of conflict, insurrection and progress, nobody can figure out where John Kerry stands with regard to Iraq. Here’s the lead editorial in the Washington Post today:

The agonizing difficulties in Iraq give rise to two legitimate questions: Was the war a mistake, and what is to be done now? The second is the more vital, but both are important subjects for the campaign. President Bush has unambiguous answers. He believes the war was right and necessary, and he maintains that his plan of training Iraqi forces while facilitating elections will help Iraq move toward stability and democracy. Both positions are subject to challenge, and we will be returning to them in future editorials. But it isn't clear where Sen. John F. Kerry stands on either point.
Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke echoes this bafflement with his article today “Confusion Reigns About What Kerry Would Do in Iraq

What's missing from Kerry's speeches is any declaration that "we've got to win this war" or "we'll stay 'til we prevail." Americans may be dubious about whether the Iraq war was "worth it" - but they certainly don't want to lose it. That's why they trust Bush more than Kerry.
Why wouldn’t they? Nobody has the slightest idea where John Kerry stands on arguably the most important issue facing the nation today.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Uh-oh! Meathead’s going to say something to annoy Archie!

The Kerry campaign has descended to the level of bad sitcom predictability, with tired catchphrases and hackneyed scripts. For any issue, the sequence of events follows the same pattern for Kerry: 1.) overwrought denunciation of policy coupled with 2.) a calculated nod to the other side of the argument (aka “flip-flop”) summed up with 3.) absolutely no plan or solution to stated issue.

According to today’s NY Times, Senator Splunge called up to accuse the White House of bungling the dangerous situation in North Korea. “A nuclear nightmare,” moans Kerry. Surely such a glaring error would have an equally obvious solution, right?

When Mr. Kerry was pressed about how he would handle the threat of a North Korean nuclear test if he was in the Oval Office, he declined to be prescriptive, other than to say…
Wait for it….

…that the issue would probably have to be taken to the United Nations Security Council.
[In the voice of Colonel Klink] “Kerry!”

"Hypothetical questions are not real," he said, arguing that North Korea was a case for preventive diplomacy, and that Mr. Bush's "ideologically driven" approach had kept him from truly engaging North Korea.
Heyyyyy, sit on it, hypothetical terrorists!”

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Kerry Vote Watch

The Senate took the entire month of August off but now it’s back, ready to represent the people and pass important legislation. Oh, but not Prince Kerry (or his sidekick, the Breck Girl). He won’t represent the state of Massachusetts – bigger fish to fry!

The Senate has been in session since January and Man-of-the-People John Kerry still has not labored what most people consider a full work-week.

Days worked: 4
Votes missed: 155 / 172 = 90.1%
Yearly salary of a U.S. Senator: $154,700
Money earned for each day of work so far: $38,675
Number of paychecks Kerry has returned to the Senate: 0
Rathergate update from Investors Business Daily: “CBS' bias made it vulnerable to a hoax that fit nicely with the network's left-leaning culture.”

Meanwhile, Cadet Happy has a cartoon demonstrating Dan Rather's Old Media role. Heh-heh.
The Presidential race is close in Utah! And, of course, I’m joking.
Tom Daschle in trouble? I’m sure he’s deeply disappointed.
The case against John Kerry from Right Wing News
He’s a little more than miffed: Mark Noonan is not at all happy being labeled as a “racist” by the Kerry campaign.