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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
RNC Day 2 thoughts

Arnold Schwarzenegger: A VERY good speech. His delivery was off the charts. There were plenty of comedic moments, which will of course be taken far too seriously by many. The type of person that got their panties in a bunch over the girlie-men comment from a while back will of course be livid. The detractors are going to lambaste the "I'll be back" and "girlie-men" and "you're as good a politician as you were an actor" parts, but that's who Arnold is. He's not going to come out and give a 20 minute speech in the manner of Ferris Beuller's Ben Stein. He's going to crack jokes, and they're going to help the serious message go over better, and they did.

First Daughter Jenna & Barbara Bush: They didn't do too badly for people who don't do this type of thing for a living. The material wasn't that bad, but the delivery needed a ton of work. It didn't come anywhere close to sounding natural. Other people would certainly have given a more practiced and professional introduction, but ultimately I think they were there for the humanizing factor rather than to be prim and proper and polished.

First Lady Laura Bush: It wasn't spectacular, but I think it was certainly better than Heinz Kerry's speech at the DNC.

Ideally I suppose it would have been better to have Laura go first and then have Arnold close the night out.

From Schwarzenegger's speech:

Now, my family didn't have a car. But one day we were in my uncle's car. It was near dark as we came to the Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy. I was not an action hero back then.


But I remember. I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I would never see them again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot. Today, the world no longer fears the Soviet Union, and it is because of the United States of America.
The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

SCHWARZENEGGER: But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.


Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?"

My friend said, "He's a Republican."

I said, "Then I am a Republican."
In this country, it doesn't make any difference where you were born. It doesn't make any difference who your parents were. It doesn't make any difference if you're like me and couldn't even speak English until you were in your 20s. America gave me opportunities, and my immigrant dreams came true.

I want other people to get the same chances I did, the same opportunities. And I believe they can. That's why I believe in this country, that's why I believe in this party, and that's why I believe in this president.
SCHWARZENEGGER: My fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know if you are a Republican? Well, I tell you how. If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican.


If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican.


If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a Republican.


If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican.


If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope for democracy, then you are a Republican.


SCHWARZENEGGER: And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican.


Now, there's another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy. And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie-men.

--Washington Post

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:48 PM in Politics/Government
Gen. Tommy Franks endorses President Bush

And Blogs For Bush scoops Hannity who had been teasing it all afternoon.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:38 PM in Politics/Government
RNC Day 1 thoughts

Senator John McCain: I imagine it read better than it sounded. Not the best job of oration. It had some good lines, but until the last couple sentences he never really seemed to give it much oomph.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Everything McCain's speech wasn't. A very strong delivery. On paper McCain's probably looked better but Giuliani had an energy about him that really made him the star of the night.

You know, it's going to be awfully hard for the Dems to work the "They're only in New York to exploit 9/11!" angle when you've got Mayor Giuliani there talking about how 9/11 is such a big part of why President Bush should be reelected. If Rudy thinks it's ok, who is Terry McAuliffe to argue?

Between McCain and Giuliani they did a pretty good job of laying out the Republicans' perspective on 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the War in Terror. A few selections from their speeches...

Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


MCCAIN: Not our political opponents. And certainly... not a disingenuous film maker...


MCCAIN: ... who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact -- when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.


Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.

MCCAIN: My friends, the central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can't be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.

We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime, we gave hope to people long oppressed, that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.

--Washington Post

At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, "Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president."


GIULIANI: I say it again tonight. I say it again tonight: Thank God that George Bush is our president, and thank God...


And thank God that Dick Cheney, a man with his experience and his knowledge and his strength and his background is our vice president.
And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid.


It doesn't matter to him how he is demonized. It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.


They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists. Leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present, and it's set on a future of real peace and security.


GIULIANI: Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.


President Bush has the courage of his convictions.

In choosing a president, we really don't choose just a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or a liberal. We choose a leader.


And in times of war and danger, as we're now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.

There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.


One of my heroes, Winston Churchill, saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a war-mongering gadfly.

GIULIANI: Another one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, saw and described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire," while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and even belittled Ronald Reagan's intelligence.

President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.


John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision. This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry. I respect him for his service to our nation.


But it is important and critical to see the contrast in approach between the two men: President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts and goes back and forth; and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often, even on important issues.
Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered thousands and thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction; he was himself a weapon of mass destruction.


GIULIANI: But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.

To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and to rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is nothing to be defensive about. It's something for which all those involved, from President Bush to the brave men of our armed services, should be proud. They did something wonderful. They did something that history will give them great credit for.

--Washington Post

It's just a shame Rudy couldn't have spoken on a night when the networks were carrying the convention.

A quick ad suggestion for the Bush team: Just stick people like Rudy, and McCain, and Koch and maybe Ron Silver in front of the camera. Have them talk about how important the fight against Terror is. Have them talk about President Bush's leadership. Compare that leadership to Kerry's. Those are the commercials I want to see.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:47 AM in Politics/Government

Monday, August 30, 2004
Damn those Republican hatemongers!

Wait, you mean it's the leftists attacking peaceful protestors? Then nevermind.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:33 PM in Politics/Government
The NY Times hits on a pet peeve of mine, and thus receives a fisking
Abolish the Electoral College

When Republican delegates nominate their presidential candidate this week, they will be doing it in a city where residents who support George Bush have, for all practical purposes, already been disenfranchised.

Well there's some bleeped up logic. By that rationale, every person that votes for the person that loses the election is disenfranchised. Americans do not vote for president, they vote on how to allocate their states electors for president. To suggest that just because they vote for the losing side in their state they've been disenfranchised is simply asinine.

Barring a tsunami of a sweep, heavily Democratic New York will send its electoral votes to John Kerry and both parties have already written New York off as a surefire blue state.

Right... because it is.

The Electoral College makes Republicans in New York, and Democrats in Utah, superfluous. It also makes members of the majority party in those states feel less than crucial.

Awww... do da wittle voters feel bad. :(

The same could be said of an election where the issue is whether people should kick puppies. The clear majority is going to be against it but there's always going to be a couple sick bastards who think it's a dandy idea. The majority isn't going to feel important. The crackpots are going to feel "superfluous". That doesn't mean you give the crackpots more power just so everyone feels like it's a close race and their vote matters.

It's hard to tell New York City children that every vote is equally important - it's winner take all here, and whether Senator Kerry beats the president by one New York vote or one million, he will still walk away with all 31 of the state's electoral votes.

Every vote in the state of New York is equally important. No one person in New York has more input into how to allocate those electoral votes than anyone else.

The Electoral College got a brief spate of attention in 2000, when George Bush became president even though he lost the popular vote to Al Gore by more than 500,000 votes. Many people realized then for the first time that we have a system in which the president is chosen not by the voters themselves, but by 538 electors.

In other words, many people didn't learn squat in Social Studies. That's ok, lots of people didn't learn much in Social Studies. For instance, the New York Times Editorial Page seems to have missed the day when they were supposed to learn that the United States is a Republic and not a Democracy.

It's a ridiculous setup, which thwarts the will of the majority,

The will of the majority should be thwarted at times. Majorities tend to do stupid things. A few decades ago the courts thwarted the will of the majority in the fight for Civil Rights. Being the will of a majority doesn't make a decision right, and the founders knew that. They set up Congress so that, while the House gave more representation to the bigger states, the Senate protected the rights of the smaller states by giving every state an equal representation. The Electoral College does the same thing, for the same reasons. California and New York shouldn't be able to gang up and vote in a guy who's platform is "Let's screw the small states!"

distorts presidential campaigning

How exactly does it do this? It makes the candidates go where the people are undecided. I'd ask whether they thought candidates should fight for areas that are already decided, but this is the New York Times, what they really mean is that New York and California don't get enough attention while those damn little states like Arkansas and New Mexico get all the attention.

and has the potential to produce a true constitutional crisis. There should be a bipartisan movement for direct election of the president.

I really hope they explain that constitutional crisis bit later on, I'm sure it's a doozy.

The main problem with the Electoral College is that it builds into every election the possibility, which has been a reality three times since the Civil War, that the president will be a candidate who lost the popular vote.

This is bad why? Again, I'll point out that this is a Republic and not a Democracy. Pure Democracy can lead to very bad things.

This shocks people in other nations who have been taught to look upon the United States as the world's oldest democracy.

Those poor, misguided other nations. But you can't blame them, if the New York Times hasn't figured out the Republic thing, how can we expect Germany to have done it. The worst ideal pushed on newly free states is that majority rule, democracy, is enough to make a stable, workable state.

The Electoral College also heavily favors small states.

Damn right, and for a very good reason. I don't want to be repeating myself, but there need to be protections against tyranny by the majority. There need to be assurances that the states with 51% of the population can't kick around the greater number of states with the other 49%.

The fact that every one gets three automatic electors - one for each senator and a House member - means states that by population might be entitled to only one or two electoral votes wind up with three, four or five.

Oh look they did learn something in Social Studies!

The majority does not rule and every vote is not equal - those are reasons enough for scrapping the system.

No they're not. They're the very reason that the system was established. This is a noteworthy point they're making here. They're not simply arguing that things have changed since the nation was established. This is an argument against the very intent of our Founders. The lack of majority rule and voters in one state having more input in a presidential election wasn't an oversight by the Founders... IT WAS THEIR INTENT! They intended to protect the smaller states against the possible tyranny of the larger ones. They meant to ensure that majority rule wasn't the means for electing the president. They intended it to work this way and the New York Times thinks they were wrong.

But there are other consequences as well. This election has been making clear how the Electoral College distorts presidential campaigns. A few swing states take on oversized importance, leading the candidates to focus their attention, money and promises on a small slice of the electorate.

Of course they do, but abolishing the Electoral College isn't going to eliminate it, it'll just change it. Instead of focusing on states that are undecided they'll focus on the areas where they can reach the largest number of people. Getting rid of the Electoral College won't make the candidates go after everyone, it'll just make them go wherever there are the most people. Take away the Electoral College and Alaska and Georgia are not going to get any more visits from candidates. Places like Arkansas, Arizona, and New Mexico will be losing attention from the candidates and places with lots of people like California and New York will get a lot more.

We are hearing far more this year about the issue of storing hazardous waste at Yucca Mountain, an important one for Nevada's 2.2 million residents, than about securing ports against terrorism, a vital concern for 19.2 million New Yorkers.

So instead the issue of Yucca Mountain should disappear? You eliminate the Electoral College and the only issues that matter will be those in the big states. The Electoral College is meant to raise the issues that are important to those 2.2 million residents. It's meant to make them important. It's meant to make the candidates think about more than New York and LA.

The political concerns of Cuban-Americans, who are concentrated in the swing state of Florida, are of enormous interest to the candidates. The interests of people from Puerto Rico scarcely come up at all, since they are mainly settled in areas already conceded as Kerry territory. The emphasis on swing states removes the incentive for a large part of the population to follow the campaign, or even to vote.

So instead they'd prefer that the candidates focus only on the areas of high population and ignore those that don't.

Those are the problems we have already experienced.

They seem to be using the term "problems" very loosely.
The arcane rules governing the Electoral College have the potential to create havoc if things go wrong.

And prevent havoc if it goes right.

Electors are not required to vote for the candidates they are pledged to, and if the vote is close in the Electoral College, a losing candidate might well be able to persuade a small number of electors to switch sides. Because there are an even number of electors - one for every senator and House member of the states, and three for the District of Columbia - the Electoral College vote can end in a tie. There are several plausible situations in which a 269-269 tie could occur this year.

In the case of a tie, the election goes to the House of Representatives,

Oh, look, they did.

where each state delegation gets one vote - one for Wyoming's 500,000 residents and one for California's 35.5 million.

Which, *GASP* is exactly what the Founders intended. See above RE: protecting the rights of the minority, Republic vs. Democracy, kicking puppies, etc... In the event of a tie the Founders ensured that the small states wouldn't be kicked around by the big states.

The Electoral College's supporters argue that it plays an important role in balancing relations among the states, and protecting the interests of small states.

What kind of crazy person would say that? Oh yeah... me.

A few years ago, this page was moved by these concerns to support the Electoral College.

Ok, so they were right at one point.

But we were wrong.


The small states are already significantly overrepresented in the Senate, which more than looks out for their interests.

And who decides what is an adequate level of looking out for their interests? The small states have their protection in the Legislative branch, why should they be stripped of their protections in the Executive.

And there is no interest higher than making every vote count.

--The New York Times

Again, just because you vote for a loser doesn't mean your vote didn't count. And likewise, even if your choice wins in a landslide your vote still counts. Your vote counts absolutely in choosing who your states electors go to. We cannot however fudge things so that everybody's happy and thinks "oh, it was a close vote, so my vote counted". In some places it's just a landslide and cosmetically changing things so that it doesn't seem like a landslide doesn't actually make the vote count any more or any less.

Oh, and one more feature of the Electoral College that the NY Times failed to mention is that it compartmentalizes the election process. They complain that there could be "havoc" in a couple of situations where the vote might end up going to the House. That's noting compared to the bedlam that might happen without the Electoral College. You saw the turmoil that was Florida 2000. Imagine if the President were elected solely on the popular vote and that vote were close enough to require a recount. That chaos we saw in Florida would be nationwide as every precinct had the possibility to influence a close election. Hmmm, bedlam in ever precinct in every state in the nation or the vote being decided in the House of Representatives. You can guess which I'd take. Which would you take?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:01 AM in Politics/Government

Sunday, August 29, 2004

*Bleep*ed up defined:

A South African man who shot his pregnant fiance dead before killing himself will be posthumously married to her at the weekend.

Police Captain Mohale Ramatseba said David Masenta shot 25-year-old Mgwanini Molomo after a quarrel before turning the gun on himself. But Johannesburg's Sowetan newspaper said family and friends wanted to remember them as a happy couple destined for a happy life together.

The groom's corpse would be dressed in a cream suit and his bride's in a gown for the ceremony, at which a priest in the rural village of Ceres in Limpopo will bless the union before the two are buried, the Sowetan said.

"In African culture, there is no death -- there is merely the separation of body and soul," said cultural expert Mathole Motshekga. "It is also important because the families are married together."

"This does not mean the relationship has irretrievably broken down."

--Yahoo! News

YES IT DOES! He shot and killed her and then killed himself! The relationship is over! Done! Kaput! IT IS AN EX-RELATIONSHIP!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:25 PM in Miscellaneous

RNCBloggers rounds up all the bloggers at the Republican Convention on one page.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:18 PM in Politics/Government
I'll second that
But a funny thing has happened- I am starting to believe [the Swift Boat Vets]- at least some of the claims. The Democrats response of attack, retreat, sue, intimidate, malign has been unimpressive. The cripple stunts with Max Cleland have been uninspiring and seem like they are straight out of South Park. The worst has been the reaction of the press and other Kerry supporters (does Douglas Brinkley have any credibility left, whatsoever?), who have behaved like there is something to hide.

At any rate, the Democrats have given it all they have, and the Vets have held up. Meanwhile, I have learned the following:

- Kerry did not volunteer, per se. He tried for a deferment, but was turned down. Then he was given the option to volunteer for the Navy over the Army.

- Despite his campaign continuing to lie about it, Swift Boats were not as dangerous as they turned out to be when he volunteered to be on them.

- We have learned that Kerry clearly lied about Cambodia, including during SENATE TESTIMONY, in which the lie was used to INFLUENCE NATIONAL POLICY.

- Kerry has admitted the first purple heart was from a self-inflicted wound, and it is pretty clear that he gamed the system to get that first one (mind you- I don't begrudge him- how many others would have done the same thing- it was a fucked up war).

- We know that he has three different citations for his Silver Star, each one more glowing than the other, each written after Kerry became moreand more influential in Washington.

- We know that his Silver Star information on his DD 214 is incorrect or falsified.

- We know that in 2001, his record was again amended, this time adding 4 bronze stars for campaign service, when according to Navy Spokesmen he does not deserve two of them.

- We know that his records are inaccurate, and that he has only displayed certain records- cherrypicking, if you will, and refusing to release others.

- I know that his campaign lied about numerous aspects of the Swift Vets relationship with Kerry, including the ridiculous 'they weren't on the boat' meme.

--Baloon Juice

Some of the things the Swift Vets for Truth have said haven't been shown to be true, a good number of them however certainly appear to be true and the Democrats' continued attempts to smear the vets rather than argue what really happened doesn't help their case.

You want to show that the Swift Vets are nutjobs? Simply walking up to a camera, mic, or keyboard and screaming "THEY'RE NUTJOBS EXECUTING A SMEAR CAMPAIGN" doesn't cut it. Whining about nonexistent collaboration with the Bush campaign isn't going to cut it . You want to make them out as nutjobs? Show that Kerry was in Cambodia, or that he never claimed he was. Show that the first Purple Heart wasn't self-inflicted. Release all of Kerry's records. Show that Kerry hasn't played up his war record, that he was the war hero his convention made him out to be.

But it seems they're either unable or unwilling to do that. And that leaves many people no choice but to give the Swift Vets' stories some weight.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:11 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, August 27, 2004
Lileks on Kerry
So why does Kerry want to be president?

The reason is almost tautological: John Kerry wants to be president because he is John Kerry, and John Kerry is supposed to be president. Hence his campaign's flummoxed and tone-deaf response to the swift boat vets. Ban the books, sue the stations, retreat, attack. Underneath it all you can sense the confusion. How dare they attack Kerry? He's supposed to be president. It's almost treason in advance.

It's not enough to believe you should be president. Clueless mortals need some hints. Is he motivated by a broad ideological agenda? There's no Kerry Doctrine, no Kerry Approach, no Tony-Blair-style "third way" gambit. There's just Lurch, lurching.

The war? He's said he would have gone to Iraq even if he knew then what he knows now — he just would have done it differently, whatever that means. He has endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war — but of course he would do it differently. It all seems to boil down to getting the French and the Germans on board so they can complain about the food and the quality of the sheets. He's pro-war when it counts, anti-war when it matters.

Inconsistencies are irrelevant, because he's consistently John Kerry. And he's supposed to be president.

--James Lileks

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:21 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, August 26, 2004
20 questions for Kerry

From Peter Kirsanow at NRO.

1. The Bush campaign maintains that you spent 20 years in the Senate with no signature legislative achievements. What do you consider to be the five most important pieces of legislation that you've authored?

a. What's the most important piece of legislation regarding intelligence you've authored?

b. What's the most important piece of antiterrorism legislation you've authored?

c. What's the most important piece of health-care legislation you've authored?

d. What's the most important piece of education legislation you've authored?

2. You'd agree that on paper, Dick Cheney's experience and qualifications dwarf those of your running mate. Why would John Edwards make a better president during the war on terror than Dick Cheney?

a. It's been widely reported that John McCain was your first choice as running mate. If true, why did you prefer Senator McCain to Senator Edwards?

3. Earlier this year you told Tim Russert that you'd release all of your military records, yet you've failed to do so and you refuse to release your Vietnam journal. Why shouldn't the public infer that the contents of these documents would undermine your credibility or otherwise damage your candidacy?

a. When will you release the documents?

4. You've stated that you believe that life begins at conception yet you voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions. At precisely what point is a life worth protecting?

a. Is there any limitation on abortion (waiting periods, parental notification) for which you'd vote? If so, what?

5. You've promised to repeal much of the Bush tax cut and while in the Senate you voted to raise taxes an average of five times per year. If current economic trends remain largely unchanged during a Kerry presidency, would you seek additional tax increases?

a. How would you raise taxes and what are the highest marginal tax rates that you'd support?

6. You opposed the 1991 Gulf War even though Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, had invaded another country, and France and Germany had supported the war. In the current conflict no WMDs have been found, France and Germany oppose the action, and Saddam hadn't invaded another country. Yet you recently stated that knowing what you know now, you'd nonetheless authorize the use of force — even though you voted against funding it. Could you please reconcile these positions?

7. You acknowledge meeting with representatives of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in Paris in 1970. Afterward you urged Congress to accept the North Vietnamese proposals. Please explain how this wasn't a violation of the Logan Act and, if you were still in the Naval Reserves at that time, how it wasn't a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibiting unauthorized communications with the enemy.

8. In several speeches before black audiences you've stated that a million African Americans were disenfranchised and had their votes stolen in the 2000 presidential election. There are no official or media investigations that support that statement. What evidence do you have to support the statement and if you believe a million blacks had their votes stolen, why haven't you called for criminal prosecutions and congressional investigations?

9. Do you dispute the National Journal's assessment that you're the nation's most liberal senator? If you do, which senators do you consider to be more liberal and why?

10. Why did you propose cutting the intelligence budget by $6 billion in 1994?

--Peter Kirsanow on National Review Online

Go read the rest, they're serious questions that should be answered.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:51 PM in Politics/Government
"You can't have it both ways."

The response to Kerry after he trotted out a crippled veteran/former congressman to deliver his mail:

August 25, 2004

Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Kerry,

We are pleased to welcome your campaign representatives to Texas today. We honor all our veterans, all whom have worn the uniform and served our country. We also honor the military and National Guard troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today. We are very proud of all of them and believe they deserve our full support.

That’s why so many veterans are troubled by your vote AGAINST funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, after you voted FOR sending them into battle. And that’s why we are so concerned about the comments you made AFTER you came home from Vietnam. You accused your fellow veterans of terrible atrocities – and, to this day, you have never apologized. Even last night, you claimed to be proud of your post-war condemnation of our actions.

We’re proud of our service in Vietnam. We served honorably in Vietnam and we were deeply hurt and offended by your comments when you came home.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it.

You said in 1992 “we do not need to divide America over who served and how.” Yet you and your surrogates continue to criticize President Bush for his service as a fighter pilot in the National Guard.

We are veterans too – and proud to support President Bush. He’s been a strong leader, with a record of outstanding support for our veterans and for our troops in combat. He’s made sure that our troops in combat have the equipment and support they need to accomplish their mission.

He has increased the VA health care budget more than 40% since 2001 – in fact, during his four years in office; President Bush has increased veterans funding twice as much as the previous administration did in eight years ($22 billion over 4 years compared to $10 billion over 8.) And he’s praised the service of all who served our country, including your service in Vietnam.

We urge you to condemn the double standard that you and your campaign have enforced regarding a veteran’s right to openly express their feelings about your activities on return from Vietnam.


Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
Rep. Duke Cunningham
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Rep. Sam Johnson
Lt. General David Palmer
Robert O'Malley, Medal of Honor Recipient
James Fleming, Medal of Honor Recipient
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Castle (Ret.)

--Blogs for Bush

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:25 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Outing Hollywood Republicans
It just so happens that, in its September issue, Details magazine is outing Hollywood GOP sympathizers. The magazine claims that, in order to address the celebrity deficit that the GOP currently has, the Republican National Committee has unveiled a list of stars who veer toward the Republican side of the aisle.

Some of the names, like Jessica Simpson and Shannen Doherty, are already known. But others are more unexpected, like Adam Sandler and Freddie Prinze Jr., although Prinze's wife Sarah Michelle Gellar has been known to lean right in the past.

In a related article, Sony producer Mike DeLuca has stepped up and acknowledged his Republican affiliation, describing the reaction in Hollywood as the equivalent of being “exposed as a serial killer.� DeLuca pointed out some lefty hypocrisy, saying, "They scream about the environment before they hop onto their private jets and blow 8,000 pounds of fuel getting to the Hamptons."

One of the celebs named in the Details article has responded to the outing incident via her publicist and has done so in an entertaining and quasi-historical manner. The star is Mandy Moore, and the New York Post has reported the response as, "Mandy is not, nor has she ever been, a Republican."

--Newsmax (Hat tip Michael King)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:39 PM in Politics/Government
You want to talk about ties between a campaign and 527s?

Try these.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:58 PM in Politics/Government
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the lies, untruths, and misleading spin being put out by the Left.

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If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:53 PM in Politics/Government
Thank you NBC...

For bringing us scenes like this.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:11 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The story we must tell

Orson Scott Card has yet another excellent article.

Here's the story we need to tell:

Every action of Al-Qaeda is part of Osama's cynical plan to become the Caliph of Islam. He is persuading young Muslim men to kill themselves in order to further his own climb to absolute power over all Muslims, and then (he hopes) over the whole world.

These young Muslim men, Osama says, are "martyrs," but every Muslim knows that martyrs are killed by the enemy, not self-murdered in order to kill innocents.

Because they believe Osama's teachings, these young men cut themselves off from a lifetime of service to God, a lifetime of fathering children who would grow up to serve God. Instead they die in service of Osama's ambition.

They are, in effect, suffering the same fate as the eunuchs who served as loyal slaves in the court of the Sultan in Istanbul. Cut off from the hope of having families of their own, their lives were spent in the service of Sultans who claimed to be religious leaders but were really nothing more than vicious exploiters and oppressors of the Muslim people.

It is a cruel trick that Osama plays on these brave young men. He takes their faith in God and their willingness to die in the service of Islam, and he twists their beliefs so that instead of serving God and following the Koran, they give up their own families and defy God in order to make themselves eunuchs in Osama's future palace.

The same can be said of the Palestinian suicide bombers, only they are eunuchs for Yasser Arafat, whose ambitions are as small as his mind: They are dying so that Yasser can be dictator of Palestine. At least you have to give Osama credit for grandiosity.

Why do you think Iran is not just developing nuclear weapons, but proclaiming that they are doing so? Because the ayatollahs are jealous of Osama and want to do something to take the leadership of radical Islam back from him. They also encourage and train young men to kill themselves in order to murder non-Muslims -- all in the service of their own ambition.

But ultimately, all these self-murdering "heroes" are not martyrs at all, they are victims of the trickery of ambitious, selfish, ruthless men.

That is the story that we must tell, over and over again. And, unlike the vile stories they tell about American motives, this story has the great advantage of being obviously and relentlessly true.

Telling this story is not enough, of course. We must also show that we are relentless in our pursuit of these ruthless enemies of civilization, and that we will allow them no shelter. The combination of our true story and their endless series of defeats will, eventually, be this:

They will no longer be able to persuade young Muslim men to become eunuchs in the service of their ambition.

--Orson Scott Card - Civilization Watch

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:04 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Aleksei Nemov

A real class act.

That's because Russia's Aleksei Nemov, the 2000 high bar champion and 12-time Olympic medalist, had the crowd at Olympic Indoor Hall buzzing with approval during his entertaining, acrobatic routine -- and then belting out boos of disapproval for the judges after a 9.725 came up, the lowest score to that point of the competition.

The booing and whistles grew louder while the judges reviewed Nemov's routine and eventually revised his score to 9.762, still not high enough for a medal. More boos ensued.

Nemov had to go back out on the floor and, after blowing the crowd a kiss, gesture for quiet.

"I want to say thank you to all the people," Nemov said after the event. "It was unbelievable. I think after this competition I might continue in China [for the 2008 Olympics]."


Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:07 PM in Miscellaneous
Democrat mayor of Youngstown endorses President Bush
Earlier today Mayor George McKelvey, Democratic mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, announced his endorsement of President George W. Bush in his reelection bid. ... "Although I have never publicly endorsed a presidential candidate, the significance of this election - an election which I view as the most important of my lifetime - has motivated me to acknowledge my support for President Bush.

"I support President Bush's proactive approach to the war on terror. He has demonstrated the strong leadership necessary to strengthen our national security. He understands that the war on terror is a war we must win to protect our freedom, for our children, grand children and great grandchildren.

"I support President Bush because I believe that our economy is experiencing a recovery, and that it will continue to improve. It is unfair, at best, to blame President Bush for the devastating impact 9-11 had on the American marketplace. Furthermore, I cannot agree with those who criticize a tax policy which allows the American people to keep more of their own money, allowing them, not the government, to decide how to best spend their money," McKelvey said.

He continued, "Senator Kerry reminds me of the traditional politician who will say anything you want to hear to get elected... This Democrat is proud to call President Bush his friend, and honored to have the opportunity to work with him on his reelection as president of the United States of America."

I suppose you could most likely add him to the list of "nonexistent" people who voted for Gore but will now be voting for President Bush.


Brian brings us this lovely post in which he makes it known that anybody who doesn't support Kerry isn't welcome in his Democratic Party. Heaven forbid people should decide based on the issues and not simply pick the person at the head of your party's ticket. To quote The Simpsons, "The Leader is good, The Leader is great! We surrender our will as of this date!"

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:58 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, August 23, 2004

Just got my hands on some Reese's Inside Outs and they're everything I was told they would be.

--Addendum-- On a semi-related note, I'm not at all impressed with the gum in the new Ice Breakers Gum & Mints Dual Pack. I'll just stick for the tin of mints from here on out. I also wish it were easier to find Eclipse Flash Strips at Krogers. All they ever seem to have are the Listerine ones and the taste of the Eclipse is just much better.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:56 PM in Miscellaneous
A bad month

Chris Lynch sums up the Kerry campaign's month of August.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:20 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, August 22, 2004
I'm back

Back home. Sorting through all the accumulated stuff. 656 pieces of spam in the spam folders on the server.... quick scroll... click... all gone....

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:05 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Off to church camp until next Sunday. Expect no blogging.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:09 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, August 13, 2004
Had the point, now here comes the counter-point

Michael Reagan will be speaking about stem cell research at the Republican National Convention.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:59 PM in Politics/Government
Hmmmm, did not know this

Julia Child, who died today at 91 worked for the OSS in WWII.

During World War II, she worked with the Office of Strategic Services, which late became the CIA, and was stationed in DC before being transferred overseas to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and China. While in the Service, she met her husband, Paul Child, who was later assigned to work in Paris. It was there, in Paris, that a chef was born.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:50 PM in Miscellaneous

Let's keep in mind that Gov. Jim McGreevey isn't simply having to resign because he's a "gay American" and had an extramarital affair.

Several sources close to McGreevey identified Golan Cipel, 35, as the ex-lover who is expected to file the suit against McGreevey in Mercer County Civil Court in Trenton.
Although he won office in a landslide three years ago, McGreevey has been buffeted by a string of political missteps and a corruption scandal that enveloped some of his closest political allies.

One of the worst missteps was the hiring of Cipel, an Israeli-born man who now lives in Manhattan.

Cipel, whom McGreevey met during a 2000 trip, later was named a $110,000-a-year aide on anti-terrorism issues.

A former poet, sailor and spokesman for the Israeli Consulate in New York, Cipel eventually quit the state post amid damaging disclosures that he couldn't even get a security clearance.

With McGreevey's help, Cipel landed a series of cushy jobs at firms controlled by Democratic fund-raisers.

--New York Daily News

It's hard to call that kind of activity good, ethical governance.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:47 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, August 12, 2004
OpinionJournal on stem cells
The way stem cells have been reported, you'd think we were in a new Dark Ages, with government-backed religious inquisitors threatening scientists on the cusp of life-saving treatments.

Reinforcing this misimpression are the headlines and commentators talking up a "ban" on research. "First lady Laura Bush defends ban on stem-cell research" is how the Philadelphia Inquirer spun Mrs. Bush's talk. A sampling of other headlines shows the Inquirer is far from alone: "Rethink the stem-cell ban" (Des Moines Register); "Stem cell ban stays, despite Reagan pleas" (Newark Star-Ledger); "Kerry says he'd reverse stem cell ban" (The Grand Rapids Press); "Kerry 'would lift stem cell ban' "(BBC), and on and on. You get the drift.

The problem is that the drift is wrong. As Mrs. Bush gently reminded her audience in Pennsylvania this week, far from banning embryonic stem cell research, George W. Bush is the first President to expand federal funding for it. The nearby table shows that, as a result of his decision, federal funding went from zero in 2000 to nearly $25 million today--and this doesn't include the many tens of millions more being spent by the private sector.
On the whole this would be a healthy debate for America to have. But the Kerry campaign seems more interested in politicizing the issue by continuing to advance claims for a ban that simply does not exist. Typical was the press release by the campaign Web site this week entitled "Edwards Calls for an End to Stem Cell Ban and a Return to Scientific Excellence in America." This is no slip: It's the same language Mr. Kerry used in his radio address when he declared he intends to "lift the ban on stem cell research." And it's the same language Hillary Clinton used during her own convention speech, drawing cheers when she invoked the "need to lift the ban on stem cell research."

All these people know better. The issue is federal subsidies. The need for a Presidential decision arose from an appropriations rider passed by Congress in the mid-1990s forbidding federal funding for any research that creates, injures or destroys human embryos.
Plainly this is one of those subjects that involves clashes of goods, in this case the sanctity of human life versus the needs of scientific research. The best way to resolve the issue of taxpayer funding is to let the American people make that decision themselves, through their elected representatives. And dealing, we hope, with the science--not just the Kerry campaign sound bites.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:14 PM in Politics/Government
It takes a special kind of person to think this is a valid criticism of Rep. Goss
"I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified," the Florida Republican [Rep. Porter Goss] told documentary-maker Michael Moore's production company during the filming of the anti-Bush movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."

A day after Bush picked Goss for the top U.S. spy job, Moore on Wednesday released an excerpt from a March 3 interview in which the 65-year-old former House of Representatives intelligence chief recounts his lack of qualifications for employment as a modern CIA staffer.

"I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably," Goss is quoted in an interview transcript.

"And I certainly don't have the technical skills, uh, as my children remind me every day: 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.' Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have."

Goss, who served with the CIA clandestine services in Latin America and Europe in the 1960s, was not immediately available for comment.


So let's sum this up real quick. Porter Goss was a spy for the CIA in Latin America and Europe in the 1960s, therefore the languages he knows are the romance languages (you know, the ones spoken in Latin America and Europe), not the Arabic languages that spies need to know today. In the 1960s integrated circuits were just being invented and computer systems looked like this.

Gee, ya think maybe the requirements to be a spy have changed a little in the past 40 years? Of course a 65 year old man doesn't meet the requirements that a 20 year old needs to meet to get a job in the CIA's Clandestine Service today. Rep. Goss is not being nominated for an entry level position at the CIA however. He is being nominated to lead the CIA. We don't require the Secretary of Defense to be able to jump from a C-130, hike 20 miles and kill bad guys. The CEO of Disney doesn't need to be able to draw. The CEO of Ford doesn't need to know how the run the CAD software. The CEO of Lion's Gate doesn't need to know how to distort and manipulate the facts in Michael Moore's films.

Porter Goss doesn't need to speak Arabic to lead the CIA.

He doesn't need to physically design and create the equipment that the field operatives use.

He doesn't need to code the encryption schemes that the CIA uses.

He needs to lead the CIA.

He needs to the intelligence community inside and out. He needs to know how the CIA works. He needs to know what doesn't work and how to fix it.

Everything seems to suggest that he is fully qualified to be Director. He is obviously not qualified to be a field operative, not many 65 year olds are. To suggest that not having the skills and knowledge to be a spy today but instead having the skills and knowledge he needed when he WAS a spy disqualifies him from being the Director of Central Intelligence is silly and asinine and quite frankly lives right up to what you’d expect of a Michael Moore criticism.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:55 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

National Lampoon's

(Thanks to Jake for the link.)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:02 PM in Politics/Government
Taking on the idea that Bush 2000 voters are switching to Kerry, but not the other way around...

Vodkapundit reports that ABC News' The Note can't seem to find a single person who voted for Gore in 2000 that will now vote for President Bush.

Vodkapundit's post lays out 7 famous people who voted for Gore and will now be voting for President Bush and the comments section is full of additional people, even some Nader voters who will be voting for President Bush. OpinionJournal also had letters from such voters back in July.

Something else is wrong with today's The Note.

Forget the latest polling out of Ohio (and perhaps Florida … .).

They're using this as something that's going against President Bush. I don't have a clue where they get that. 6 of the past 11 polls in Ohio show a Bush lead equalling or exceeding the margin of error. Only 1 of those 11 shows a Kerry lead outside the MoE. (It's 3-0 in the President's favor in the last five.) How is this a bad sign for President Bush?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:17 PM in Politics/Government
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the lies, untruths, and misleading spin being put out by the Left.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:44 PM in Politics/Government
WDTN and WKEF switching affiliations in Dayton market
Both the ABC and NBC TV networks will enter the fall season with new affiliates in Dayton, the nation's No. 59 TV market.

Beginning August 30, after NBC's Olympics coverage wraps up, LIN TV Corp.'s WDTN-TV will drop its ABC affiliation for NBC. Sinclair Broadcast Group's WKEF-TV, soon to be the former NBC affiliate in the market, will become an ABC affiliate, the company said Tuesday.

According to a recent Sinclair filing, NBC informed Sinclair in February that it would terminate its affiliation with WKEF in order to affiliate with another station in the market. WKEF's contract with NBC expired in April.

"We had a great opportunity to upgrade from a UHF to a VHF station with LIN, a partner with whom we have many positive long term affiliations," said an NBC spokesperson.


With even a rudimentary knowledge of ABC's primetime lineup I think you can figure out that WKEF is the one getting screwed in this deal.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:07 AM in TV

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
It might be funny if it weren't so true
WICHITA, KS—Delivering the central speech of his 10-day "Solution For America" bus campaign tour Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry outlined his one-point plan for a better America: the removal of George W. Bush from the White House.

"If I am elected in November, no inner-city child will have to live in an America where George Bush is president," Kerry said, addressing a packed Maize High School auditorium. "No senior citizen will lie awake at night, worrying about whether George Bush is still the chief executive of this country. And no American—regardless of gender, regardless of class, regardless of race—will be represented by George Bush in the world community."
Kerry's message resonated less strongly with one Lawrence, KS swing voter.

"Politicians make a lot of campaign promises," Lance Radda said. "Sure, this not-being-Bush policy sounds good now. But how can we be sure that Kerry will deliver on that promise once in office?"

Kerry addressed Radda's question.

"I promise you, here and now, that I will enact my one-point plan on the day I enter the Oval Office," Kerry said. "For the last three and a half years, we've had George W. Bush, and today I have this to say: We can do better!"

In his final words, Kerry changed the subject to attack Bush's record.

"During his term in office, George Bush has relentlessly continued to be president—despite the clear benefits to America his absence would bring to the lives of citizens everywhere," Kerry said. "My one-point plan for America highlights the sort of change that this country desperately needs. And my plan is something that George Bush will never, ever be able to accomplish."

--The Onion

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:02 PM in Politics/Government
Nancy Pelosi: For nominated CIA chief before she was against him

President Bush today put forward Rep. Porter Goss (chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and CIA spy in the '60s) to head the CIA.

Nancy Pelosi's thoughts on Goss in June:

“If Goss is nominated for the post, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said that she would support him. Pelosi worked closely with Goss during the congressional investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks. Whoever replaces Tenet needs to be independent of political pressure, Pelosi said. Goss, who worked for the CIA before becoming a congressman in 1988, has shown that ability as chairman of the House Intelligence panel, she added.” (“CIA To See Change In Leadership Style,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/5/04)

Nancy Pelosi's thoughts on Goss now:

“Nancy Pelosi though, did point out … that maybe Porter Goss is too political of a pick, at a time in the post-9/11 world where there should be more bipartisanship on national security. Here’s what Pelosi had to say.” PELOSI: “But I will say what I said before is that there shouldn't – a person should not be the director of central intelligence who’s acted in a very political way when we’re dealing with the safety of the American people. Intelligence has to be the gathering and analysis and dissemination of information, of intelligence, without any political, any politics involved at all.” (CNN’s “Inside Politics,” 8/10/04)

Boy, I'd hate to think the Democrats were just opposing the nomination of a man to a post vital to national security in order to hurt President Bush.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:42 PM in Politics/Government
Kerry's official story makes no sense

From Mark Steyn in the Telegraph:

[W]ith Kerry, even before any gaffes or scandals, the official narrative makes no sense. He's publicly opposed to the Vietnam War. But he volunteers for it. Then he comes back disgusted with his experience in war, publicly hurls his medals away (or someone else's: that story keeps changing), denounces his fellow veterans as war criminals, torturers and rapists, and claims that he personally committed atrocities.

But then he decides to run for president and suddenly Jane Fonda morphs into John Wayne and all those war criminals are war heroes he wants at every rally and he's got his medals back and his disgust at his wartime experience has mysteriously turned into pride in his wartime experience to the exclusion of all else.

If Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand or any of his other Hollywood supporters got a script like that, they'd send it to rewrite. Either that or they'd figure they'd got an early, rejected draft of the new Manchurian Candidate.

That's what people mean when they talk about how "complex" and "nuanced" Kerry is. They don't mean his positions on the great questions of the day are complex and nuanced.

Quite the contrary: for the purposes of this campaign, his entire political career – 20 years as Senator, Lieutenant-Governor to Michael Dukakis – has been dropped from his CV. If Kerry had exhibited the slightest trace of any interestingly complex view of any policy matter, you can be sure we'd have heard about it. But he hasn't.
For decades, John Kerry has told anyone who'd listen that at Christmas 1968 he was on an illegal mission inside Cambodia.
Just one problem. It never happened. Every living officer up his chain of command says Kerry was never ordered to Cambodia. At least three of his five crewmen say their boat was never in Cambodia.
I'm Vietnammed out. But it's the centrepiece of Kerry's campaign: the other day, asked a straightforward question about 9/11, he stuck to the current millennium for a good 20 seconds and then veered off into "the war that I fought in was a war where we saw America lose its support for the war, where the soldiers came back having had to do what our soldiers are doing today, carry an M-16 in another country, try to tell the difference between friend and foe. I know what it's like to go out at night on patrol", etc, etc. So, since Vietnam seems to be the only subject on which he has anything to say, it would be reassuring to know that at least he's got that right.

For most of his adult life John Kerry has peddled as his central Vietnam anecdote – the one that drove him to turn on his nation's leaders – what appears to be a complete fantasy. Why would he do such a thing? If there's a good answer to that question, maybe someone in his doting press pack would like to ask it.

--Mark Steyn - Telegraph

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:20 PM in Politics/Government
New life for Hubble

They had previously cancelled the missions to maintain it and were expecting it to fail when its gyroscopes gave out in '08. Looks like now they're going to fix it with a mission in 2006.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:29 PM in Technology/Internet
Sooooo... Kerry claimed he spend Christmas 1968 in Cambodia...

Add it to the pile of stuff that doesn't add up.

Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared--seared--in me, that says to me, before we send another generation into harm's way we have a responsibility in the U.S. Senate to go the last step, to make the best effort possible in order to avoid that kind of conflict.

I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.

The Kerry-friendly Globe repeated this claim as recently as mid-June.

Ignore the fact that Nixon wasn't President on December 25, 1968. The real scandal is that Kerry couldn't have been in Cambodia at that time. None of Kerry's crewmates remember Cambodia. American armed forces didn't enter Cambodia until Spring 1970, which prompted widespread protests and "four dead" at Kent State University--on May 4, 1970, not year-end 1968. Even the authorized hagiography of Kerry in Vietnam, David Brinkley's Tour of Duty, says Kerry wasn't there, in Chapter 10, second paragraph...

--No Oil for Pacifists

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:53 AM in Politics/Government

Monday, August 9, 2004
Kerry's plan to get more troops/support in Iraq if he's president?

Not really looking good at this point.

Kerry's plan, which promises to effectively shift much of the Iraq war burden from America to its allies, so far is failing to receive the international support the proposal must have to succeed.
"I understand why John Kerry is making proposals of this kind, but there is a lack of realism in them," Menzies Campbell, a British lawmaker who is a spokesman on defense issues for the Liberal Democratic Party, said in a typical comment.

Many allied countries may welcome a new team in Washington after years of friction with the Bush administration. But foreign leaders are making it clear they don't want to add enough of their own troops to allow U.S. forces to scale back to a minority share in Iraq, as Kerry has proposed.

Allies say they are ready to consider further financial aid and other help for the fragile new Iraqi government. But some officials overseas already are fretting about Kerry's talk of burden-shifting.

"Some Europeans are rather concerned that Mr. Kerry might have expectations for relief [from abroad] that are going to be hard to meet," said one senior European diplomat in a statement echoed in several capitals.
The French and German governments have made clear that sending troops is out of the question. British officials have made no such categorical statement, but they have expressed concern that their troops are overstretched.

Although Japan has supplied a 550-member noncombat force as a symbol of its international commitment, analysts there see little chance the nation would agree to send more.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Andrei Denisov, ruled out a commitment of troops. "We are not going to send anybody there, and that's all there is to say," Denisov said.

--Yahoo! News/LA Times

The article also mentions that 88% of troops in Iraq are American. Drawing from an earlier post, I'll remind you that the great, UN backed, international effort that was the Korean War featured an international force that was... 88% American.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:25 PM in Politics/Government
Scott O'Grady on the election
“President Bush has shown through his decisive leadership that we will take a stand against terrorism. Because of his leadership, we have made major changes in our government to help us against this war, such as the Homeland Security Department, the PATRIOT Act, and a proactive policy of fighting terrorists on their own soil before they come and kill us in our country.

“I believe that it's President Bush's personal values, morals and his clear determination not to allow the terrorists to succeed and to take a proactive role against them, and to view it for what it is - a war - not a criminal act that we need to fight with law enforcement, as the previous administration did and failed.”
Capt. O’Grady is equally vocal about his distaste for candidate John Kerry as a potential commander in chief:

“I can tell you that I, Scott O'Grady, do not see him fit. I have had nightmares about this. Let me put it this way. I have myself have heard John Kerry testify that he committed war atrocities, where he came out and admitted that he is a war criminal. That he was involved in activities in Vietnam where he hurt innocent civilians.

“There is a big difference between war operations where civilians are hurt or killed in collateral damage. It's a tragedy of war versus actually targeting civilians, which is a criminal act. It's against our military laws of warfare. It is an unlawful act to purposely target non-combatants.

“I've heard from Senator Kerry's mouth when he testified after coming back from Vietnam that he purposely took part in activities that targeted civilians.

"The other reason I don't see him fit is his Senate record. His voting record does not support the military: the supplies they need, the pay they receive, the support for their families. I think it would be a major mistake for the American people to vote for John Kerry.”

When a cyber-questioner looks to the controversial Patriot Act as an indication that Bush has overstepped, O’Grady fires back:

“The misleading myth that the Patriot Act has carte blanche authority to violate civil liberties is a lie. All the Patriot Act does primarily is to allow federal agencies to communicate more effectively with one another to fight the War on Terror with intelligence and allows federal agencies to investigate terrorist groups just as if they were organized criminals, i.e. the Mafia.

“Federal wire-tapping was allowed before the Patriot Act to follow individuals. All the Patriot Act does is to take policies already in place to fight crime to be allowed to fight terrorism. I will also note that there has not been one instance of reported abuse because of the Patriot Act.”


Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:42 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, August 8, 2004
Pay no attention to the dirty tricks behind the curtain!

Remember, it's the evil Republicans that go negative; they're the ones who practice the politics of personal destruction. The Democrats are the party of super-fun-happy-optimism.

The Democrat National Committee has prepared a full-scale assault against the Vietnam Veterans for Truth to draw their character and veracity into question, according to one anonymous source inside the DNC. The campaign of character assassination is scheduled to coincide with the release of the book Unfit for Command which reveals inconvenient facts for the Kerry campaign.

“We have prepared what we call ‘Brown Books’ that contain damaging military records, personal credit histories, medical histories, psychiatric histories, divorce records, you name it,” our source told us. "We've got the goods on the Veterans who oppose Kerry."
When asked if this was just another example of John Kerry slandering Vietnam Vets – like he did in 1971 as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War – our source snapped, “No! This is warfare. The only way we’re going to get out of this is to force everyone to question their motives and credibility.”

“If they want to spread rumors and stories about John Kerry, we’ll spread rumors and stories about them. And some of the things they did in Vietnam were a lot worse than what they say John Kerry did,” our source concluded ominously.

Geez, maybe they could "get out of this" if they would actually, I don't know, dispute the facts rather than fling mud at the messengers. If the best you can do is say they have a chip on their shoulder from Kerry's post-Vietnam activity, and lie and say that people didn't serve with him simply because they weren't on the same 6-person boat as him and claim that the person who says he treated Kerry didn’t sign the paperwork, while not actually saying he didn’t treat Kerry... well if that's the best you can do it kinda makes people wonder if these people might not be telling the truth and have a point.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:54 PM in Politics/Government

Saturday, August 7, 2004
Swift Vets for Truth responds to the Dems' attempts to silence them

Kerry and the Democratic party are threatening to sue stations that carry the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' ad.

The group is now responding. Castle Argghhh! has the text of their letter.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:57 PM in Politics/Government
Baseball owners will be asked to approve a three-year extension for commissioner Bud Selig that will run through 2009, The Associated Press learned.

The extension will be presented for a vote when owners meet in Philadelphia on Aug. 19, a high-ranking baseball official said Friday on the condition of anonymity. Approval of the extension appears certain and could be unanimous.
Selig had said in the past that he intended to leave at the end of his current term, but he hinted at a change in his stance during the All-Star Game, saying his time in office has "at least 2 1/2 (years) and maybe more to go."

--Selig extension would go through 2009

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:14 PM in Baseball
Returning to childhood

Victor Davis Hanson has a good piece over at NRO.

Bombs going off in Manhattan or stuck in a tunnel while cops search every truck? Either way, Bush is the problem. Either he foolishly went into Iraq and let down our guard, or he is trying to scare us into believing that a nonexistent terrorist is under every bed. The television still blares about suicide bombers and repugnant thugs tormenting bound hostages? Surely Bush set them off. The proper response? Presto! Elect a less confrontational John Kerry, and thus cease a long, difficult war to defeat and to discredit all who would embrace such odious ideas.

Liberal civilizations often tire of eternal vigilance and in the midst of peacetime affluence work themselves into mass hysteria when challenged. Such is the picture we receive of the Athenian assembly around 340 B.C. when Demosthenes desperately warned that Philip was not a national liberator. Few thought Hannibal really would cross the Ebro. Churchill in the 1930s wasn't listened to very much — after the Somme, who wanted lectures about deterrence? Ronald Reagan's earlier prescience about the Soviet threat in the post-Vietnam era prompted Hollywood to turn out cheap TV movies warning of Reagan-inspired nuclear winters.

We too are reverting to our childhood and thus are in the same weird mood preferring fantasies and stories to reality. The Democrats know it. And so the unifying theme of their otherwise contradictory messages is that we can return to the infantile delusions of September 10, and not the crisis-filled adult world of post-September 11 that now confronts George W. Bush.

--Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:50 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Fun Facts About Democrats from Frank J.

Some highlights:

* If your skin pigmentation is dark enough, you may be legally required to vote for Democrats.

* Democrats are big into class warfare. They also are for gun control which has caused the deadliest firearms to be too expensive except for the rich to buy. So, if class warfare ever goes to blows, it won't last long.
* Some Democrats may have served in Vietnam. You can find out which ones by seeing who tells you that fact over and over and over.

* And over and over and over.
* If you're plagued by Democrats, they can be scared away with snakes, guns, or concepts of individual responsibility.
* In a fight between Democrats and Aquaman, Aquaman would be slurred by an NAACP ad that links him to lynching.
* Democrats are convinced Bush lied about something. They're not sure what... but they know it's something! Come on; Clinton lied all the time... Bush must have lied at least once!

* The foreign policy ideals of the Democrats involve waiting for the mighty France to approve anything they plan on doing. This should allow them to snap into action about the time half the earth is destroyed by radical Islamists.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:04 PM in Politics/Government

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's new ad. That's gotta hurt.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:13 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Naeem Noor Khan may not be the best known al Qaeda operative caught...

But they certainly seem to be squeezing some very useful information out of him.

At least one of 12 suspects held on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities in Britain was arrested as a result of intelligence gathered from the arrest of a Pakistani computer expert, Pakistani intelligence officials tell CNN.

They said during an interrogation of Naeem Noor Khan -- described as an al Qaeda computer expert -- he told them there was a terror network in Britain and he frequently relayed messages from Pakistan to its leader, an important al Qaeda operative.


CNN is now saying that "suspected al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan "contacted" at least one person in the U.S. in recent months". This new info could be from Khan, or it could be totally unrelated.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:42 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the lies, untruths, and misleading spin being put out by the Left.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:32 PM in Politics/Government
To get his Ohio rallies up and rolling, Kerry used a set of jokes to open his events. In Bowling Green, his shtick went something like this:

"If you elect me and my running mate, John Edwards, we are going to give you the courageous leadership you need. We'll take the tough positions, the courageous positions, the tough stands. But there's one tough position I will not take: I am not going to choose between the Falcons and the Rockets" -- this is a local reference to the well-known rivalry between Bowling Green University and the University of Toledo.

"I will say this," he added. "There is nothing better than Buckeye football, period!"
On Sunday and into Monday, Kerry hit Michigan, where he attempted to use the same Ohio jokes. Clearly, the sports humor has to be taken out of his hands before he really embarrasses himself.

"I just came here from Bowling Green," Kerry told the crowd to subdued applause. "I was smart enough not to pick a choice between the Falcons and the, well, you know, all those other teams out there. I just go for Buckeye football, that's where I'm coming from."

At that point, before all the boos began raining down upon him, Kerry seemed to realize his error. In an attempt to silent the angry crowd of University of Michigan supporters, Kerry said, "But that was while I was in Ohio. I know I'm in the state of Michigan and you got a great big M and a powerhouse of a team."

--The American Spectator

That's ok, Michigan fans don't mind OSU fans do they? Oh yeah....

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:59 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Boy, it's a good thing Heinz Kerry took a stand in favor of a civil tone in politics
Mr. McNickle,... was demonized after his July 25 exchange with Mrs. Kerry was caught on videotape by a local TV station, then picked up by the news channels and replayed endlessly. "What did you mean?" Mr. McNickle asked the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate after she told Pennsylvania delegates that "un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits" were sullying politics.

Mrs. Kerry denied she had used the phrase, then snapped, "You said something I didn't say. Now shove it."

In the aftermath of the "shove it," Mr. Kerry supported his wife, as did the Democratic National Committee, which called Mr. McNickle's paper "a right-wing rag," and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Mr. McNickle denied he had been rude.
"I didn't bully her. I didn't set her up. She stumbled all by herself," he said. "She began her remarks about her husband's vision, then went off on a tangent."

But Mr. McNickle swiftly became the target of partisan ire, inspired by what he termed the "DNC's liberal attack machine." In hundreds of e-mails and telephone calls to his office and home, and even on the street, Mr. McNickle's life was threatened. He was called a "Nazi" and a variety of obscene names, and had death wished upon him.

In a Boston Globe interview, singer Patti LaBelle advised Mrs. Kerry to "pimp slap" Mr. McNickle; liberal columnist Molly Ivins suggested he had inappropriately "touched" Mrs. Kerry; and former Baltimore Sun columnist Jack Germond told CNN that Mr. McNickle "was not a legitimate newspaperman."

He responded in a Tribune-Review column Sunday, explaining he was only seeking an example of "un-American traits" from Mrs. Kerry, but "I got a finger in the face and was told to 'shove it.' I have been told worse things by more important people."

--Washington Times (via The Right Side)

If that's a civil tone I'd hate to see what an uncivil tone coming from the Left would sound like.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:46 PM in Politics/Government
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

A very funny movie if you don't mind its brand of comedy. It's kind of in the same vein as Dude, Where's My Car? but a lot less weird and not nearly as stupid. I could have done without the boil guy and the bathroom stall bits, but all in all it's a very funny movie, especially towards the end.

It's a shame nobody's seeing it. At the 3:20 matinee today there were 10 people in the theater at the peak, and two of them were theater employees, three of them looked so young that I'm almost certain they snuck in and I was using a free ticket from accumulating so many points on my Regal Crown Club card.

On a quick trailer related note, Shaun of the Dead looked very funny and the Exorcist: The Beginning trailer seemed very out of place in front of Harold and Kumar.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:53 PM in Movies

Monday, August 2, 2004
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
News of the terror threat on Sunday also stirred renewed suggestions from some Democrats that the White House was manipulating terror alerts for Mr. Bush's political gain. They said the alert had been issued just as Mr. Kerry emerged from a convention that was described by Republicans and Democrats as a success.

"I am concerned that every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism," Howard Dean, a former rival of Mr. Kerry for the Democratic nomination, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN on Sunday.

"His whole campaign is based on the notion that 'I can keep you safe, therefore at times of difficulty for America stick with me,' and then out comes Tom Ridge," Mr. Dean, the former Vermont governor, added, referring to the homeland security secretary. "It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics, and I suspect there's some of both in it."


That trump card is trump for a reason. All the liberal policies they want to put in place are no good if everybody's dead.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:44 PM in Politics/Government
Too good for Wendy's
While Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, and their families were having a "lite" lunch at Wendy's in the Town of Newburgh Friday, drumming up local support right after the national convention in Boston, their real lunches were waiting on their bus.

A member of the Kerry advance team called Nikola's Restaurant at the Newburgh Yacht Club the night before and ordered 19 five-star lunches to go that would be picked up at noon Friday. Management at the restaurant, which is operated by CIA graduate chef Michael Dederick, was told the meals would be for the Kerry and Edwards families and actor Ben Affleck who was with them on the tour.

The gourmet meals to go included shrimp vindallo, grilled diver sea scallops, prosciutto, wrapped stuffed chicken, and steak salad. The meals came to about $200.

The entourage had also expected to stop at the Alexis Diner at Route 9W and North Plank Road in the Town of Newburgh. In fact, the Kerry advance team had ordered 125 lunches for the team and supporters. Their buses drove right by the diner on I-84 and proceeded straight to Wendy's.

--Hudson Valley News story

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:34 PM in Politics/Government


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