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Friday, September 12, 2008
Thank God Paul Hackett didn't win his election

Former Democratic Congressional candidate and wunderkind Paul Hackett on Daily Kos:

Both elements of strategy, an offensive and defensive plan appear to be absent in Southern Ohio.

The solution rests with local surrogates on the ground spreading the attack face to face coupled with an air campaign via radio and TV.

The message is simple and the professionals can refine it but essentially it should contain these elements:

"Sarah Palin? Can't keep her solemn oath of devotion to her husband and had sex with his employee. Sarah Palin? Accidentally got pregnant at age 43 and the tax payers of Alaska have to pay for the care of her disabled child. Sarah Palin? Unable to teach her 16 year old daughter right from wrong and now another teenager is pregnant. Sarah Palin? Can you trust Sarah Palin and her values with America's future? John McCain? Divorced from his first wife one month and marries a billionaire influence peddler and convicted felon. John McCain, a record of rash and impulsive decisions. That's not change that's more of the same."

--Daily Kos: Obama is losing Ohio

Stay classy Paul Hackett.

Posted by robbernard at 5:35 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government

Friday, September 5, 2008
McCain's Speech

My admittedly biased take...

It wasn't the most soaring of rhetoric, and with McCain it was never going to be. But to a certain extent I think I fell in love with the idea of John McCain somewhere between the beginning of the introductory video and the end of the speech. The idea of a man who has truly given his life to his country and a man who has put his country first. Senator McCain may have fallen in love with his country while in another person's country, but I think I fell in love with John McCain when I fully realized the love he had for his country. There's a real power to his character and a real contrast with Senator Obama. You can really see that contrast just in their bio videos. Obama's was a video about... Obama. About his search for himself. John McCain's was a litany of the ways in which he has devoted himself to his country. What he has done for his country.

I went in to the speech with a McCain pin alongside a McCain button on my shirt, but I don't think I truly appreciated John McCain's story.

Some are going to say he doesn't stand a chance, but they've been saying something similar for 8 years straight. There is a path to victory for John McCain here if they play their cards right and for the past month they've shown that they can in fact play their cards right.

It's on.

Posted by robbernard at 1:40 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, September 4, 2008
And that is why McCain picked her

She's certainly a fighter. She's authentic, she's serious, she's gotten results in the past, she gives a darn good speech, she won't be backing down to Joe Biden, and she won't be backing down to Barack Obama.

Posted by robbernard at 1:09 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The constant attacks on Palin

The constant attacks on Gov Palin have been staggering (and probably entirely predictable). In the past we've been able to diagnose this as "Bush Derangement Syndrome", but I have a feeling we've moved into a new era here and are in need of new terminology. As such I would like to humbly offer this:

Palinoia: The belief that the subject's lack of knowledge about another person is evidence of that other person's lack of knowledge.

Posted by robbernard at 9:57 AM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Heh, Barack Obama doesn't seem to know Sarah Palin's a governor

Barack Obama being interviewed by Anderson Cooper earlier:

COOPER: And, Senator Obama, my final question -- your -- some of your Republican critics have said you don't have the experience to handle a situation like this. They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience, as mayor of a small town and as governor of a big state of Alaska.

What's your response?

OBAMA: Well, you know, my understanding is, is that Governor Palin's town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month.

So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear...

Is that really the game he wants to play? 2,500 employees and a budget of about $36 million a month? Perhaps someone should inform him that the state of Alaska (of which Gov Palin is the Chief Executive) has approximately 15,000 employees and a monthly total budget in excess of $1.14 billion.

Using your campaign as executive experience is pretty weak to begin with, but doubly so when you don't realize your "less experienced" opponent is running an operation with 6 times the people and 34 times the budget.

Posted by robbernard at 12:16 AM in Politics/Government

Friday, August 29, 2008
If today has shown nothing else it's shown that...

...McCain will be pushing the issue of Reform HARD.

Palin's main issue, the reason she became Governor in the first place, is because she stood up to corruption and ethical violations. Her role as a reformer is the #1 reason she's on the ticket. (Ignoring the "token uterus" folderal.) They're going to be pushing hard on "Obama talks change but WE'VE actually enacted change and we already have results to show for it. Put us in and we'll fix the system, not just use the system to enact our favorite programs."

You can argue over the effectiveness or the merits of that, but they're definitely going to be pushing the Reform angle, giving Obama a run for his money on his ubiquitous "Change".

Posted by robbernard at 7:33 PM in Politics/Government
On Palin

I've been taking a fairly detached and analytical approach to this election, supporting McCain but with a healthy dose of "a pox on both their houses". This pick of Sarah Palin as his running-mate though honestly has me kind of excited.

She has a very interesting bio when you get into it. Bachelor's degree in journalism, former sports reporter and commercial fisherman. 5 children, one heading to Iraq next month, one born with Down's Syndrome in April. Her husband works for BP on the North Slope and when they eloped they recruited two random people from a retirement home to be their witnesses. She made her bones in Alaska as an ethics whistleblower, taking on her own party in doing so. And she's anti-pork-barrel-spending, having killed the Bridge To Nowhere.

She doubles up on McCain's already impressive Reform credentials and brings some youth to the ticket.

So, yeah, I'm kind of excited.

Posted by robbernard at 12:07 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Voting Problems

I don't think all the focus on "voting problems" helps us. We don't need to know about every voting machine that won't start up and every guy who thinks there weren't enough pens at their voting place and every 5 minute delay. That just serves to undermine confidence in the system which works just fine in the overwhelming majority of incidents. From the reports you'd think that if you go out and vote today your polling place is going to be serving 600 people with one machine or that your going to be turned away because your license address doesn't match your voting address.

Posted by robbernard at 11:29 AM in Politics/Government

Monday, November 6, 2006
On Diebold

I have to say I'm getting rather sick of all the complaining about the electronic voting machines. "Oh, those Diebold machines are a joke, they're easily cracked and don't even have a paper trail!" I'll tell you what, if your Diebold machine doesn't have a paper trail it's because your state or county officials were stupid enough to order an electronic voting machine without a paper trail. If your machine doesn't have that paper trail don't go blaming Diebold or electronic voting in general, blame your local idiots.

Posted by robbernard at 7:43 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wow, talk about a turnaround...

George Voinovich: "Why I'll Vote for Bolton"

My original concerns about Bolton involved his interpersonal skills. Also of concern was his reputation for straying off message and a tendency to "go it alone" instead of working to build consensus with his colleagues. I have met and spoken regularly with him since his appointment, discussing my hope that the United States would indeed build such a consensus at the United Nations and work with our allies.

My observations are that while Bolton is not perfect, he has demonstrated his ability, especially in recent months, to work with others and follow the president's lead by working multilaterally. In recent weeks I have watched him react to the challenges involving North Korea, Iran and now the Middle East, speaking on behalf of the United States.

I believe Bolton has been tempered and focused on speaking for the administration. He has referred regularly to "my instructions" from Washington, while also displaying his own clear and strong grasp of the issues and the way forward within the Security Council. He has stood many times side by side with his colleagues from Japan, Britain, Canada and other countries, showing a commitment to cooperation within the United Nations.

The deteriorating situation in the Middle East cannot be ignored. The terrorist organization Hezbollah has all but formally declared war on Israel, taking Israeli prisoners and launching more than 1,000 rockets into Israel over the past week.

The United States, along with the rest of the free world, must confront Iran and North Korea and defend Israel and its democracy while working to bring stability to the entire Middle East and Darfur.

Ambassador Bolton's appointment expires this fall when the Senate officially recesses. Should the president choose to renominate him, I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the terrorists -- and to other nations deciding whether to engage in this effort -- than to drag out a possible renomination process or even replace the person our president has entrusted to lead our nation at the United Nations at a time when we are working on these historic objectives.

For me or my colleagues in the Senate to now question a possible renomination would jeopardize our influence in the United Nations and encourage those who oppose the United States to make Bolton the issue, thereby undermining our policies and agenda.

Should the president send his renomination to the Senate, I will vote to confirm him, and I call on my Democratic colleagues to keep in mind the current situation in the Middle East and the rest of the world should the Senate have an opportunity to vote. I do not believe the United States, at this dangerous time, can afford to have a U.N. ambassador who does not have Congress's full support.

For the good of our country, the United Nations and the free world, we must end any ambiguity about whether John Bolton speaks for the United States so that he can work to support our interests at the United Nations during this critical time.

--George Voinovich - Washington Post

Yes, this is the same man who cried on the Senate floor in opposition to Bolton's original nomination.

Posted by robbernard at 10:45 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, April 27, 2006
A couple Tony Snow related thoughts

1) The tightrope being walked between "the new press secretary was critical of Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and "Fox News is full of Bush lapdogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" is really quite interesting to watch.

2) Keith Olbermann is an arrogant prick. He's like Bill O'Reilly only he likes to pretend its not political and he thinks he's funny. I figure at some point Olbermann got a dictionary where the definition for "condescension" was mislabeled as "humor".

Posted by robbernard at 12:47 AM in Politics/Government

Monday, April 17, 2006
Is it 2008 yet?

My votin' finger's just itching to press the button next to the words "Newt Gingrich".

Posted by robbernard at 11:17 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
If you think the national Democratic Party's dysfunctional...

You should take a gander at the Ohio Democratic Party...

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said Monday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.
"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the 2nd District congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Hackett, 43, said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."


Posted by robbernard at 12:05 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
And on that note....

Would it be too much to ask for sanity in the debate over these secret wiretaps? From the uproar you'd think it was Harry Reid, Michael Moore and Al Franken who were being surveilled and not people with suspected terrorist ties who are communicating internationally.

Posted by robbernard at 11:23 AM in Politics/Government

What would civil libertarians, or those finding it politically expedient to don the civil libertarian mantle, have done if Orwell had never written 1984?

They might have had to actually think of a reasoned argument when the question of civil liberties was raised rather than just reflexively running through the town square screaming "BIG BROTHER, BIG BROTHER, BIG BROTHER!!!!!!!!!"

A similar post could be written about the Ben Franklin "those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither" quote.

Posted by robbernard at 11:12 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Schmidt beats Hackett in the 2nd CD


Yes, let's all pretend that this is a good sign for the Democrats, that it shows they have a shot in Southwest Ohio and are strong nationally. Let's pretend this is a portent of the Republican party's downfall. Never mind that this was the perfect storm for them and they still failed. They had a Republican opponent with very little name recognition, an unenergized Republican base, strong support from the national party thanks to it being the only race in the country and a Democratic candidate doing his very best to hide his Democratic tendencies and present himself as a Republican... and they still failed.

(None of this is meant to take away from Hackett... he was the best candidate the Dems could put up there and he ran the best campaign he could. He just couldn't win.)

Yeah, yeah, the Democrats' defeat is all because of the racists and the bigots and the homophobes and the misogynists... blah, blah, blah... Is it any wonder the Dems keep losing when so many of them can't cotton to the idea that reasonable people can oppose them and not be stupid, racist, red-necked bigots?

Posted by robbernard at 8:19 AM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Whether meant that way or not, this is good satire.

A man has submitted a request to start the process to take Justice Souter's home by eminent domain and build a hotel on the site.

Posted by robbernard at 9:17 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, May 28, 2005
It seems banning guns wasn't enough.

Doctors in Britain now want to ban pointed kitchen knives. Because apparently pointed knives are used in most stabbings.

You're never going to be able to eliminate murder. So long as somebody has the inclination to commit it they're going to be able to find a way. People were killing each other well before pointed kitchen knives came along and people'll keep on killing each other if they get rid of them.

Posted by robbernard at 1:47 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The real convergence of TV and politics

What do you get when you try to blog while watching both 24 and political news updates?

UPDATE: Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) has terrorist mastermind Habib Marwan in a headlock. Wait, this is getting confusing.

UPDATE: Foxy terrorist chick was bluffing. She intends to push through a vote on parliamentary procedure after all. Harry Reid (D - Nevada) just flipped open his cell phone.
UPDATE: Edgar and Chloe were able to triangulate the constitutional position of judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown, and she was shot down over Los Angeles at the last second.


Posted by robbernard at 3:43 PM in Politics/Government , TV

Friday, April 22, 2005
Silly Republicans trying to be more bipartisan...
"What [the Republicans are] trying to do is distract," [Minority Leader Pelosi's spokeswoman Jennifer Crider] said. "They're choosing to pass legislation that is bipartisan."

--Washington Times

Posted by robbernard at 2:42 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, April 15, 2005
"Will you look at those morons! I paid my taxes over a year ago!"

Today's tax day. (Personally I got my refunds back 2 months ago.)

Today seems a good day to remind people that if we had the FairTax in place there'd be no tax forms, no receipts to save, no money spent on tax preparation, no late night drives to the post office, no being forced by the IRS to steal the Trillion dollar bill back from Mr. Burns... whoops, slipped into the Simpsons there.

If we had the FairTax today would be just another day.

Posted by robbernard at 12:12 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, April 1, 2005
Sandy Berger to plead guilty
Federal prosecutors will recommend that former national security adviser Sandy Berger be fined $10,000 and lose his security clearance for three years, but receive no jail time, sources said.

The Justice Department announced Thursday that Berger would plead guilty to illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives.

Berger, adviser to former President Clinton, was expected to enter the plea in U.S. District Court in Washington Friday to a single count of "unauthorized removal and retention of classified material," officials said.

The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
An associate of Berger told CNN the former national security adviser admitted to the Justice Department he originally took five copies of an after-action report -- one during his September 2003 visit to the Archives and four during his October 2003 trip.

When he returned to his office and compared the copies he had, he believed several were basically the same, the associate said.

He admitted to officials that he then used scissors to cut up three copies that night while at his office, they said. At first he had said he had either misplaced or unintentionally thrown them away.

When Archives officials contacted him after they realized documents were missing, he told them about the two copies he had and returned them, along with the handwritten notes he had taken, they said. He did not say anything about the three copies he had destroyed.


Looks like the long national nightmare that is Pantsgate has finally come to an end.

Posted by robbernard at 1:09 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The decline of Zero Tolerance

The Christian Science Monitor has an article on Zero Tolerance policies and how the tide is turning against them.

Texas - one of the nation's toughest-minded states when it comes to crime and discipline - is now at the forefront of a small but growing movement to relax zero-tolerance policies enacted by states in the 1990s.

More than a dozen bills that try to bring a less rigid approach to school discipline have been introduced in the Texas legislature this session, including one that requires school officials to consider a student's intent. The bill is currently moving through the House of Representatives.

"We have seen a number of states toy with the idea of scaling back or trying to make the process of school discipline more rational," says Bob Schwartz, executive director of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. "But Texas is ahead of the curve at this point."

Indiana, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania are also weighing the issue at the legislative level this year, with the introduction of several bills aimed at softening strict school-discipline policies.

"Just talking about it suggests that, if not a pendulum swing, a pendulum creep is in play," says Mr. Schwartz, though he cautions that many states have given their school districts discretion when it comes to discipline, making the issue hard to legislate.

It's particularly difficult to talk about relaxing discipline right now, a week after the school shooting on Minnesota's Red Lake reservation. But even the Red Lake school district Superintendent Stuart Desjarlait has admitted that zero- tolerance policies can't keep kids safe if a student is motivated to kill.

"It goes to show that if something is going to happen, it's going to happen - no matter what you do," he said at a news conference last week. Red Lake High School was equipped with a metal detector, security cameras, and guards.

--Christian Science Monitor (Hat tip Kirk)

Ahhh... can you imagine a world where common sense ruled? Unfortunately, (and I think I'm paraphrasing someone here but I have no clue who) those who understand the intent of the rules don't end up becoming bureaucrats.

Posted by robbernard at 2:54 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, March 28, 2005
It seems Kofi Annan's depressed
KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.

Depending on the findings of the report, by a team led by the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, Annan may have to choose between the secretary-generalship and loyalty to his son.

American congressional critics of the UN are already pressing him to resign over the mismanagement of the oil for food programme, and even his supporters have been dismayed by the scandals on his watch, including the sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers in Congo.

One close observer at the UN said Annan’s moods were like a "sine curve" and that he appeared near the bottom of the trough.

--Times Online (Hat tip Jake Allen)

Posted by robbernard at 2:15 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, March 21, 2005
Answering stupid Speak Up comments with obvious answers
Why would Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program with China, when it has the third-greatest number of nuclear weapons behind the United States and Russia?

--Dayton Daily News - Speak Up

Because the number of nuclear weapons which China owns has nothing to do with North Korea's nuclear weapons program. China holds influence over North Korea and has reason to not want a mad dictator with nuclear weapons next door.

Posted by robbernard at 1:41 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Congressional hearings on steroids

Oh look, it's politicians grasping for the limelight.

Steroids are a problem for Baseball but there's really no reason Congress should be involved. This is between Baseball, the players and the fans.

Posted by robbernard at 5:36 PM in Baseball , Politics/Government

Monday, March 14, 2005
Election media coverage was more negative towards Bush


U.S. media coverage of last year's election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday.

The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The study looked at 16 newspapers of varying size across the country, four nightly newscasts, three network morning news shows, nine cable programs and nine Web sites through the course of 2004.

Examining the public perception that coverage of the war in Iraq was decidedly negative, it found evidence did not support that conclusion. The majority of stories had no decided tone, 25 percent were negative and 20 percent were positive, it said.


Posted by robbernard at 2:31 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, March 10, 2005
John Cornyn on the NY Times and the Filibuster

Senator John Cornyn takes apart the NY Times' hypocritical position on the filibuster.

To the Editor:

"The Senate on the Brink" (editorial, March 6) supports the "historic role of the filibuster," which is a curious position for a newspaper that 10 years ago said filibusters were "the tool of the sore loser" and should be eliminated ("Time to Retire the Filibuster," editorial, Jan. 1, 1995).

...[Surely] all Americans can agree that the rules for confirming judges should be the same regardless of which party has a majority.

Now you praise the filibuster as a "time-honored Senate procedure." In 1995, when Bill Clinton was president, you called it "an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose."

You disparage the Republicans' view that 51 votes should be enough for judicial confirmation. Yet the 51-vote rule is a consistent Senate tradition. By calling for an end to filibusters, the Senate is simply contemplating restoring its traditions by traditional methods you disparage as "nuclear," even though they were once endorsed by such leading Democrats as Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Charles E. Schumer and Robert C. Byrd.

--NY Times

Posted by robbernard at 2:07 PM in Politics/Government

Saturday, March 5, 2005
As you've probably noticed, there have been several Alan Greenspan-related posts on the main page in just the past day or so. In one of those threads, blogswarmer Bob Brigham suggested that we "unleash the blogosphere" on Greenspan. It's a brilliant idea - no one is more worthy of having a halo-ectomy than St. Alan - so let's have at it...

And for those of you who want to really get down & dirty in the trenches, we can turn this into a one-degree-of-separation venture. That is, if you can find similar material for anyone who is closely linked to Greenspan, that's fair game, too. Good examples would be Greenie's idol, the nutbag "objectivist" Ayn Rand, and Andrea Mitchell, his NBC reporter wife. (An aside: We can debate the merits of this approach all you like, but suffice it to say, there is no question that Republicans do the same crap to us all the time. If you still want to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, fine - but I've moved on to brass knuckles.)
And, to make it amply clear, this is emphatically not a call for a "smear" campaign. This is a call to reveal the truth about Alan Greenspan (and his associates).

--Daily Kos (via John Cole)

Whah?! Ayn Rand? They think they're going to take down Alan Greenspan through Ayn Rand? Let me repeat that one more time just so we're clear... Ayn... RAND!

Gee, with sound tactics like these I can't imagine why the Left's highest profile takedown is a gay prostitute wannabe reporter.

They need to rethink going back to those Marquis of Queensberry rules. Taking mild doses of physic to work on their bowels and stripping naked and letting two men rub them gently with soft Turkish towels is actually probably higher up on the list of plausible ways to get to Alan Greenspan than going through Ayn Rand is.

Posted by robbernard at 9:41 AM in Politics/Government

Friday, March 4, 2005
The Fair Tax

You can count me as a supporter of the Fair Tax. It would eliminate the current income tax system and instead charge a national sales tax. Unlike most sales taxes however, this is a progressive tax system. Every month everyone would get a rebate (or prebate) from the government that would cover what they are expected to pay in taxes on the necessities. Thus someone who makes only enough to pay for the necessities will pay no taxes at all. Those who make less will have a negative effective tax rate. As a person makes more they'll have a higher effective tax rate until the wealthiest are essentially paying the full 23% rate. A family of four making $25,000 would pay 0%. It would be 12% at $50,000, 17% at $100,000 and -23% at $12,500.

This system is revenue neutral, will encourage saving, will tax the black market and virtually eliminate tax cheats, will help our businesses be more competitive on the world stage and vastly simplify a confusing tax system bloated with loopholes and exceptions.

Posted by robbernard at 1:34 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, February 24, 2005
[Spanish Prime Minister] Zapatero said he was anti-Bush, the complete opposite of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. But ever since his election, Zapatero has spent much of his time shadowing Bush and attempting to shake his hand. On Wednesday, he was waiting in the shadows, and made his move when Bush was talking to Tony Blair. Bush, who I suspect didn't really know who Zapatero was said “hola amigo” and continued talking to Blair. Meanwhile, Zapatero walked off smiling away like a child with a new pair of shoes. The exchange was so brief Spanish newspapers had a nightmare trying to find a photograph of the “great meeting.” To make matters worse a Spanish government spokesperson said that Bush and Zapatero had a “cordial exchange.” (They forget to mention it lasted about two seconds.) Even more laughable was the “meeting” Spanish Foreign Secretary Moratinos had with U.S. Secretary of State Rice. He literally rushed over to her in a passageway and then later claimed he had a summit meeting.

--Jason Moore - Majorca (Spain) Daily Bulletin (via BOTW)

Posted by robbernard at 3:39 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, February 18, 2005

An exchange between Donald Rumsfeld and Rep. Loretta Sanchez:

Sanchez: Unfortunately, as I said, this committee has had a hard time assessing where we really stand with the Iraqi army as an effective fighting force. Over the past year, we've received incredibly widely fluctuating estimates of that. And I think you have a real credibility problem on this issue.

Rumsfeld: Fluctuations of what?

Sanchez: The fluctuations of--the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera. . . .

Rusmfeld: Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They're not my numbers. I don't invent them. They come from Gen. Petraeus. . . .

Sanchez: I have Petraeus's numbers. They're different than your numbers, by the way.

Rumsfeld: Well, what's the date? They aren't different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date's the same. The date on my paper here is Feb. 14. What's yours?

Sanchez: Dec. 20.

Rumsfeld: Not surprising there's a difference.

--Transcript (via BOTW and Joe Fairbanks)

Posted by robbernard at 5:44 PM in Politics/Government
An interesting read

The comments on the Kerry-Edwards blog from election night are an interesting read, it's a roller coaster ride. (Continued here and here.)

"My analysis of the numbers indicates that Kerry will almost certainly win Ohio." - 11:15

"Ohio is still very realistic for Kerry to take...." - 11:26

"Ohio is in the bag IN SPITE OF the NEOCON dirty tricks." - 11:31

"Ohio is the grand finale ! Ohio repugs are evil!" - 11:43

"if Kerry leads the Ohio exit polls how can he be 150,000 votes behind???" - midnight

"OK we need all the lawyers in florida and Ohio." - 12:08

"If we win Ohio, I will go to church...once..." - 12:14

"Ohio will go Kerry. Unless Ohio is stupid" - 12:28

"The remainder of Ohio is not going to break for us at 60/40.

It's over.

May God have mercy on us all." - 12:37




Posted by robbernard at 2:07 AM in Politics/Government

Monday, February 14, 2005
Differences between the Republicans and the Democrats
One party has a clear programmatic agenda that has been relentlessly pursued in a well-organized fashion for five years; one party is still trying to build a credible war room (both materially and culturally).

One party never apologizes and never shows weakness; one party is on its fourth day of cry-babyish "defense" of its Senate Leader, after a run-of-the-mill GOP "attack."

One party is already organizing for 2005/6/7/8; one party is still trying to figure out what changes a yet-to-be-elected chair will make on the Wisteria Lane of politics — Ivy Street, SE.
One party can whenever it wishes take off-the-shelf opposition research (video and text) and turn it into talking points that drive the friendly and (sometimes) mainstream media; one party considers 36 hours to be "rapid response."
One party is on offense; one party is on . . . something else.
One party knows the press is its "enemy"; one party mistakenly thinks the press is its "friend."

One party is expending resources to expand the base and broaden the tent; one party says it is planning to do those things, but is distracted defending demographic and geographic turf.

One party owns national security; one party can't figure out how to own health care or the environment in a way that would help win elections.

One party figured out how to keep its "extreme" party platform on abortion and still make electoral gains; one party hasn't.
One party has been taking the long view for a long time; one party can't see past yesterday.

One party has members who will take these words to be gospel; one party is dominated by people will quickly dismiss it as mean-spirited.

One party would agree with what we wrote above; so would the other one.

--The Note (By way of The Corner and Tapped)

Posted by robbernard at 3:12 PM in Politics/Government
This probably isn't the best way to find candidates
Sick and tired of losing, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seems to have adopted a new and very basic recruiting tactic for the 2006 elections: Simply call the Republican Member you are hoping to beat and ask him who the best candidate would be to run against him.

Think we’re joking?

Just ask Glenn Rushing, the DCCC’s national field director, who last week left an ill-advised message for Mike Brady, the chief of staff to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.).

“Congressman [Rahm] Emanuel asked me to give your boss a call to see if he knew of any potential candidates in New York 26,” says Rushing, according to a tape of the voicemail obtained by HOH.

No one knows why Rushing did what he did.... He’s been at the DCCC since the start of the 2004 cycle, around the same time that Reynolds became chairman of the House GOP campaign committee. Reynolds has held the Buffalo-area 26th district since 1998.

--Roll Call (Subscription required)

I'm sure they got right back to Rushing with a list of people they'd hate to run against.

Posted by robbernard at 2:57 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, February 13, 2005
Talk like this will get you my support every time
"I am strongly opposed to the E-Check system we have now. I think it's unfair," said state Sen. Steve Austria, R-Beavercreek. "We need to see evidence that this is actually working and having an impact on our environment."

Other legislators are even more direct.

"This is the year to eliminate E-Check and find another way to deal with this issue. I understand we're going to have to do something to keep the Feds happy, but let's find the least invasive, least expensive, least impacting method," said state Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, a lawyer who once sued the state over E-Check and lost.

--Dayton Daily News

There's absolutely no reason that I should be forced to pay $20 every 2 years just for somebody to make sure that the Check Engine light on my '98 Lumina isn't on.

Posted by robbernard at 1:31 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

Thursday, February 10, 2005
It's nice that the DDN has the Speak Up column...

It makes it so much easier to find morons.

President George W. Bush and his supporters are supposed to be Christian. Yet, the reason I most often hear for supporting Bush's plan to privatize Social Security is this: People want to keep "their own" money. C'mon, folks. Have you forgotten the parable of the loaves and the fishes? When we share, there's plenty for everyone. When we hoard, there is never enough.

--Dayton Daily News

First off, the "parable" of the loaves and fishes wasn't a parable. It was a miracle. It's called a miracle because those things don't happen in the normal course of events; they require God's intervention.

Secondly I'd suggest that the caller/writer refer to the "parable" of the Soviet Communism. It goes something like this: "When people are forced to share it would take a miracle for anybody to have enough."

Posted by robbernard at 2:27 PM in Dayton , Politics/Government , Religion

Monday, February 7, 2005
The Bush budget

$2.57 trillion. It doesn't do a ton to actually reduce the deficit, but there are definitely cuts proposed. The budget in areas other than defense, homeland security and the mandatory programs like Social Security is set to actually fall .5%.

I think this could really pose a problem for Democrats. Of late they've been playing the role of deficit hawks. Every dollar spent is described as President Bush putting a "burden on our children". It's going to be awfully hard for them to continue to take that tack while at the same time fighting his efforts to scale back spending. They're going to need to make a decision on which of three options they're going to take. Will they fight to save these programs, continue to fight the deficit fight or will they make fools of themselves and try and do both, making them look like hypocrites.

Oh wait…

[The proposed budget's] cuts in veterans programs, health care and education reflect the wrong priorities, and its huge deficits are fiscally irresponsible.

--Senator Harry Reid

Looks like they’re taking the hypocritical fools route.

To quote the Simpsons:
"I'm the last registered Democrat! TAX AND SPEND! TAX AND SPEND!!!"

Posted by robbernard at 11:19 AM in Politics/Government

Friday, February 4, 2005
Democrats on personal accounts for Social Security

One more recent than the other.

Harry Reid used to support Social Security reform: "Most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector."

Interestingly, so did FDR: "In a written statement to Congress in 1935, Roosevelt said that any Social Security plans should include, 'Voluntary contributory annuities, by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age,' adding that government funding, 'ought to ultimately be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans.'"

Now that's a real blast from the past. Is it "ultimately" yet?


Posted by robbernard at 5:15 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, February 3, 2005
Alberto Gonzales confirmed and sworn in as Attorney General


Posted by robbernard at 8:41 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
State of the Union

A good speech, much better towards then end than towards the beginning. Half way through I was left thinking "I'll take ideas over delivery any day of the week but just imagine if he were a better orator". The oratory certainly picked up in the latter portions as he moved from the programmatic to the more thematic portion. Still not great oratory, but definitely better.

The Social Security portion was certainly the most important part but the hug between Safia Taleb al-Suhail and Mrs. Norwood will get a good deal of play.

Some highlights:

America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government. I welcome the bipartisan enthusiasm for spending discipline. I will send you a budget that holds the growth of discretionary spending below inflation, makes tax relief permanent, and stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. (Applause.) My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all.
America's immigration system is also outdated -- unsuited to the needs of our economy and to the values of our country. We should not be content with laws that punish hardworking people who want only to provide for their families, and deny businesses willing workers, and invite chaos at our border. It is time for an immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take, that rejects amnesty, that tells us who is entering and leaving our country, and that closes the border to drug dealers and terrorists. (Applause.)
One of America's most important institutions -- a symbol of the trust between generations -- is also in need of wise and effective reform. Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century, and we must honor its great purposes in this new century. (Applause.) The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security. (Applause.)

Today, more than 45 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, and millions more are nearing retirement -- and for them the system is sound and fiscally strong. I have a message for every American who is 55 or older: Do not let anyone mislead you; for you, the Social Security system will not change in any way. (Applause.) For younger workers, the Social Security system has serious problems that will grow worse with time.
In the long-term, the peace we seek will only be achieved by eliminating the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder. If whole regions of the world remain in despair and grow in hatred, they will be the recruiting grounds for terror, and that terror will stalk America and other free nations for decades. The only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom. (Applause.) Our enemies know this, and that is why the terrorist Zarqawi recently declared war on what he called the "evil principle" of democracy. And we've declared our own intention: America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. (Applause.)
Across Iraq, often at great risk, millions of citizens went to the polls and elected 275 men and women to represent them in a new Transitional National Assembly. A young woman in Baghdad told of waking to the sound of mortar fire on election day, and wondering if it might be too dangerous to vote. She said, "Hearing those explosions, it occurred to me -- the insurgents are weak, they are afraid of democracy, they are losing. So I got my husband, and I got my parents, and we all came out and voted together."

Americans recognize that spirit of liberty, because we share it. In any nation, casting your vote is an act of civic responsibility; for millions of Iraqis, it was also an act of personal courage, and they have earned the respect of us all. (Applause.)

One of Iraq's leading democracy and human rights advocates is Safia Taleb al-Suhail. She says of her country, "We were occupied for 35 years by Saddam Hussein. That was the real occupation. Thank you to the American people who paid the cost, but most of all, to the soldiers." Eleven years ago, Safia's father was assassinated by Saddam's intelligence service. Three days ago in Baghdad, Safia was finally able to vote for the leaders of her country -- and we are honored that she is with us tonight. (Applause.)
We will not set an artificial timetable for leaving Iraq, because that would embolden the terrorists and make them believe they can wait us out. We are in Iraq to achieve a result: A country that is democratic, representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbors, and able to defend itself. And when that result is achieved, our men and women serving in Iraq will return home with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)
[W]e have said farewell to some very good men and women, who died for our freedom, and whose memory this nation will honor forever.

One name we honor is Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas, who was killed during the assault on Fallujah. His mom, Janet, sent me a letter and told me how much Byron loved being a Marine, and how proud he was to be on the front line against terror. She wrote, "When Byron was home the last time, I said that I wanted to protect him like I had since he was born. He just hugged me and said, 'You've done your job, Mom. Now it is my turn to protect you.'" Ladies and gentlemen, with grateful hearts, we honor freedom's defenders, and our military families, represented here this evening by Sergeant Norwood's mom and dad, Janet and Bill Norwood. (Applause.)

In these four years, Americans have seen the unfolding of large events. We have known times of sorrow, and hours of uncertainty, and days of victory. In all this history, even when we have disagreed, we have seen threads of purpose that unite us. The attack on freedom in our world has reaffirmed our confidence in freedom's power to change the world. We are all part of a great venture: To extend the promise of freedom in our country, to renew the values that sustain our liberty, and to spread the peace that freedom brings.

--State of the Union Address

A few post-speech thoughts:

Thank God Nancy Pelosi was there to deliver the Democrats' response. Between her constantly gritted teeth, eerily still head and "eyebrows" that somehow manage to be one to two inches above her eye sockets it's hard to really consider what she's saying.

As usual I was amazed by Charles Krauthammer's complete lack of shoulders.

Scarborough having it out with Ron Reagen over whether the hug was staged or not was fun to watch.

Posted by robbernard at 11:55 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, February 1, 2005
"What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?"

From an anti-war Democrat in the Sun-Times:

Maybe you're like me and have opposed the Iraq war since before the shooting started -- not to the point of joining any peace protests, but at least letting people know where you stood.

You didn't change your mind when our troops swept quickly into Baghdad or when you saw the rabble that celebrated the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, figuring that little had been accomplished and that the tough job still lay ahead.

Despite your misgivings, you didn't demand the troops be brought home immediately afterward, believing the United States must at least try to finish what it started to avoid even greater bloodshed. And while you cheered Saddam's capture, you couldn't help but thinking I-told-you-so in the months that followed as the violence continued to spread and the death toll mounted.

By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.

But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?

--Mark Brown - Chicago Sun Times

Posted by robbernard at 1:47 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Rice confirmed as Secretary of State


Meanwhile Alberto Gonzales passes the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Posted by robbernard at 2:30 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Not so peaceful peace protesters
Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network.

But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarror, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally.

When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the sign out of the Bush supporters' hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin's 12 colleagues.

After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. "We're going to hang tight," Kobrin said. "We're expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs."

--Washington Post via The National Review Online

I think it speaks for itself.

Posted by robbernard at 6:37 PM in Politics/Government
President Bush sworn in for second term
At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half-century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical -- and then there came a day of fire.

We have seen our vulnerability, and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny -- prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder -- violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders and raise a mortal threat.

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment and expose the pretensions of tyrants and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant. And that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

The full text of his 2nd inaugural address.

Posted by robbernard at 1:51 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
"Get over it"

Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., speaking to Europe:

"I spent a little bit of time in Europe recently and I have one simple message: Get over it. Get over it. President Bush is our president for the next four years. So get over it and start to act in your interest, Europe," Biden said.

--ABC News

Posted by robbernard at 2:56 PM in Politics/Government
Were machines in the November election allocated unevenly?

Not in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

[A] Plain Dealer analysis shows that, in Cuyahoga County at least, the elections board distributed machines equally to city and suburban polling locations.

The long lines at some locations appear to be more the result of timing, new voters and overwhelmed poll workers, not necessarily a shortage of machines.

Before the Nov. 2 election, the elections board allotted each Cleveland precinct one machine for every 117 registered voters within its boundaries - the same ratio of machines that suburban precincts received.

In other words, the more registered voters a particular precinct had, the more machines it received, regardless of where that precinct was.

And in the end, the busiest precincts - when measured by the number of ballots cast per machine - were actually in the suburbs, not Cleveland, according to a Plain Dealer analysis of records from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Countywide, voters cast an average of nearly 71 ballots on each of the county's 8,000 machines. In Cleveland alone, voters cast an average of 62 ballots per machine. In the suburbs, the average was 74.

--Cleveland Plain Dealer

And likewise, the Columbus Dispatch reported that in Franklin County the busiest precincts were the suburban ones.
In fact, many polling places in inner-city neighborhoods had fewer voting machines than during the last presidential election.

Even so, the busiest places to vote — as measured by the number of ballots cast per machine — were overwhelmingly in suburban areas, according to an analysis by The Dispatch.
Nearly half of Franklin County’s 146 wards had fewer machines than four years ago. Generally, the machines were shifted from city wards to suburban ones, following population swings.

"We have the same number of machines, but they had to be spread over more precincts," Elections Director Matthew Damschroder said.

--Columbus Dispatch

So keep this in mind when you're told that people were disenfranchised because their precinct had fewer machines than in 2000 - They had fewer machines because other precincts gained more voters.

Posted by robbernard at 1:50 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes to confirm Condoleeza Rice as the Secretary of State

Only Senators Kerry and Boxer, out of 18 Senators on the committee, voted no. All that's left is for the full Senate to vote.

Posted by robbernard at 11:51 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, January 15, 2005
Ohio supporter of "some abortion rights" tapped to be RNC co-chair

And of course the likes of Phil Burress aren't happy.

Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has asked an Ohio Republican who supports some abortion rights to be his co-chairman, stirring the ire of social conservatives.

Mr. Mehlman's choice is Joann Davidson, who was chairwoman of the Bush campaign in the pivotal Ohio Valley region and a former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. In an interview on Thursday, Ms. Davidson declined to discuss her views on abortion. "My focus is on building a stronger party," she said.
Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, an Ohio-based conservative Christian group, said, "How in the world can you have a vice chair of the Republican Party on such an important issue as this one be on the wrong side of the party platform?"

Mr. Burress, who led the drive for a constitutional ballot measure banning same-sex marriage in Ohio, also faulted Ms. Davidson for failing to take a position on the measure.

The co-chairwoman of the party during the 2000 election, Patricia Harrison, also supported some abortion rights, but Mr. Burress argued that the 2004 election had changed the party.

"They have got to go," he said. "The pendulum is swinging the other way now. We have a seat at the table now."

--NY Times

You're always going to have people like Burress talking the talk, but I believe the real story here is that it's just that, talk. Sure "they" have a seat at the table but it's not at the head of it as Burress seems to think and he's not going to win this argument.

The Republicans aren't purging the party of people who don't agree with the platform 100%, they're making them co-chair of the party. It really is a bigger tent than the detractors would have you believe.

Posted by robbernard at 3:05 AM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Michael Chertoff nominated to head Homeland Security

Not what you'd call a big name. Chertoff is currently on the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and was "assistant attorney general for the criminal division" at the DOJ from '01-'03.

Posted by robbernard at 3:45 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, January 7, 2005
Armstrong Williams paid to promote NCLB

The best take I've seen on the Williams kerfuffle comes from Michael King:

Black conservatives like myself work day-in and day-out to promote solid and beneficial causes, which have included NCLB, but with one-fell-swoop, Williams has effectively torpedoed much of that work.

We constantly come under scrutiny by others from both sides of the aisle, from some conservatives who are wary of our presence, and by many liberals who insist that we are "on the take" or "reaching for scraps from 'Massa's' table." We constantly have to prove that we are not some sort of 'spook sitting by the door' when Armstrong comes along and not only accepts taxpayer money, but doesn't see anything truly wrong with it!
Just damn.

--Rambling's Journal

Posted by robbernard at 3:48 PM in Politics/Government
So what's Jesse Jackson up to

Martin Gottlieb's justifiably curious about just what Jesse Jackson thinks he's doing here in Ohio. His conclusion is that it's pretty much about staying in the spotlight at any cost and hoping to lay the smack down on Ken Blackwell.

So, the question arises, what is the Rev. Jesse Jackson up to?

This thing in Ohio — going to court over the re-election of George W. Bush, holding rallies, generally keeping the election alive — seems awfully pathetic, doesn't it?
Like others, [Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune] sees Jackson as keeping himself in the spotlight by rallying a part of his old base, which Jackson is wont to do as various issues come along. Page says that Jackson has been diminished by the revelation that he fathered a child out of wedlock, and that staying in the spotlight — which is necessary to maximize his impact — is not as easy as it once was.

Page also mentions the name of Blackwell as a motivator of Jackson.

"Everything is there," says Page, to get Jackson going. Blackwell is a black conservative Republican — of all things — who is moving toward the governorship and is "cocky" about it. Jackson, says Page, "feels dissed" by this development. He "takes himself very seriously" and doesn't want to be eclipsed as a leader by somebody like Blackwell.

That has the feel of a pretty good summary.

--Dayton Daily News

Gotta agree with Gottleib, it is awfully pathetic.

Posted by robbernard at 1:44 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

Thursday, January 6, 2005
And now from the Sore Loser department...

The Democrats will challenge Ohio's electoral votes when the votes are counted today.

Just imagine how up-in-arms they'd be if they'd lost and there actually WAS vote fraud. The best they seem to be able to come up with is that people had to wait in line to vote.

Posted by robbernard at 12:11 PM in Politics/Government
Good riddance to Crossfire

Looks like Tucker Carlson and Crossfire are out at CNN. It's about time. It used to be a fairly reasonable debate show, back when it was 4 people around a table against a black backdrop. Then they brought in the studio audience and it all went to hell. You had Conservatives in Novak and Carlson going up against Democrat shills in Begala and Carville. In the end it resembled the Jerry Springer Show more than it did a dignified political program.

Posted by robbernard at 11:30 AM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, January 4, 2005
On cancelling stuff for disaster funds...
Stop with the politicizing of this tragedy, people. Even Mark Cuban, my favorite billionaire blogger, has called for the cancellation of the presidential inauguration festivities so that funds can be diverted to tsunami relief. Huh? Why not call for the cancellation of the NBA season and take all the dollars advertisers have committed for broadcasting it and send those funds to tsunami relief? What, the advertisers won't do that? Have you asked?

--Rex Hammock (via Jeff Jarvis)

Posted by robbernard at 2:37 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Comparing the effectiveness of the presidential campaigns

The Washington Post has a good article today comparing how the two campaigns spent there money and who got more bang for their buck.

In the most expensive presidential contest in the nation's history, John F. Kerry and his Democratic supporters nearly matched President Bush and the Republicans, who outspent them by just $60 million, $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion.

But despite their fundraising success, Democrats simply did not spend their money as effectively as Bush....

In a $2.2 billion election, two relatively small expenditures by Bush and his allies stand out for their impact: the $546,000 ad buy by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush campaign's $3.25 million contract with the firm TargetPoint Consulting. The first portrayed Kerry in unrelentingly negative terms, permanently damaging him, while the second produced dramatic innovations in direct mail and voter technology, enabling Bush to identify and target potential voters with pinpoint precision.
A supposed strategic advantage for the Democrats -- massive support from well-endowed independent groups -- turned out to have an inherent flaw: The groups' legally required independence left them with a message out of harmony with the Kerry campaign.
Of all the money spent on television advertising for the Democratic nominee, Kerry's campaign controlled 62 percent, according to spending totals analyzed by The Washington Post. The rest was spent on ads whose content or placement could not be coordinated with the campaign. The Bush campaign controlled 83 percent of the money spent on its behalf, giving it far more control over when and how it advertised.
The 2002 elections, along with the Kentucky and Mississippi gubernatorial contests the following year, became testing grounds for the Republican effort to mobilize supporters. Designed to get base voters to the polls, it became known as the "72 Hour Project," whose cost Republican officials refused to disclose but is estimated by sources to have been in the $200 million range.
Dowd estimated that, in part through the work of TargetPoint and other research, the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to "quadruple the number" of Republican voters who could be targeted through direct mail, phone banks and knocking on doors.

Democrats had access to similar data files. But the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to make far better use of the data because they had the time and money to conduct repeated field tests in the 2002 and 2003 elections, to finance advanced research on meshing databases with polling information, and to clean up and revise databases that almost invariably contained errors and omissions.
An additional Republican television commercial that significantly affected the race, according to surveys, was a positive spot financed by a second GOP 527 group, Progress for America. It invested $17 million in "Ashley's Story," which featured Ashley Faulkner, 11, whose mother had been killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, describing her meeting with Bush.

Overall, Kerry, the DNC and the Democratic 527s spent $344 million on ads, while Bush and the GOP counterparts spent about $289 million, much of which was disbursed in the final three months. Arguably, Republicans got more bang for their bucks.

--Washington Post

There's plenty more interesting stuff in there.

Posted by robbernard at 12:24 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
So wrong it hurts

The Houston Chronicle/New York Times: Ohio is the Florida of 2004.

In what kind of whacked out, screwed up version of reality can Ohio be called the Florida of 2004 when Washington had the election it had?

Let's see.

In Ohio the President won by 118,000+ votes only to have that total lowered to 118,000+ votes by one recount.

In Washington the Governor's race initially has a margin of only a few hundred votes which, through numerous recountings, is eventually reversed to show the other candidate winning.

Tell me, which state do you think better fits the tagline "Florida of 2004"?

Posted by robbernard at 3:08 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
The Ohio recount is over...

... and *gasp* President Bush still won. Now he just won by 118,457 votes instead of 118,775. Boy, it's a good thing we spent more than a million dollars of taxpayer money to figure that out.

Posted by robbernard at 2:54 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
"Down with the French!"

As always, Jonah Goldberg is at his best when he's lambasting the French.

Yes, the French throne — not the Enlightenment philosophes — helped us out during the American Revolution, but that was a calculated attempt to give Britain a wedgie. Before that — during the French-Indian wars — and almost ever after the French have practiced a nasty realpolitik towards America and the world. The French supported the Confederacy in the Civil War and let's not count how many Frenchmen supported the Germans — and the Holocaust. Suffice it to say, the Hollywood version of French heroism leaves a lot to be desired. "Next to the weather," General Eisenhower lamented, "[the French] have caused me more trouble in this war than any single factor."

And let's also not gloss over the fact that more than a few French intellectuals have been known to look at dictators and mass-murderers the way Michael Jackson gazes at posters of Macaulay Culkin. Michel Foucault was like, "Oh my God, the Ayatollah is sooo cool."

--Goldberg File

Though I also like this unrelated demi-paragraph from last week.
This country had established state churches for generations after the First Amendment was ratified. So spare me the argument that its unconstitutional for the local rec center to sport a nativity scene out front and maybe a menorah in the window.

--Goldberg File

Posted by robbernard at 12:51 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, December 17, 2004
Environmentalists admit that Kyoto won't help global warming
After a relentless attack on the United States for opposing the Kyoto Protocol, environmental groups concede the international treaty will have no impact on what they believe to be impending catastrophic global warming.

Despite the fact that green groups at the U.N. climate summit in Buenos Aires called President George Bush "immoral" and "illegitimate" for not supporting the Kyoto Protocol, the groups themselves concede the Protocol will only have "symbolic" effect on climate because they believe it is too weak. Kyoto is an international treaty that seeks to limit greenhouse gases of the developed countries by 2012.

"I think that everybody agrees that Kyoto is really, really hopeless in terms of delivering what the planet needs," Peter Roderick of Friends of the Earth International told

"It's tiny, it's tiny, tiny, it's tiny," Roderick said. "It is woefully inadequate, woefully. We need huge cuts to protect the planet from climate change."


So tell me, if Kyoto will have only "symbolic" effects on global warming and would cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars why do they think we should be a part of it? I mean besides the fact that it will hurt our corporations and industries.

Posted by robbernard at 9:51 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, December 11, 2004
Looks like Bernard Kerik won't be the 2nd Homeland Security Director
President Bush's pick to become homeland security secretary, former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, abruptly withdrew his nomination on Friday after he said he learned that the immigration status of a housekeeper and nanny he employed was in question.

Kerik's decision sent the White House scrambling for a new candidate to oversee the nation's sprawling Department of Homeland Security, charged with helping prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Bush's current homeland security adviser, Frances Townsend, is one possible candidate. Others include Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The surprise announcement came after news organizations raised questions about some of Kerik's business dealings, including his profitable membership on the board of Taser International, the stun-gun maker.


Posted by robbernard at 2:32 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Doctors confirm Ukranian presidential candidate poisoned
MEDICAL experts have confirmed that Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s opposition leader, was poisoned in an attempt on his life during election campaigning, the doctor who supervised his treatment at an Austrian clinic said yesterday.

Doctors at Vienna’s exclusive Rudolfinerhaus clinic are within days of identifying the substance that left Mr Yushchenko’s face disfigured with cysts and lesions, Nikolai Korpan told The Times in a telephone interview.
“This is no longer a question for discussion,” Dr Korpan said. “We are now sure that we can confirm which substance caused this illness. He received this substance from other people who had a specific aim.”

Asked if the aim had been to kill him, Dr Korpan said: “Yes, of course.”

Proof that Mr Yushchenko was deliberately poisoned would be a devastating blow for his rival, the Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, as the two candidates prepare for a repeat of a presidential run-off on December 26.

--Times Online

He seems to be one tough cookie.
Mr Yushchenko fell ill on September 6 and was rushed to Rudolfinerhaus four days later with severe abdominal pain and lesions on his face and trunk. His liver, pancreas and intestines were swollen and his digestive tract covered in ulcers, but doctors could not explain the symptoms. Against their advice he went back on the campaign trail after a week, but returned to the clinic two weeks later with back pain.

Posted by robbernard at 2:26 PM in Politics/Government
It's sad really

The Ohio House has a bill which will allow people to purchase Pro-Life specialty license plates. The plates would have the slogan "Choose Life" and cost $30 more than regular plates. (With $10 going towards administrative fees and $20 going to private, non-profits organizations that promote adoption.

This of course has NARAL and the ACLU up in arms.

"This is sending money into organizations that aren't talking to women about all their choices, that aren't prepared to answer medical questions about birth control and about pregnancy," said Kellie Copeland, executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio...

--Dayton Daily News

Perhaps so, but that isn't the key issue here. The key is, the money being sent isn't Copeland's money. And it isn't the government's money. This isn't money given for other reasons being diverted. This isn't the government deciding to take tax money and give it to a cause some don't support. It's money being given specifically to go to organizations like that. If people want to do so they should have that opportunity.
Copeland said organizations that counsel women on a range of pregnancy options, including abortion, should not be denied funding, adding that groups such as Planned Parenthood do not qualify because they answer questions about abortion.

That's right. NARAL wants money from Pro-Life license plates to go towards funding abortion. ARE THEY INSANE?! If people wanted their money to go to abortion clinics they aren't going to buy these plates. You want a "Choose Death" license plate? Go for it. But to suggest that money raised from Pro-Life plates for the benefit of organizations that provide alternatives to abortion should go towards organizations that provide abortions... COME ON!!!
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said specialty plates with a political message are a violation of the First Amendment.

The ACLU actually thinks the First Amendment is meant to limit political speech. Want to say you like Lake Erie on your license plate? No problemo, that's just fine and dandy. No problems with the First Amendment there. Want to say something "political"? Whoa, whoa, WHOA!! You can't do that; the First Amendment apparently only outlaws political speech on license plates. I'm sorry, did Nicholas Cage pour some lemon juice on the Bill of Rights and discover it actually said "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech - unless that speech is political"?

The point of the entire bleeping Amendment was to protect the right of the citizens to express themselves, especially in regards to politics and the government. And now the ACLU has such a twisted view of the intent of the Founders that they actually think it's meant to limit the ability of people to speak politically.

It's sad... just... SAD.

Posted by robbernard at 12:57 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, December 2, 2004
Looks like Bernard Kerik will be the 2nd head of the Homeland Security Department
President Bush has picked as his homeland security secretary former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who helped the city respond to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and later went to Iraq, Republican officials said on Thursday.

Two Republican officials said Bush had chosen Kerik to replace Tom Ridge as head of U.S. homeland security, and that an announcement could come as early as Friday as Bush continues a broad overhaul of his second-term Cabinet.

Kerik, 49, was at the side of then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani during the crisis over the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was a principal member of the mayor's Cabinet overseeing the rescue, recovery and investigation of the World Trade Center attack.


Posted by robbernard at 7:26 PM in Politics/Government
The counting's over

Ohio counties finished counting votes yesterday. The AP reports that 77% or 121,598 of Ohio's 156,977 provisional votes were validated, that's less than President Bush's November 2nd lead of 136,483 votes. The election will be certified on Monday.

Meanwhile Jesse Jackson continues to slide deeper and deeper into irrelevance.

155,000 ballots haven’t still been counted. There are many thousands not yet processed -- overcount and undercount. You have a case in Warren, Ohio where they declared a Homeland Security alert. I mean no building in Warren is over three stories high, yet they locked out the press and independent observers. Another case that I found to be astounding which I am sure Cliff can talk about, is a black woman, Ellen Connally ran for state Supreme Court judge. In Cuyahoga County, in Cleveland where she is best known, Kerry got 170,000 more votes. Elsewhere in the state, around Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Butler, Clermont, where she is least well-known, she got 190,000 more votes than Kerry. Now, that smells. We need a thorough investigation with forensic computer experts to see were there any tampering in those machines where there's no ability to do an audit trail. Then we need to consider the recount. We first need to have a count.

--Democracy Now

Yeah, nevermind the fact that the overcount and undercount WERE processed. They have to have been processed to know that there were 0 or 2 or more votes on them.

Nevermind that even when the press wasn't in on the count in Warren County that half the election board overseeing that count were Democrats.

Nevermind that 68 of Ohio's 88 counties used punchcard ballots and another 13 used optical scanner ballots which, the ballots being paper, can't be hacked.

Nevermind that no Ohio county used modern electronic voting machines.

Nevermind that the electronic voting machines that were used have means of checking their accuracy.

Nevermind that the only counties to use those older electronic voting machines were Auglaize, Franklin, Knox, Lake, Mahoning, Pickaway, and Ross, not the counties he thinks "smell".

Nevermind that Hamilton, Butler, and Warren Counties all used punchcard ballots.

Nevermind that no type of machine used in Ohio lacks an audit trail.

This is simply Jackson inventing outrage where there is no cause for it in an effort to once more stoke his ego in all its crapulent glory.

Posted by robbernard at 2:56 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Ridge stepping down

Not exactly the most exciting announcement. Nobody seemed to hate him, but nobody seemed to really like him either.

Posted by robbernard at 3:53 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, November 29, 2004
Joe Loeffler of Chevelle supports President Bush

And apparently you can't drive a Hummer if you voted for Kerry.

What kind of car does a guy in Chevelle drive?
  • We have a lot of cars. I have a 2005 H2.
  • Are you serious?

  • I love it.

  • ...
    If you have a Hummer, you must have supported Bush.

  • Oh yeah.
  • Why?

  • I agree with everything he stands for. I voted for him four years ago. But this election was just plain obvious. The choice was to vote for a politician or vote in a President. Kerry had nothing. The polls of people who voted for Kerry found that they voted for him because he wasn't Bush, which doesn't make sense to me. I don't see why people didn't vote for Bush. I heard, “Well, he went to Iraq and we didn't find weapons of mass destruction.” What? That's why you don't like him. That's all you got. We're saving lives here. We liberated 50 million people and we took Saddam out of power.
  • --Free Times

    Posted by robbernard at 5:21 PM in Politics/Government
    Ohio count update

    The current (still unofficial) tally listed on the Ohio Secretary of State's site now has Bush's lead over Kerry at 146,483, up from the previous 137,617, a gain of 8,866 votes for President Bush. There's no indication on that page of how many counties have finished counting their provisional ballots or how many of them are included in that tally.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:12 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004
    Looks like the 3rd party candidates may not have enough for an Ohio recount after all

    Stranded on Blue Islands brings to light that the $10 per precint number being thrown around for the cost of an Ohio recount isn't the full cost to those requesting it, it's just the deposit. They would then be responsible for all costs incurred by the Boards of Election in doing the recount. Those costs are estimated at $1.5 million, much more than the $235,000 they currently have.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:50 PM in Politics/Government
    Judge throws out Ohio recount request (plus some provisional ballot math)

    First some recount news:

    A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished.

    Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled Tuesday that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait. The judge wrote that he saw no reason to interfere with the final stages of Ohio's electoral process. Officials have said the results will be certified by December 6.

    The lawsuit by Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik had asked Carr to issue an order requiring Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to immediately begin a statewide recount of November 2 voting results.

    The candidates received a combined 0.26 percent of the vote in unofficial results. But they contend a recount is necessary to ensure accuracy.


    And now a little provisional ballot math.

    Looking at the provisional ballots, 78%(61,536) of the 79,256 ballots counted so far have been found to be valid. There were 155,337 provisional ballots cast. If every remaining provisional ballot were found to be valid there would be 137,617 provisional ballots. Before the provisional ballots President Bush led in Ohio by 136,483. For the election to swing to Kerry (assuming again that all the remaining provisionals were valid) then Kerry would have to win the provisional vote 137,051 to 566 (99.59% to .41%). If less than 98.5% of the remaining provisional ballots are valid then Kerry could not possibly win.

    Now let's look at the results from only one county. After the completion of Greene County's provisional count, Kerry gained 1,181. President Bush gained 1,536 votes. Now remember, in the hypothetical every-remaining-ballot-is-valid scenario if Kerry is to win Bush could only pick up 566 of the provisional votes statewide.

    It's been assumed for some time, but John Kerry officially can not win Ohio through the counting of the remaining provisional ballots.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:59 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Monday, November 22, 2004
    Goldberg on President Bush: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't
    The president can do nothing right.

    This has been a constant theme of the last four years. When Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally (Iraq), he was denounced for not being multilateral. When he was multilateral (North Korea), he was denounced for not being unilateral. When Europeans are excluded, that's bad (again, allegedly Iraq); when Europeans are allowed to take the lead (Iran), that's bad, too. When Bush "outsourced" the war in Afghanistan by using non-American troops, that was a monumental mistake, according to Kerry and others. When we didn't outsource the war in Iraq, that was a monumental mistake as well. And so on.

    To understand the president's Catch-22 with his critics, consider his latest move as he prepares for his second term: shaking up the Central Intelligence Agency. Ever since 9/11 a cacophonic chorus has been calling for shake-ups at the CIA. "Why hasn't anyone been fired?" demanded everyone from the New York Times and the Democratic party to the so-called 9/11 families. The 9/11 commission demanded a huge shake-up not only of our intelligence bureaucracy but of the way we think about national security more broadly.

    Well, the administration is attempting to do that. Porter Goss, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a one-time CIA operative himself, is shaking things up. Several longtime and senior veterans of the agency have resigned in protest over Goss's supposedly rough and rude tactics.

    --Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online

    Posted by robbernard at 2:41 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, November 20, 2004
    Well, some good news for Ron Artest

    Looks like he might be getting a little time off to focus on his Rap career after all.

    Indiana's Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and fought with fans in the final minute of their game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, and the brawl forced an early and ugly end to the Pacers' 97-82 win.

    Officials stopped the game with 45.9 seconds remaining after pushing and shoving between the teams spilled into the stands once fans got involved by throwing things at the players near the scorer's table.

    "It's the ugliest thing I've seen as a coach or player," said Pistons coach Larry Brown, who was in the middle of the confrontation, trying to break it up.

    After several minutes of players fighting with fans in the stands, a chair, beer, ice, and popcorn were thrown at the Pacers as they made their way to the locker-room in one of the scariest brawls in an NBA game.

    "I felt like I was fighting for my life out there," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm sorry the game had to end this way."

    --The Globe and Mail

    Posted by robbernard at 2:29 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, November 19, 2004
    Kofi Annan faces vote of no confidence
    UN staff are expected to make an unprecedented vote of no confidence in Secretary-General Kofi Annan, union sources say, after a series of scandals tainted his term in charge of the world body.

    The UN staff union, in what officials said was the first vote of its kind in the almost 60-year history of the United Nations, was set to approve a resolution withdrawing support for Annan and senior UN management.

    Annan has been in the line of fire over a series of scandals including controversy about a UN aid program that investigators say allowed deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to embezzle billions of dollars.

    Staffers said the trigger for the no-confidence measure was an announcement this week that Annan had pardoned the UN's top oversight official, who was facing allegations of favouritism and sexual harassment.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by robbernard at 2:35 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, November 18, 2004
    This won't make the Lefties happy

    Looks like the Kerry campaign ended up with somewhere between 15 and 45 million dollars left over. (This is in addition to the $7 million he had on hand for legal fights.) Yet another sign of just how terrible a campaign the Kerry camp ran.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:37 AM in Politics/Government
    During the presidential campaign, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia received a strange letter in his home mailbox. It was a fundraising flier from Democratic strategist James Carville. The appeal invoked an issue apparently thought to be so frightening that it would prompt recipients to fork over massive amounts of money to the Kerry campaign.

    The "terrifying" message came with the headline: "What Would You Think of CHIEF JUSTICE Scalia?"

    --CSMonitor (hat tip Kirk)

    Posted by robbernard at 11:18 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004
    Condi's it

    NSA Condoleeza Rice is officially President Bush's choice to replace Powell as Secretary of State.

    President Bush on Tuesday nominated a trusted confidant, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state in Bush's second term.

    "During the last four years I've relied on her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated her sound and steady judgment. And now I'm honored that she's agreed to serve in my Cabinet," Bush said.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by robbernard at 1:25 PM in Politics/Government

    Looks like there will be a recount here in Ohio. Cobb and Badnarik have raised enough money to carry it out.

    And this will change absolutely nothing. This isn't some 1,360 vote margin, this is a 136,000 vote margin. You can't make that up in a recount. Though maybe Cobb thinks he can make a comeback. I mean, he did get all of 24 votes in Ohio. If he can come up with just 2,796,124 more votes in a recount he wins!

    And I have to say I'm curious about why Ohio is being singled out here. If the recount idea is so pure of motive why aren't they fighting to recount in Pennsylvania? That's a bigger state and Kerry only won there by 127,470 votes and there were actual accusations of fraud.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:59 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Monday, November 15, 2004
    4 more cabinet members out

    Secretary of State Colin Powell, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham have resigned. The insiders seem to be saying Rice is the choice to replace Powell.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:50 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, November 13, 2004
    Debunking the myths & conspiracy theories of the stolen election

    Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times has a very good summary of why the various conspiracy theories about the election being stolen are wrong.

    A couple examples:

    Several impressive-looking charts and graphs are flying around. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann singled out five Florida counties for what he called a "sudden" outbreak of "irregularities:" Baker, Dixie, Holmes, Lafayette and Liberty.

    In those counties, Republicans make up only 7 to 24 percent of registered voters. But Bush won there with between 64 and 78 percent of the vote.

    How can this be? Easy. They are northern "Dixiecrat" counties where being a registered Democrat but voting Republican is an old habit. The same counties voted overwhelmingly for Bush in 2000, and his father in 1988 - when registered Republicans made up as little as 2 percent of the electorate!

    By the way, to make this claim, the conspiracy folks have had to contend that voting was more suspicious in counties without electronic machines.

    CLAIM: Touch screen machines in Broward County started "counting backwards."

    No, they didn't. The voting machines in the precincts worked fine.

    Broward's central vote-counter was not programmed to expect more than 32,000 votes in any single precinct.

    With the limit exceeded, the running totals in four races (all constitutional amendments) did, indeed, start declining.

    Observers quickly noticed it. It got fixed. The accuracy of the individual voting machines was never in question. Nobody's vote was a "negative" that subtracted from the vote totals.

    --St. Petersburg Times

    Posted by robbernard at 12:40 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, November 11, 2004
    Ok, this time he's really dead
    [Palestinian Authority President Yasser] Arafat had been sick with an unknown illness that had been variously described as the flu, a stomach virus or gallstones. He flew to Paris October 29 seeking medical treatment and was hospitalized with what Palestinian officials said was a blood disorder.

    He had been on a respirator since slipping into a coma November 3.

    A hospital spokesman said he died at 3:30 a.m. Thursday (9:30 p.m. Wednesday ET).

    Arafat's body will be taken from France to Cairo, where the Egyptian government will host a state funeral for him, Erakat said.

    He will be buried outside the Palestinian Authority headquarters compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.


    Don't hold your breath for a gushing eulogy. Maybe now a Palestinian can step up who's actually willing to work towards peace.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:19 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004
    2000 v. 2004

    Realclearpolitics has pulled together the Presidential results from each state from 2000 and 2004 and it shows that Bush did better against Kerry than he did against Gore in every single state except South Dakota and Vermont.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:19 PM in Politics/Government
    White House counsel Alberto Gonzales nominated as the next Attorney General
    White House counsel Alberto Gonzales is President Bush's pick to replace Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    "His sharp intellect and sound judgment have helped shape our policies in the war on terror," Bush said Wednesday afternoon from the White House.

    Gonzales said the day was one of "conflicting emotions." He said if confirmed he would miss interacting with the members of the White House staff on a daily basis.

    "I will work hard to build upon [Ashcroft's] record," he said.

    Gonzales, a former Texas Supreme Court justice appointed by then-Gov. Bush, was named White House counsel in January 2001. He had also served as Texas' secretary of state.

    As White House counsel he has been intimately involved in many of the issues that he would confront as attorney general, including the legal handling of detainees in the war on terror, and the Justice Department's administration of the Patriot Act.

    If confirmed in the post, Gonzales will be the first Hispanic American to hold the Cabinet position.


    Now this one is a bit of a surprise, I think the conventional wisdom said that if there was a new post for him it would be on the Supreme Court.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:52 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, November 9, 2004
    Attorney General Ashcroft & Secretary of Commerce Don Evans out
    Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans have resigned, the White House said Tuesday evening.

    Ashcroft's resignation will be effective upon confirmation of his successor, a Justice Department official said.

    The White House released their resignation letters Tuesday evening. Ashcroft's was hand-written and dated November 2, the day Bush was re-elected; Evans' was dated Tuesday.


    All those who are surprised or upset raise your hands. Wait, I don't see any hands...

    Posted by robbernard at 7:30 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, November 7, 2004
    An Ohio GOP poll observer's story

    Over at Wizblog.

    Whatever happened to all that chaos, intimidation and disenfranchisement the Left was so certain would happen?

    Posted by robbernard at 2:11 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    The things we'd do to get President Bush reelected

    I've got quite a cold going right now from spending so much time out in the cold rain on election day getting the vote out. But hey, if that's the price I have to pay for 4 more years I'll gladly do so.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:31 AM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, November 6, 2004
    Secret Service admits the bulge was a bulletproof vest
    Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place.

    Speculation about the bulge on the Internet only increased since Georges de Paris, the Washington tailor who makes Bush’s suits, told The Hill last month that it was nothing more than a pucker on the back of Bush’s coat caused when he crossed his arms.

    But sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that Bush was wearing a bulletproof vest, as he does most of the time when appearing in public. The president’s handlers did not want to admit as much during the campaign, for fear of disclosing information related to his personal security while he was on the campaign trail.


    Posted by robbernard at 1:28 PM in Politics/Government
    Intolerant in their tolerance
    MY FAVOURITE example of Democratic incomprehension in the wake of Tuesday’s election was the latte-clutching film producer from the Upper West Side, who offered, in apparent earnest, to take her neighbourhood’s “way of life” on a road show around the country, to teach the gap-toothed residents of Middle America about “honoring diversity and having compassion for people with different lifestyles.”

    Ah, Democrats: so intolerant in their tolerance, conformist in their nonconformism, preachy in their militant secularism. If any of the columnists and academics and film stars bodying forth to denounce the 60 million Americans who voted for George Bush as so many right-wing religious wackos (the novelist Jane Smiley’s piece in Slate magazine -- “Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states” -- is of particular note) had ever met any of the people they treat with such hysterical scorn, they might realize how narrow their conception of “diversity” really is. But then, if they had any interest in finding out how other people think, and why, rather than merely confirming themselves in their infinite self-regard, they might not have lost the election.

    --Andrew Coyne

    It's true. The Left is more than willing to accept anyone, so long as they think and act exactly like the Left. Are you black? They'll accept you. Unless you're a Republican. Are you gay? They'll accept you. Unless you disagree with how they're trying to establish gay marriage. Are you religious? They'll accept you so long as you care more about social justice, abortion and being anti-death penalty than morality and responsibility. Are you from the South? They'll accept you. Unless you believe the things a majority of Southerners believe.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:17 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, November 5, 2004
    Jobs up big

    337,000 new jobs in October. There are now 156,000 more jobs than at the end of December '01, the last full month of Clinton's presidency and jobs have 3 months to increase 112,000 to match the number from January '01 which would show that the notion that President Bush is the first president to lose jobs since Hoover was premature.

    (And of course the Household Survey shows 5,895,000 more jobs since January '01.)

    Posted by robbernard at 11:13 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, November 4, 2004
    Zell Miller on the Democrats' choice
    The most recent failed nominee for president stands as proof that the national Democratic Party will continue to dwindle. The South has gone from just one-fourth of the Electoral College in 1960 to almost a third today.

    To put this in perspective, that gain is equal to all the electoral votes in Ohio. Yet there was not a single Southern state where John Kerry had any real chance. Would anyone like to place bets on the electoral strength of the South by 2012? Maybe they should tax stupidity.

    When you write off centrist and conservative policies that reflect the will of people in the South and Midwest, you write off the South and Midwest. Democrats have never learned from the second or third or fifth kick of a mule. They continue to change only the makeup on, rather than makeup of, the Democrat Party.

    And so we have a realignment election. For the first time, in an "us vs. them" election and in the toughest of situations, Republicans have been re-elected to the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    Confronting an opposition that can win a divided electorate in the worst of times and that has a growing electoral base, the national Democratic Party has a choice: continue down this path toward irrelevance or reverse course. As the last Truman Democrat, I hope my party makes the right choice but know I will not be allowed to be part of it. Such is the price you pay when you love your nation more than your party.

    And so while I retire with little hope for the near-term viability of the party I've spent my life building, I retire with a quiet satisfaction that after witnessing the struggle of democracy over communism and fascism, the fear I once held that America might not rise to meet this new challenge of terrorism has vanished like a fog under the radiance of a new dawn. While the threat is still real, the shadow looming across a promising future is gone.

    --Atlanta Journal Constitution (via The Kerry Spot)

    The Democrats are going to have to learn a lesson from this election. If it's that they need to be angrier or be more liberal or fight nastier - if they decide that they need to play to the far left that is filled with hatred and spews nothing but vitriol then they're in serious trouble. If they can see the error in their ways and ressurect the Scoop Jackson wing of the party then the Republicans will have a fight on their hands.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:12 PM in Politics/Government
    The GOTV effort

    Peter Bronson's got a column on the GOTV effort here in Ohio in the Enquirer

    [Doug Corn is] one reason Bush won Ohio and the election.

    To understand why, you need to know terms such as "voter flush," "micro-targeting," and "personal voter contact."

    They were all happening Tuesday afternoon at the Bush-Cheney headquarters in a storefront on Seventh Street.

    It was highly organized chaos. Pizza boxes, Halloween candy, rubber bands and Sharpie boxes littered the few square inches of tables that were not jammed with volunteers, huddled elbow-to-elbow, talking to likely voters like air-traffic controllers trying to bring Air Force One in for a safe landing.

    They call it GOTV - Get Out The Vote. After years of getting smoked on Election Day by union-label phone banks, the Republicans finally took apart the Democratic Party machine and rebuilt it, new and improved.

    It works like this: During the final four days, Bush-Cheney volunteers in Hamilton County made more than 100,000 phone calls. They were not dumb-bomb "lit drops" of fliers to paper a neighborhood. That's old school. GOTV calls were smart bombs, guided with GPS accuracy.

    "The key is personal voter contacts," said Alex Trantafilou, vice chairman of Hamilton County Bush-Cheney 2004. "We made 2 million voter contacts in Ohio over the last 96 hours."

    Doorknockers were given books of names on the same street, showing the breakdown of Rs and Ds at each house.

    Then on Tuesday, field teams scrambled to polling places for public postings of people who had voted. Those were called in to teams of college students who sat on the floor, deleting those voters from a database in hand-held PDAs. The updates were then downloaded to PCs, to print new lists for callers to "flush out" anyone who had not voted yet.

    Trantafilou believes his eager army of unpaid volunteers gave Republicans a big edge over Democratic field workers who were paid by the hour.

    Fox News proved him right at 12:40 a.m., by calling Ohio for Bush - based on GOP turnout in Hamilton County that offset Kerry votes in Cleveland. NBC called Ohio for Bush 15 minutes later.

    "One guy knocked on 500 doors and worked 12 hours a day," Trantafilou said. That guy was Doug Corn. He worked 9 to 9 for nearly a week. Unpaid. At financial cost to his business. And although he's a Bush "Ranger" who raised more than $200,000 in donations, it was his first time in the trenches.

    --Cincinnati Enquirer

    Posted by robbernard at 10:38 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Wednesday, November 3, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

    This week Wictory Wednesday is much more literal than previous weeks.

    I think there has to be a moment of recognition for every person who had a hand in President Bush's reelection. Those who voted, those who donated, those who spoke out and especially those who volunteered their time and energy. A lot of people nationwide put a lot of effort into it.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:22 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry concedes
    President Bush won a second term from a divided and anxious nation, his promise of steady, strong wartime leadership trumping John Kerry's fresh-start approach to Iraq and joblessness. After a long, tense night of vote counting, the Democrat called Bush Wednesday to concede Ohio and the presidency, The Associated Press learned.

    Kerry ended his quest, concluding one of the most expensive and bitterly contested races on record, with a call to the president shortly after 11 a.m. EST, according to two officials familiar with the conversation.

    The victory gave Bush four more years to pursue the war on terror and a conservative, tax-cutting agenda — and probably the opportunity to name one or more justices to an aging Supreme Court.

    He also will preside over expanded Republican majorities in Congress.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by robbernard at 11:23 AM in Politics/Government
    Some quick number crunching

    Regarding the miniscule chances that the outstanding ballots could change the result here in Ohio:

    President Bush currently leads by 144,000. Cuyahoga County was the most lopsided county win for Kerry at 67% for Kerry. Let's say there were 350,000 outstanding ballots (which by all accounts is extraordinarily high) and let's say they matched exactly the results from Cuyahoga. That would result in 234k votes for Kerry and 116k for Bush, that would only close Bush's lead to 26k. That would give Bush 50.08% and Kerry 49.55%. That's a difference of .53%. The automatic recount in Ohio doesn't kick in until it's closer than .25%.

    For the outstanding ballots to overcome President Bush's lead they'd have to be even more pro-Kerry than the most lopsided of all the counties. The chances of those ballots, from every county in the state even coming close to matching Cuyahoga County's would itself be almost 0.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:58 AM in Politics/Government
    This feels good, this feels damn good

    I'm at a bit of a loss for words. It was a looooooong day down at Headquarters. I attribute the win in VERY large part to the Bush campaign's greatly increased focus on the GOTV campaign. It was really quite amazing the level of contact that was made with people known to support President Bush. I don't know that there was a Bush supporter in the county that wasn't contacted if their name didn't show up on the list of people who had voted. Dozens of volunteers were criscrossing the county to make sure that everybody who supported President Bush had voted. 4 years ago the Dems whooped up on the Reps on GOTV, this year I think it was dead even.

    The rush of being on the frontlines of a victorious battle is really tremendous. And being involved in the get out the vote effort in a county like Greene County in an election like this election really does feel like you're on the front lines and when your side comes out on top it kind of feels like it was your company that helped save all the other troops on the field.

    Oh yeah, and where was all the chaos that people were so sure the Challngers would cause?

    And just think, it looks like we can finally do away with the whole "selected, not elected" meme.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:30 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, November 2, 2004
    A bunch of election day thoughts

    I think the range on the result probably runs from a close Kerry win to a Bush win with about 310 EV. My official prediction is 296-292 in favor of Bush.

    I think the expectations of chaos are being overblown. I think people have looked at 2000 and become convinced that something that's only ever happened once is actually an every-four-years occurrence. I think the threat of drawn out legal battle is actually far smaller than most seem to think. Similarly I think the Challenger situation has been overblown. (And the earlier rulings have been overturned and there will be Challengers.) They're not going to be challenging every third voter. They're probably going to have a fairly small list of voters they're worried about because they've voted absentee or died or are registered multiple times. Heck, here in Greene County we've got Observers and/or Challengers at something like 78 precincts. This county is one of the most Republican in Ohio, if they were really looking to intimidate voters they certainly wouldn't be doing it in Greene County. And let's remember that making sure somebody who isn't supposed to vote doesn't vote is just as important as making sure that somebody who can vote does. Each situation results in a valid vote being eliminated. When somebody who's allowed to vote is kept from voting their vote doesn't count. Likewise when an invalid vote is cast it negates a legal voter that voted for the other choice.

    I think Bush wins both Ohio and Florida. The RCP average in both states favors Bush.

    I also think the Bush grassroots campaign in Ohio is being greatly underestimated. The GOP GOTV efforts are stronger than ever before. There are a bunch of Leftist organizations trying to get out the vote, but they're just that, a bunch of organizations. The Bush team isn't being outnumbered in workers and has a much easier time of coordination. (I was volunteering today, walked door-to-door and came back and made 250 phone calls. Met Senator DeWine when he came through Headquarters. If you have some time to volunteer tomorrow call your county GOP Headquarters and ask what they need. I imagine they'll be happy to have you.) Many, many Bush supporters have been identified through literally millions of volunteer phone calls throughout Ohio. (Volunteer phone calls being different than the bajillion prerecorded messages voters are receiving.) The Bush team knows who supports President Bush and they're prepared to get them to the polls today. They plan on knowing which supporters haven't voted and are ready to call and remind them or even show up at their door and drive them to the polls. They're going to do everything possible to ensure that the support for President Bush is reflected at the polls tomorrow.

    Notable endorsements

    George W. Bush

    US Senator:
    George Voinovich

    US House of Representatives (7th District):
    Dave Hobson

    Greene County Commission:
    Ralph C. Harper and Rick Perales

    2nd District Court of Appeals:
    Mary Donovan

    Issue 1:
    No - A lot of thought went into this, I really didn't make up my mind until just as I wrote this. In the end, this amendment isn't written nearly clearly enough. I'd be willing to support an amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, and maybe, just maybe, one dealing with civil unions, but I can't support this one. Give me one that more clearly simply constitutionalizes the status quo and there's a good chance I could support that.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:46 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, November 1, 2004
    27,000 registered in both Ohio and Florida
    Hundreds of voters could easily cast ballots Tuesday in both Ohio and Florida because they are eligible to vote in both states and have received absentee ballots from election officials in Ohio, The Plain Dealer has found.

    And if they do, they almost certainly will go undetected.

    These people are among more than 27,000 listed as active voters in both Ohio and Florida who could cast ballots in either of the two states, both among the most closely contested in the presidential race.
    As many as 400 people voted in Ohio and Florida in the same election over the past four years, records show. In the 2000 presidential election, about 100 Ohio voters also cast ballots in Florida - where the presidential race was decided by just 537 votes.
    More than 300 voters from Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin counties received Ohio absentee ballots for Tuesday's election, though they are also eligible to vote in Florida. Many of these voters requested their Ohio ballots within days or weeks of registering to vote in Florida.

    At least a handful of voters from the three counties requested absentee ballots from both states - potentially allowing them to vote twice without even going to a polling place.

    Some voters registered in both states within the same month.

    Besides double-voters, records also show that thousands of voters have toggled from Ohio to Florida and back again since 2000. For example, 1,400 voters cast ballots in Ohio in 2000 and 2002 after registering in Florida.

    --Plain Dealer

    Posted by robbernard at 2:26 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Sunday, October 31, 2004
    bin Laden: If your state votes for Kerry we won't consider you an enemy

    From the good folks at MEMRI:

    The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state")(2) to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."

    The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,' it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn't treat all American people as if they're the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections."


    Someone care to explain how that can be interpreted as Osama fearing that Kerry will be tougher on al Qaeda?

    Let me get this straight

    In Florida in 2000 simply seeing a police officer on the way to the polling place was considered voter intimidation. This year Michael Moore sees no problem with sticking 1,200 cameras in front of polling places in 2 states.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:52 PM in Politics/Government
    Liberal voter fraud uncovered in PA
    We have every reason to believe that there has been gross abuse of the absentee ballot process in the prison system," said U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-7, of Thornbury.

    While waiting to begin a press conference outside Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility Friday afternoon, Weldon said he watched the crime he was prepared to speak about unfold before his eyes.

    "Four girls walked out from the prison who had clearly been doing some kind of election work," he said. "When (state Rep.) Steve Barrar and I went up and asked them what they were doing, they said ‘We can’t tell you.’

    "We told them who we were and asked if they had collected any absentee ballots while they were in the prison. Sure enough, one of them pulled out a ballot and showed it to us. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen -- just the type of illegal, third-party handling of ballots that we had been tipped off about. And there were TV crews there filming the whole thing."

    Weldon said former U.S. Attorney Robert E.J. Curran would be filing a suit in federal court challenging the legitimacy of all absentee ballots that originated from Pennsylvania prisons.
    State law prohibits incarcerated, convicted felons from submitting an absentee ballot. Pretrial detainees and misdemeanants are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

    --The Daily Times

    Posted by robbernard at 12:27 PM in Politics/Government
    Attacked by the Left (Part 8)
    Fort Lewis College student Mark O'Donnell experienced an unwanted lesson in hardball politics when he was kicked for wearing a cheeky FLC College Republicans sweatshirt.

    The GOP shirt, emblazoned across the back with: "Join us now … or work for us later," drew the ire of a woman who saw O' Donnell clad in it at Gazpacho New Mexican Restaurant.

    O'Donnell later learned that the kicker was María Spero, a part-time instructor at the college, who issued an apology to O'Donnell on Friday.
    On Oct. 21, O'Donnell met friends at Gazpacho to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday. O'Donnell, a member of the FLC College Republicans, was wearing the sweatshirt with the club's logo on the front and the phrase on the back.

    While talking with friends, a girl at his table asked to see the sweatshirt, O'Donnell said. After showing his table the back of the shirt and the phrase, people at a neighboring table asked to see it. O'Donnell said he knew someone sitting at the other table. While modeling for the other table, he said, a woman, later identified as Spero, approached from behind and kicked him in the calf.

    O'Donnell did not know Spero, and the kick caught him by surprise. Not one to mind a good political argument, O'Donnell nevertheless said, "To physically take that out on someone because you disagree with them, that is completely wrong."

    After the blow, O'Donnell said, "She said she should have kicked me harder and higher."

    --Durango Herald (via Blogs for Bush and AlarmingNews)

    Posted by robbernard at 2:11 AM in Politics/Government
    Stats on Ohio's Bush-Cheney '04 grassroots campaign
    Grassroots Statistic of the Day- Number of phone calls made to Ohio voters by Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio Volunteers on October 29, 2004: 266,876

    OHIO BUSH-CHENEY ’04 GRASSROOTS UPDATE: As of October 30, 2004, the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign reports the following grassroots statistics in Ohio:

    · 85,612 Recruited Bush Volunteers
    · 2,406,788 Volunteer Phone Calls to Ohioans in support of President Bush
    · 349,032 Doors have been knocked on to support President Bush
    · 3,254 Total Parties for the President have been hosted
    · 2,755,820 TOTAL Volunteer contacts to date

    · 9 Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio Regional Chairs
    · 114 Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio County Chairs
    · 12,132 Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio Precincts Chaired

    --The Corner

    There are a LOT of GOTV calls being made every night here in Ohio and the effort for the final 72 hours is very well organized.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:58 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    From tonight's SNL

    Osama bin Laden:

    For a time I feared that I would not be eligible to vote in this election. But recently, praise Allah, I was tracked down by two volunteers from the Kerry campaign. They signed me up, and apparently, I am now registered in Cincinnati.

    This is of course ridiculous. Our al Qaeda terrorists are illegally registered to vote in Franklin County.
    Among supposedly eligible voters in Franklin County are suspected terrorists arrested for alleged plots to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and a local shopping mall.

    --The Columbus Dispatch

    Perhaps it was simply a mistake on SNL-Osama’s part and he really meant Columbus, he is a foreigner and may not know the difference.

    And remember, if you want to question whether people like that should be registered to vote and ensure that only people legally allowed to vote do vote then you're guilty of voter intimidation and trying to steal the election.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:29 AM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, October 30, 2004
    Good stuff from Orson Scott Card
    The falsehoods are thick on the ground, and contrary to the impression some might try to give you, they are not conducted equally by both sides.

    When they trumpet examples of Republican "lies," they usually turn out to be in the following categories:

    1. Statements that turn out to be wrong, though they were believed to be right at the time they were spoken. (In the rational world, we call these "mistakes.")

    2. Statements that interpret legitimate data in ways that support the Republican view. (In the rational world, we call these "differences of opinion.")

    3. Statements that point out obvious contradictions between what the Democratic candidates say and what they have said and done in the past. These are called "negative campaigning" and "mudslinging" and "distortions" and, of course, "lies," but these countercharges are offered instead of coherent explanations.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats engage in wholesale, flat-out lying, ranging from Kerry's false charges against America's soldiers in Vietnam, his phony claims about Christmas in Cambodia and what it was he threw over the fence when he said they were his medals, to present charges that Bush has blocked stem-cell research and that if Kerry were president, paralytics would rise up and walk.

    If a Republican had said these things, the media would throw him into the flames, never letting us forget these ridiculous and contemptible lies for a second. Instead, we get the ABC News memo that makes it clear that Republican distortions are to be trumpeted, while Democratic ones are "not central" and therefore can be ignored.

    --The Ornery American - Orson Scott Card

    In another column:
    From the second debate between Bush and Kerry, when Kerry was asked about abortion:

    "KERRY: I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

    "But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that."

    Let's see. Religion leads John Kerry today. Who knew?

    But apparently his religion doesn't cause him to support laws that would stop people from killing even perfectly viable, full-term babies in the midst of being born. Because murder isn't murder if the victim's beating heart has not yet pumped blood charged with oxygen drawn through the victim's own lungs.

    What I want to know is how you can possibly legislate anything at all that does not involve taking your personal belief about what is right and wrong and punishing those who don't go along.

    Did John Kerry not vote for the notorious "hate speech" laws? Didn't he decide that certain words and ideas were so evil and loathsome that people who say them while committed a crime should receive extra punishment?

    Didn't John Kerry support the ban on peaceful demonstrations anywhere near abortion clinics? Didn't he impose his beliefs on those who hope to save innocent lives by kneeling and silently praying in front of abortion clinics, when he voted for the law that allows them to be arrested for that?

    Perhaps he abstained from forcing his beliefs on others because those laws are in direct violation of the actual written words of the Constitution, as opposed to the fantasy clause that protects "abortion rights." I'd have to check the record on that.

    When Kerry really believes something is wrong, he does not hesitate to call for laws to ban it. What he's really saying is that it's illegitimate to ban something you believe is wrong if -- and only if -- your belief in its wrongness comes from your religion.

    So in his worldview, only religious people are forbidden to impose their beliefs about right and wrong on others. As long as you have no religion behind you, you can force your beliefs about right and wrong on anybody you want.

    --The Ornery American - Orson Scott Card

    Though here I think Kerry's position is less clear than Card thinks. In that debate he also said that his legislation in other areas like the environment were based his religious beliefs. I think Kerry's actual position is actually more along the lines of "I won't legislate articles of faith unless I can get people to vote for me by doing so."

    In another column Card deals with Iraq quite well:

    Of course, the stupid answer to what I just said is, "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Therefore footage of 9/11 has nothing to do with this war."

    But this war is not about punishing Al-Qaeda -- that's what the anti-war people claim.

    This war -- including the large campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq and the dozens of smaller campaigns that we don't hear about -- is about preventing international terrorist attacks against anyone, anywhere.

    Since the war is not yet over, of course our enemies are still mounting terror attacks wherever they can.

    Again, the stupid response to this is, "See? The war is provoking more terrorism, not preventing it!"

    But we endured repeated attacks against soldiers and civilians until 9/11 finally made us say when. Is there anyone who seriously proposes that if we had not launched our war on terrorism, the 9/11 attacks would have been the last terrorist attacks anywhere in the world?

    Terrorism was happening anyway. But now, instead of freely going where they want to kill whomever they want, the terrorists are now desperate to show the Muslim world that they're still effective. In fact, however, they are severely limited in what they can do outside the Muslim world.

    That's why they're reduced to murdering Iraqi soldiers now -- fellow Muslims whose only "sin" was to volunteer to defend their country against Syrian and Iranian murderers and homegrown revolutionaries.

    Dead Iraqi soldiers. That's going to play so well in the streets of Iraq.

    But they're not trying to win Iraqi hearts and minds anymore. Now they're trying to terrify Iraqis into not supporting the interim government. That's a very different project, and it is a clear sign that the terrorists know that the Iraqi people have turned against them.

    Instead of "defenders" of Iraq against "American aggressors," they are now revealed as the would-be oppressors of Iraq, showing the Iraqi people how brutally they intend to rule over them if they get the chance.
    What a strange world Kerry lives in. He has a plan for everything, but can never tell us what it is -- probably because it's so complicated that we stupid people simply couldn't understand the subtleties of his unfathomable wisdom. We just have to take it on faith that his plan will be wonderful and makes us all happy and thin. (But not rich -- or not for long, anyway.)

    And since Kerry has so many secret plans, he is convinced that Bush must have secret plans, too. Plans for a draft. Plans to wreck Social Security. Evil, terrible plans that will destroy the world. He has no evidence for this -- but then, we have no evidence for Kerry's plans, either, yet he believes in them.

    Here's the gist of Kerry's secret plans: Whatever Bush did, Kerry would have done differently.

    But what I don't get is: If Bush is out of office and Kerry is in, how will Kerry know what Bush would have done so that he can do the opposite?

    --The Ornery American - Orson Scott Card

    All three columns are worth a read. The third in particular has a good section on how the Left assumes their voters are too stupid or lazy to be able to vote in the correct fashion.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:24 PM in Politics/Government
    Stolen Honor

    If you're interested, Stolen Honor, the doc Sinclair ended up not showing, is available for free viewing here.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:44 PM in Politics/Government
    Fahrenhype 9/11

    Finally saw Fahrenhype 9/11 tonight. It's an excellent rebuttal to Fahrenheit 9/11. A better documentary than Fahrenheit, but that isn't hard, it has the advantage of actually, you know, documenting facts. You subtract from Fahrenheit what FahrenHYPE rebuts and you're pretty much just left with the credits. It exposes the lies and deceptions. It shows the people Moore hurt with his film. It's the movie that everyone who was hoodwinked bye Fahrenheit must see and the movie that those who weren't should see.

    See if your video store has it, I know the local Family Video does.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:30 AM in Movies , Politics/Government

    Friday, October 29, 2004
    Cheney going to Hawaii
    Vice President Dick Cheney will campaign in Hawaii on Sunday, making a rare stop on historically Democratic turf where the presidential race is unexpectedly close, a spokeswoman announced Thursday.

    "We are competitive in the state; this is a very close race," Anne Womack said.
    Cheney will fly to Hawaii for a rally Sunday night.

    Hawaii, which has four electoral votes, backed Democrat Al Gore by nearly 20 percentage points in 2000 and only votes GOP in re-election landslides for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Richard Nixon in 1972. But polls show Bush within striking distance, which has forced the Democratic National Committee and Sen. John Kerry to spend money to advertise there.

    --ABC News

    It's worth noting that this is something that would never, ever happen if the Electoral College were abandoned for a straight popular vote system.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:39 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, October 28, 2004
    The state of the election in Ohio

    Jay Cost has a pretty thorough analysis of how things stand, specifically in GOTV efforts.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:39 PM in Politics/Government
    The Media Fund's horrible Bush and Saudis ad

    The Media Fund is running an outrageous ad here in Ohio (and probably elsewhere) that plays on peoples fears and is just a vicious, untrue smear. fact checks it to death.

    This anti-Bush radio ad is among the worst distortions we've seen in what has become a very ugly campaign. It states as fact some of the most sensational falsehoods that Michael Moore merely insinuated in his anti-Bush movie Farenheit 9/11 .

    The ad was released Oct. 25 by The Media Fund, an independent Democratic group run by former Clinton deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes. It falsely claims that members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the US "when most other air traffic was grounded," though in fact commercial air traffic had resumed a week earlier.

    The ad also falsely claims that the bin Laden family members were not "detained," when in fact 22 of them were questioned by the FBI before being allowed to leave -- and their plane was searched as well.

    And by the way, the man who gave approval for the flight wasn't Bush or even any of his close aides, it was former White House anti-terrorism chief Richard Clarke, now one of Bush's strongest critics.

    Read it.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:20 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Grassroots PA has an astounding look at some Philadelphia polling places. One of the polling places is actually the offices of Philadelphia Democrat Senator Vince Fumo, who is up for reelection.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:13 PM in Politics/Government
    The 380 tons

    Boy, as time goes on the missing 380 tons of explosives story looks less and less like the story Kerry wants it to be.

    First we have news that there wasn't actually 380 tons there.

    The Iraqi interim government has told the United States and international weapons inspectors that 377 tons of conventional explosives are missing from the Al-Qaqaa installation, which was supposed to be under U.S. military control.

    But International Atomic Energy Agency documents obtained by ABC News and first reported on "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" indicate the amount of missing explosives may be substantially less than the Iraqis reported.

    The information on which the Iraqi Science Ministry based an Oct. 10 memo in which it reported that 377 tons of RDX explosives were missing — presumably stolen due to a lack of security — was based on "declaration" from July 15, 2002. At that time, the Iraqis said there were 141 tons of RDX explosives at the facility.

    But the confidential IAEA documents obtained by ABC News show that on Jan. 14, 2003, the agency's inspectors recorded that just over three tons of RDX were stored at the facility — a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported.

    The IAEA documents could mean that 138 tons of explosives were removed from the facility long before the United States launched "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in March 2003.


    And to top off that story we find that the seals the IAEA put on the bunkers probably weren't even effective.
    The documents show IAEA inspectors looked at nine bunkers containing more than 194 tons of HMX at the facility. Although these bunkers were still under IAEA seal, the inspectors said the seals may be potentially ineffective because they had ventilation slats on the sides. These slats could be easily removed to remove the materials inside the bunkers without breaking the seals, the inspectors noted.


    And then the Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reports that the Russians may have helped move the explosives to Syria.
    Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.

    John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.

    "The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."

    Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloging the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.

    --Washington Times

    And please note that if 60 minutes had held this story until Sunday like they'd been planning to then none of this stuff would have had time to come out before the election.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:20 AM in Politics/Government
    These days, it is rare to hear advisers to John F. Kerry praise President Bush over any foreign policy issue, especially in a hotly contested battleground just days before the election. But the subject of Israel brought out the bipartisan side of Kerry adviser Richard Holbrooke here on Sunday -- to the delight of his mostly Jewish audience.

    "I'm not here to criticize President Bush," Holbrooke, a former United Nations ambassador, told hundreds of members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, a major pro-Israel lobbying group, gathered for their annual summit. ''His support for Israel is, in my mind, unquestionable."

    The crowd -- to Holbrooke's chagrin -- offered rousing applause. ''That was not," he said wryly, ''supposed to be an applause line."

    Posted by robbernard at 12:29 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004
    Attacked by the Left (Part 7)
    A man accused of attempting to run over U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris with his Cadillac was arrested today.

    Harris and a group of supporters were campaigning on the northwest corner of the intersection on Fruitville Road and North Washington Boulevard. Tuesday at about 6 p.m. when they spotted a car heading toward them quickly. The Cadillac drove up the sidewalk directly at Harris and others before swerving and driving away.

    Harris said she was afraid for her life and could not move as the car drove toward her, according to the police report.

    Witnesses gave the tag number to police, who located the car parked outside the home of Barry M. Seltzer. Police said Seltzer, 46, came in for questioning early this morning and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Seltzer, a landlord for several rental properties, is in the Sarasota County jail.

    "I was exercising my political expression," Seltzer told officers, according to the arrest report. "I did not run them down, I scared them a little."

    Posted by robbernard at 1:00 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    You can help the all-important get-out-the-vote efforts by volunteering for the 72 hour task force. Devoting as little as one morning, afternoon or evening to the cause in the final 4 days before the election could make all the difference.

    Most importantly get out and vote next Tuesday and bring along friends and family that also support President Bush.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the attacks and spin emanating from 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.

    If you'd like to help out monetarily you can give to the RNC.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:00 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, October 26, 2004
    A good anti-Kerry ad

    This ad from Americans for Peace Through Strength uses Ronald Reagan's words against Kerry.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:57 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, October 25, 2004
    While I'm at it...

    Football Fans for Truth lays out another Kerry lie. For years he's been saying he was only 90 feet from Bill Buckner when the ball rolled through his feet in the 1986 World Series. They find that Senator Kerry was attending a banquet in Boston that night while the game was being played at Shea in New York.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:42 PM in Politics/Government
    2004's Butterfly Ballot?

    You thought the Butterfly Ballot made it hard to vote for Gore? Just try voting for Bush or Badnarik there.

    The county board of elections should never have even tried to have line things.

    (via Boortz)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:38 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    Another Kerry untruth
    On September 20th Kerry was at New York University where he delivered this comment:
    "In the dark days of the Cuban missile crises, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to build support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then he offered to show him highly classified satellite photos as proof. De Gaulle waved him away saying, "The word of the President of the United States is good enough for me." How many world leaders have that same trust in America's president today?"
    Sherman Kent was the CIA official who actually carried the photos into de Gaulle's office. De Gaulle did not wave them off. To the contrary, he examined them closely.

    Secondly: The purpose of Acheson's trip was not to "build support." It was to inform. De Gaulle's biographer says that the very first thing de Gaulle said to Acheson was "I understand that you have not come to consult me, but to inform me." Acheson replied "that's correct." So much for Kerry's rendition of the meeting. The meeting simply didn't happen as Kerry said. Hopefully you're not surprised.

    Here's the kicker from the Weekly Standard story. De Gaulle expressed concerns that Kennedy might actually be trying too hard to cultivate European and world support for what he had to do with Fidel and the missiles. Let's see what Kerry would say about that one!

    --Neal Boortz

    Posted by robbernard at 12:34 PM in Politics/Government
    So it looks like Kerry lied
    U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

    An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.

    At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.

    "This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.

    Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December 2003, Mr. Kerry explained that he understood the "real readiness" of the United Nations to "take this seriously" because he met "with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein."

    But of the five ambassadors on the Security Council in 2002 who were reached directly for comment, four said they had never met Mr. Kerry. The four also said that no one who worked for their countries' U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either.

    The former ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.

    --Washington Times

    Redstate has a good roundup of how often he's lied about it.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:24 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, October 24, 2004
    October surprise?

    The scuttlebutt says a story quite damaging to Kerry will be on the front page of the Washington Times tomorrow.

    We'll see.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:12 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, October 23, 2004
    Holy bleeping bleep!
    On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

    --The Guardian

    That's right, the Guardian just published an article that wishes somebody would assassinate the President of the United States.

    So far past the line that the Guardian's going to need a bloody map and a plane ticket to find it again.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:34 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, October 22, 2004
    New campaign commercial

    From IMAO: Learn the facts about Halliburton.


    Posted by robbernard at 7:35 PM in Politics/Government
    Guardian throws in the towel
    The Guardian yesterday ran up the white flag and called a halt to "Operation Clark County", the newspaper's ambitious scheme to recruit thousands of readers to persuade American voters in a swing state to kick out President George W Bush in next month's election. The cancellation of the project came 24 hours after the first of some 14,000 letters from Guardian readers began arriving in Clark County. The missives led to widespread complaints about foreign interference in a US election.

    It also prompted a surge of indignant local voters calling the county's Republican party offering to volunteer for Mr Bush.

    Now this next bit is quite an entertaining bit of doublespeak.

    Albert Scardino, the paper's executive editor for news, simultaneously denied and conceded that an early halt had been called to the project. "It is roaringly, successfully completed. It has been an overwhelming triumph," he said.

    He then acknowledged that no more addresses were being distributed, blaming attacks on The Guardian website by Right-wing hackers.

    "If we had not had the technical problem of the assault we would have completed the distribution of names in orderly fashion," he said. "We were able to give fewer addresses [of voters in Clark County] than we hoped. There were 14,000 names and addresses sent out. We would like to have made it possible to reach another 42,000 people."

    It was completed successfully; we just had to end it early without having sent out as many addresses as we wanted to. That's good. :)

    Now just to top it all off:

    Yet there is one last Guardian letter [Linda Rosicka, director of the Clark County board of elections] would still like to see - one containing a cheque for $25 (about £13), which the newspaper still owes her for its purchase of the county's electoral roll.

    "I was nice and made the file available, because their reporter said he was right on deadline," she said. "They said the cheque is in the mail. As of this morning, it still hasn't arrived, and it's been more than a week."

    --The Telegraph

    All this and the Guardian still hasn't even paid for the list.

    (Thanks to Jake Allen for the recent links to the Telegraph articles.)

    Posted by robbernard at 1:02 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, October 21, 2004
    Guardian's attempts to influence the election in Clark County backfiring?

    People don't seem to be taking too kindly to the Guardian's plan to influence the election.

    Dan Harkins, a political activist in the vital swing state of Ohio, was excited when he first heard that the Guardian newspaper was recruiting readers to write to voters in his state in the hopes of giving foreigners a voice in the American election.
    The first letters to be made public all urged Clark County voters to reject Mr Bush. As he watched the reaction of friends and neighbours, Mr Harkins was delighted.

    He is the chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, and his neighbours' reaction was outrage. "It's hysterical," laughed Mr Harkins, showing off sheaves of incensed e-mails and notes from local voters.

    The Republicans' delight compares with the gloom among local Democrats, who fear that "foreign interference" is hurting Mr Kerry.

    Terry Brown had received a letter from a Scottish Guardian reader. The navy veteran and retired lorry builder was "offended" as he read the polite note, from Nicola Smith of West Lothian, with its denunciation of the Iraq war as a "farce", and closing plea to remove from power "the parties responsible for this war".
    "I feel very strongly that this was an invasion of my privacy," he said. "The right of my wife and myself to decide whom to vote for should not be affected by any other country. That was a freedom we fought for many years ago. It was 1776."

    Ms Smith's letter was addressed to Mr Brown's son, Sean. Mr Brown opens the mail because his son is in the army in Missouri, pending a possible posting to Iraq.

    "My son will have choice words to say about this that you can't print," said Mr Brown.
    Many local Democrats expressed sympathy with the desire of British voters to have a say. That does not mean they are happy the letters are coming.

    Particular gloom has been spread by letters to Clark County from chosen Left-wing celebrities, published on the Guardian website and widely read in Ohio.

    Ken Loach, the film director, began his letter: "Friends, you have the chance to do the world a favour. Today, your country is reviled across continents as never before. You are seen as the greatest bully on earth."

    Antonia Fraser, the historian, suggested: "If you back Kerry, you will be voting against a savage, militaristic foreign policy of pre-emptive killing, which has stained the great name of the US so hideously in recent times."
    Across America, the Guardian project has sparked disdain from the Right, and dismay from Kerry campaigners. Coverage in the US media has stressed the risks of offending voters. Furious e-mails have reached the Guardian, such as this one from Texas, stating: "Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions."

    --The Telegraph

    Posted by robbernard at 3:34 PM in Politics/Government
    Liberal voter registration group accused of breaking election laws
    An activist group was sued in Miami-Dade circuit court this week by a former employee, who has accused top officials of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now of violating a slew of election laws.

    Mac Stuart, of Opa-locka, has accused the organization, known as ACORN, of illegally copying voter registration applications and selling them to labor union groups, allowing people to sign petitions who were not registered voters and suppressing Republican voter registration applications.
    Stuart, who was assistant director of voter registration for the group, was fired in early August after being accused of trying to cash a paycheck that wasn't his. In the lawsuit, he claims he was fired only days after voicing his concerns about ACORN practices at a group meeting in late July.

    An attorney for ACORN, Faith Guy, said Stuart's former employers didn't engage in any wrongdoing and that it was Stuart engaging in election law violations.

    "I think this is absolutely outrageous," Guy said. "My sense is that these are things that he was doing."


    Wait, so the best defense ACORN can come up with is that ACORN actually did those things, but that they were the fault of somebody they fired? The guy was assistant director of voter registration, if he was doing those things than the organization was doing those things. If Ken Lay had come out and complained about the business practices at Enron it wouldn't have absolved Enron of blame just because Lay was himself engaging in the bad business practices.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:40 AM in Politics/Government
    Adam Dunn supporting President Bush

    Received the following letter from Olympians and Professional Athletes for Bush today. It's signed by Cincinnati athletes Anthony Munoz (whose open support for President Bush was already pretty well known) and Adam Dunn (for whom I don't know of any previous efforts to openly support President Bush in the campaign).

    To our fellow Americans:

    We have given much thought to the values and characteristics that make a great athlete. Our lives have been spent trying to run farther, push further, and jump higher than the person beside us, or across the field of our chosen sport. With years of training and exhaustive competition beneath our belts, we have identified the values necessary to compete and win--values like personal strength, determination, a sense of fair play and faith.

    The same qualities that make a great athlete make a great President--the determination to do what is right, regardless of the latest polls, the personal strength to bear the weight of the nation on your shoulders, and the faith that a higher power will direct the actions of good people.

    We see in President Bush these same qualities.

    In 2001, our nation was attacked without cause or provocation. The President's values saw us through those dark days after the terrorist attack. The economy was rocked by the dual blows of the terrorists' cowardly action and the reckless disregard of the rules by a few rogue executives. But President Bush's decisive, principled leadership has moved America forward, and today our nation is safer and our economy is strong and getting stronger.

    The fight against terrorism takes decisiveness. It takes continued support for our troops and first responders. But most importantly, it takes courage and inspirational leadership in the White House. In these critical times, our President has had the courage to stand up and do what's right.

    For that and for his unwavering character, we choose George W. Bush as our President for the next four years. He is a leader we can depend on to make the tough decisions and the right decisions. Please join us in supporting a candidate of courage, President Bush--a leader who backs our troops defending our nation and shares our values.


    Ernie Banks
    MLB Hall of Famer

    Daniel Beery
    Olympic Gold Medalist, Rowing

    Carlos Beltran
    MLB Baseball All-Star Centerfielder

    Craig Biggio
    MLB All-Star Catcher & Second Baseman

    Josh Davis
    Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming

    Adam Dunn
    MLB All-Star Left Fielder

    John Elway
    NFL Hall of Famer

    Bob Feller
    MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher

    Natalie Golda
    Olympic Bronze Medalist, Water Polo

    Matt Hasselbeck
    NFL Quarterback

    Bernie Kosar
    NFL Quarterback, Ret.

    Steve Largent
    NFL Hall of Famer

    Karl Malone
    NBA All-Star & MVP Winner

    Anthony Munoz
    NFL Hall of Famer

    Jack Nicklaus
    PGA Tour Most Major Championship Titles

    Mary Lou Retton
    Olympic Gold Medalist, Gymnastics

    Dot Richardson
    Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Softball

    Nolan Ryan
    MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher

    Janet Lynn Salomon
    Olympic Bronze Medalist, Figure Skating

    Chris Spielman
    NFL Linebacker, Ret.

    Roger Staubach
    NFL Hall of Famer

    Kerri Strug
    Olympic Gold Medalist, Gymnastics

    Lynn Swann
    NFL Hall of Famer

    Todd Walker
    MLB Second Baseman

    Posted by robbernard at 11:20 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004
    Following up again...

    ... on Friday's post about foreigners trying to influence the election by writing to Clark County residents, the letters have started arriving.

    The letter came addressed to her mother, but Beverly Coale wasn't expecting anything from England. She began to fear the writer had an underhanded motive.

    "You think, 'Is this really a letter from a guy in England, or is it from a terrorist?' " Coale said.

    Coale threw the correspondence away until she read a Springfield News-Sun article about a letter-writing campaign sponsored by the Guardian, a 400,000-circulation paper based in London.

    The Guardian has asked its readers to contact 36,000 undeclared Clark County voters in an attempt to influence the Nov. 2 presidential election.

    Coale's mother, Thelma Arnold, has not voted in recent years because of various illnesses, but she is registered.

    The Guardian is considered left-leaning and has been critical of U.S. foreign policy and President Bush's administration. The paper said 46 percent of its readers support Democratic Sen. John Kerry, 16 percent are pro-Bush.

    "You may be wondering, I know I would, why someone from the United Kingdom would care so much about the outcome of the forthcoming election in America. The answer is that the result is perhaps further reaching than you may imagine," Neil Evans of Kent, England, typed.

    Coale, who already has cast her vote for Kerry, called the letter propaganda and said she was shocked her mother received it.

    "Please act now to preserve your once-great name internationally. We know the majority of you didn't vote for Bush the first time around, but voting him in for a second term will mean putting on a Canadian accent when traveling abroad," Evans wrote.

    Coale called the letter courteous, but said she thinks the campaign will not work because the American people are too smart to be influenced by people outside the country.

    --Dayton Daily News

    I don't know, saying that Americans had better speak with a Canadian accent while abroad if President Bush is reelected doesn't strike me as all that courteous.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:28 AM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the attacks and spin emanating from 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.

    If you'd like to help out monetarily you can give to the RNC.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:25 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004
    New political ad features local family

    Ashley Faulkner lost her mother on 9/11. Back in May when President Bush was in Lebanon he took a moment to hug and comfort her. The story of the hug was run in the Enquirer and spread on the web. Now the Faulkners are being featured in a new ad from the group Progress for America.

    The most expensive TV ad buy of the presidential campaign shows President Bush consoling a teenage girl whose mother died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

    The ad, created by the conservative Progress for America Voter Fund, will run until the election on cable stations and in nine key states at a cost of $14.2 million, said the group's president, Brian McCabe. (Related link: Ad analysis)

    The ad was inspired by a photo of Bush hugging Ashley Faulkner, who is now 16, while campaigning in Lebanon, Ohio, on May 4. The photo, taken by the girl's father, Lynn Faulkner, was widely circulated on the Internet. As Bush shook hands in the crowd, the Faulkners' neighbor told him that Ashley had lost her mom on 9/11. Bush enfolded Ashley in his arms and offered her comfort.

    "In the midst of all those people and all that noise, it was an intimate and personal moment," Lynn Faulkner, a marketing consultant and a Republican, said in an interview. His wife, Wendy Faulkner, an information-systems executive, was in the South Tower on Sept. 11.

    The ad features the photo and Ashley and her father talking about Bush. "All he wants to do is make sure I'm safe," Ashley says in the ad. Lynn says in the ad that he saw in Bush "what I want to see in the heart and soul" of a president.

    --Progress for America

    The ad is titled "Ashley's Story" and can be viewed here. It's a pretty moving ad.

    A transcript of the ad:

    My wife Wendy was murdered by terrorists on September 11th.

    The Faulkner's daughter Ashley closed up emotionally, but when President George W. Bush came to Lebanon, Ohio she went to see him as she had with her mother 4 years before.

    He walked toward me and I said "Mr. President, this young lady lost her mother in the World Trade Center."

    And he turned around and he came back and he said "I know that's hard, are you all right?"

    Our president took Ashley in his arms and just embraced her. And it was at that moment that we saw Ashley's eyes fill up with tears.

    He's the most powerful man in the world and all he wants to do is make sure I'm safe, that I'm ok.

    What I saw is what I want to see in the heart and in the soul in the man who sits in the highest elected office in our country.

    Progress for America Voter Fund is responsible for the content of this message.

    The ad has its own domain,

    Posted by robbernard at 5:53 PM in Politics/Government
    Well so much for Kerry's claim to never cross picket lines
    Last summer, John F. Kerry refused to cross a police picket line and address the US Conference of Mayors meeting in Boston. Last night he rode in a motorcade that crossed two Florida police picket lines en route to a get-out-the-vote rally in vote-rich Orlando.

    Aides said the demonstration, staged by members of the Orlando Police Department represented by Fraternal Order of Police Local 25, was sprung on the campaign without prior notice in an effort to embarrass the city's Democratic mayor, Buddy Dyer. Local media describe the union as Republican-leaning, the same label aides to Mayor Thomas M. Menino attached to the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association in the midst of its dispute before the Democratic National Convention in July.

    "It was a surprise demonstration by an organization that supports President Bush," said David Wade, a spokesman for Kerry.

    The officers' contract expired Oct. 1. The city has offered the membership a 2 percent raise, as it did all city labor unions. The union is seeking 4 percent.

    One of the pickets, Officer Paul Bruning, said the union notified Democratic officials in Miami last week of its plans to picket Kerry both at Orlando International Airport and at the Barnett Park Recreation Center.

    --Boston Globe

    Posted by robbernard at 10:51 AM in Politics/Government
    Geez, maybe this is why Republicans have a harder time registering voters...

    ...not enough crack cocaine to hand out.

    Mary Poppins. Jeffrey Dahmer. Janet Jackson. Chad Staton.
    Defiance County elections officials were confident the first three hadn't moved to their small community. But the fourth one lived there, and - in exchange for crack cocaine - tried to falsely submit the first three names and more than 100 others onto the county's voter registration rolls, police said.

    Now Mr. Staton, 22, of Defiance, faces a felony charge of false registration in a case that has quickly gained national attention as part of a hotly contested presidential battle that's attracted a flurry of new voter registrations across the country - and a flurry of complaints of voter registration fraud.

    Defiance County Sheriff David Westrick said that Mr. Staton was working on behalf of a Toledo woman, Georgianne Pitts, to register new voters. She, in turn, was working on behalf of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which was formed by the NAACP in 2000 to register new voters.

    Sheriff Westrick said that Pitts, 41, of Toledo, admitted she gave Mr. Staton crack cocaine in lieu of cash for supplying her with completed voter registration forms. The sheriff declined to say how much crack cocaine Pitts supplied Mr. Staton, or to say whether Pitts knew that the forms Mr. Staton gave her were falsified.
    Of the 130 forms submitted, county elections board director Wayne Olsson said that only six turned out to be legitimate.

    Noting that the potentially new voters had listed addresses in Defiance County, Cuyahoga County elections officials sent the forms to Defiance County, where they arrived the afternoon of Oct. 8.

    The package came with a small note inside from Cuyahoga County officials: Check the signatures on the cards for fraud.

    Within an hour, Defiance County elections workers had deduced that the batch of 130 was mostly faked forms, said Laura Howell, the county elections board's deputy director.

    "We could tell by the handwriting that many of them were written by the same person," she said. "And of course we know the streets. Defiance being a small town, many of [the forms] had streets not even in Defiance."

    And so elections workers immediately began sending out letters, addressed to the people listed at those addresses, as a precaution to ensure that a Mary Poppins, a Jeffrey Dahmer, or a Janet Jackson didn't, in fact, live in Defiance County, she said.

    Letters also went out to George Foreman, Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, and Dick Tracy, among others in the bundle to see if the post office would return them as undeliverable.

    Letters even went out to a handful of people registered on forms with different personal identifiers but the same name: Chad Staton.

    None of the Chad Statons made the cut.

    In the meantime, elections officials contacted the office of Sheriff Westrick, a Republican, who began an investigation that included the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation.

    Sheriff's deputies arrested Mr. Staton as he walked along a Defiance street about 8 a.m. yesterday, and issued a press release by noon that soon spread across the Internet.
    it's not the first complaint of fraud against the NAACP Voter Fund, which insists it is nonpartisan.

    Elections officials in Lake County, just east of Cleveland, last month began investigating the group and an anti-Bush group called Americans Coming Together, or ACT Ohio, for hundreds of suspicious registration forms and absentee ballot requests.

    Among them was one, submitted by the NAACP Voter Fund, for a man who'd been dead for more than two decades.

    --Toledo Blade

    Posted by robbernard at 12:42 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Monday, October 18, 2004
    Following up...

    ... on Friday's post about foreigners trying to influence the election by writing to Clark County residents, the Guardian has posted some responses they've received.

    A few highlights:

    Dear wonderful, loving friends from abroad,
    We Ohioans are an ornery sort and don't take meddling well, even if it comes from people we admire and with their sincere goodwill. We are a fairly closed community overall. In my town of Springfield, I feel that there are some that consider people from the nearby cities of Columbus or Dayton, as "foreigners"- let alone someone from outside our country.
    Springfield, Ohio
    I just read a hilarious proposal to involve your readership in the upcoming US presidential election. At least, I'm hoping that it is genius satire. Nothing will do more to undermine the Democratic cause in Ohio than having patronising Brits wander around Clark County telling people how to vote. Just, for a second, imagine if the Washington Post sent folks from Ohio to do the same in Oxfordshire. I'm saying this as a Democrat, and as someone who has spent the last few years in the UK. That is, with all due respect. Please, please, be rational, and move slowly away from the self-defeating hubris.
    United States
    My dear, beloved Brits,
    I understand the Guardian is sponsoring a service where British citizens write to Americans to advise them on how to vote. Thank heavens! I was adrift in a sea of confusion and you are my beacon of hope!

    Feel free to respond to this email with your advice. Please keep in mind that I am something of an anglophile, so this is not confrontational. Please remember, too, that I am merely an American. That means I am not very bright. It means I have no culture or sense of history. It also means that I am barely literate, so please don't use big, fancy words.

    Set me straight, folks!
    Dayton, Ohio

    --Guardian Unlimited

    And there are many there that are quite a bit more strongly worded.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:33 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, October 15, 2004
    Foreigners trying to influence the election right here in Ohio
    Readers of a British newspaper have been invited to write Clark County voters with the aim of persuading the undecided to vote for either George W. Bush or John Kerry.

    The 400,000-circulation Guardian, a London-based newspaper, published an article explaining to its international readers that although they have no vote in the U.S. presidential election, they can make a difference.

    “ ... We’ve zeroed in on one of the places where this year’s election truly will be decided: Clark County, Ohio, which is balanced on a razor’s edge between Republicans and Democrats,” the article reads. It can be found on the Internet at, under the heading “My fellow non-Americans...” by Oliver Burkeman, who is based in the newspaper’s New York City bureau.

    The newspaper is encouraging its readers from “Basildon to Botswana” to write Clark County residents who do not have a declared party, “which somewhat increases the chances of their being persuadable.”

    Features editor Ian Katz said the unique idea stemmed from many foreigners’ feelings of helplessness while they watched the unfolding of the U.S. election — an election they feel will have a strong impact on the entire world.
    --Springfield News-Sun

    Posted by robbernard at 7:33 PM in Politics/Government
    Attacked by the Left (Part 6)
    Cleanup will soon be under way at the Bush-Cheney Victory Center in York County for the fifth time this election season.

    Vandals spray painted anti-Bush messages and "Vote Kerry" on the building and on the rented sign out front Wednesday night.

    They also stole the letters from the sign out front which had been advertising a veterans event for this weekend.

    "I just don't understand the mentality we're dealing with here. I mean, what are they proving? Because it's really, it's degrading to the other party to have this kind of vandalism going on," said Darwin Doll, headquarters coordinator.

    The vandals hit other businesses and a barn along Route 74 just outside of Dallastown Wednesday night.

    Doll said the Victory Center will now be equipped with security cameras.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:20 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004
    Way to make alliances there Senator Kerry
    All Italy is abuzzing today about a Kerry gaffe aired last night on HBO in Italy. As reported in today's Corriere della Sera in Italy, Defense Minister Antonio Martino criticized John Kerry for an incredible remark that the conditions of the Iraqi Army were so bad that even the Italian Army could kick their a**es.

    Martino remarked that Kerry, "instead of saying what he thinks, should think about what he says."

    But that would be too much for the great statesman from Massachusetts, wouldn't it?

    --The Corner on National Review Online

    Posted by robbernard at 11:40 PM in Politics/Government
    Now this is just sad
    Democrats in a race for a state House seat in District 82, are circulating a flyer that shows a child with disabilities with President Bush’s face running in a track race. The headline says: “Voting for Bush Is Like Running In The Special Olympics: Even If You Win, You’re Still Retarded.”

    The flyer is being distributed by Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. His opponent, Dave Dahl has issued a call to Fitzhugh to stop distributing the flyer.

    According to Dahl, “Hard-ball politics is one thing and everyone expects tough battles, but using those who are born with mental disabilities for political fodder is disgusting.”

    Dahl says the flyers have been distributed for at least two weeks from Fitzhugh’s campaign office in Ripley, Tennessee. It also serves as the Kerry-Edwards headquarters. “At first, I really did not believe that Fitzhugh and the Democrats would stoop to such gutter politics, but then people started bringing the flyer to me at the end of last week. I was shocked and disgusted.”

    Bill Hobbs has the response from the Special Olympics people:

    We at Special Olympics are astounded and appalled by a political flyer being distributed in Tennessee, showing the head of President Bush superimposed on the body of a Special Olympics athlete, saying, "Even if you win, you're still retarded."

    We see this communication as an egregious, gratuitous insult to our almost 2 million athletes in over 150 countries around the world and a stunning affront to the more than 200 million people in the world who have intellectual disabilities.

    We cringe at the thought that any one of these capable and courageous athletes would ever have to endure the agony, embarrassment, pain and suffering that this flyer would certainly cause.

    We hope that the person or persons responsible for this outrageous political advertisement would come forward, identify themselves, and explain to the people of Tennessee and everywhere else why they would choose to denigrate the spirit, courage, and accomplishments of the Special Olympics athletes.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:37 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004
    Stolen Honor

    Sinclair Broadcasting Group, owners and/or operators of Fox 45 and ABC 22 in Dayton and WB 64 in Cincinnati are preempting prime time programming on their stations to run Stolen Honor, a documentary about John Kerry's conduct upon returning from Vietnam.

    Off the bat, I think the judgements about Sinclair's presentation of the documentary are premature. As yet we don't have a clue as to how it will be presented, it might just end up being presented in an evenhanded manner. Or of course it could be completely biased, the point is we don't know yet.

    Personally I don't see how this is worse than what CBS and Michael Moore have done. Raise a stink about it if you want, boycott Sinclair stations, try to convince them not to run it, rebut it, tell people where it's wrong. That's fine. That's your right. I don't have a problem with that.

    I do however have a problem when people start whining to the FEC, when people move from "I don't like what that guy's saying, let's try and get him to stop" to "I don't like what that guy's saying, let's use the power of the government to get him to stop." The very purpose of the free speech clause of the First Amendment was to protect political speech. Airing this documentary is political speech. Sinclair has just as much right to air that documentary as the Left has the right to protest it.

    Were the FEC to do the unthinkable and rule that Sinclair can't broadcast it, that decision would be a travesty.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:09 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, October 9, 2004
    Well, last night's debate secured at least one vote
    Robin Dahle, who asked President Bush the first question yesterday, was just on NPR's Weekend America...

    Dahle said that, before the debate, there was a 40 percent chance he'd vote for President Bush. He's now 80-90 percent sure of his vote, although not 100 percent.

    The reason he gave was that Bush was more "personable." He also said that Kerry blundered when he said that only 3 people in the room made $200,000/year. He said that Kerry had made that assumption based on the appearance of the audience and the location of the debate. Dahle found that condescending.

    --Blogs for Bush

    Posted by robbernard at 8:14 PM in Politics/Government
    The Australian election Part 2

    Congrats to John Howard who won a fourth term yesterday.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:15 AM in Politics/Government
    Just a reminder

    There are in fact a couple of Internets. Now I can't speak as to whether draft rumors are flying around on Internet 2, but with all the college-types on there it's not out of the question.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:17 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, October 6, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the attacks and spin emanating from 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.

    If you'd like to help out monetarily you can give to the RNC.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:21 PM in Politics/Government
    A good line from Jim Geraghty at NRO's Kerry Spot

    His conclusion at the end of the debate:

    If I ever need to sue somebody, I'll call John Edwards.

    If I ever need somebody killed - like, you know, terrorists trying to kill me or my family - I'll call Dick Cheney.

    --The Kerry Spot on National Review Online

    Posted by robbernard at 12:41 AM in Politics/Government
    The undoubtedly preeminent zinger of tonight's Vice Presidential debate
    Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you "Senator Gone." You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate.

    Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session.

    The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.

    --Washington Post

    Thought Cheney did very well tonight. He clearly knew his stuff, and I'd call it a draw in style. In the end, as with last week's debate, I think more people will agree with and believe what Vice President Cheney said. And also as with last week's debate, very few people's votes will have been changed.

    And the runner up:

    And with respect to [the Iraq War], we've seen a situation in which, first, they voted to commit the troops, to send them to war, John Edwards and John Kerry, then they came back and when the question was whether or not you provide them with the resources they needed -- body armor, spare parts, ammunition -- they voted against it.

    I couldn't figure out why that happened initially. And then I looked and figured out that what was happening was Howard Dean was making major progress in the Democratic primaries, running away with the primaries based on an anti-war record. So they, in effect, decided they would cast an anti-war vote and they voted against the troops.

    Now if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to al Qaeda?

    --Washington Post

    Posted by robbernard at 12:33 AM in Politics/Government
    Attacked by the Left (Part 5)
    A group of protestors stormed and then ransacked a Bush-Cheney headquarters building in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, according to Local 6 News. ... Local 6 News reported that several people from the group of 100 Orlando protestors face possible assault charges after the group forced their way inside the Republican headquarters office.

    While in the building, some of the protestors drew horns and a mustache on a poster of President George W. Bush and poured piles of letters in the office, according to the report.

    "We told them to leave, they broke the law," Republican headquarters volunteer Mike Broom said.

    Two protestors received minor injuries when the crowd stormed the building, including a Republican volunteer.

    --WKMG (Orlando, FL)

    Hat tip Instapundit (He also has pics from the Knoxville attack mentioned below.)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:18 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, October 5, 2004
    Attacked by the Left (Part 4)
    An unknown suspect fired multiple shots into the Bearden office of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign Tuesday morning. ... According to Knoxville Police Department (KPD) officers on the scene Tuesday, it is believed that the two separate shots were fired from a car sometime between 6:30 am and 7:15 am.

    One shot shattered the glass in the front door and the other cracked the glass in another of the front doors.

    Bush-Cheney volunteer campaign coordinator Suzanne Dewar says she originally planned to be in the office early Tuesday morning.

    "If I had gotten here a couple hours earlier, I'd have been inside," Dewar explains. "And we don't turn the lights on until we open, so they wouldn't have [known] someone was inside."
    Volunteers and staffers at the campaign office say they have no clues as to who might have committed the crime. However, they add that the shooting makes them even more enthusiastic about working for their candidates.

    "If anything, they've energized us," Dewar says. "Thank you. Not thank you for shooting at us, but, nothing's gonna slow us down."

    Dewar says she can't imagine why someone would fire shots into an office where people could have been injured or killed.

    "I don't even know what to say to the person that did this," Dewar says. "...Get a life. This is ridiculous."

    --WBIR (Knoxville, TN)

    Keep this quiet though, people are supposed to think that only the "brownshirts" on the right would stoop to stuff like this.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:54 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, October 3, 2004
    Note to John Kerry...

    Football may not be the best sport for you to take up on the campaign trail.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:50 AM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, October 2, 2004
    Good news

    The Global Test you need to take before doing anything outside our own borders is now available online.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:54 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, October 1, 2004
    Gallup Poll

    The Gallup Poll on the debate is out. It shows that 53% of people believe Kerry won the debate and 37% think President Bush did. Interestingly the only aspect of the debate Kerry led in was "Expressed himself more clearly".

    Viewers saw Kerry as more articulate in the debate than Bush (60% to 32%), though they divided equally as to which candidate had a better understanding of the issues (41% each).

    Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one better described John Kerry or George W. Bush during tonight's debate. How about -- [Random Order]?

    2004 Sep 30
    (sorted by advantage for Kerry)







    pct. pts.

    Expressed himself more clearly




    Had a good understanding of the issues




    Agreed with you more on the issues you care about




    Was more believable




    Was more likable




    Demonstrated he is tough enough for the job






    Advantage indicates Kerry lead


    Advantage indicates Bush lead


    Kerry may have been a more effective speaker, but I don't know that that's going to equate to people changing their minds on whether he's the right person to lead the war on terror.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:22 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 30, 2004
    Debate scorecard

    Hugh Hewitt's got a debate scorecard going where he grades each question and each response.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:55 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the vicious smear campaign the Left has launched.

    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.

    If you'd like to help out monetarily you can give to the RNC.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:55 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, September 24, 2004
    It's so nice to have an opponent who can rebut himself

    The Times has run a correction of the quote.

    "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."

    In reference to a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding access to Iraqi weapons sites, Mr. Kerry actually said: "I think that's our great concern [-] where's the backbone of Russia, where's the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity [-] but in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq."

    Later, referring to French and Russian reservations on the use of force, Mr. Kerry said: "There's absolutely no statement that they have made or that they will make that will prevent the United States of America and this president or any president from acting in what they believe are the best interests of our country."

    --The Washington Times
    (via Polipundit and AlphaPatriot)

    Posted by robbernard at 1:28 PM in Politics/Government
    The dead have risen and they're trying to vote for Democrats
    The state of Ohio is stepping in to investigate possible voter fraud in Summit County. And the Lake County prosecutor is also looking into fraud there.

    More than 800 voter registration cards in Summit County are under investigation, NewsChannel5 reported.

    The Board of Elections said the voter registration cards in question are for addresses that don't exist, spelling mistakes or have similar handwriting.

    Fifty of those questionable cards apparently came from the AFL-CIO central office in Cleveland, WEWS reported.
    Elections officials said the bogus cards were kicked out by the computer and forwarded to state investigators.

    In the meantime in Lake County, elections officials said some voter advocacy groups are forging registration cards.

    In one example, a man who's been dead for 20 years is apparently a new registered voter.

    And in another case, it looks as if an entire neighborhood will be out of town on Election Day. Everyone there applied for absentee ballots.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:34 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 23, 2004
    Kerry: Won't send more troops to Iraq even if they're needed.
    Siegel: What do you do if you ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff what they need to achieve their mission in Iraq and they say, "We need a lot more troops"? Do you escalate the troop levels, or do you plan for a quick or a constant exit instead?

    Kerry: You have to support our troops, and you have to do what's necessary to try to make this mission successful, but they have not asked for that. I have to wait until I'm president and sit down with them and see where we are.

    Siegel: But you yourself have pointed out that Gen. Shinseki, the former Army chief of staff, said there should be hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq, and you say he was fired for saying that. What if you get now the "real story," as you would say, the Army speaking candidly--

    Kerry: I'll have to make a decision when I get there as to what the probabilities are. I can't hypothesize as to what I am going to find on Jan. 20--whether I'm going to find a Lebanon or whether I'm going to find a country that's moving towards an election. That depends on what the president does now.


    I think the leadership has been arrogant and disastrous.

    Siegel: But should either you or whoever is president next year consider the possibility of an increase in troops? Is that even a consideration, or should it be completely off the table?

    Kerry: I do not intend to increase troops. I intend to get the process in place that I described, and I believe as a new president, with new credibility, with a fresh start, that I have the ability to be able to change the dynamics on the ground.

    --Best of the Web

    Where's that nuance when you need it?

    The Democratic game plan

    Offered up by Neal Boortz:

    Continuing their deep plunge into the abyss of political cluelessness, The Poodle's campaign has now decided to accuse George Bush of trying to reinstate the draft. Really, is this the best they can do? How about a little show of imagination here? I'm known for my willingness to assist the clueless, so here are some suggestions for The Poodle's handlers. Over the next 42 days they can make a series of statements to the media claiming that:

  • George Bush has a secret plan to destroy Social Security so that he can give more tax cuts to the wealthy.

  • George Bush has a secret plan to end Medicare. Let nature take its course.

  • Bush wants senior citizens to die. To hurry them along he will cut off their food supply.

  • George Bush has a secret plan to accelerate global warming.

  • George Bush wants the FCC to limit CBS newscasts to between 2:00 and 3:00 am.

  • George Bush wants to open an investigation into Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. (Come to think of it, that's not such a bad idea. If Bush's National Guard service is fair game, let's seek the Truth about Ted.)

  • George Bush wants $2.50 a gallon gas to enrich his Texas oil buddies.

  • George Bush wants to keep black citizens away from the polls with the possible exception of Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas.

  • George Bush will start another war. He needs a war for each term. To save on transportation costs the next target will be Canada. He will use sealing our borders as an excuse.

  • Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze

    The sad thing is, they're already made most of those statements.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:28 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004
    Poor Democrats (Again)

    Poor, poor Democrats. I feel sorry for them. They think they're in a bad enough spot that they need to try to scare young people with talk of President Bush reinstating the draft. Never mind that the bills to reinstate the draft in Congress sponsored by people like Fritz Hollings (D-SC), Chuck Rangel (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), John Conyers (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA) and Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and not Republicans.


    "There will be no draft when John Kerry is president," the North Carolina senator vowed, raising the question of whether there would be a draft if Bush remains in the White House.

    Edwards’ comment came on the heels of remarks last week by Kerry’s friend and fellow Vietnam War veteran, former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland.

    In a speech at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Cleland told students they might find themselves pressed into military service if Bush wins a second term.

    “America will reinstate the military draft” if Bush is re-elected and continues the Iraq War, Cleland predicted, according to an account of his speech by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

    "Pay attention ... to what you've got going on in Iraq. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Vietnam. I've seen this movie before. I know how it ends. It does not end pleasantly," he added. Cleland has been in a wheelchair since 1968 when he lost both legs and one arm in a grenade accident in Vietnam.

    Former Kerry rival Howard Dean, now traveling the country to drum up support for Kerry and raise money for Democratic candidates, said last week at Brown University in Providence, R.I., "I think that George Bush is certainly going to have a draft if he goes into a second term, and any young person that doesn't want to go to Iraq might think twice about voting for him."


    That is simply despicable. They are flat out lying and making stuff up in order to scare people into voting for Kerry. I'd deleted this line from the original post, but it's going right back in now: It's like the kooks have completely taken over.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:33 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the vicious and untrue smear campaign the Left has launched.

    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.

    If you'd like to help out monetarily you could give to the RNC or consider giving to Mel Martinex's effort to win the Senate seat in Florida.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:01 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004
    "Why Bush is winning Ohio"
    Given [the] economic problems the President needed a way to mute their possible damage. He has done this by setting the negatives in context, by countering economics with cultural values, and by stressing his leadership on the war on terror. Bush’s stump speeches focus on what has been over come and what can still be accomplished. While he admits that the economy is still struggling, he points out that he inherited a struggling economy that was hit hard by 9/11 and the corporate scandals that rocked Wall Street. Bush insists that, thanks to the tax cuts he championed, the economy is on the up turn but promises to keep working until everyone who wants to find work can do so. This rhetorical strategy allows Bush to frame a perceived weakness as a roadblock overcome rather than a failure. It also keeps his campaign tone positive and focused on the future.

    Another way Bush counters economic bad news is by appealing to the cultural values of those in distressed areas. In media interviews with independent voters one sees again and again where those with doubts about the economy often lean Bush because of cultural issues like faith, abortion, gay marriage, and guns. The recent media focus on the Assault Weapons Ban is a good example. While Kerry was blasting the President on the issue Bush was in Southern Ohio talking about his strong support for the Second Amendment and campaigning with Zell Miller on his support for family values. In the potential swing region of Appalachia who do you think wins in that battle?

    In foreign policy Bush has positioned himself as a decisive and committed leader in the war on terror and in contrast to the overly nuanced and shifting Kerry. As with cultural issues, Bush tells voters that he is on their side; that only he has the commitment to do what it takes to protect American lives and values.
    This brings up a third and crucial strength Bush has in Ohio: organization. Ohio is dominated statewide by the Republican Party and, despite some inter-party rivalry and even scandal at the state level; they are unified in support of President Bush. Building on this support the GOP is no longer willing to give the edge to the Democrats in “get out the vote” (GOTV) efforts. Instead, the Bush team has mobilized a massive volunteer effort to get out every possible supporter on November 2. They have utilized web technology and email lists to recruit, encourage and direct volunteers in everything from donations, voter registration, and phone banks, to bumper stickers and yard signs and a final 72-hour GOTV push. With a volunteer leader in every precinct in the state the GOP is ready to get their people registered and to the polls on Election Day. GOTV used to be a big advantage for the Democrats but Republicans should be their equals this year.


    Posted by robbernard at 9:10 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    The latest Ohio Poll is out

    And it shows President Bush leading Senator Kerry by 11 points, 54 to 43, among likely voters in Ohio. A month ago it showed Kerry leading 48 to 46.

    Bush picked up 11 points in his net favorability rating while Kerry lost 12 points off his favorability.

    10% of Ohio Democrats support President Bush while only 3% of Republicans are supporting Kerry.

    This certainly isn't good news for John Kerry, he needs to pick up either Ohio or Florida and as things go on Ohio is looking less and less likely. He hasn't led a poll in Ohio since August 26th and hasn't led outside the margin since July 22nd.

    The Ohio Poll is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:55 PM in Cincinnati , Ohio , Politics/Government
    Kerry says he opposes allies supporting our troops

    From today's press conference:
    "Why are our troops not without the allies that they need so that they are bearing 90% of the cost."

    Well, that's what he said. It's obviously not what he meant, but if President Bush had said it then it would be on a calendar tomorrow.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:53 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, September 20, 2004
    Flip Flops in Kerry's speech

    The GOP has made up a list of 14 Kerry Flip Flops from today's speech alone.

    A few of my favorites.

    FLIP FLOP #2: Iraq Was “Diversion From” War On Terror. “That means we must have a great honest national debate on Iraq. The President claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At New York University, New York, NY, 9/20/04)

  • Kerry Said Iraq “Is Critical” To Success Of War On Terror. SEN. JOHN KERRY: “Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror. And therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that. And I disagree with the Governor [Howard Dean].” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 12/15/03)
  • ...

    FLIP FLOP #4: Saddam’s “Downfall … Has Left America Less Secure.” “The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At New York University, New York, NY, 9/20/04)

  • Kerry Questioned Judgment Of Those Claiming Saddam’s Capture Doesn’t Help American Security. “Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don’t have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.” (Anne Q. Hoy, “Dean Faces More Criticism,” [New York] Newsday, 12/17/03)
  • ...

    FLIP FLOP #7: Iraq War Took “Attention And Resources” Away From Afghanistan. “The President's policy in Iraq took our attention and resources away from other, more serious threats to America. Threats like … the increasing instability in Afghanistan.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At New York University, New York, NY, 9/20/04)

  • Kerry Said War On Terror “Doesn’t End With Afghanistan” And Suggested U.S. Move On To Addressing Menace Of Saddam Huseein. KERRY: “I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism globally. This doesn’t end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace. It’s a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 12/14/01)
  • ...

    FLIP FLOP #10: Would Not Have Invaded Iraq Given What He Knows Now. “Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no - because a Commander-in-Chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At New York University, New York, NY, 9/20/04)

  • In Response To President's Question About How He Would Have Voted If He Knew Then What He Knows Now, Kerry Confirmed That He Would Still Have Voted For Use Of Force Resolution. SEN. JOHN KERRY: "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it's the right authority for a president to have. But I would have used that authority as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively. I would have done this very differently from the way President Bush has." (CNN's "Inside Politics," 8/9/04)
  • ...

    FLIP FLOP #14: Would Have Continued Containment Of Saddam. “I would have tightened the noose and continued to pressure and isolate Saddam Hussein - who was weak and getting weaker -- so that he would pose no threat to the region or America.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At New York University, New York, NY, 9/20/04)

  • Kerry Expressed Opposition To “Policy Of Containment.” “So we’ve got a major set of choices to make here. And we’d better make them. We’ve been sliding into a fundamental policy of containment, which I share with Major Ritter the notion is disastrous to our overall proliferation interests and disastrous with respect to the Middle East and our interests with respect to Saddam Hussein and Iraq . But we have to make a decision whether we’re prepared to do what is necessary, and I mean to the point of a sustained targeting of the regime; not the Iraqi people, but the regime.” (Sen. John Kerry, Committee On Armed Services And Committee On Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Joint Hearing, 9/3/98)
  • --

    I'm sorry, but I don't trust to run our national security and foreign policy a man who's willing to change his policy to suit whatever the crowd wants to hear.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:37 PM in Politics/Government
    So, how long before they take this down?

    The DNC still has a page up using The Documents to attack President Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:58 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, September 19, 2004
    2 new Ohio polls

    Mason-Dixon has President Bush up by 7 and the Plain Dealer has President Bush up by 8. The average of the polls in Ohio released over the last week is President Bush by 9.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:47 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government

    Saturday, September 18, 2004
    Attacked by the Left (Part 3)
    Politics in Gainesville turned rough and tumble Thursday night when, police say, a social behavior sciences instructor - a Democrat - punched the chairman of the Alachua County Republican Executive Committee in the face.

    David Philip McCally, 55, of Gainesville faces misdemeanor battery and criminal mischief charges after he was accused of hitting both committee chairman Travis Horn, 32, and a life-sized, cardboard cutout of President George Bush.
    Reached Friday, Horn said, "I enjoy thoughtful debate with my counterparts on the left. I think this is what makes this country great, but when you cross the line with physical violence, it's absurd."

    After hitting the cutout, Horn said McCally left the office where a Young Republicans meeting was taking place. When Horn went outside, he said McCally came up to him. "He proceeded to say how he had a Ph.D., and he was smarter than me. I'm a stupid Republican," and other comments laced with obscenities, he said.

    Horn said he was hit and knocked into a wall.

    His lips were cut and his nose injured.

    "I then proceeded to defend myself," he said. "I used the minimum force necessary to subdue him."

    The police report states Horn kicked McCally because McCally was holding on to Horn's legs.

    Police happened to be pulling into the area at the time, Horn said. A police report states officers saw McCally throw what they later learned was the first punch.

    "Of course I'm going to have a restraining order filed against him," Horn said. "I certainly will seek his removal from the classroom. Obviously he's shown a serious lack of judgment."

    As for Horn's commitment to his political opinions, he said, "If I have to take a beating every day for George W. Bush to be president, I'll do that. My passion for my beliefs continues unabated." (Hat tip Blogs for Bush)

    Posted by robbernard at 4:54 PM in Politics/Government
    Nader in Florida

    He's back on the ballot.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:38 AM in Politics/Government
    More on the girl getting her sign torn up

    Some are suggesting that because Phil Parlock has had run-ins with Democrats before that this incident is phony and even that the union thug who tore up the sign was one of Phil's sons.

    You really want to tell me that either of these two people is the same as the last person?

    Son 1:Son 2:

    Union Thug:

    Son 1 is the better match, but I really don't think they're even close.

    I'll direct people to Michelle Malkin's site where they'll see "'That's ridiculous. This is a small town,' Parlock told me from his home in Huntington, W. Virginia. 'Everyone would recognize him.'"

    Furthermore, the IUPAT, the union, is investigating. If they discovered that the person had nothing to do with the union or was Parlock's son don't you think they'd be mentioning that instead of apologizing? (A real class act by them.)

    Hey, I'm with Malkin. If this all turns out to be a hoax I'll blast the guy, but you're going to have to possess better proof than a fuzzy picture of his sons that kinda, almost, sorta looks something like the guy.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:48 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, September 17, 2004
    A [national] Gallup poll being released Friday has Bush up 54-40 in a three-way matchup, with Ralph Nader at 3 percent.

    --Yahoo! News

    *Standard take this poll with a big 'ole grain of salt disclaimer*

    Posted by robbernard at 1:06 AM in Politics/Government
    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.
    Sophia Parlock, 3, cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, a supporter of President Bush, after a Bush-Cheney sign she and her father were holding was torn up by another person standing in the crowd that had gathered to greet Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. At right, is Alex Parlock, 11, Sophia's brother.

    *Disclaimer* There are of course idiots on both sides.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:50 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 16, 2004
    New anti-Kerry group

    Received in the inbox today:

    For Immediate Release
    Thursday, September 16, 2004

    Football Fans for Truth Takes Aim at Kerry's Football Fumbles

    (Arlington, VA) -- September 16, 2004

    A new organization has been created to help the American voter and sports fan determine whether John Kerry can be trusted to represent the nation both as President and sports-fan-in-chief. Football Fans for Truth, a 527 organization, will seek to raise awareness about John Kerry’s eminent failures in the area of sports knowledge, especially as it relates to America's favorite sport: football.

    Football Fans for Truth believes the evidence it has collected is compelling. Last month, John Kerry lauded "Lambert Field" during a visit to Wisconsin. It is unknown what Kerry thinks of Lambeau Field, the historic home of the Green Bay Packers. John Kerry also praised the Ohio State Buckeyes football team; during a visit to Michigan.

    Kerry's lack of knowledge extends far beyond the sport of football. ESPN's Peter Gammons reported that John Kerry told a radio interviewer that his favorite Red Sox player was Eddie Yost. Yost never played for the Red Sox. Gammons also reported that John Kerry lauded "Manny Ortez", an amalgamation of Red Sox first baseman and designated hitter David Ortiz and left fielder Manny Ramirez. When Kerry threw the first pitch at a Red Sox-Yankees game, he did not throw from the pitcher's mound -- yet still bounced the ball before it reached home plate. He then blamed his namby-pamby throw on the catcher, a National Guard soldier and Iraq war veteran: "I held back," Kerry told reporters. "He was very nervous. I tried to lob it gently."

    "John Kerry is a menace to sports fans everywhere," said Football Fans for Truth Chairman Dino Panagopoulos. "Can we take four years of this?"

    "I shudder to think of this man throwing out first pitches for four years," said Football Fans for Truth Director Jeff Larroca. "It is the mission of Football Fans for Truth to make the American public aware of the terrible dangers posed by Kerry to the sports world. He is not fit to be our sports-fan-in-chief."

    Football Fans for Truth is already moving forward with its public education campaign. The organization has ordered a billboard near "Lambert Field" to educate Wisconsin football fans of the threat of a Kerry administration. It will stand through the election.

    With additional public support from concerned sports fans, Football Fans for Truth plans to undertake other initiatives throughout the country.

    "This is too important an issue for us to just sit on the sidelines," said Panagopoulos. "After watching one to many Kerry sports gaffes, we realized that we needed to get in the game. I mean, this is a person who probably prefers Astro-Turf to real grass."

    Individuals can donate to Football Fans for Truth by sending a personal check for any amount in order to educating the American football public. The non tax-deductible check should be made out to "Football Fans for Truth."

    Contributions should be sent to:

    Football Fans for Truth
    4201 Wilson Blvd., Ste 110
    Box 106
    Arlington, Virginia 22203

    Press Contacts:

    Pete Peterson 215-990-8928
    Michael Barbera 703-380-6540

    Our website will soon be up:

    Boy, don't tick off those sports fans. :)

    Posted by robbernard at 6:32 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, September 15, 2004
    The anti-Bush smear campaign continues

    This time a "reputable paper" is reporting that President Bush might have "presenile dementia". and going on about how the White House will just cover up this condition.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:59 AM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday
    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer to help the President win reelection.

    President Bush needs your support now more than ever to help counter the vicious and untrue smear campaign the Left has launched.

    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.

    If you'd like to help the cause monetarily you might consider giving to John Thune's campaign to unseat Tom Daschle.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:43 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004
    Bush's ribbons

    Some have claimed President Bush wore an award ribbon he didn't earn, specifically the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

    The Air Force has now completely debunked that.

    The Air Force has knocked down allegations by a Web site that said President Bush, when serving as an officer in the Texas Air National Guard, wore a ribbon he was not authorized to wear -- a military offense that could have led to a bad-conduct discharge from the service if true.

    The original story was offered to United Press International during late August by operatives from, an Internet activist group whose founder had earlier this year served as a source for The Boston Globe and other media outlets on stories about Bush's service in the guard in the 1960s and 1970s.
    An e-mail message to UPI on Aug. 27 from Bob Fertik, founder of, stated, "Walt Starr called the Air Force and discovered that the only AFOUA given to Bush's unit was in 1975 -- five years after the photo. Case closed!"

    The Air Force and the White House last week in interviews with UPI said the allegations were misleading. White House spokesman Trent Duffy referred UPI to the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Colorado where Technical Sgt. Rob Mims is the spokesman.

    Mims said the claims were "not true. I verified that (Thursday). Lieutenant Bush received Air Force Outstanding Unit Award while he was in basic training with the 3724th Basic Military Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas."

    Mims said that personnel records in the military are often incomplete due to "clerical errors."

    "But I did verify that that unit did get the award while he (Bush) was there," said Mims.

    The sergeant added that the photo in question was "taken after pilot training."

    Mims said he confirmed his information about the medal with the Air Force's history office. "It's all there in black and white, we've spelled it out," said Mims.

    The White House, through Duffy, said: "Lieutenant Bush at the time was completely authorized to wear those ribbons he has in those pictures. He could only wear those ribbons if he has the wings. He earned his wings in 1969."

    --Washington Times Insider(subscription required)

    Posted by robbernard at 9:13 PM in Politics/Government
    Catch Me If You Can

    Frank Abagnale, inspiration for the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can has put in his two cents on The Documents.

    "Though Mr. Abagnale has not personally seen the documents or copies of the documents, from what he has seen on television he believes the documents are forgeries. He feels this should be evident to anyone of any knowledge of forged documents," Sarah Hammermill, an information officer at Abegnale's[sic] company, Abegnale and Associates[sic] said in an email to blogger Robin K. Juhl.

    "I can tell you that he sent an e-mail to Neil Cavuto of Your World on Fox News Network (he knows him personally) that stated: 'If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been Catch Me In Two Days.'"

    Contacted by, Kelly Welbes, executive assistant to Abegnale[sic], confirmed the message.

    "The person who wrote it was just asking his opinion on it. Mr. Abignale[sic] did, in fact, send that email to Fox News. And it is the opinion of Mr. Abignale[sic] that, having seen the documents as presented by CBS on TV, it is his opinion that they are forgeries," Welbes said.

    Abegnale's[sic] comments are just the latest from what is fast becoming a gaggle of experts who doubt the authenticity of the CBS memos.

    "Most of the colleagues that I know that are -- that are well trained and have a good reputation, every one that I have heard of on the nightly news or on the internet have basically come to the same conclusion regarding both the typing and handwriting," Jerry Richards, a former FBI document analyst told Fox News Channel's Special Report during tonight's edition. (bold emphasis added)

    RatherBiased's post also would be a strong entry in any "Spell 'Abagnale' incorrectly as many times and in as many ways as possible" contest.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:00 PM in Media , Politics/Government
    Poor Democrats...

    Poor, poor Democrats. I feel sorry for them. They think they're in a bad enough spot that they need to lower themselves to videos like this. It's like the kooks have completely taken over.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:47 PM in Politics/Government
    A comparison
    In the last days of that doomed 1992 Bush reelection effort, we knew we were losing. James Baker and other close Bush friends and family moved in to keep a close eye on all our work. In particular, they were looking for mistakes that would embarrass the family. At the time, dubious documents about the Arkansas governor's alleged "zipper problem" were floating temptingly around campaign headquarters. Wrong-headed whispers among junior staff about "saving the campaign" could be heard if you listened closely.

    Finally, we were called into a meeting and given a simple instruction: Anyone caught trafficking in this information would be summarily fired. The Bush family did not want to "win this way." Because we were almost sure to lose anyway, they made a further promise that violators would never work in Washington again. Any doubts were laid to rest when we were told who sent this message: the president's son, George W. Bush.

    --Michael Caputo - Christian Science Monitor (Hat tip Tim Blair)

    Now compare that to the Kerry campaign. Even if you don't think The Documents came through the Kerry campaign/DNC there's more than enough name-calling, mudslinging and ad hominem attacks emanating from the Left to make the comparison unfavorable.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:13 PM in Politics/Government
    CBS's document authenticator didn't even try to authenticate The Documents
    The lead expert retained by CBS News to examine disputed memos from President Bush's former squadron commander in the National Guard said yesterday that he examined only the late officer's signature and made no attempt to authenticate the documents themselves.

    "There's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them," Marcel Matley said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. The main reason, he said, is that they are "copies" that are "far removed" from the originals.
    CBS executives have pointed to Matley as their lead expert on whether the memos are genuine, and included him in a "CBS Evening News" defense of the story Friday. Matley said he spent five to eight hours examining the memos. "I knew I could not prove them authentic just from my expertise," he said. "I can't say either way from my expertise, the narrow, narrow little field of my expertise."

    --Washington Post

    Posted by robbernard at 11:52 AM in Media , Politics/Government
    Another person remembers then-Lt. Bush in Alabama
    Retired Master Sgt. James Copeland does not care so much whether people think President Bush went absent without leave in 1972, but one thing he hears bothers him plenty.

    "Maybe the Bush family was well known in Texas, but we didn't know who he was here. He was just another guy in a flight jacket," Copeland said Sunday.

    Copeland, who lives in Hartselle, retired from the Air Force on Jan. 31, 1980. He was the disbursement accounting supervisor, a full-time position, for Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Montgomery from Oct. 28, 1971, to Oct. 27, 1975. His office was less than 100 yards from the hangar where Bush performed drills.
    Copeland, 65, remembers meeting Bush on two occasions. He does not remember the precise dates. On one occasion, Copeland said, Bush and Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun came to Copeland's office with a question about Bush's pay. Copeland is not sure, but he believes the question had to do with where to mail Bush's checks.

    Bush was never a member of the Alabama National Guard, he just did his drills here. For that reason, Copeland thinks he referred the pay question to the paymaster for the Texas National Guard.

    The other time Copeland remembers meeting Bush was at the base canteen. Bush was there drinking coffee or a soft drink, Copeland said.

    Copeland stressed that Calhoun's account of Bush's service in Montgomery would be accurate because Calhoun was in a position to work with Bush during every drill. Calhoun told The Associated Press last week that he saw Bush every drill time, which was one weekend each month.

    Not only was Calhoun in a position to know of Bush's service, Copeland said, but Calhoun "was an ethical and honest officer."
    The suggestion that he or anyone else gave Bush a break because of the family legacy bothers Copeland.

    "You hear people saying that everybody (at Dannelly) knew the Bushes. Well, that's just a lie," Copeland said. "He was just another pilot. No one paid any more attention to him than to anyone else. There was no hoopla."
    Joe Holcombe, 71, of Joppa worked with Bush on the Blount campaign. He told THE DAILY last week that he remembers Bush missing at least one campaign meeting because of his National Guard drills.

    --Decatur Daily News (Hat tip Captain's Quarters)

    Calhoun had come forward before. Additionally there's Joe LeFevers.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:54 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, September 13, 2004
    Fred Barnes on The Documents
    CBS has left the flap over purported documents involving President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard in this posture: Who are you going to believe, CBS or your lyin' eyes?

    To accept CBS's insistence the four documents from the early 1970s are authentic, you would have to believe the following:

    (1) That the late Jerry Killian, Bush's commanding officer, typed the documents--though his wife says "he wasn't a typist."

    (2) That Killian kept the documents in his personal files--though his family says he didn't keep files.

    (3) That the disputed documents reflect his true (negative) feelings about Bush and a contemporaneous official document he wrote lauding Bush did not.

    (4) That he typed the documents on a technically advanced typewriter, an IBM Selectric Composer--though that model has been tested and failed to produce an exact copy of the documents.

    (5) That this advanced typewriter, which would have cost $15,000 or so in today's dollars, was used by the Texas National Guard and that Killian had gained the significant expertise needed to operate it.

    (6) That Killian was under pressure to whitewash Bush's record from a general who had retired 18 months earlier.

    (7) That Killian's superior, Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, was right when, sight unseen, he supposedly said the documents were authentic, but wrong when, having actually viewed the documents, he declared them fraudulent.

    Now if you can't accept all that, there's another side. To believe the documents are forgeries, you have to believe this:

    (1) The documents were typed recently using Microsoft Word, which produces documents that are exact copies of the CBS documents.

    (2) There's no number 2. All you have to believe is number 1.

    --The Weekly Standard (Hat tip Bill Hobbs)

    Posted by robbernard at 4:17 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    I had been feeling disappointed in the Cincinnati Post. They had an editorial today all about how the forged documents showed that President Bush didn't fulfill his guard commitment and didn't mention at all that the documents had been shown to be forged.

    It was like saying that this memo...

    ...which I discovered* and could claim to be from the personal files of Kerry's direct commander raised serious questions about not only whether he earned his Purple Hearts but also about whether he was in Vietnam at all and whether there was a serious purple monkey problem in Vietnam at the time. Just as this "document" says nothing about Kerry's service record, the forged national guard documents say nothing about President Bush's. They're fake, they can't show that President Bush received preferential treatment or disobeyed a direct order.

    It now appears that they've seen the light and taken down the editorial as the link above now gives you a "URL is not valid" error. Good for them for correcting their mistake unlike some others. *cough*CBS*cough*

    * "discovered" meaning "Found on my desktop after typing it up in Word, printing it out, scanning it in, editing it in Photoshop and saving it to my desktop"

    Posted by robbernard at 4:10 PM in Cincinnati , Media , Politics/Government
    Allen out, Deters in

    Mike Allen is removing his name from the ballot for Hamilton County Prosecutor and Ohio Treasurer Joseph Deters is launching a write-in campaign.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:16 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government
    The American Spectator on the internal CBS reaction to "The Documents"
    All day Friday, Rather, his producer on the story, Mary Mapes, and other 60 Minutes staffers were scrambling to shore up support from their sources on the story. That effort didn't go so well. By Saturday, one of their key sources, retired Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, had said that CBS misled him, and that he had never been shown the memos in question.

    "We pulled the trick of only calling some sources at the last minute to reconfirm," says the CBS producer. "Someone called Hodges, I think, on Monday night and read him parts of the document. The late contacts are a standard practice so we don't tip off the competition or our sources."

    Hodges is a critical loss for CBS News' credibility. He was the superior officer of the man CBS claims wrote the memo, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

    MEANWHILE, OVER THE WEEKEND journalists from around the country were attempting to track down the original source of the documents. "We're having a hard time tracking how we got the documents," says the CBS News producer. "There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don't know."

    One individual several news outlets were looking at was Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard officer. Burkett in the past has cooperated with both press and Democratic Party opposition researchers in slinging mud at President Bush. Burkett gained some national attention earlier in the campaign when he claimed he was at National Guard headquarters in Austin 1997, when he overheard Guard officials and a representative of then Governor Bush discuss how to sanitize Bush's files. That story was fully discredited. Nonetheless, Burkett sat down for at least three different interviews with CBS News for the story now at the center of the controversy. One of those interviews was with Rather's producer, Ms. Mapes.

    "There are rumors here that if there are any real documents, they are hand-written notes from Killian that someone like Burkett was holding, and that instead of using the hand-written notes, someone typed them up to look more official," says the CBS News producer. "They would look better on TV and posted on line if they were typed, but on a number of levels, that story just doesn't hold up. There are too many inconsistencies factually with what is in the memos."
    REPORTERS ARE ALSO LOOKING at staff and associates of Sen. Tom Harkin, who enthusiastically held a press conference on Thursday morning using the forged documents as the tent pole for attacks against President Bush. Harkin called Bush a "liar."

    "Harkin has been pushing this story for a while," says the CBS producer. "Not this specific story, but the 'Bush is a liar about his record' story. His people seemed particularly interested in making sure they could keep their boss up to date on what was going on."

    That Harkin was the individual selected to be the attack dog on this particular issue was an interesting one, give that Harkin himself has a checkered history about telling the truth about his involvement in the Vietnam War.

    --The American Spectator

    Gee, if you have no idea where the original documents are and can't get ahold of them... maybe you can't be too adamant about them being real...

    Posted by robbernard at 1:13 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Sunday, September 12, 2004
    A contrast

    While the Democrats are smearing President Bush's National Guard service and scaring people with bogus threats of disenfranchisement; President Bush is rolling out his Agenda for America with an ad campaign here in Ohio.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:34 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry's trouble in Ohio
    It wasn't supposed to be like this.

    Everything seemed to be in place for a powerful run by Senator John Kerry in Ohio in the stretch drive after Labor Day. Al Gore lost the state by 175,000 votes in 2000, despite having pulled all his advertising early in October. Ohio has shed 250,000 jobs since George W. Bush became president. Rocked by scandals and an unpopular tax increase, the statehouse Republicans, from Gov. Bob Taft down the line, have been in unaccustomed disarray for weeks.

    At the end of last month, the Census Bureau reported that Cleveland, with a poverty rate of 31.3 percent, led the country in that most dubious category, and this month American deaths in Iraq topped 1,000. Both developments might have given a leg up in the campaign to Mr. Kerry, a critic of Mr. Bush's economic policy and his conduct of the war. Yet Mr. Kerry seems to be falling back.
    Democratic professionals have begun to criticize Mr. Kerry's efforts - privately and, in a few cases, publicly. Gerald Austin of Cleveland, a leading Ohio campaign consultant for more than 30 years, said that former President Bill Clinton could run a better campaign than Mr. Kerry's "even when he was under ether."
    "I smell the same New England genius that I smelled in the Dukakis campaign in 1988," Mr. Austin added. "Kerry wants to run as a man of the people, and where do they put him for photo opportunities? Snowboarding in Sun Valley, shooting skeet in the Ohio valley, and windsurfing off that great working-class vacation paradise, Nantucket. Democrats - at least Ohio Democrats - play softball and touch football."
    Another reason for Mr. Kerry's difficulties is demographic. The state has been closely contested so far, but it is less representative of the nation as a whole than it once was. As labor unions have waned and the suburbs and exurbs around cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Akron have flourished, the state has become more Republican. The Republicans now have a 12-to-6 majority in the Congressional delegation, and hold both Senate seats, the governorship, all the other statewide constitutional offices and both houses of the Legislature.

    "Since 1948, Ohio has slowly become less of a barometer," said Michael F. Curtin, president of The Columbus Dispatch, who has tracked Ohio politics for decades, "On average, it has voted 1.7 points more Republican than the country has. The last Democrat to run stronger here than he did nationally was Lyndon Johnson in 1964."

    --The New York Times

    Posted by robbernard at 8:47 PM in Politics/Government
    President Bush still up big in the Time Poll
    Last week’s seismic voter shift to George W. Bush showed no signs of dwindling in this week’s Time Poll. Bush continues to lead Democratic challenger John Kerry among likely voters by double digits, 52% - 41%, in the three way race, with Nader at 3%, the same as last week.

    Putting this into perspective, just a month ago, post-Democratic convention, the Time Poll had Kerry with a statistically significant lead over Bush, 48% - 43%.

    Could still be a fluke, but if so it's now two flukes in a row.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:25 AM in Politics/Government
    Kerry's Iraq War "nuanced" position(s)
    I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him. John F. Kerry, May 3, 2003

    Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.
    December 16, 2003

    Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it's the right authority for a president to have. But I would have used that authority as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively.
    August 9, 2004

    Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."
    September 6, 2004

    We should not send more American troops. That would be the worst thing.
    John F. Kerry, September 4, 2003

    If it requires more troops . . . that's what you have to do.
    April 18, 2004

    I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops.
    August 1, 2004

    We're going to get our troops home where they belong.
    August 6, 2004

    We should increase funding [for the war in Iraq] by whatever number of billions of dollars it takes to win.
    John F. Kerry, August 31, 2003

    $200 billion [for Iraq] that we're not investing in education and health care, and job creation here at home. . . . That's the wrong choice.
    September 8, 2004

    --The Weekly Standard

    Posted by robbernard at 12:02 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, September 10, 2004
    Hodges misled by CBS

    CBS says Retired Maj. General Bobby Hodges, Killian's supervisor, was a source in verifying The Documents.

    A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network's sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents' alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone and Hodges replied that "these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time."

    --Washington Post

    The problem? Hodges isn't playing along. He says he was misled by CBS.

    HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."

  • Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
  • --ABC News (Hat tip Instapundit)

    Posted by robbernard at 11:41 PM in Media , Politics/Government
    Back from seeing President Bush

    It was a very good sized crowd. Don't think they could have fit more people (safely) into the Ross County Fairgrounds. Traffic was a bit backed up going in, but it wasn't too bad. You were always moving... just slowly. On the way out was a different matter entirely. It took us at least an hour and a half just to get out of the parking lot.

    Appearences by Congressmen Bob Ney and Rob Portman, Ross County's State Representative and State Senator (who is ironically named John Kerry), Governor Bob Taft, Senators Mike DeWine and Zell Miller, and Anthony Munoz.

    A few of my pictures:

    Boy, those Kerry protestors showed up in full force.

    Zell Miller and Rob Portman

    Zell Miller got a very good reception.

    Unfortunately my camera's batteries died just at the end. Missed some very good shots when he was closest to me.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:47 PM in Politics/Government
    Off to see President Bush

    He... and I... will be in Chillicothe, OH this afternoon.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:40 PM in Politics/Government
    Cheney clarifies/corrects

    The Left's been getting its jollies from being outraged over Vice President Cheney saying that if Kerry/Edwards wins there'll be more terrorist attacks. The problem is, that a) isn't what he meant and b) is only what he said if you take it out of context.

    In an interview with the Enquirer after a campaign event in Cincinnati, Cheney said he wanted to "clean up" the controversy surrounding his remarks at a similar event Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa .

    There, he told a town-hall audience that if, on Election Day, "we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again...."

    But Thursday, he emphasized the half-sentence that came after: "... that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war."

    "I did not say if Kerry is elected, we will be hit by a terrorist attack," Cheney said.


    Posted by robbernard at 12:37 PM in Politics/Government
    Where the documents came from

    It should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but The Spectator (working link with the text here) suggests that CBS got The Documents from the DNC who got them from an unidentified individual.

    More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

    The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

    "More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."
    The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. "This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn't show it," says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program.

    Now, the producer says, there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign. "There is a school of thought here that the Kerry people dumped this in our laps, figuring we'd do the heavy lifting on the story. That maybe they had doubts about these documents but hoped we'd get more information," says the producer. "If that's the case, then we're bigger fools than we already appear to be judging by all the chatter about how these documents could be forgeries."

    --The Spectator (working link with the text here)

    Again, take it with a grain of salt until there are more actual facts.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:07 AM in Media , Politics/Government
    CBS's reaction to the forged document kerfuffle
    CBS NEWS executives have launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush's National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. ... The source, who asked not to be named, described CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather as being privately "shell-shocked" by the increasingly likelihood that the documents in question were fraudulent.

    Rather, who anchored the segment presenting new information on the president's military service, will personally correct the record on-air, if need be, the source explained from New York.

    --Drudge Report

    ABC News meanwhile has a good story up on the situation.

    Marjorie Connell — widow of the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the reported author of memos suggesting that Bush did not meet the standards for the Texas Air National Guard — questioned whether the documents were real.

    "The wording in these documents is very suspect to me," she told ABC News Radio in an exclusive phone interview from her Texas home. She added that she "just can't believe these are his words."

    First reported by CBS's 60 Minutes, the memos allegedly were found in Killian's personal files. But his family members say they doubt he ever made such documents, let alone kept them.

    Connell said Killian did not type, and though he did take notes, they were usually on scraps of paper. "He was a person who did not take copious notes," she said. "He carried everything in his mind."
    More than half a dozen document experts contacted by ABC News said they had doubts about the memos' authenticity.

    "These documents do not appear to have been the result of technology that was available in 1972 and 1973," said Bill Flynn, one of country's top authorities on document authentication. "The cumulative evidence that's available … indicates that these documents were produced on a computer, not a typewriter:"

    Among the points Flynn and other experts noted:

  • The memos were written using a proportional typeface, where letters take up variable space according to their size, rather than fixed-pitch typeface used on typewriters, where each letter is allotted the same space. Proportional typefaces are available only on computers or on very high-end typewriters that were unlikely to be used by the National Guard.

  • The memos include superscript, i.e. the "th" in "187th" appears above the line in a smaller font. Superscript was not available on typewriters.

  • The memos included "curly" apostrophes rather than straight apostrophes found on typewriters.

  • The font used in the memos is Times Roman, which was in use for printing but not in typewriters. The Haas Atlas — the bible of fonts — does not list Times Roman as an available font for typewriters.

  • The vertical spacing used in the memos, measured at 13 points, was not available in typewriters, and only became possible with the advent of computers.
  • --ABC News

    Posted by robbernard at 12:56 AM in Media , Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 9, 2004
    More on the possibly (probably?) forged documents

    Instapundit has a good roundup of the information.

    Proportional spacing... superscripts... non-straight quotation marks... the fact that every line ends at the same word as it does in Word...

    You have to admit, it doesn't look good for the folks at CBS questioning President Bush's Guard service.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:59 PM in Media , Politics/Government
    Forged National Guard documents?

    These two results could simply be coincidence, but if they are, you have to admit that 1972-73 documents exactly matching documents typed up in Word today with standard 12 point Times New Roman font is a big enough coincidence to be worth noting.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:31 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Wednesday, September 8, 2004
    Not quite a friendly hug

    A protestor at Kerry's Cincinnati speech was taken down by a sheetmetal worker in a not-so-friendly fashion.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:44 PM in Politics/Government

    The Kerry-Edwards '04 office floor plan via Wonkette.

    Posted by robbernard at 5:44 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday

    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer 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 robbernard at 4:00 PM in Politics/Government
    The Al Franken Show

    Living in the nearly 100% of America where Air America radio isn't broadcast I'd never heard The Al Franken Show prior to today. It's on the Sundance Channel now so I gave it a watch and oooh boy... I can't imagine those pre-scripted bits work all that well on the radio and they work even worse when you can see them.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:57 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, September 7, 2004
    Kerry's latest position on Iraq

    It's the "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" but is in fact a part of the War on Terror.

    ''Today marks a tragic milestone in the war in Iraq; more than 1,000 of America's sons and daughters have now given their lives on behalf of their country, on behalf of freedom, the war on terror,'' Kerry said as he arrived in Cincinnati on a campaign stop.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:08 PM in Politics/Government
    Quote of... yesterday...
    [Kerry] seemed to forget that Republicans have been tearing him down for months as a vacillating, indecisive, finger-in-the-wind politician of the worst order.

    "Everybody told me, 'God, if you're coming to Canonsburg, you've got to find time to go to Toy's, and he'll take care of you,'" Mr. Kerry said, dropping the name of a restaurant his motorcade had passed on the way in. "I understand it's my kind of place, because you don't have to - you know, when they give you the menu, I'm always struggling: Ah, what do you want?

    "He just gives you what he's got, right?" Mr. Kerry added, continuing steadily off a gangplank of his own making: "And you don't have to worry, it's whatever he's cooked up that day. And I think that's the way it ought to work, for confused people like me who can't make up our minds."

    --The New York Times

    Posted by robbernard at 9:03 PM in Politics/Government
    The Deficit

    Steve Verdon takes a look at the budget deficit figures and comes to the conclusion that when numbers are adjusted for inflation this year's deficit is only the 4th highest since 1940 and 17th highest when measured as a percentage of the GDP, and thus the cries of "record deficit" are a bit overstated.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:45 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, September 5, 2004
    An amazing official campaign press release

    (Make sure you do scroll down to the bottom, I am going somewhere with this.)

    For Immediate Release

    Convention Day 1
    Bush is Good for Hispanics.

    1. Fortuno: President Bush understands that that is why he believes in empowering Hispanics through improved education, better job opportunities, affordable health care and lower taxes.

    2. Fortuno: And that's why President Bush believes in empowering the American citizens of Puerto Rico so that we can fulfill our aspirations regarding our political status.

    Bush Funded Homeland Security for NYC After 9/11.

    3. Bloomberg: I want to thank President Bush for supporting New York City in changing the Homeland Security Funding formula and for leading the global war on terrorism.

    4. Kerik: “He was there for them as he was for us right here in New York City, inspiring a nation as he stood on hallowed ground, supporting the first responders.”

    Lawsuits Are Driving Up Health Care Costs & Hurting Job Growth.

    5. Melissa Brown: Thousands of lawsuits are driving up health care costs.

    6. Geoff Davis: “I'll fight to stop the frivolous lawsuits that drive up health care costs…”

    “… and hurt jobs.”

    Bush Works Across Party Lines.

    7. Triplett : President Bush understands that “teamwork is critical to success. President Bush understands that.”

    Bush Good for Immigrants.

    8. Fernando Mateo: Over the past four years, he has welcomed immigrants to our shores and given us more hope and opportunity to care for our families

    9. Fernando Mateo: “Our President has proposed reforms to our immigration laws that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers, when no American can be found to fill the job. The program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to millions of undocumented men and women, allowing them to come out of the shadows and escape abuse and exploitation.”

    Bush Has Done A Good Job With Our Allies.

    10. Senator John McCain: “My friends in the Democratic Party and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity. They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy. They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies. We agree. And, as we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle. That is what the President believes. And, thanks to his efforts we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some.”

    11. Senator John McCain: “Our President will work with all nations willing to help us defeat this scourge that afflicts us all.”

    Bush Did It Right Going to War Against Iraq.

    12. Senator John McCain: “However just the cause, we should shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us. But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly. And while this war has many components, we can't make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.”

    13. Senator John McCain: “After years of failed diplomacy and limited military pressure to restrain Saddam Hussein, President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq. Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone. “

    Bush Economy is Humming Along & Creating Good Jobs.

    14. Bill Manger: We revived an economy and are creating good jobs.

    15. Marc Racicot: “Today, more people are working.”

    16. Dennis Hastert: And we are proud of what the Republican Congress and the president have achieved together: historic tax reduction, which has helped create 1.5 million new jobs in the last year and has the economy growing again.

    Republicans Are Protecting the Environment.

    17. Bill Manger: “And finally, Republicans are following the inspiration of New York's own Teddy Roosevelt to ensure our natural resources are protected for generations.”

    LIE: Bush Created Homeland Security Department

    18. Bernard Kerik: “The President responded by creating the Department of Homeland Security, he enacted the PATRIOT Act and he has tripled our homeland security funding since 2001.”

    19. Dennis Hastert: We have taken important steps to defend our people by creating a Department of Homeland Security to better coordinate our internal defense.

    America Safer Under Bush.

    20. Bernard Kerik: “Today, we live in a much safer world as a result of this President's strong leadership.”

    21. Marc Racicot: Under President Bush, we have a safer, more hopeful America.

    Bush Has Continually Supported Our Troops

    22. Bernard Kerik: “It takes continued support for our troops and first responders, not votes against our military, our intelligence and law enforcement spending.”

    Education Has Improved Under Bush.

    23. Racicot: “Schools are focused on success, and children are learning.”

    24. Hastert: And we are proud of what the Republican Congress and the president have achieved together …revolutionary education reform, which demands more accountability from schools and better results for our children;

    Bush Leading the Global Fight Against Disease & Hunger.

    25. Marc Racicot: We are leading the world in the fight to eradicate disease and hunger.

    John Kerry “On the Wrong Side” on Taxes.

    26. Dennis Hastert: He's on the wrong side of taxation.

    John Kerry “On the Wrong Side of Litigation.”

    27. Hastert: He's on the wrong side of litigation.

    John Kerry “On the Wrong Side of Regulation”

    28. Hastert: And he's on the wrong side of regulation.

    Taxes, Litigation, and Regulation Lead to Job Loss.

    29. Hastert: These [taxation, litigation, and regulation] are the job killers. They add costs to our products and put American workers at a disadvantage.

    John Kerry Said He Would Raise Taxes on Businesses Creating Jobs.

    30. Hastert: No, at his Boston tax party, John Kerry promised to increase taxes on the job creators.

    John Kerry Voted For and Against the War.

    31. Dennis Hastert: You know, he's voted for it, and he's voted against it.

    John Kerry is Weak on the War.

    32. Dennis Hastert: My friends, this is no time to pick a leader who is weak on the war

    Health Savings Accounts Will Make Health Insurance More Affordable.

    33. Dennis Hastert: And we are proud of what the Republican Congress and the president have achieved together …health savings accounts, which will give families more control over their health care and will make it more affordable.

    Republican Convention Will Present a Positive Agenda.

    34. Ed Gillespie: We will present a positive agenda for our future that will expand our Republican majority in the Senate, expand our Republican majority in the House, and expand our majority of Republican governorships.

    John Kerry Has No Clear, Consistent Vision of Terrorism.

    35. Rudy Guliani: President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is. John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision.

    Bush’s Refusal to Change His Mind Even When Facts Prove Him Wrong is Indicative of Leadership.

    36. Rudy Guliani: President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts.

    John Kerry Changes His Position Often on Key Issues.

    37. Rudy Guliani: John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues.

    John Kerry Voted Against Funding Troops.

    38. Rudy Guliani: And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.

    John Kerry Said He Was an Anti-War Candidate, Then Pro-War.

    39. Rudy Guliani: He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he's pro-war.”

    John Kerry’s Statement on the $87 Billion Indicates Inconsistency.

    40. Rudy Guliani: My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

    John Kerry Flip-Flopped on the Security Fence.

    41. Rudy Guliani: In October, 2003, he told an Arab-American Institute in Detroit that a security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories was a "barrier to peace." A few months later, he took exactly the opposite position. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he said, "Israel's security fence is a legitimate act of self defense."

    John Kerry Will Pursue an Uncertain Course in the War on Terror.

    42. Rudy Guliani: The contrasts are dramatic. They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism. President Bush will make certain that we are combatting terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in the streets of New York. John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course.

    John Kerry Would Appease Terrorists.

    43. Rudy Guliani: President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense. He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow. John Kerry's claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.

    Regime Change in Iraq Was Part of the War on Terror.

    44. Rudy Guliani: In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be accomplished.

    Reasons for Removing Saddam Were Based on More Than Just WMDs.

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

    Convention Day 2

    Bush Lowered Health Care Costs

    46. Frist: He has won some huge victories to make health care cost less and be there when you need it. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush Gave Prescription Drugs 40 Million

    47. Frist: Thanks to his leadership, over 40 million seniors and individuals with disabilities will soon have access to prescription drugs. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush Gave 4 Million Seniors Discounted Prescription Drugs

    48. Frist: And right now, thanks to the President's action, this Medicare prescription drug discount card is providing 4 million seniors with immediate relief from the high cost of their medicines. Remarks [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Kerry is Against Prescription Drug Card

    49. Frist: Now some of our opponents don't want seniors to get this card. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Health Care Costs the Result of Medical Malpractice

    50. Frist: Another reason health care costs too much is our abused medical liability system. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Trial Lawyers to Blame for Health Care Costs

    51. Frist: The culprits are personal injury trial lawyers. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Kerry Mischaracterized Bush’s Stem Cell Policy

    52. Frist: John Kerry claims that the President has put a "sweeping ban" on stem cell research. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Health Care More Affordable Under Bush

    53. Frist: My friends, I'm so proud of our President's record. He's making health care more affordable, more accessible. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Kerry’s Health Care Plan to Cost $1 Trillion

    54. Frist: We have a choice. John Kerry's trillion dollar government-run plan will place your health in the hands of others faraway. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush Devoted Resources to Education

    55. Paige: President Bush saw this two-tiered system as unacceptable! He proposed a plan High standards; measurable goals; real consequences and resources to get the job done. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Schools Getting Assistance Under Bush

    56. Paige: States, not Washington, set the standards. Schools that need assistance get assistance. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush Increased the Pell Grant

    57. Paige: President Bush also increased Pell Grants funding so one million more young adults can afford college. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Kerry Flip-Flopped on No Child Left Behind

    58. Paige: Our opponents voted for No Child Left Behind. They praised it then. Now they attack it. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush committed record funding for AIDS

    59. Brownback: "Here at home, President Bush has committed record levels of support to fighting the disease. He has called for a new focus on abstinence education and has established a new effort to develop an AIDS vaccine. Internationally, President Bush has marshaled an army of compassion to combat this disease. His Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB authorized a record $15 billion, which will treat 2 million people, prevent 7 million new infections, and care for 10 million orphans and others affected by AIDS."

    Immigrants Welcome in Republican Party.

    60. Schwarzenegger: “To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party.” [GOP Convention, 8/31/04]

    GOP is the Party of Fiscal Responsibility.

    61. Schwarzenegger: “If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does... then you are a Republican!” [GOP Convention, 8/31/04]

    Bush Inherited Recession, Faced Attack on Homeland.

    62. Schwarzenegger: “America's economy is moving ahead in spite of a recession they inherited and in spite of the attack on our homeland.” [GOP Convention, 8/31/04]

    Tax Relief Helped All Families.

    63. Steele: “He didn't just hope for economic recovery, he turned that hope into action by returning money to the people who earned it -- American families. Today, over 111 million taxpayers are keeping more of their own money.” [GOP Convention, 8/31/04]

    Kerry Doesn’t Consider the Fight Against Terrorism a “War.”

    64. Steele: “He also recently said that he doesn't want to use the word ‘war’ to describe our efforts to fight terrorism. Well, I don't want to use the words ‘Commander-in-Chief’ to describe John Kerry.” [GOP Convention, 8/31/04]

    Convention Day 3

    Bush Inherited a Recession

    65. Cheney: “As President Bush and I were sworn into office, our nation was sliding into recession…” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Economy is Good

    66. Chao: “Thanks to President Bush’s tax relief, the economy is expanding, creating more than 1.5 million new jobs in the last eleven months. Today, the national unemployment rate is lower than the average for the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Bush is Making Healthcare More Affordable

    67. Cheney: “Our nation has the best healthcare in the world and President Bush is making it more affordable and accessible to all Americans.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Bush Destroyed Terrorist Training Camps in Afghanistan

    68. Cheney: “In Afghanistan, the camps where terrorists trained to kill Americans have been shut down…” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Said He Would Only Deploy Troops at the Directive of the UN

    69. Cheney: “Senator Kerry began his political career by saying he would like to see our troops deployed ‘only at the directive of the United Nations.’” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Opposes Reagan Defense Initiatives

    70. Cheney: “During the 1980s, Senator Kerry opposed Ronald Reagan's major defense initiatives that brought victory in the Cold War.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Spoke of a More “Sensitive” War on Terror

    71. Cheney: “He talks about leading a ‘more sensitive war on terror,’ as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Foreign Policy is Designed To Please Critics

    72. Cheney: “Senator Kerry denounces American action when other countries don't approve as if the whole object of our foreign policy were to please a few persistent critics.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Voted Against Body Armor for Troops

    73. Cheney: “He voted against body armor, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, armored vehicles, extra pay for hardship duty, and support for military families.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Cut Intelligence Funding

    74. Romney: If you want cuts in intelligence funding, then yes, send him. If you think that during the great national policy debate of the 1980’s Ronald Reagan was wrong and Ted Kennedy was right, then by all means send in John Kerry. Senator Kerry now tells us he has a clear position on the war on terror.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Bush Speaks Plainly and Means What He Says

    75. Cheney: “George W. Bush is a man who speaks plainly and means what he says.” [Cheney Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Voted For Tax Hikes 98 Times

    76. Romney: “No, it’s John Kerry’s record in his nearly 40 years since Vietnam that’s the question. Study that record; if you want someone who voted for tax hikes 98 times, then yes, send him. [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    77. Healey: “Why would he want to remind us that he voted 98 times for tax increases - or that he voted 126 times against tax cuts for American families, totaling more than 5.3 trillion dollars.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/01/04]

    78. Healey: “John Kerry doesn't like to talk about serving as Michael Dukakis's lieutenant. And for good reason. Why would he want to remind voters of Dukakis' legacy of skyrocketing taxes, high unemployment and a plummeting economy?” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/01/04]

    Kerry Is The Most Liberal Senator Ever/ Out Of Touch

    79. Healey: “The fact is, John Kerry can't win by telling us the truth. Because the truth is that John Kerry - and not Ted Kennedy - is the most liberal Senator in the United States.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/01/04]

    Bush Has Strong Convictions/ Not Changing His Beliefs

    80. Lingle: “He has turned our country around by following his strong convictions and doing what he believes is right, rather than changing his beliefs in response to the latest opinion poll.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/01/04]

    AHPs Help Small Business

    81. Lurita Doan: He's committed to making health care affordable for small business owners and their employees.

    Bush Helped Reduce Bundling In Federal Contracts

    82. Patricia Stout: This President laid out a strategy for reducing the size of government contracts so that small businesses would have a chance to compete.

    Bush Allows Americans To Define Marriage

    84. Santorum: George Bush has shown his compassion by… fighting to let the American people define marriage, not left-wing judges.

    Kerry Doesn’t Stand His Ground

    85. Romney: “He voted NO on Desert Storm in 1991 and YES on Desert Shield today. Then he voted NO on troop funding, just after he had voted YES. He’s campaigned against the war all year, but says he’d vote YES today. I don’t want Presidential leadership that comes in 57 varieties! I want a strong President who stands his ground.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Bush Ensured Quality Education

    86. Chao: “He has opened doors of opportunity to millions of other Americans as well, by ensuring that quality education is available to everyone so that all Americans have the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Inherited Recession

    87. Portman: “This President inherited an economy spiraling into recession, and already losing jobs in states like Ohio.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]We’re On Track For Economic Growth

    88. Portman: “Yes, we have more work to do, but we are on track for economic growth.” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Is An Isolationist

    89. Portman: “This means opening foreign markets to the best goods and services in the world American products not retreating to economic isolationism that kills jobs!!” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Ignores The Changing Economy

    90. Portman: “This means giving workers the opportunity to build their skills to meet 21st century challenges, not false hope and empty promises that ignore the realities of a changing economy!!” [Remarks at the Republican National Convention, 9/1/04]

    The Democrats Are Negative

    91. Miller: “Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander-in-Chief.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    The Democrats Are Politicizing The War

    92. Miller: “Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    93. Miller: “But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    94. Miller: “They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Doesn’t Support Our Troops

    95. Miller: “Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    96. Miller: “Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    97. Miller: “The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    98. Miller: “The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    99. Miller: “The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    100. Miller: “The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    101. Miller: “The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    102. Miller: “The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.”

    103. Miller: “I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel…”[Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    104. Miller: “…Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser…” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    105. Miller: “…Against the Strategic Defense Initiative…” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    106. Miller: “…Against the Trident missile, against, against, against. This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Speeutbawlls?”[Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    107. Miller: “Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations. Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    108. Miller: “For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protestor, Kerry blamed our military.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    109. Miller: “John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war. George Bush believes we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges. George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Will Weaken Our Military

    110. Miller: “John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security. That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    111. Miller: “As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far-away.” [Miller Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Bush Has Fought Crime

    112. Sandoval: “While working diligently to prevent terrorism, our Commander in Chief has remained equally dedicated to the important fight against domestic crime, and his strategy is succeeding.” [Sandoval Remarks, 9/1/04]

    113. Sandoval: “From Project Safe Neighborhoods to the President's fight against identity theft, from his anti-drug strategy to his plan to eradicate gun crime in America, this President has demonstrated an ability to lead. And deliver results. Violent crime at a thirty-year low. Teen drug abuse is declining across a wide front. Federal gun prosecutions have hit record highs. For America to fulfill its promise as the land of opportunity, each of us must be safe from crime. President Bush has made great strides in making America safer.” [Sandoval Remarks, 9/1/04]

    Kerry Does Not Support Welfare Reform/Faith-Based Initiatives

    114. Santorum: John Kerry's response -- he joined Senate Democrats in blocking the President's welfare reform and faith-based initiatives. He says he's "concerned" about the separation of church and state.

    Kerry Does Not Support Families

    120. Santorum: Senator Kerry should worry more about the separation of children from their fathers.

    Convention Day 4

    Bush Had a Record of Achievement.

    121. Pataki: “I want to help voters compare President Bush's record of achievement with Senator Kerry's. That way they'll be able to see the difference, which is that President Bush has a record of achievement.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Bush Inherited a Recession.

    122. Pataki: “He inherited a recession, and then came September 11th. But George Bush said he would turn around the economy and create new jobs.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Bush Eased Taxes on all Americans.

    123. Pataki: “He said he would cut taxes on the middle class, and ease the tax burden on all Americans.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Bush Said He Would Get Seniors Drug Coverage.

    124. Pataki: “He'd help our seniors get the prescription drug coverage they need.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Pataki Distorted Kerry’s Record.

    125. Pataki: “Senator Kerry, on the other hand well, what can we say of Senator Kerry? He was for the war and then he was against the war. Then he was for it but he wouldn't fund it. Then he'd fund it but he wasn't for it. He was for the Patriot Act until he was against it. Or was he against it until he was for it? I forget. He probably does too.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Pataki Blamed Clinton Administration for 9/11.

    126. Pataki: You know the history. Osama bin Laden declared war on America -- and then came the attacks -- the first World Trade Center, the embassies, the USS Cole -- hundreds dead, thousands injured. How I wish the administration at that time, in those years had done something. How I wished they had moved to protect us -- But - they - didn't - do -it. [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Pataki Questioned Kerry’s Commitment to Perusing Terrorists.

    127. Pataki: Where does Senator Kerry stand on all this? In Boston, he said that in the future “any attack would be met with a swift and certain response”. Well, respectfully Senator, that's not good enough. We've already been attacked, time and again. [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Pataki Distorted Kerry’s Comment on War.

    128. Pataki: Senator Kerry says, “America should go to war not when it wants to go to war but when it has to go to war.” Well, Senator: the fire fighters and cops who ran into those burning towers and died on September 11th didn't want to go to war, they were heroes in a war they didn't even know existed. [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Franks Distorted Kerry’s Comments About Fighting War on Terrorism.

    129. Franks: “Some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. Some say we should fight a less aggressive war -- that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Other Countries Making Substantial Contributions

    130. Franks: “Some have ridiculed the contributions made by our allies, but I can tell you that every contribution from every nation is important.” [Remarks at Republican National Convention, 9/2/04]

    Martinez Said Bush’s Policies Helped All Americans.

    131. Martinez: “Not only does President Bush believe in the American dream, but his policies are helping people across our country to realize their own American Dream.” [Mel Martinez, 9/2/04]

    Martinez Said Kerry Wanted to Raise Taxes.

    132. Martinez: “President Bush wants to cut taxes, and John Kerry wants to raise taxes.” [Mel Martinez, 9/2/04]

    Martinez said Bush Provided Seniors with Affordable Prescription Drugs.

    133. Martinez: “…I am extremely thankful to President Bush for his leadership in providing affordable drugs for our seniors. For years, our seniors have been promised a prescription drug benefit under Medicare, and those promises fell empty. Now because of President Bush, seniors are finally getting help with the cost of their prescription drugs.” [Mel Martinez, 9/2/04]

    Bush Says Seniors Are Getting Immediate Help With Prescription Drugs.

    134. Bush: “Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us back.”

    Bush Says Medical Liability Reform Will Make Health Care Cheaper.

    135. Bush: “To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now.”

    Bush Says Will Keep Promise Of Social Security.

    136. Bush: “We will always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers.”

    Bush Asserts Kerry Opposes Medicare Reform.

    137. Bush: “My opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings accounts.”

    Bush Says Kerry Wants To Dilute Education Reforms.

    138. Bush: “After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them.”

    Bush Says Kerry Opposes Medical Liability Reform.

    139. Bush: “He opposes legal and medical liability reform.”

    Bush Says Kerry Opposes Marriage Penalty.

    140. Bush: “He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit, and opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them.”

    Bush Lies About Cost of Kerry’s Programs.

    141. Bush: “To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for he's proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes and that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.”

    Bush Lies About Kerry Vote Funding Troops

    142. Bush: “Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed, 87 billion dollars in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it." Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it was a "complicated" matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat.”

    Bush Lies About Kerry’s View of Coalition.

    143. Bush: “In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.”

    The amazing thing? This is an official Kerry campaign press release titled "The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths".

    Look at that release again, there are exactly 4 entries (numbers 18, 141, 142, and 143) that couldn't be lifted word-for-word as a Bush/Cheney press release. They're not really trying to rebut what was said. They're not trying to prove they're lies. They're more than content simply to label everything a lie and move on.

    This really illustrates a big problem with the Kerry campaign. When their opponents say something they don't agree with they don't rebut them. Instead they dismiss them as lies and attacks on patriotism/character and move right on to attacking back. That's not how debate works. When the other side says something you don't agree with you explain why they're full of crap and say something they're not going to agree with. You don't simply dismiss everything said against you as a lie/attack and try to stifle the dissent. That just makes you look like you think you're above being questioned. And more and more it appears that's exactly what the Kerry campaign thinks. "John Kerry served in Vietnam for 4 months so you're not allowed to say anything bad about him."

    (hat tip Blogs for Bush)

    Looks like the Kerry team realized what they had on their hands and disappeared it. For the record, the only difference between the text in my blockquote and the actual release is that the Kerry site had the title "The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths" before "For Immediate Release" and the headers for each section were bolded.

    --Update 2 (9/9/04)--
    For any who may doubt the veracity of the text, Google still has cached copy of the page.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:52 PM in Politics/Government
    Trouble for Kerry up in Steubenville

    From an e-mail sent to Kathryn Jean Lopez over at NRO:

    John Kerry came to Steubenville yesterday and quickly realized he was in the wrong city. Steubenville is a city where there are 6 Democrats for every 1 Republican, and the Steelworkers unions are alive and active. You would think this was solid John Kerry territory. The mob used to control Steubenville and now the unions think they do. Well, they are wrong.

    The Kerry campaign first scheduled a visit to Steubenville two weeks ago but "scheduling conflicts" came up at the last minute. Oh, and did I mention that Kerry wanted to use a local gun range as a campaign stop, but the owner turned him down? And that the Fire Department Union President told the Kerry campaign that not only would he not organize the union to support Kerry at the rally, but that he was supporting President Bush! The Kerry campaign took for granted that this area was sown up. Mistake number one. So they rescheduled the campaign trip when Franciscan University was back in session. Mistake number two.

    Before Kerry arrived there was a huge pro-life march led by Franciscan University students, 500 strong. "You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion", read some of their signs. Students and members of local Catholic parishes were full of energy and FoxNews reported that this was the largest protest against Kerry outside of the Democratic Convention. Just picture 500 pro-lifers marching from their college campus to meet Kerry. Where else but in Steubenville, Ohio! Though the Franciscan University did not organize the event, it is well known for its orthodox Catholic education which encourages students to put their faith into action. These students simply cherish their Catholic faith and could not stand to let Kerry use their faith as a political prop. I am proud of my alma mater.

    ….The Kerry campaign not only made a mistake in their timing, but they also chose to hold the rally in a public park which should be open to all the public. Mistake number three. The police chief, sheriff, and mayor all agreed with me that protesters and their signs would be allowed inside the Kerry rally site. Freedom of speech is alive and well here in Ohio. The Kerry campaign flipped out!

    So, now add another 500 local Bush supporters to the Kerry rally. They tried to turn up the music but they could not drown us out. According to the Herald Star (local press), "The crowd, estimated by officials as 3,500 strong, was almost split in half with people for and against the Massachusetts senator." John Kerry must know he has a problem when over 15% of his audience was booing him. We were respectful and did not heckle him - but upon arrival and when he sought our applause he got something he didn't expect. As the press arrived a feisty nine year old little girl began shouting, "We want Bush!", and we all chanted along. The campaign staff was beside themselves. This is history in the making! Even places like Steubenville are not supporting John Kerry. He is in serious trouble.

    My friends, John Kerry will not be coming back to Steubenville. Kerry was visibly shaken when he received boos from the audience.....

    --The Corner on National Review Online

    Posted by robbernard at 10:29 PM in Politics/Government
    Heh, the Left seems to think they're fighting fair in this election

    Professor Bainbridge sets them straight.

  • A Democrat Congressman says the Bush administration is taking America "into a snake pit of fascism."

  • Getting former astronaut and Democrat Senator John Glenn to trot out the Hitler comparison.

  • Three liberal protestors tried to disrupt Bush's convention speech (funny, I didn't see any conservatives trying to disrupt Kerry's speech to the DNC convention).

  • Liberal protestors who tie up city streets and inconvenience people just so they can satisfy their narcissistic jones.

  • A featured speaker at a NOW rally says Bush "savagely raped " women "over and over."

  • ...
  • Democrat operatives working overtime to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot, thus besmirching the very name of their party.

  • The Democrat's media allies planning a 60 Minutes smear of Bush's National Guard service.
  • --Professor Bainbridge

    Professor Bainbridge has more and the links to back them up so go check it out.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:52 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, September 4, 2004
    NEW YORK, NY, Sep. 4 (UPI) -- Top staffers in the Kerry campaign defend their recent tactics.

    Tad Devine, Sen. John Kerry's senior advisor, told the Washington Times that he does not think that the Swift Boat veterans' ads, which attacked Kerry's Vietnam War record, have hurt the campaign.

    "Fundamentally, I don't think they reshaped the race at all," Devine said. "If they did, the president would be 10 points ahead, not in a dead-heat horse race."

    --Washington Times

    *cough* *cough*

    Posted by robbernard at 3:34 PM in Politics/Government
    Newsweek poll

    The latest Newsweek poll agrees with yesterday's Time poll.

    President George W. Bush leads his Democrat opponent John Kerry by 11 percentage points according to a poll immediately after the Republican National Convention in New York, Newsweek magazine reported.

    Bush is supported by 54 percent of the 1,008 registered voters surveyed Thursday and Friday, compared with 43 percent support for Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts senator. Independent candidate Ralph Nader polled 3 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points, Newsweek said.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:00 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, September 3, 2004
    Election violence (Or Attacked by the Left Part 2)

    Brian Griffin's been pointing out examples of violence at Democratic offices.

    Just to ensure that people don't start thinking this type of stuff only happens to Dems... "Shot fired at Huntington GOP office during speech".

    Posted by robbernard at 5:18 PM in Politics/Government
    Dick Morris' take on President Bush's speech
    In a speech that was at once eloquent and substantive, sensitive and dynamic, profound and familiar, Bush has risen to a level few presidents have ever reached.

    Sometimes a strategist just has to sit back and gasp. Occasionally, a seasoned political observer needs to realize that he has seen something extraordinary. Tonight, Bush made me feel like that.

    The speech satisfied every single political need. He contrasted with Kerry without appearing negative. He demonstrated emotion without pandering. He rose to a level of substantive specificity without becoming wonkish.
    I voted for Gore in 2000, as a true child of the Clinton era. But I decided to vote for Bush on Sept. 12, 2001 when I saw how he handled the threat we face. I used to back Bush because he offered safety; now I support him because he summons us all to an ideal. Before he spoke, supporting Bush was a duty one owed to the fallen. Now, it is an honor.

    --New York Post

    Posted by robbernard at 4:51 PM in Politics/Government
    Time Poll

    The latest Time Poll (via Instapundit) shows President Bush with an 11 point lead over Kerry.


    New York – For the first time since the Presidential race became a two person contest last spring, there is a clear leader, the latest TIME poll shows. If the 2004 election for President were held today, 52% of likely voters surveyed would vote for President George W. Bush, 41% would vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry, and 3% would vote for Ralph Nader, according to a new TIME poll conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Poll results are available on and will appear in the upcoming issue of TIME magazine, on newsstands Monday, Sept. 6.


    *Insert standard grain of salt reminder about polls here*

    Posted by robbernard at 3:53 PM in Politics/Government
    Carnival of the Vanities

    The latest Carnival is up over at Blogo Slovo.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:00 AM in Politics/Government
    Regarding Kerry's little midnight rally

    Get over yourselves. The RNC was not filled with "negative personal attacks" on John Kerry. They did attack him, they were not personal attacks. Not everything said against him is a personal attack. They did not question his patriotism. They did not question his service in Vietnam.

    They questioned his decisions. They questioned his record. They questioned whether he was the best choice to lead our country.

    Serving 4 months in Vietnam does not exempt you from ever being questioned again. They do not automatically qualify you to be the Commander in Chief. You do not earn your right to speak by going to Vietnam. You are not entitled to be president.

    Kerry and Edwards say they want to talk about the issues. At the RNC they did and all Kerry and Edwards can do is paint every thing said against them as attacks on patriotism and character. Whenever someone says they're wrong, that they're not the ones to lead the country they run to a microphone and whine that they're being picked on. It's pitiful.

    Zell Miller says President Bush has "a spine of tempered steel". Try growing one yourselves Senators Kerry and Edwards.

    Grow the hell up.

    (One side note, you've got this big speech meant to rebut President Bush's acceptance speech... it's meant for a national audience... what the hell are you doing putting in a line about choosing between the Springfield North and Springfield South teams? And what kind of line is "If you think we're doing ok vote for him, if you think we're going in the wrong direction vote for us"? Shouldn't you instead be trying to persuade people that we're on the wrong track?)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:34 AM in Politics/Government
    RNC Day 4 thoughts

    Governor George Pataki: A very impassioned speech. A reminder of 9/11 and President Bush's leadership then and since as can only be delivered from a New Yorker.

    The video voiced by former Senator and Law & Order cast member Fred Thompson I thought was very effective. It seemed very well put together compared to some of the other videos at the convention and ads on TV.

    President George W. Bush: Wow, a great speech. The best speech I've ever seen him give. And amazingly enough the media seems to agree. It necessarily started out a little slow as he had to lay out his domestic agenda for the next four years, but the last 20 minutes at least were dead on. A surprising amount of emotion, both in President Bush and in the crowd. A very hopeful message, a visionary message.

    A very well run convention overall, almost perfect.

    (Note: A flag was shown within 100 feet of a Republican tonight so somewhere there's a liberal complaining that the Republicans think they own the flag and that it needs to be taken back.)

    Some selections from Governor Pataki's speech.

    PATAKI:...[Senator Kerry] has asked for a full and frank discussion. Well, let's start now.


    I want to help voters compare President Bush's record of achievement with Senator Kerry's. That way they'll be able to see the difference, which is that President Bush has a record of achievement.


    Almost four years ago, George W. Bush raised his right hand and took the oath of office. And from the first, he showed us something we hadn't seen in a while. When he said he was going to do something, he meant it. And then he did it.


    PATAKI: Given recent history, that's amazing.

    He inherited a recession. And then came September 11th. But George Bush said he would turn around the economy and create new jobs.

    He said he'd do it. And he did.


    He said he would cut taxes on the middle class and ease the tax burden on all Americans.

    He said he'd do it. And he did.


    He said he'd help small businesses, protect Social Security and expand home ownership.

    He said he'd do it. And he did.

    He said he'd apply tougher standards to our schools. He'd help our seniors get the prescription drug coverage they need.

    He said he'd do it. And he did.

    And George Bush said he'd fight to allow the power of faith to help our young and help our troubled.

    He said he'd do it. And he did.

    There's much more, but you get the point.
    Where does Senator Kerry stand on all this? In Boston, he said that in the future "any attack would be met with a swift and certain response."

    Well, respectfully, Senator, that's not good enough. We've already been attacked, time and again.

    And President Bush understands we can't just wait for the next attack. We have to go after them, in their training camps, in their hiding places, in their spider holes, before they have the chance to attack us again.


    PATAKI: Senator Kerry says -- Senator Kerry says, "America should go to war not when it wants to go to war but when it has to go to war."

    Well, Senator, the firefighters and cops who ran into those burning towers and died on September 11th didn't want to go to war. They were heroes in a war they didn't even know existed. America did not choose this war. But we have a president who chooses to win it.

    --Washington Post

    And now vast swaths of President Bush's speech.

    I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people.

    BUSH: If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy.

    This will not happen on my watch.
    He's proposed more than $2 trillion in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts.


    And to pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes. And that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.

    BUSH: His policies of tax and spend, of expanding government rather than expanding opportunity, are the politics of the past. We are on the path to the future, and we're not turning back.
    My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters.


    Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values.


    BUSH: If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values.


    If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them.


    This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism, and you know where I stand.
    BUSH: In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including...


    BUSH: Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East urged him to comply.

    After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the civilized world. He again refused.

    And I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office, a decision no president would ask for, but must be prepared to make: Do I forget the lessons of September 11th and take the word of a madman...


    BUSH: ... or do I take action to defend our country?

    Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.
    BUSH: Our allies also know the historic importance of our work. About 40 nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq. I deeply appreciate the courage and wise counsel of leaders like Prime Minister Howard, President Kwasniewski, Prime Minister Berlusconi and, of course, Prime Minister Tony Blair.


    Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called American allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed."

    AUDIENCE: Boooo.

    BUSH: That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others...


    ... allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician.
    America has done this kind of work before, and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times wrote this: "Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. European capitals are frightened. In every military headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed," end quote.

    BUSH: Maybe that same person is still around, writing editorials.


    Fortunately, we had a resolute president named Truman who, with the American people, persevered, knowing that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of liberty, we live in a better and safer world today.


    The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily or all at once.

    BUSH: Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century.

    We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan, Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics, and that noble story goes on.
    BUSH: You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English.


    I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it.


    Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking."



    Now and then I come across as a little too blunt, and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.



    One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them; and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them.
    To everything we know there is a season -- a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding.

    BUSH: And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century.


    By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America.

    Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America. And tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed.

    --Washington Post

    Posted by robbernard at 12:24 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 2, 2004
    Tomorrow's news... TODAY!

    Boy, I wish I had access to a time machine like the Independent.

    Portraying himself as a clear-minded and decisive leader, George Bush last night pledged that if elected for a second term, he would continue the fight against terrorists "not for pride, not for power," but to keep America and the world a safe place to live.

    In his acceptance speech climaxing the Republican convention here, Mr Bush offered his country "clear, consistent and principled leadership," insisting he had a "clear and positive plan" both for international affairs, and to set his country right at home.

    Mr Bush's speech to a wildly cheering audience at Madison Square Garden arena capped a four-day convention launching the President into the last 60 days of a campaign which will determine whether he achieves the second White House term that eluded his father.

    Immediately afterwards he left to campaign in Pennsylvania, a key swing state, which Mr Kerry must carry to win the Presidency.

    --The Independent

    Posted by robbernard at 9:34 PM in Politics/Government
    Boo-hoo, Zell got a little rough with Kerry and the Dems

    Meanwhile the Left continues to spout this kind of hatred and vitriol.

    Poet Molly Birnbaum read aloud to a crowd of feminists gathered in New York's Central Park on Wednesday night, as part of a NOW event dubbed "Code Red: Stop the Bush Agenda Rally."

    "Imagine a way to erase that night four years ago when you (President Bush) savagely raped every pandemic woman over and over with each vote you got, a thrust with each state you stole," Birnbaum said from the podium. (If something is pandemic, it affects many people or a number of countries.)

    "A smack with each bill you passed, a tear with each right you took until you left me disenfranchised with hands shackled and voice restrained. Thanks for that night, Mr. President, I can barely remember my tomorrows," Birnbaum said to applause.


    U.S. Rep. Major Owens, a New York Democrat, warned a crowd of feminist protesters that the Bush administration is taking America "into a snake pit of fascism."

    Owens also said the Bush administration "spits on democracy" and is leading the country down a path reminiscent of "Nazi Germany."

    Owens made his remarks in New York City's Central Park at a National Organization for Women rally on Wednesday night.


    Posted by robbernard at 7:24 PM in Politics/Government
    Debunking the idea that Kerry's opposition to all those weapons systems was simply procedural

    Here is a 1984 John Kerry campaign memo.

    The Reagan Administration has no rational plan for our military. Instead, it acts on misinformed assumptions about the strength of the Soviet military and a presumed "window of vulnerability", which we now know not to exist.

    And Congress, rather than having the moral courage to challenge the Reagan Administration, has given Ronald Reagan almost every military request he has made, no matter how wasteful, no matter how useless, no matter how dangerous.

    The biggest defense buildup since World War II has not given us a better defense. Americans feel more threatened by the prospect of war, not less so. And our national priorities become more and more distorted as the share of our country's resources devoted to human needs diminishes.

    --Kerry Campaign Memo

    A sampling of what the memo says Kerry wanted to do to various weapons systems:

    MX MissileCancel
    B-1 BomberCancel
    Tomahawk MissileReduce by 50 per cent
    AH-64 HelicoptersCancel
    Patriot Air Defense MissileCancel
    Aegis Air-Defense CruiserCancel
    AV-8B Vertical Takeoff and Landing AircraftCancel
    F-15 Fighter AircraftCancel
    F-14A Fighter AircraftCancel
    F-14D Fighter AircraftCancel
    Phoenix Air-to-Air MissileCancel
    Sparrow Air-to-Air MissileCancel

    Remember, these cuts weren't proposed as a part of the "peace dividend", this was at the height of Reagan's fighting the Cold War. Thank God Kerry didn't get his way or there's a decent chance we'd still be fighting the Soviet Union.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:28 PM in Politics/Government
    RNC Day 3 thoughts

    There seems to be a pattern here. Every night so far it seems we have one person who just knocks it out of the park oratorically and one who makes a fine little speech in workmanlike fashion. In the first group fall Rudy, Arnold and Zell. In the second group are McCain, Laura Bush and Dick Cheney. Good or bad? I dunno. I'm not sure that you'd want a whole lineup of the first group.

    Senator Zell Miller: The fiery orator of the night. He certainly went after his fellow Democrats. It was a speech that only he could give, a Republican wouldn't have been able to get up and give that speech.

    Tonight we get to see just how inclusive the Democratic party actually is. Watch the claws come out.

    Mrs. Cheney: Acquitted herself well. Nothing exciting about it, but nothing embarrassing about it. She got up there and acted like somebody capable of being Second Lady of the United States. Admittedly that pretty much just means that she managed to stand up there for 5 minutes and not commit a felony or cuss anybody out.

    Vice President Dick Cheney: It was Vice-Presidential. It laid out the contrasts between President Bush and Senator Kerry. It's not going to be a speech long remembered but he got up there and did his job.

    Additionally Michael Reagan managed to get up in front of the podium without pimping the memory of his father. His speech and the ensuing video were a fitting tribute to Ronald Wilson Reagan.

    Selections from Zell Miller's speech:

    In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee. And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man.

    He gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the time.

    MILLER: And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.


    Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom," he would prefer the latter.


    Where are such statesmen today? Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?
    What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in? I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny. It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city.

    Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter.

    MILLER: But not today.


    Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

    And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.
    No one should dare to even think about being the commander in chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.


    But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking, America is the problem, not the solution. They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.

    MILLER: It is not their patriotism, it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking.

    They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong.

    They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.

    And no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.
    George W. Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip.

    From John Kerry, they get a "yes/no/maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.
    [President Bush] is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter. And where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.


    I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel...


    ... the man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.

    --Washington Post

    Posted by robbernard at 12:05 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, September 1, 2004
    Lots of you noticed this, from last night:

    Schwarzenegger said:

    I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

    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.

    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.

    The facts? There was no presidential debate in that election. Nixon never debated Humphrey.

    But it sure is a touching story, regardless of its truth.

    --Daily Kos

    The facts? Nowhere in Schwarzenegger's speech does he say he was watching a debate between Nixon and Humphrey. The word "debate" appears 0 times in Schwarzenegger's speech.

    But it sure is a nice example of gotcha politics, regardless of its truth.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:03 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 robbernard at 3:48 PM in Politics/Government
    Hear, hear
    Apparently these blathering idiots, from Chris Matthews on down, are under the impression that diversity in a party means everyone agrees on the issue of gay marriage. That isn't diversity? Diversity means differing people with differing opinions gathered together under one roof. Do they agree on everything? No. But choosing the liberal cause of the day and claiming that total adherence to one side of the issue is the embodiment of diversity does nothing but demonstrate the extent to which the media and the liberals have hijacked the english language.

    Remember, tolerance does not mean embracing things that you do notagree with. It means TOLERATING SHIT THAT PISSES YOU OFF, and remaining civil about the issue.

    --Balloon Juice

    Diversity is not simply accepting anything, no matter what it is.

    "Surely you've seen through that particular stupidity. I mean the one that claims the pig is the symbol of love for humanity - the creature that accepts anything. As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind. He expects nothing of men, so no form of depravity can outrage him."

    --Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

    Diversity isn't "we'll accept you so long as you accept everything we believe in". There's room in the Republican Party for pro-choice people, there's room in the Republican party for pro-gay rights people. The Republican Party is not a single issue party. There is no litmus test.

    That's not to say that anything will be accepted as policy. There will be debates, there will be fights over issues as there must be. Those are necessary if you're going to have true diversity. That's what I see in today's Republican Party.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:44 AM in Politics/Government
    Rudy revisited

    Went back today and watched the last 10 or so minutes of Giuliani's speech and came to a conclusion. Until/unless a better option comes forward you count me me in the Giuliani '08 camp.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:22 AM in Politics/Government
    Whoo boy...

    What little political career Alan Keyes had before he joined the race will be nonexistent come November 3rd.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:01 AM in Politics/Government

    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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 1:01 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, August 29, 2004

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

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

    Try these.

    Posted by robbernard 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.

    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 robbernard at 1:53 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004
    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 robbernard at 2:58 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, August 23, 2004
    A bad month

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

    Posted by robbernard at 2:20 PM in Politics/Government

    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 robbernard at 6:59 PM in Politics/Government

    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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 1:55 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    National Lampoon's

    (Thanks to Jake for the link.)

    Posted by robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 3:44 PM in Politics/Government

    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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 4:20 PM in Politics/Government
    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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 5:57 PM in Politics/Government
    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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 5:04 PM in Politics/Government

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

    Posted by robbernard at 4:13 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, August 4, 2004
    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 robbernard 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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 7:46 PM in Politics/Government

    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 robbernard 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 robbernard at 1:34 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, July 31, 2004
    Feel the love for Kerry from the troops
    John Kerry's heavily hyped cross-country bus tour stumbled out of the blocks yesterday, as a group of Marines publicly dissed the Vietnam War hero in the middle of a crowded restaurant.

    Kerry was treating running mate Sen. John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, to a Wendy's lunch in Newburgh, N.Y., for their 27th wedding anniversary — an Edwards family tradition — when the candidate approached four Marines and asked them questions.

    The Marines — two in uniform and two off-duty — were polite but curt while chatting with Kerry, answering most of his questions with a "yes, sir" or "no, sir."

    But they turned downright nasty after the Massachusetts senator thanked them "for their service" and left.

    "He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands," one Marine said, adding, "I'm 100 percent against [him]."

    A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, "I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq," before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is "eager" to go and serve.

    The Marines — all of whom serve at nearby Stewart Air Force Base — wouldn't give their names.

    --New York Post

    Posted by robbernard at 10:46 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, July 30, 2004
    One more reason we had to attack Iraq

    Because this is the type of do-nothing, please play nice resolution the UN likes to put out.

    With China and Pakistan abstaining, and the other 13 members approving the text, the Council agreed to impose an arms embargo against the Janjaweed militias and all other non-governmental forces in Darfur, which has been described as the site of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

    The resolution says the Council might take measures against Sudan if it does not show progress on achieving the commitments – most notably the pledges to disarm the Janjaweed and restore security to Darfur – it outlined in a joint communiqué with the UN on 3 July. (emphasis mine)

    Posted by robbernard at 7:44 PM in Politics/Government
    "I will defend America every time"

    President Bush in Springfield, MO today:

    We have more to do to wage and win the war against terror. America's future depends on our willingness to lead in the world. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy.

    BUSH: This will not happen on my watch.

    The world changed on a terrible September morning. And since that day, we've changed the world.

    Before September the 11th, Afghanistan served as the home base for Al Qaida, which trained and deployed thousands of killers to set up terror cells in dozens of countries, including our own. Today, Afghanistan is a rising democracy, an ally in the war on terror, a place where many young girls go to school for the first time. And as a result of our actions, America and the world are safer.

    Before September the 11th, Pakistan was a safe transit point for terrorists. Today, Pakistani forces are aggressively helping to round up the terrorists and America and the world are safer.

    Before September the 11th, in Saudi Arabia, terrorists were raising money and recruiting and operating with little opposition. Today, the Saudi government has taken the fight to Al Qaida and America and the world are safer.

    Before September the 11th, Libya was spending millions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Today, because America and our allies have sent a strong and clear message, the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and America and the world are safer.

    Before September the 11th, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America.

    BUSH: He was defying the world. He was firing weapons at American pilots and forcing the world's sanctions. He had pursued and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He had harbored terrorists. He invaded his neighbors. He subsidized the families of suicide bombers. He had murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens. He was a source of great instability in the world's most vulnerable region.

    I took those threats seriously. After September the 11th, we had to look at the threats in a new light. One of the lessons of September the 11th is we must deal with threats before they fully materialize.

    The September the 11th commission concluded that our institutions of government had failed to imagine the horror of that day. After September the 11th, we cannot fail to imagine that a brutal tyrant, who hated America, who had ties to terror, had weapons of mass destruction and might use those weapons or share his deadly capability with terrorists was not a threat.

    We looked at the intelligence. We saw a threat. Members of the United States Congress from both political parties, including my opponent, looked at the intelligence and they saw a threat.

    We went to the United Nations, which unanimously demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs or face serious consequences. After 12 years of defiance, he refused to comply with the demands of the free world.

    When he continued to deceive the weapons inspectors, I had a decision to make: to hope for the best and to trust the word of a madman and a tyrant, or remember the lessons of September the 11th and defend our country.

    BUSH: Given that choice, I will defend America every time.

    When it comes to fighting the threats of our world and making America safer and promoting the peace, we're turning the corner, and we're not turning back.

    It's nice to have a President in the post-9/11 world willing to see and deal with threats before they harm us and not one that is willing to wait for the attack followed by a "swift and certain response."

    What was missing from Kerry's speech
    JOHN KERRY told us more last night about his childhood memories of bike riding in Berlin than he did about his nearly three decades in public office.

    "I ask you to judge me by my record," he implored, but then said virtually nothing about it. There was a single throwaway line about his time as a prosecutor. Nothing at all about being elected lieutenant governor. And just three sentences about his 20 years in the US Senate. Twenty years! A third of his life! Yet neither in his speech nor in the video that preceded it did Kerry say anything about what those two decades have meant to him or what lessons they may have taught him or how he thinks they have prepared him for national leadership.

    "Judge me by my record," he says. But all night long -- all week long -- there is only one part of Kerry's long record that the Democrats have wanted Americans to notice: the part that ended 35 years ago when he came home from Vietnam. Why are they so reticent about everything he's done since?

    --Boston Globe

    Posted by robbernard at 12:01 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, July 29, 2004
    Kerry's speech

    It was a very pretty speech, you'd almost think it was true and that he actually believed it. With all his talk about the people who fought alongside him in Vietnam you'd almost think he hadn't come home and called them war criminals. You'd almost think President Bush had claimed the flag belonged to those who support him. You'd almost think that there was something President Bush could have done to get the people in bed with Saddam Hussein to go along with removing him. You'd almost think Kerry's opinion of the war in Iraq wasn't directly tied to what people want to hear. You'd almost think Kerry's fit to be Commander in Chief.

    Almost, but if you did you'd be wrong.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:26 PM in Politics/Government
    The Case for George W. Bush

    Tom Junod makes a great case for the reelection of President Bush from the perspective of a "Bush is an asshole" Liberal.

    As easy as it is to say that we can't abide the president because of the gulf between what he espouses and what he actually does , what haunts me is the possibility that we can't abide him because of us—because of the gulf between his will and our willingness. What haunts me is the possibility that we have become so accustomed to ambiguity and inaction in the face of evil that we find his call for decisive action an insult to our sense of nuance and proportion.

    The people who dislike George W. Bush have convinced themselves that opposition to his presidency is the most compelling moral issue of the day. Well, it's not. The most compelling moral issue of the day is exactly what he says it is, when he's not saying it's gay marriage. The reason he will be difficult to unseat in November—no matter what his approval ratings are in the summer—is that his opponents operate out of the moral certainty that he is the bad guy and needs to be replaced, while he operates out of the moral certainty that terrorists are the bad guys and need to be defeated. The first will always sound merely convenient when compared with the second. Worse, the gulf between the two kinds of certainty lends credence to the conservative notion that liberals have settled for the conviction that Bush is distasteful as a substitute for conviction—because it's easier than conviction.
    And now that the war has defied the optimism of its advocates, the issue is no longer Bush's moral intention but rather his simple competence. He got us in when he had no idea how to get us out. He allowed himself to be blinded by ideology and blindsided by ideologues. His arrogance led him to offend the very allies whose participation would have enabled us to win not just the war but the peace. His obsession with Saddam Hussein led him to rush into a war that was unnecessary. Sure, Saddam was a bad guy. Sure, the world is a better place without him. But . . .

    And there it is: the inevitable but. Trailed by its uncomfortable ellipsis, it sits squirming at the end of the argument against George Bush for very good reason: It can't possibly sit at the beginning. Bush haters have to back into it because there's nothing beyond it. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, but . . . but what ? But he wasn't so bad that we had to do anything about him? But he wasn't so bad that he was worth the shedding of American blood? But there are other dictators just as bad whom we leave in place? But he provided Bush the opportunity to establish the doctrine of preemptive war, in which case the cure is worse than the disease? But we should have secured Afghanistan before invading Iraq? But we should have secured the cooperation of allies who were no more inclined to depose Saddam than they—or we, as head of an international coalition of the unwilling—were to stop the genocide in Rwanda ten years before? Sure, genocide is bad, but . . .

    We might as well credit the president for his one great accomplishment: replacing but with and as a basis for foreign policy. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, and we got rid of him.
    Of course, Iraq might be a lost cause. It might be a disaster unmitigated and unprecedented. But if we permit ourselves to look at it the way the Republicans look at it—as a historical cause rather than just a cause assumed to be lost—we might be persuaded to see that it's history's judgment that matters, not ours.
    In a nation that loves fairy tales, the president seemed so damned eager to cry wolf that we decided he was just trying to keep us scared and that maybe he was just as big a villain as the wolf he insisted on telling us about. That's the whole point of the story, isn't it? The boy cries wolf for his own ends, and after a while people stop believing in the reality of the threat.

    I know how this story ends, because I've told it many times myself. I've told it so many times, in fact, that I'm always surprised when the wolf turns out to be real, and shows up hungry at the door, long after the boy is gone.

    --Tom Junod - Esquire

    Posted by robbernard at 8:56 PM in Politics/Government
    Say what you will about the LA Times (and I've said my share of things)...

    ...but I can appreciate their choices in convention-related blog links.

    Ditto for the Washington Post.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:18 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004
    Are we sure Edwards isn't a prisoner blinking messages in morse code?

    In a 34.5 second span during John Edwards' speech I counted 52 blinks.

    He complains about the negativity of President Bush's campaign. Oddly enough I don't see him calling off the Liberal 527 attack dogs, telling them to take the high road. The attacks coming from President Bush's campaign, which are really only exposing Kerry's voting record, are nothing compared to the negativity coming from the Left day in and day out. President Bush has been compared to Hitler, and Republicans compared to Nazis and he thinks it's the Republicans who are going negative?

    Posted by robbernard at 11:07 PM in Politics/Government

    Who let Al Sharpton onstage? I thought the point of the convention was to hide the negativity, hatred and vitriol that the Democratic Party actually stands for today.


    I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.

    --Washington Post

    Really? That's odd, here it is '04 and Colin Powell is the Secretary of State, Rod Paige is the Secretary of Education, Alphonso Jackson is the Secretary of Housing & Urban Development and Condoleezza Rice is the National Security Advisor. (And since Sharpton is only interested in the welfare of blacks I won't bring up Chao, Abraham, or Mineta.) Yeah, hypothetical President Bush from 50 years ago clearly would have been against blacks going to law school. /sarcasm

    Posted by robbernard at 8:34 PM in Politics/Government
    The Kerry video

    The GOP has a great, almost 12 minute video laying out the multitude of Kerry's unprincipled positions on the Iraq war.

    The transcript is here.

    KERRY: "I would disagree with John McCain that it’s the actual weapons of mass destruction he may use against us, it’s what he may do in another invasion of Kuwait or in a miscalculation about the Kurds or a miscalculation about Iran or particularly Israel. Those are the things that - that I think present the greatest danger. He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat." (CBS’ "Face The Nation," 9/15/02)
    KERRY: "George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him." (ABC News, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/3/03)
    MSNBC’S CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Are you one of the anti-war candidates?" (MSNBC’s "Hardball," 1/6/04)

    KERRY: "I am - Yeah." (MSNBC’s "Hardball," 1/6/04)

    And we're supposed to believe that a man whose position on a war varies with the polls is fit to be Commander in Chief?

    Posted by robbernard at 7:59 PM in Politics/Government
    The myths of stem cell research

    John Cole examines them.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:20 PM in Politics/Government
    Wow, everything really IS a conspiracy with the Kerrys
    Ever since voters began telling Teresa Heinz Kerry that they didn't think much of the pumpkin spice cookie recipe her office had submitted to Family Circle's presidential cookie bake-off, an aide said, Mrs. Heinz Kerry, the wife of the about-to-be Democratic nominee, has been thinking how she could tell America the truth: the recipe isn't hers.

    In an interview on National Public Radio that was broadcast yesterday, the cookies came up in conversation and in the direct, unvarnished style that people have come to expect, Mrs. Heinz Kerry said: "Somebody at my office gave that recipe out and, in fact, I think somebody really made it on purpose to give a nasty recipe. I never made pumpkin cookies; I don't like pumpkin spice cookies."
    Ms. Romash, who when she is not working in politics runs a baking-catering business, agrees with her boss. "If you tasted those cookies," she said, "you'd think someone was trying to do you harm, too."

    Ms. Romash would not say why Mrs. Heinz Kerry would think an aide would want to harm her.

    --The New York Times

    Now Heinz Kerry's own staff is out to get her.

    So we now have Nasa and Heinz Kerry's staff forming dastardly plans to embarrass the Kerry campaign. Who's next? Big Bird?

    Posted by robbernard at 6:51 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 robbernard at 5:58 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, July 27, 2004
    Heinz Kerry/Reagan


    Oh, sorry, Heinz Kerry put me to sleep there for a minute. I'm amazed they were able to find a blazing red dress that managed to almost perfectly match the color of her face.

    Did anybody else get a strong "Jurassic Park tour" vibe from Ron Reagan's speach? In this scenario Ron would play the part of part of Mr. DNA, the happy-go-lucky double-helix strand of recombinant DNA that explains the process of cloning in a way that's just a little too serious about providing edutainment.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:20 PM in Politics/Government
    Looks like Nasa is now part of the VRWC

    Kerry's campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill is actually accusing Nasa of pulling a political "dirty trick" in releasing the above photos.

    Cahill, asked by FOXNEWS whether it was a dirty trick, said: 'Well, what do you think?' No photos were supposed to be taken, she said.

    Well it does seem to fit, so much of the opposition to President Bush is already based on conspiracy theories, why not one more?

    According to this Washington Times article the Kerry campaign saw the photos and approved their release.

    One campaign official told The Washington Times last night: "All I can say is it was not an authorized release."

    But the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told Fox News that the Kerry team saw the photos before publication and passed on their release.

    A NASA spokesman told the top-rated cable network that the images were given to the Kerry campaign to review before several were posted on the Kennedy Space Center Web site.

    In no way were photographs "leaked," the spokesman said.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:53 PM in Politics/Government

    It's kind of amusing watching Howard Dean talking about how they're no longer going to shrink from standing up for what they believe in and how they're proud to be Democrats in the middle of a convention that's doing everything it can to distance the Democrats from what Kerry, Dean and their followers actually believe.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:19 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Bill Clinton seems to be under the delusion that when he left office he left "prosperity and peace". To this day he doesn't seem to recognize the threat of terrorism that he left us facing.

    The overall theme I'm getting from his speech: "If I were still in office the recession we had would have been a depression because I've got about 1,000 different things I think are more important than the tax cuts that spurred the economy to the greatest growth in 20 years."

    Posted by robbernard at 10:49 PM in Politics/Government
    Boortz on why Kerry is dangerous

    He makes some very good points.

    1. Kerry is soft on sovereignty. As Boston Herald columnist Cosmo Macero says: "Never has the dilution of U.S. Sovereignty been so boldly forecast." This is a man who said that the United States should not deploy troops overseas without the "permission" of the United Nations. He made no exceptions. He stated it as a hard and fast rule. Do we want a president who seeks the permission of the United Nations before he can act in what he believes to be the best interests of the United States? Oh .. to be sure, Kerry wouldn't dare make this statement today. He's running for office! Tell me ... just when do you think a person speaks his true mind? Hint: It's not when he's in the middle of the campaign. Remember ... Kerry has instructed Democrats to hold back on their anti-war statements during the convention. He knows that many of the voters he wants to convince approve of the liberation of Iraq. He also knows that most of the voters don't think the UN should have veto power over US military deployments. Believe him now at your peril.

    2. Kerry is an appeaser. Kerry knows that many of the principal members of the European Union want to build the strength of that body on the declining weakness of America. The leaders of these countries are quite upset over George Bush's show of strength in the Middle East. They knew the threat was there, but it was a threat they didn't have the courage to face. The US did. The US is showing strength, Europe is showing weakness. Naturally this is going to breed bitterness toward our country. Kerry wants to address and moderate this bitterness by weakening America through a policy of appeasement.

    3. Kerry is a tax-and-spend liberal. Just recently Microsoft announced that it was going to distribute $32 billion ... that's with a "B" ... in Microsoft cash to shareholders via a dividend. Give The Poodle his way and the dividend, which has already been taxed by the Imperial Federal Government, will be taxed again when it reaches the shareholder. How nice. Kerry's spending plans, if enacted, would essentially double the size of the federal government. Virtually every economist out there not working for the government credits Bush's tax cuts with our economic turnaround. Raising taxes is a good way to stop our economy in its tracks.

    4. Kerry sends a message of weakness. Islamic terrorists are emboldened when they believe their enemies to be weak. Disagree if you wish, but there's a school of thought out there which believes that the election of John Kerry would send a signal to the wonderful world of Islamic terrorism that America is once again ripe for an attack. I attend that school. How many Americans will die when Kerry brings us the era of appeasement?

    5. Kerry sends a message of government dependency. Whatever you need, the government is there to provide it for you. Kerry is pressing the concept of health care as a right. This means that the person in need of health care would have, under a Kerry regime, an enforceable right to a portion of the life of some health care provider somewhere. If health care is a right, what else? The right to a home? The right to a job?

    I've said it before, but here we go again for the record. We're in the middle of World War IV. Bin Laden has pledged to kill as many Americans as he can. He has even set a goal of four million. Will you be one of those? How about a member of your family? The Democrats are going to nominate a man who was opposed to removing Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. A man who voted for the Iraq war, and then voted to deny the funding our troops needed to pursue that action. The Democrats are nominating a man who believes that the United Nations should have veto power over American military moves. A man who would weaken the American economy through ratification of the Kyoto Treaty and the imposition of tax increases on the very people who are now powering our economic revival.

    --Neal Boortz

    Posted by robbernard at 4:46 PM in Politics/Government

    In which I Hobble/Fisk a Letter to the Editor from Sunday's Dayton Daily News:

    Administration flouts Constitution

    This secretive, arrogant administration disregards the Constitution with its Bill of Rights and the checks and balances of our three separate and equal branches of government. It cordons off protesters, manipulates our fears and politicizes religion.

    Does this administration understand the possible negative consequences of the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Department, with their ability to invade, silence, censor and destroy people's freedoms, civil liberties and privacies? It must be afraid of the people's right to free speech, press and peaceful assembly, and especially the separation of church and state, since it advances America as only a Christian nation under extreme McCarthyism.

    And now for a bit of straight fisking.

    Teaching creationism in public schools...

    The Bush administration is forcing schools to teach creationism? No? They’ve at least tried and failed to force schools to teach creationism, right? No again? Gee, it’s almost as if the Bush administration has nothing to do with schools deciding whether to teach creationism, but that of course can’t be since President Bush is the source of all evil in the universe.

    ...and other religious activities such as the House's "safe harbor for churches" act...

    Wait, the "House" is now a part of the administration? Just two paragraphs ago weren't you complaining that the Bush administration disregards the idea of our "three separate and equal branches of government"?

    ...continually violate the First Amendment.

    Really? Where in the First Amendment does it talk about what is required for churches to be tax exempt? Where does the First Amendment lay out which theories of creation can be taught in schools? Where does the Constitution even mention schools? In a teacher saying that some people believe a higher being created everything, in which way is Congress making a law respecting an establishment of religion?

    This administration is stretching and possibly violating other rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and state and international laws. - Ann C. Bell, Oakwood

    --Dayton Daily News - Letters to the Editor

    Geez Ann, think you could be a tiny bit more vague on that last bit? It’s easy to scream “Help! Help! I'm being repressed!”, but when you do you should be able to, ya know, actually be able to back it up with examples of how your rights are being violated. (Yes, that was, for some reason, my second Holy Grail quote in 12 hours.)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:48 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, July 25, 2004
    John Kerry: For restoring honesty before he was against it
    The Kerry Campaign seems to have figured things out, though -- the Joe Wilson "" website is gone from the Kerry page. And -- as Nick Queen notes -- searches for Wilson on the Kerry site now turn up nothing.

    Wilson's been airbrushed, which seems like an admission that those who have been defending him were wasting their time. (For those interested in history, here's a preserved copy. Reportedly, they've even cleared the Google cache on this one! [LATER: Google cache found here.])


    In the immortal words of Monty Python and the Holy Grail's King Arthur: "Run away! Run away!"

    Posted by robbernard at 4:05 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, July 23, 2004
    President Bush at the National Urban League

    The highlights:

    The thing I like about the National Urban League is you believe in the future of the African American community. You've got this great faith that the future is going to be better, and I share that. That's what I'm here to talk about. I believe the same thing.

    I believe this country can and will be a place of opportunity and hope for every single citizen. It's not a given; there's work to be done. But it's a goal, and it's an important goal.

    I don't care what party you're in, what city you live in, or what state you're from, the goal has got to be -- America has got to be an hospitable, hopeful place for every single citizen. That's what I believe. That's kind of the heart of what they call compassionate conservatism, that the American experience must be alive and viable for everyone, and that government has a role to help people have the tools so they can help themselves. See, I believe in the human spirit; I believe if people have the opportunity and the ability, they will achieve their God-given talents. That's what I believe. And I think that's a proper role for the federal government, to help people.

    The last three-and-a-half years, we've worked on that. We've worked hard to make opportunity available and prosperity real and justice not a word. And I'm here to tell you, we're making good progress.

    Progress for African Americans and all Americans require a healthy, growing economy. It's hard to realize dreams if -- if you're in a recession; it's hard to realize dreams if jobs aren't being created; it's hard to realize dreams if the entrepreneurial spirit is flat, at best, and that's not the case today.
    What I'm telling you is, the role of government is to create an environment where people from all walks of life have a chance to realize their dream. And that's precisely what's taking place in America. And the economy is better for it, and more people are finding work, and we must not go backward to the days of high taxes, high spending, more regulation and more lawsuits, if we expect more people to own their own business.
    Progress for African Americans, and progress for all Americans, requires good schools. (Applause.) The system tended to shuffle kids through, and you know what I'm talking about. You know, the hard-to-educate were labeled that, and they just moved through, that's what was happening. We can play like it wasn't happening. It was happening. That's what you get when you get low expectations. It's what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations.
    We need to make sure a high school diploma means something. When a kid comes out of high school, an employer or community college, the college says, that means something when they hold up a high school diploma.
    Plus, I want to make sure the community college system is vibrant. I put money aside and will continue to do so for the community colleges. They're available, affordable, they're accessible, they're good things, they can change their curriculum to meet the needs of a local community. They actually train people for jobs which exist. They're good opportunities for kids coming out of high school. Look, education is the future of the country. And that's why, under my administration, we've increased the number of men and women who will be receiving Pell Grants to nearly one million. (Applause.)

    And why, under my budget, funding for historically black colleges is at an all-time high. (Applause.) It's what I said I would do when I was running for President, see. I told people I'd do that, and I've done it. And the country is better off for it, because education is the cornerstone of a hopeful tomorrow.

    I was proud to support Mayor Tony Williams... Tony is the Mayor of Washington. He's a very good Mayor, by the way. He's a good man. Maybe you know him. But he and I -- (applause.) I work with Tony. And I signed a bill into law creating taxpayer-sponsored scholarships for students in Washington, D.C. And let me tell you why. I believe this: If school choice is good for the wealthy, it's good enough for disadvantaged children in America. This is a good piece of legislation. (Applause.) It's a good piece of legislation, which is going to help improve education for all children in the nation's capital.
    I'm the first President of the United States to ban racial profiling in federal law enforcement. (Applause.)

    And to serve the cause of justice on the bench, the federal bench, I have nominated outstanding men and women to the courts, including six superbly qualified African Americans for the courts of appeal and 11 for district courts. (Applause.)
    We've got a diverse cabinet, diverse administration, people who serve our nation with dignity. You know, when it comes time to money, Allen Greenspan is a smart guy, so is the Vice Chairman, Roger Ferguson, of the Federal Reserve. (Applause.) Chairman of the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell -- in other words, what I'm telling you is -- (applause) -- I feel I have an obligation to reach out to people from all walks of life. I have met that obligation, and the government is better for it. (Applause.)

    And when it comes to national security, thankfully I've had a good team. We've had some big challenges in this country. And I've got a strong foreign policy, because the architects of that policy are people like Condi Rice and Colin Powell. (Applause.) These are good people. I've seen them -- I've seen them under incredible pressure. I know their steadiness and their clear vision.
    Ours is a solid record of accomplishment. And that's why I've come to talk about compassionate conservatism and what I envision for the future. I'm here for another reason. I'm here to ask for your vote. (Applause.)

    No, I know, I know, I know. The Republican party has got a lot of work to do. I understand that. (Laughter and applause.) You didn't need

    to nod your head that hard, Jesse. (Laughter.)

    Do you remember a guy named Charlie Gaines? Somebody gave me a quote he said, which I think kind of describes the environment we're in today. I think he's a friend of Jesse's. He said, "Blacks are gagging on the donkey but not yet ready to swallow the elephant." (Laughter and applause.)

    Now that was said a while ago. (Laughter.) I believe you've got to earn the vote and seek it. I think you've got to go to people and say, this is my heart, this is what I believe, and I'd like your help. And as I do, I'm going to ask African American voters to consider some questions.

    Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.) Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.) How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.) Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

    That's what I hope people ask when they go to the community centers and places, as we all should do our duty and vote. People need to be asking these very serious questions.

    Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country? (Applause.)

    Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family? (Applause.)
    I'm here to say that there is an alternative this year. There is an alternative that has had a record that is easy to see. If you dream of starting a small business and building a nest egg and passing something of value to your children, take a look at my agenda. If you believe schools should meet high standards instead of making excuses, take a look at my agenda. If you believe the institutions of marriage and family are worth defending and need defending today, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

    If you believe in building a culture of life in America, take a look at my agenda. If you believe in a tireless fight against crime and drugs, take a look at this agenda. If you believe that our men and women in uniform should be respected and supported 100 percent of the time, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

    If you're struggling to get into the middle class and you feel like you're paying plenty of taxes, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

    If you're a small business owner who is trying to expand your job base and are worried about excessive lawsuits, increasing taxes and over-regulation, take a look at this agenda. (Applause.)

    And finally, if you believe in the power of faith and compassion to defeat violence and despair and hopelessness, I hope you take a look at where I stand. (Applause.)

    You see, I believe in my heart that the Republican party, the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, is not complete without the perspective and support and contribution of African Americans. (Applause.)

    And I believe in my heart that the policies and actions of this administration, policies that empower individuals and help communities, that lift up free enterprise and respect and honor the family, those policies are good for the nation as a whole. That's what I believe. And I'm here to thank you for giving me a chance to come and express those beliefs.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:46 PM in Politics/Government
    Shhhhh! Don't tell the Left

    If they knew President Bush were addressing the Urban League today they might have to drop the inflammatory racial rhetoric and that would just leave them sad and bored. We wouldn't want that.

    “We’ve got a president that’s prepared to take us back to the days of Jim Crow segregation and dominance,” says NAACP president Kweisi Mfume. Republicans’ “idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side by side,” says NAACP chairman Julian Bond. And the leaders of this supposedly nonpartisan organization are surprised President Bush declined to attend their convention last week?

    Instead, tomorrow the president will address the National Urban League, a black organization whose mainstream leadership is focused on ideas for improving life in inner cities rather than on politics and racial demagoguery. The president will have a lot to talk about. Issues number one and two on his domestic agenda have been education reform and his faith-based initiative, both specifically targeted to help inner city minority residents, and both implemented by two accomplished African-American cabinet members, education secretary Rod Paige and HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson.

    --Charles Upton Sahm - City Journal

    Posted by robbernard at 1:18 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, July 22, 2004
    Poll shows President Bush up by 5 in Ohio, outside the margin of error
    (CPOD) Jul. 22, 2004 – The Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could carry the state of Ohio in the 2004 United States presidential election, according to a poll by Strategic Vision. 48 per cent of respondents would vote for the incumbents, while 43 per cent would support Democratic challengers John Kerry and John Edwards.

    Independent candidate Ralph Nader and running mate Peter Camejo garner the support of one per cent of respondents, while eight per cent remain undecided. The election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

    Bush carried Ohio’s 21 electoral votes in 2000, with 50 per cent of the vote. The state has supported the eventual president in every election since 1964.

    Polling Data

    If the 2004 presidential election were held today, would you vote for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the Republicans, John Kerry and John Edwards, the Democrats, or Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, the independents?

    Bush / Cheney (R)


    Kerry / Edwards (D)


    Nader / Camejo (I)




    Source: Strategic Vision
    Methodology: Telephone interviews with 801 likely Ohio voters, conducted from Jul. 17 to Jul. 19, 2004. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

    --Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy

    Being poll data it should of course be taken with the requisite grain of salt, but since late May President Bush has lead in the majority of polls taken in Ohio.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:22 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004
    Damned if you do, damned if you don't

    Rich Lowry has a good piece over at NRO laying out how no matter what President Bush does the Left is going to have a problem with it.

    If he stumbles over his words, he is an embarrassing idiot. If he manages to cut taxes or wage a war against Saddam Hussein with bipartisan support, he is a manipulative genius.

    If he hasn't been able to capture Osama bin Laden, he is endangering U.S. security. If he catches bin Laden, it is only a ploy to influence the elections.

    If he ignores U.N. resolutions, he is a dangerous unilateralist. If he takes U.N. resolutions on Iraq seriously, he is a dangerous unilateralist. If he doesn't get France to agree to his Iraq policy, he is ignoring important international actors. If he supports multiparty talks on North Korea, he is not doing enough to ignore important international actors.

    If he bombed Iraq, he should have bombed Saudi Arabia instead, and if he had bombed Saudi Arabia, he should have bombed Iran, and if he had bombed all three, he shouldn't have bombed anyone at all. If he imposes a U.S. occupation on Iraq, he is fomenting Iraqi resistance by making the United States seem an imperial power. If he ends the U.S. occupation, he is cutting and running.

    If he warns of a terror attack, he is playing alarmist politics. If he doesn't warn of a terror attack, he is dangerously asleep at the switch. If he says we're safer, he's lying, and if he doesn't say we're safer, he's implicitly admitting that he has failed in his core duty as commander in chief.

    If he adopts a doctrine of preemption, he is unacceptably remaking American national-security policy. If the United States suffers a terror attack on his watch, he should have preempted it. If he signs a far-reaching antiterror law, he is abridging civil liberties. If the United States suffers another terror attack on his watch, he should have had a more vigorous anti-terror law.

    Bush's economy hasn't created new jobs. If it has created new jobs, they aren't well-paying jobs. If they are well-paying jobs, there is still income inequality in America.

    If Bush opposes a prescription-drug benefit for the elderly, he's miserly. If he supports a prescription-drug benefit for the elderly, he's lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.
    If he accuses John Kerry of flip-flopping, he is merely highlighting one of the Massachusetts senator's strengths — his nuance and thoughtfulness. If he flip-flops on nation-building or testifying before the 9/11 commission, he proves his own ill-intentions, cluelessness, or both.

    If he doesn't admit a mistake, he is bullheaded and detached from reality. If he admits a mistake, he is damning his own governance in shocking fashion.

    If he sticks with Dick Cheney, he is saddling himself with an unpopular vice president, giving Democrats who can't wait to run against Cheney a political advantage. If he drops Cheney, he is admitting that the Democratic attacks against his vice president have hit home, thus giving Democrats who have made those charges a political advantage.

    If he loses in November, the voice of the American people has spoken a devastating verdict on his presidency. If he wins, he stole the election.

    --National Review Online

    Posted by robbernard at 3:59 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 robbernard at 3:48 PM in Politics/Government
    Ooooh, Bush bought an "abortion ad" in Cleveland

    Ohio Countdown 2004 has noted that President Bush’s campaign aired a "hit piece on abortion on 60 minutes" in Northeast Ohio. He says that this is a signal that President Bush has "a base problem" and that President Bush's campaign is "in complete panic".

    Unless I'm mistaken the ad in question is this ad entitled "Family Priorities". The text of the ad is as follows:

    President Bush:
    I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

    Voice Over:
    When it comes to issues that affect our families, are John Kerry's priorities the same as yours?

    Kerry voted against parental notification for teenage abortions.

    Kerry even voted to allow schools to hand out the morning after pill without parents' knowledge.

    He voted to take control away from parents by taking away their right to know.

    John Kerry has his priorities. The question is, are they yours?

    I don't think you can fairly call this a "hit piece on abortion". It doesn't say abortion should be illegal, it doesn't even say that teenage abortion should be illegal. It says that Kerry voted to oppose parents being told about teenage abortions and that he voted in favor of school's being able to hand out the morning after pill without parents' knowledge. These aren't anti-abortion stances; these are pro-parental notification stances. I think these charges are pretty clearly aimed not at President Bush's base who totally oppose abortion but rather at liberal-to-moderate Republicans and moderate-to-conservative Democrats and Independents who support abortion but at the same time think that the parents of the children having abortions should know about it. It's one more effort to paint Kerry as a liberal, not to convince President Bush's base that he's a conservative.

    It's worth noting also that this ad isn't running simply in the Democratic bastion of Northeast Ohio during 60 minutes. I've seen it repeated numerous times during a wide range of shows here in the Dayton area which is much more of a swing region. I think it's rather obviously an ad designed to appeal to moderates throughout Ohio who may support Kerry's economic policy but can't stomach his social policy.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:00 PM in Politics/Government
    Michigan Democrats outsourcing jobs to India
    The state Republican Party on Tuesday said a contractor working for the Michigan Democratic Party is outsourcing work to India as he checks the validity of signatures putting presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot.

    The accusation came on the same day that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry released new ads pledging his economic plan would begin by "putting an end to tax incentives that are encouraging American companies to ship jobs overseas."

    In Tuesday's salvo, the state GOP said Mark Grebner of Practical Political Consulting in East Lansing has sent digital copies of the Nader petitions to a data entry firm in India. Grebner refused to confirm or deny the accusation, or to say where the work is being done on the Nader petitions.

    Nonetheless, state GOP executive director Greg McNeilly strongly criticized the move, calling it "hypocrisy."

    "Michigan Democrats are so intolerant of minority perspectives at the ballot box that they'll outsource Michigan jobs in order to protect a two-party duopoly," McNeilly said in a statement. "They are paying a firm in India for work that could be done by Michiganders." (Hat tip AlphaPatriot)

    Now personally I agree with Grebner who says "This really is work that you can't do in the U.S. because it just doesn't make economic sense... I can't hire people to do some things here." That however doesn't match the rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party who are playing up outsourcing in all its class warfareish glory. They have shown that they don't care if companies can be competitive and continue providing jobs in the long term just so long as not a single job is given to a person in another country in the short term. Sure Grebner’s 15 person staff would be out of work after a month or so, but for that month several other Michiganders would have jobs, which of course they too would lose when the company went out of business. The Democrats and the Kerry campaign have made it clear that they don’t care about that however so I'd like to see how they rationalize shipping these jobs off overseas.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:24 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, July 20, 2004
    Sandy Berger, former President Clinton's national security adviser, is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department after highly classified terrorism documents disappeared while he was reviewing what should be turned over to the Sept. 11 commission.

    Berger's home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI agents armed with warrants after the former Clinton adviser voluntarily returned some sensitive documents to the National Archives and admitted he also removed handwritten notes he had made while reviewing the sensitive documents.

    However, some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration are still missing, officials and lawyers told The Associated Press.
    Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket and pants, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.

    --Yahoo! News

    Ya know, when you're knowingly stuffing sensitive information down your pants to hide it, it kind of lowers the credibility of the idea that the sensitive information you carried out in your portfolio was an accident.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:45 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, July 19, 2004
    Kerry on vacation

    Drudge has an amusing/interesting page up questioning Kerry's claim that "You're not going to have to look for us on vacation. You're going to find us working for America."

    Posted by robbernard at 7:03 PM in Politics/Government
    Your political overreaction of the *insert time frame here*

    Borrowing a line from Hans and Franz the SNL characters, Governor Schwarzenegger called Democrats in the California statehouse "girlie men", or more accurately he said "If they don't have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, 'I don't want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers ... if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men,"

    For this he's being called a "misogynist", "sexist", and "homophobic". You want to complain and say that you're not girlie men, that you're in fact manly men with flannel shirts, muscles, and power tools then fine, but calling it misogynistic, sexist and homophobic? COME ON! Men are men. Women are women. “Girlie man” is no more derogatory towards women than “manly woman” would be towards men.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:58 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, July 18, 2004
    OSC on Edwards
    The only mystery is what Edwards knew about himself that we haven't yet seen. What hidden qualities of leadership and wisdom? What fervently held beliefs that could guide his nation through difficult times?

    We've seen none of these things, since he has never actually led anybody anywhere, and his opinions seem to be suspiciously close to what an election strategist might have told him it would be useful for him to believe.
    And while there are those who will claim that Kerry simply chose the Democrat who was second-best qualified for the Presidency, we all know that's a joke. Kerry isn't even the second-best-qualified, and Edwards isn't in the top twenty-five.

    Kerry is the most liberal Senator -- which means that he stands for something, even though he's spending his campaign pretending that he was just kidding about all those anti-defense and pro-spending votes over the years.
    Four years from now, when Hillary is ready to make her move... Edwards will be the only Democrat in a position to deny her what she thinks of as her right -- another eight-year stint in the White House.

    Which means that if this election turns out correctly, and we stick with our much-vilified and ridiculed Abraham Lincoln to see us through the rest of this war against terrorism, I will actually find myself in 2008 rooting for John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination -- because the idea of Hillary as President is so hideous that even Republicans have to hope the Democratic Party will choose someone who is probably harmless as their candidate.

    Think of John Edwards as the Warren Harding of contemporary politics. He just looks so darn electable, somebody has to nominate him for something.

    --World Watch - Orson Scott Card

    Posted by robbernard at 2:57 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, July 15, 2004
    Catching up... On delaying the election

    Some are in an uproar because some government officials want to look into procedures for delaying the election.

    I should hope somebody's thinking about this. God knows I wouldn't want anything to happen to delay the election, but the worst possible thing that could happen would be a terrorist strike very close to or during the election and nobody having a clue what they can or should do. If a dirty bomb goes of the day before the election, or the day of, I don't want 500 Congressmen and innumerable local and state officials each with their own thoughts and plans and actions about how the election will take place. I don't want one Senator saying the election should be delayed a month and Representative saying it should be next week while the Election supervisor in Podunk Township, USA is saying "eh, just come back tomorrow" while the next county over is saying "vote now or never". That's chaos and we need to know what we're doing to avoid it.

    If we're going to have a debate over whether we can, or how we can, or whether we should delay the election I want it held now, not 10 minutes after a terrorist attack. If the worst should happen I want a plan in place. I want people to know whether they're allowed to delay voting. If they are I want people to know under what circumstances it should happen. I want them to know how they can go about doing it.

    If we decide that the election should be delayed under no circumstances then we should know that going in. If in the event of a terrorist attack that results in the election being delayed we should know going in whether that means every polling place in America shuts down... whether just those in the states, counties, or cities affected are shut down... whether votes already cast will count... whether they won't count... who has the right to make the call. This is stuff we need to know and a vast scream of "WE SHOULD NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS!!!!!" doesn't help. We need to at least think about it and if after thinking it's decided that a delay should never happen then so be it, but we can't allow that decision to be made without examining the situation.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:33 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, July 12, 2004
    Do you live in New York? If so, hard-left groups are trying to ruin your day during the GOP Convention

    And worse than that, making it easier for possible terrorists.

    Fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions at the Republican National Convention with a series of sneaky tricks - including fooling bomb-sniffing dogs on trains bound for Penn Station, the Daily News has learned.

    Internet-using anarchists are telling would-be troublemakers to decoy specially trained Labrador retrievers with gunpowder or ammonium nitrate-laced tablets in a bid to halt trains or even spur the evacuation of Madison Square Garden.
    "Where is the legitimate protest in trying to endanger the public?" an angry ­Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told The News.
    So in addition to guarding against the most vile, organized and destructive of terrorists, Kelly and company have to combat a shadowy, loose-knit band of traveling troublemakers who spread their guides to disruption over the Internet.

    The dog decoy ploy is the among most insidious in the fringe groups' bag of tricks - which includes throwing marbles under the hooves of police horses and using slingshots to pelt the animals.

    "They're trying to use up our resources with false alarms. ... The sensitive dogs would become burned out with too many alerts," said a police source.

    --New York Daily News

    Posted by robbernard at 7:07 PM in Politics/Government
    "40 Reasons To Vote For George Bush Or Against John Kerry"

    40 Reasons To Vote For George Bush Or Against John Kerry from Right Wing News.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:58 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, July 10, 2004
    State of the Union

    The Ohio Republican Party has a new blog called State of the Union.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:03 PM in Politics/Government

    NAACP Chairman Julian Bond - June 2, 2004:

    "Their [conservatives] idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side," Bond told a cheering audience. "They've written a new constitution for Iraq and ignore the Constitution here at home. They draw their most rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American politics. Now they want to write bigotry back into the Constitution."


    NAACP National Voter Fund ad run in 10 states in October, 2000:

    [Background sound: deep, eerie metallic; later fade in low clanking]
    Renee Mullins (voice over): I’m Renee Mullins, James Byrd’s daughter.

    On June 7, 1998 in Texas my father was killed. He was beaten, chained, and then dragged 3 miles to his death, all because he was black.

    So when Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate-crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.

    Call Governor George W. Bush and tell him to support hate-crime legislation.

    We won’t be dragged away from our future.

    --Democracy in Action

    Someone want to tell my why the President of the United States should speak in front of this group?

    Posted by robbernard at 1:19 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, July 9, 2004

    Hillary to the Houston Chronicle according to Drudge:

    "This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."


    Is she seriously suggesting that we as a nation were better off when Carter left office than when he came in?

    Posted by robbernard at 11:47 PM in Politics/Government
    Briefings? We don't need no stinkin' briefings!

    Kerry on Larry King Live: (emphasis mine)

    King:...Let's get to, first thing's first, news of the day. Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States, didn't increase the -- do you see any politics in this? What's your reaction?

    KERRY: Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me; I just haven't had time. But all Americans are united in our efforts to defeat terrorism.

    I believe that John Edwards and I can wage a far more effective war on terror than George Bush has.

    Really? A "more effective war on terror than George Bush"? Kerry can't even make time for a briefing on "al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States". And we're supposed to believe he could run a better War on Terror?

    At least President Bush can make time for important stuff like that.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:10 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, July 8, 2004
    Kerry-Edwards has better hair?
    Addressing the crowd at RiverScape MetroPark, Kerry ticked off the ways he and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, are a better choice than incumbent President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Kerry boasted that he and Edwards have better ideas, a better sense of what America needs.

    "And," he said, "we've got better hair."

    --Dayton Daily News

    Not so according to a survey pitting President Bush against Kerry.

    May the best candidate win, but
    when it comes to the best presidential hair, George W. Bush has America's
    vote, according to Wahl Clipper Corporation's 2004 Grooming Survey and First
    Ever "Index" on men's grooming habits.

    Despite John Kerry's recent claim that the Kerry-Edwards ticket has the
    best hair, Wahl's survey found that the majority of Americans overwhelmingly
    voted for Bush's hair over Kerry's (Bush -- 51 percent; Kerry -- 30 percent;
    neither -- 10 percent; don't know -- 9 percent.)

    --PR Newswire

    Poor guy, he can't even claim to have the best hair without being wrong.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:03 PM in Politics/Government
    And this is the crux of the matter
    When a reporter noted that Edwards was being described as "charming, engaging, a nimble campaigner, a populist and even sexy" and then asked "How does he stack up against Dick Cheney?" the president immediately responded, "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?"

    --Yahoo! News

    In Edwards we have a man that not even Kerry thought was fit to be President. Can anybody really say now that he is?

    Posted by robbernard at 1:50 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, July 7, 2004
    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 robbernard at 3:31 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, July 6, 2004
    First Choice

    The new ad from President Bush's campaign featuring Senator John McCain.

    Sen. McCain:

    It’s a big thing this war.

    It’s a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.

    And should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become an even bigger thing.

    It will become a fight for our survival.

    America is under attack by depraved enemies who oppose our every interest and hate every value we hold dear.

    It is the great test of our generation and he has led with great moral clarity and firm resolve. He has not wavered, he has not flinched from the hard choices, he was determined and remains determined to make this world a better, safer, freer place. He deserves not only our support but our admiration. That’s why I am honored to introduce to you the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:46 AM in Politics/Government
    Kerry on Edwards

    ‘In the Senate four years – and that is the full extent of public life – no international experience, no military experience, you can imagine what the advertising is going to be next year,’ Mr. Kerry said. With a grin, he added: ‘When I came back from Vietnam in 1969 I don’t know if John Edwards was out of diapers then.'

    On a related note, the GOP already has linking to their take on Edwards.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:29 AM in Politics/Government
    Yep, doesn't get much more "exclusive" than this

    Labeled "EXCLUSIVE" at the NY Post's site: "Kerry Picks Gephardt"

    Posted by robbernard at 8:22 AM in Politics/Government
    Looks like it's Edwards


    Boy, it's a good thing they were so secretive about it, you wouldn't want the media to announce it before Kerry gets to announce it in a little over an hour.

    Now we see how Kerry handles having an underling right out in the spotlight who's infinitely more personable than him.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:40 AM in Politics/Government
    Democratic Convention Update

    Recieved this in the mail, it has some LOL moments. Neither fair nor balanced, but deal with it.

    It's quite long so click to check it out.

    Democratic Convention Update News Service

    Newsletters 4,5,6,



    Due to the fact that the Secret Service has decided to shut down the "Information Superhighway" (AKA internet) because it runs too close to the Fleet Center and is therefore a security risk to John Kerry, we at Democratic Convention Update News Service have decided to combine newsletter numbers 4, 5, and 6. We recognize the fact that some of the people who will receive this newsletter are Liberal Democrats and /or members of the National Education Association and are therefore barely literate. For their benefit, we typed the newsletter slowly to match their reading speed and are using small words wherever possible.


    Security Notices and Transportation Notices

    The Security Notices section of this newsletter, as well as color coded security levels, are brought to you as always by "Osama Bin Laden and Associates, PC" If you are every randomly stripped searched in public, have your flight delayed, or are maimed on a bus by a homicide bomber because you are an American Infidel living in an unholy country, you can thank us at OBL and Associates.

    The Transportation Notices section has been brought to you by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). At OPEC, we remind you that with or without oil, many of our people are nothing more than a bunch of illiterate, homicidal maniacs brainwashed by blind eunuch so-called clerics who are strapping explosives to our children and sending them into your country to kill you as you sleep. Pleasant dreams, infidel, and keep buying those SUV's.

    The Coast Guard announced that to protect the DNC, Boston Harbor will be closed. They further announced that part of the security plan calls for a 50 mile radius in and around Boston Harbor to be MINED, with the mines in various sized ranging from ultra-small to super-ultra large. While no timetable for the mining has been announced, the disappearance of a Hingham to Boston commuter boat, and the fact that a customer at Legal Sea Foods had his head explode into little pieces when he bit into a shrimp, has led some to speculate that the mining may already have begun.

    Due to the DNC Security requirements, the Queen Mary 2 will be rescheduling its previously planned port visit to Boston. The visit is also contingent upon Ted Kennedy moving his many cars that are parked throughout Nantucket Sound.

    The Department of Defense announced today that at the request of John "liveshot" Kerry, troops from the United Nations will be manning security checkpoints in a thousand mile radius around the convention. Troops from France, Morocco, Belgium, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, Libya, North Korea and Lebanon, along with a group of observers from the Palestinian Authority will be taking part in this effort. The DOD stated that this is a good opportunity to give troops from these countries an opportunity to learn how to use toilets and take showers, and practice such important skills such as kidnapping, extortion, sexual favors in exchange for safe passage through a roadblock, and how to recognize if a BMW is being driven by a gimme girl or driven by a capitalist pig who can afford to pay ransom. The Mexican Army was invited to participate, but they stated that their army was too busy shooting at American Border Patrol Agents 10 miles inside Texas and New Mexico as they escorted drug dealers into America. John Kerry stated that he managed to organize this coalition of countries that are together for a common purpose, and this is proof that his coalition building skills should get him elected president. Kerry, on the advice of his political advisor, Michael Dukakis, has promised reporters a unique photo opportunity when he rides on top of a North Korean tank from his residence to the Fleet Center.

    The United National released a statement saying they welcomed the chance to bring their peace loving troops into the United States, and that money raised from kidnapping, extortion, and of course, tolls, will be used to increase the funds available for dictators and tribal leaders to obtain prostitutes, with additional funds set aside for the new chief of UN Weapons Inspections, Scott Ritter, to locate a new harem of young teenage boys.

    The Sierra Club, in cooperation with other environmental groups, has announced that they plan to take advantage of Boston's new found freedom from auto traffic to transplant Piping Plovers onto every street in Boston at 50 yard intervals, with special attention to the intersections.

    Every road is going to be closed by either roadblocks or Piping Plovers, and all other modes of transportation are going to be closed, so why bother leaving your house. AAA of Massachusetts said that if you feel like a fish out of water by just staying at home because your three jobs are barricaded shut, you can just sit outside in your car with the engine running for two hours at a time looking at the cars parked next to you to simulate a trip on the expressway. If your commute takes you onto the Mass Pike, just toss money into a sewer. Ladies, You can put on your makeup in a parked car, and yes stockbrokers, you can also read the financial section in a parked car. Gas Stations will be open and charging the usual $10.00 per gallon during the summer driving season.


    Education Report:

    The Education Report of this Newsletter is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) At the NEA, we have been indoctrinating your children with the words and wisdom of Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin, and cleansing them of any belief in God or of the American Dream. We love our union negotiated invulnerability to your efforts to protect America from our ultra-left wing policies, and we are proud to endorse John Kerry in his effort to unite America under the leadership of dictators, tribal leaders and un-elected despots that is the United Nations.

    The Practical Exams for UMASS Amherst Course, Rioting 101, and Looting 202 will be held on Causeway Street at Merrimack Street. Be certain to register with your instructor (wearing the blue ski masks), and be certain to dump your student ID into one of the burning trashcans prior to donning your mask. Graduates of these programs can go onto a roster for invitations to other planned spontaneous riots throughout the civilized world. A special award will be given to the student who throws the tear gas canisters the farthest.

    The Practical Exams for Northeastern University Course Rioting 101, and Boston University Course Mayhem 101 have been canceled due to the fact that they were held after the Patriots Superbowl victory. Most students failed the practical because they allowed themselves to be videotaped without their masks.


    Legal Report

    The Legal Report section is brought to you by the ACLU. At the ACLU, the only thing missing from our name is "anti-", as in "anti-american", "anti-religion", etc.

    After a first of its kind change in venue from the Federal First Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in California issued a ruling in the case of ACLU V. MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE, ET AL. This case affects all law enforcement agencies except for Federal Law Enforcement that are working at the convention. In a PER CURIAM ruling, the court ruled that all police working at the convention may not carry guns as this may cause post-traumatic stress disorder in any illegal aliens that may be present. Also, the police working traffic or crowd control may not use hand signals as this is considered to be culturally insensitive to people from some countries. The court ruled that the police must shout "Simon says", and then use the words "red light or green light" in order to get cars to move, or "please kind sirs and madams, cross the street in an orderly and safe fashion while looking in both directions". These orders must be given in Cambodian, Creole, Vietnamese, Russian, Ebonics, Spanish, Mandarin, French and Arabic before the barely understood English is actually used. Court appointed monitors from the Sierra Club will be present to ensure that the shouts from the police do not interfere with the Piping Plovers. Reporters attempted to interview the justices, but they were all in a San Francisco medical marijuana clinic for treatment of their various ailments and were unavailable for comment.

    The Bulger family announced that a special fund has been established by the South Boston Winter Hill Gang Business Club for businesses that may be vandalized during the convention but cannot get insurance. This fund is available to all businesses throughout the city except for those that already have "special protection." Rates for the loans are 30% compounded weekly. A special security force has also been expanded, and will visit you on a weekly basis to ensure your continued safety and prosperity. You can get details at almost every business in Southie that has intact windows and non-vandalized cars parked in front.



    Excerpts from John "liveshot" Kerry's acceptance speech have been leaked exclusively to us here at DNC Update News Service. Here is part of the speech:

    "I am proud to have you nominate me on the last night of the Democratic Convention here in Boston for the Democratic ticket for president. I am extremely proud...... (short pause for dramatic effect and looks at his watch for proper timing) ... OH NO!! Did the electrical power just go out in a spontaneous and completely unplanned manner!?! You know, with no lights and the TV and radio media outlets unable to properly record my acceptance, I guess we should defer this monumental moment for about 5 weeks from now, where I fortunately reserved a large sports arena in the key battleground state of Ohio. There, on a stage with excellent lighting to showcase my perfect hair and surgically enhanced facial features, I can formally announce my acceptance and save federal campaign funds that can be better used to showcase my ultra-liberal screw America policies on TV.

    To the people that live within a thousand mile radius of Boston, I apologize for Mayor Menino's lack of planning that has caused this convention to become a circus due to this power failure and which had already greatly inconvenienced you and left you with a city full of Piping Plovers and no hope of auto traffic for the next year.

    Well, in the dim light provided by police and firefighters that are preparing to escort you, my faithful delegates, to the safety of your Hotel or various corporate sponsored parties, let me assure you that in five weeks my formal acceptance of this nomination will not be interfered with by a friend and member of the AFL-CIO International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers accidentally closing off a circuit breaker, and our great march to Washington will begin and our federal funds will match that of George Bush."


    Media, Politics, and Entertainment Report

    The Media, Politics, and Entertainment Report Sections are brought to you by the Guild of Chinese Government Censors. The Guild of Chinese Government Censors has been changing, editing and outright removing passages critical of Red China since 1949, and is a proud sponsor of the Democratic National Convention and a major donor. Find out more by going to

    A concert will be held with many of Hollywood's stars making appearances. The highlight will be a sing along featuring “God-Damn the USA”, a new song using the music from Lee Greenwood's song "God-bless the USA” with new lyrics provided by the Dixie Chicks and sung by Barbra Streisand. An alternative “Damn the USA” will be available for Atheists, as well as “Allah Damn the USA” sung by the Saudi Arabian Embassy Glee Club. The sing along guide, available for $20.00 at the door or $18.50 in advance, also includes a full-size pinup of Nancy Pelosi wearing a tear away bikini.

    Judges from Anti-American Idol will be present to judge who has the best raving lunatic speech outside of the Fleet Center. After 8 PM, they will be inside to judge who has the best raving lunatic speech.

    Bill Clinton has agreed to be a judge for "Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Government Girls Gone Wild’s It’s almost a bikini bikini content” to be held at the State House Hall of Flags. Female State Employees not related to Speaker Tom Finneran are encouraged to attend, regardless of the job that was arranged for you by your relatives in the legislature. All female employees are reminded that the producers of Government Girls Gone Wild will be filming when the police water cannons open up on the protesters, so the photos of you in wet transparent clothes looting, burning cars, or just enjoying the mayhem can earn you extra cash (see newsletter 3 for more details).

    The Russian newspaper Pravda, famous for its reporting during the soviet era, and Radio Moscow, are taking advantage of the Democratic convention to hold a reunion the day before the convention begins at the new Massachusetts Convention Center. All former interns and graduate students that worked for Pravda, Radio Moscow, TASS or any of the other soviet bloc media outlets are invited to attend. Because of this reunion, the BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC will not be broadcasting any news, and the New York Times, Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times will not publish any editions, as all of the on-air talent, writers, producers, reporters, and editorial staff will ALL be in attendance. As a matter of fact, all programs on PBS will be canceled that day. Phil Donahue promised to wear a suit and not a skirt when he attends.

    An internet poll has revealed that only one out of five NASCAR fans watch races because they expect to see a spectacular crash. However, the same poll shows that nine out of ten NASCAR fans will tune into the Presidential Debates between Bush and Kerry in the expectation of seeing Kerry do a spectacular flip-flop and then crash and burn.

    “Gimme Girls Gone Wild”, will be holding a wet t-shirt contest and a contest with prizes in the following categories: best decorated car costing over $30,000, largest high definition TV in a section 8 apartment, most number of illegitimate children, most creative application for welfare and food stamps, largest diamond necklace, most designer clothes, most number of arrests for any offense or series of offenses without a conviction, and best high pitched shrill yell of “give us more welfare money now”. As an extra special treat, winners of the Days of Our Lives and General Hospital trivia contests get 20 gallons of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. After the contest, participants can drive their Lexus, Mercedes, BMW’s and Humvees in a police escorted parade to the Welfare office where special hours have been arranged so they can pick up their checks. Ben and Jerry will be present to give out more ice cream. As always, clothing is optional for those who wish to find potential fathers for more welfare babies.

    Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and the Nation of Islam will be holding a discussion on how to get the liberal stooges in the media to publish pornographic photos with captions that blame America for the world’s troubles. Autographed copies of Turner’s book on how to manipulate the media, and the illiterate pinheads that live in your district, and a bonus guide to pornography will be on sale for $29.95. A special full size centerfold of Miss Iraq 2002 is also included.

    The O.J. Simpson book, “How to Behead your wife, a waiter, or an infidel” is being offered by the Boston Chapter of Islamic Jihad. Price is $24.95 for an autographed copy.

    The Boston Chapter of Hamas, in cooperation with the Boston Chapter of the Arab Taxi Drivers Association, are offering “The Gullible Idiots Guide to Obtaining 71 Virgins”. For $19.95, the book includes a bonus video on how to cut and sew a vest to properly fit plastic explosives in order to avoid painful chafing, and how to wire a Crown Victoria Taxi with as much dynamite as possible. A special offering of a map of American Nuclear Power Plants, Chemical Factories, Bus and subway routes, and homes of American Leaders will be given out to the first 100 buyers of the book. Available from taxi drivers throughout Boston

    Move-On.Org Girl's Gone Wild is sponsoring a Nancy Pelosi look and Sound Alike wet T-shirt contest, during which contestants scream barely coherent anti-American statements and then strip to the tune of the French National Anthem. California grown "medical" marijuana will be given out to contestants by Woody Harrelson of "Cheers" Fame, followed by Harrelson beating the crap out of a bound and gagged photographer.

    Danny Glover is teaming up with Sean Penn in an as-yet-unnamed movie about a pair of left wing cops that tenderly care for the disadvantaged illegal aliens in their precinct by beating the crap out of greedy republicans until they donate hot-tubs for every apartment in the local public housing complexes No word yet on the complete plot, but Penn told US Magazine that this movie was inspired by his visit to Iraq where the people all had access to hot-tubs before the US Air Force bombed the helpless civilians in them, and Glover told Entertainment Tonight that after his visit to Cuba, he was convinced that the exploited minorities in the US should live more like Cubans. The film will be shot in Boston during the DNC too take advantage of both the abandoned streets and the fact that the Teamsters will be looting with everybody else and therefore unavailable to interfere with filming.

    By popular demand, the Hilary Rodham Clinton look and sound alike contest has been moved to the Boston Police Rifle Range. Word from the knowing is that Hilary herself is going to attend to see if she still can be her annoying self.

    In order to show solidarity with the oppressed people from overseas who are coming into Boston by flying in first class on Air France, reminds you not to wear deodorant, brush your teeth, use breath mints, or bathe for a couple of weeks prior to the convention. You are further reminded not to wear designer ski masks or expensive leather gloves from large multi-national stores. In order to prevent allergic reactions, use only non-latex gloves when you are looting department stores or raiding the center of multinational capitalist pig's lives, McDonalds.

    Jane Fonda has announced plans to travel from the Fleet Center to Battleship Cove in Fall River to pay tribute to Vietnamese War Veterans as part of her support for John Kerry. After laying a wreath in honor of Ho Chi Minh, Fonda will sit upon one of the Battleships 40MM antiaircraft gun batteries for a photo op, and then lay inside one of the 16 inch gun barrels for a special photo op. A raffle is being held which will benefit the Disabled American Veterans to see who will get to fire the 16 inch guns once Hanoi Jane climbs inside. Tickets are $25.00 and already 60,000 have been sold.

    Michael Moore will be in Boston during the convention, and is looking for historical reference materials and veterans to interview for his upcoming new documentary, "How the French Single Handedly Won the Second World War Without Help From the Cowardly, Gun Crazy Americans and the Lazy British". Moore's other documentary, "North Korea, Breadbasket of Asia and a Model of Utopian Living", took first place at the Pyongyang Film Festival last year and is due out on video on July 27th. DVD's with unseen historical footage of farms overloaded with produce and a trial and execution and disembowelment of a dissident are also included.

    In a break from his usual anti-firearm ravings, Michael Moore is offering French Army rifles with his autograph clearly on the stock. Saying that these rifles are harmless because they were never fired and only dropped once, Moore says this is the start of numerous business deals with French companies. Moore is lending his name to a designer series of nuclear centrifuges, biological warfare equipment, and a line of tanks with three gears set for reverse and one for forward. Moore's name also appears on a new book, "How to Sell Oil for Weapons Instead of Food with the Full Knowledge and Cooperation of the UN Secretary General". Moore's EBAY store has been doing a brisk business except for the tanks, which haven't sold outside of France.

    Michael Moore also wants to show that the French aren't a nation of cowards, but are victims of an American smear campaign. Moore says he obtained documents that show that the German Panzer Divisions bombarded the French troops with jugs of decaffeinated coffee and heavy French pastry. After a lull in which the French troops hungrily ate the food, the German troops all sang "Frere Jacques" in a soft melodious voice that caused the troops to fall asleep and be captured. These documents were kept secret by NATO officials because they feared that the enemies of France and NATO could use these tactics again wherever French troops appeared, like Vietnam, Africa... These documents do not explain away the French's reputation for a being a bunch of rude, smelly, whiney and ungrateful bastards...

    Nominations for the Berlitz School of Double Talk "Award for Excellent Doubletalk" are open until the end of June, with the award to be presented by the Chairman of the Berlitz School of Double Talk, John F. Kerry. While no official news has been released, top candidates include Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Mike Wallace, and the combined staffs of the New York Times and the Boston Globe.

    The National Association For the Advancement of Insane People is preparing to endorse John Kerry, saying that his policies are so crazy they might actually work despite what the "sane" people say. They also like his constant flip-flops on issues, saying it is a sign of either Manic-Depression or even Multiple Personality Disorder. They plan on presenting Kerry with the endorsement and coupons for Prozac and Electric Shock Therapy before the convention.

    The Massachusetts Republican Party (MRP) has announced that they are planning to hold a convention of their own. All members of the MRP are expected to attend the convention to be held at the 99 Restaurant in Charlestown at 1PM on July 28. In order to provide for a more comfortable setting for everyone, a table of 6 has been reserved rather than the usual table for four.

    Nation of Islam Girls Gone Wild wet t-shirt contest will be held at the intersection of Causeway and Merrimack Street. Awards for best vail, and hairiest legs will be given out. Winners will be eligible to appear at a Boston City Council meeting with City Councilor Chuck Turner.

    Nation of Islam is also sponsoring an event with prizes awarded in the following categories: Name your homicidal clerics, longest time spent illegally in the US on an expired tourist visa, assemble a homicide vest loaded with plastic explosives in the shortest time, a geography contest where you name various chemical and nuclear plants and subway stops from the photos provided, reassemble an AK-47 in the shortest time, loudest shout of "allah ahkbar" and "death to the great Satan", and many other events. You do not need to be a Muslim to enter this contest. You just need to hate the USA. Newly released or escaped convicts from American jails are encouraged to attend.

    Al Jazeera will be at the convention. As part of their coverage, they will be showing live, preparations for a 21 mortar salute which will be fired at American army positions in Iraq and simultaneously in Afghanistan, interview Jane Fonda and Ted Kennedy as they discuss why America is the Great Satan, and air live segments of Al Franken as he makes a pilgrimage to the cave where Osama bin Laden planned the attacks on 9-11. Mike Wallace of CBS's "60 Minutes", in a special report, will travel to various bases inside Iraq and interview soldiers at the British, Polish, Ukrainian, South Korean, Japanese and a few other camps as he attempts to explain the lack of international support for the removal of Saddam Hussein. A musical salute to John Kerry will be done by the combined Palestine Liberation Organization Orchestra / Pakistani Army Intelligence Glee Club, as they celebrate what they hope will be John Kerry's rise to power with a mixture of fundamentalist ravings, photos of John Kerry, and musical songs celebrating the 9-11 highjackers. In a not-so-stunning announcement, it was announced that Al-Jazeera is actually co-owned by the New York Times, CNN, and, and that Al Franken is responsible for most of the programming content.

    The Leader of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and co-editor of Democratic Convention Update News will be in Boston during the Convention. Pro-American, pro-law enforcement types can contact him directly at, or see his yahoogroup,, where back issues can be requested, comments exchanged, and your input through polls can be left (or right). Left wing, Pro-United Nations, Liberal Democrats can kiss his.... For those wondering, The Leader of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and co-editor of Democratic Convention Update News should be addressed by his official workplace title of "Mighty Great One".



    BREAKING NEWS: France has surrendered to a group of German Soldiers! The Germans, led by a 95 year old former colonel and 10 other former soldiers ranging in age from 85-87 years old, became bored at a retirement home, asked themselves what they could do for some excitement on a slow day, and decided to invade France. After strapping on artificial legs and arms, putting in hearing aids and dentures, and taking the multiple medications required by geriatric Rambo's, they were ultimately successful.

    After the French surrender, the German Government reluctantly accepted the surrender due to all of the people that they would need to provide welfare for, and arranged for a new French Government. The new government is called Vichy Light after the World War 2 government.

    Exiled French President Jacques Chirac, from the mobile home in a British Welfare Trailer Park located in a desolate and windswept section of Scotland that was provided by Prince Charles and normally reserved for the common illegal aliens that sneak into Britain from France, begged the USA to come to his assistance. President Bush's reply was "Been there! Done that! No thanks!!"

    The French people have all opened up their emergency survival kits provided by the French government in anticipation of an emergency like this, took out the Berlitz Guide to Instant German, and now the only place speaking french is Quebec.

    (Editors Note - Chirac might have gotten some support if he got of his fat ass and went to the Reagan Funeral to show some respect instead of staying in Georgia and watching "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 911" on DVD)


    That's it for this edition folks. Stayed tuned and well have more tidbits of info for you in our next edition, including a recipe for stuffed Piping Plover, a report on the other Democratic Candidates who are waiting for John Kerry to fall flat on his surgically altered face, a look at Mayor Menino's traffic management plan (Traffic plan? We don't have no traffic plan. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN TRAFFIC PLAN!!!), and a report from the student athletes at UMASS Amherst as they prepare for the Tear Gas Olympics that is the Democratic Convention, and Laura Ingram, Jay Severin, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly will offer tips on how to avoid becoming nauseous when you are bombarded with liberal BS. Your comments are welcome - Mighty Great One

    Copyright 2004 by the Leader of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    --Yahoo! Groups : demconventionupdatenews

    Posted by robbernard at 5:19 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, July 5, 2004
    "Hello, my name is John Kerry and I'm running for President... Kerry... with a K... I'm from Massachusetts... ever tried Heinz ketchup?"

    Bush has prospered, in the view of these Democrats, less because of his own efforts than uncontrollable events and Kerry's failures. The prospective Democratic nominee's campaign was eclipsed by Ronald Reagan's death, Bill Clinton's book and the Iraq handover. However, the Democrats complain Kerry's campaign has done a poor job of presenting the candidate to the public.

    The Kerry camp has responded to these critics by saying that the Democratic National Convention, beginning in Boston on July 26, will introduce him to voters at large. Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, enjoyed his first big spurt in the polls during the 1992 convention in New York.

    --Robert Novak - Chicago Sun-Times

    You know, it's kind of sad really. Coming out of the primaries nobody had a clue who Kerry was so the campaign said "don't worry, we'll do it with ads". For months now the Kerry campaign has been spending millions of dollars on the biographical ads meant to "introduce Kerry to the public" and that hasn't worked. Now they're falling back to "don't worry he'll be introduced to people at the convention".

    At this rate it'll be sometime in the second quarter of the century before the voters have the slightest clue who Kerry is. Maybe then they can move on to explaining what he stands for.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:07 AM in Politics/Government
    I hope Kerry's ok

    You wouldn't think the Secret Service would allow that. :)

    From Yahoo! News

    Posted by robbernard at 2:51 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, July 4, 2004
    Happy Fourth of July!

    "Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it."

    Take a few minutes to think about the founders of this country though. They created a nation dedicated to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; a nation dedicated to liberty and freedom and destined to be despised by the tyrannical haters of those values.

    What happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence?

    Five signers were captured by the British and brutally tortured as traitors. Nine fought in the War for Independence and died from wounds or from hardships they suffered. Two lost their sons in the Continental Army. Another two had sons captured. At least a dozen of the fifty-six had their homes pillaged and burned.

    What kind of men were they? Twenty-five were lawyers or jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers or large plantation owners. One was a teacher, one a musician, and one a printer. These were men of means and education, yet they signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing full well that the penalty could be death if they were captured.

    In the face of the advancing British Army, the Continental Congress fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore on December 12, 1776. It was an especially anxious time for John Hancock, the President, as his wife had just given birth to a baby girl. Due to the complications stemming from the trip to Baltimore, the child lived only a few months.

    William Ellery's signing at the risk of his fortune proved only too realistic. In December 1776, during three days of British occupation of Newport, Rhode Island, Ellery's house was burned, and all his property destroyed.

    Richard Stockton, a New Jersey State Supreme Court Justice, had rushed back to his estate near Princeton after signing the Declaration of Independence to find that his wife and children were living like refugees with friends. They had been betrayed by a Tory sympathizer who also revealed Stockton's own whereabouts. British troops pulled him from his bed one night, beat him and threw him in jail where he almost starved to death. When he was finally released, he went home to find his estate had been looted, his possessions burned, and his horses stolen. Judge Stockton had been so badly treated in prison that his health was ruined and he died before the war's end. His surviving family had to live the remainder of their lives off charity.

    Carter Braxton was a wealthy planter and trader. One by one his ships were captured by the British navy. He loaned a large sum of money to the American cause; it was never paid back. He was forced to sell his plantations and mortgage his other properties to pay his debts.

    Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he had to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Continental Congress without pay, and kept his family in hiding.

    Vandals or soldiers or both looted the properties of Clymer, Hall, Harrison, Hopkinson and Livingston. Seventeen lost everything they owned.

    Thomas Heyward, Jr., Edward Rutledge and Arthur Middleton, all of South Carolina, were captured by the British during the Charleston Campaign in 1780. They were kept in dungeons at the St. Augustine Prison until exchanged a year later.

    At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the family home for his headquarters. Nelson urged General George Washington to open fire on his own home. This was done, and the home was destroyed. Nelson later died bankrupt.

    Francis Lewis also had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife for two months, and that and other hardships from the war so affected her health that she died only two years later.

    "Honest John" Hart, a New Jersey farmer, was driven from his wife's bedside when she was near death. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. Hart's fields and his grist mill were laid waste. For over a year he eluded capture by hiding in nearby forests. He never knew where his bed would be the next night and often slept in caves.

    When he finally returned home, he found that his wife had died, his children disappeared, and his farm and stock were completely destroyed. Hart himself died in 1779 without ever seeing any of his family again.

    Such were the stories and sacrifices typical of those who risked everything to sign the Declaration of Independence. These men were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged:

    "For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

    Are there any among us who would do likewise?

    -- Author Unknown

    Posted by robbernard at 3:21 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, July 2, 2004
    Fifty-six Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11

    Dave Kopel has an excellent piece exposing 56 problems with Moore's film.

    The first two:

    2000 Election Night
    Deceits 1-2

    Fahrenheit 911 begins on election night 2000. We are first shown the Al Gore rocking on stage with famous musicians and a high-spirited crowd. The conspicuous sign on stage reads “Florida Victory.” Moore creates the impression that Gore was celebrating his victory in Florida.

    Actually, the rally took place in the early hours of election day, before polls had even opened. Gore did campaign in Florida on election day, but went home to Tennessee to await the results. The “Florida Victory” sign reflected Gore’s hopes, not any actual election results. (“Gore Campaigns Into Election Day,” Associated Press, Nov. 7, 2000.)

    The film shows CBS and CNN calling Florida for Al Gore. According to the narrator, “Then something called the Fox News Channel called the election in favor of the other guy….All of a sudden the other networks said, ‘Hey, if Fox said it, it must be true.’”

    We then see NBC anchor Tom Brokaw stating, “All of us networks made a mistake and projected Florida in the Al Gore column. It was our mistake.”

    Moore thus creates the false impression that the networks withdrew their claim about Gore winning Florida when they heard that Fox said that Bush won Florida.

    In fact, the networks which called Florida for Gore did so early in the evening—before polls had even closed in the Florida panhandle, which is part of the Central Time Zone. NBC called Florida for Gore at 7:49:40 p.m., Eastern Time. This was 10 minutes before polls closed in the Florida panhandle. Thirty seconds later, CBS called Florida for Gore. And at 7:52 p.m., Fox called Florida for Gore. Moore never lets the audience know that Fox was among the networks which made the error of calling Florida for Gore prematurely. Then at 8:02 p.m., ABC called Florida for Gore. Only ABC had waited until the Florida polls were closed.

    The premature calls probably cost Bush thousands of votes from the conservative panhandle, as discouraged last-minute voters heard that their state had already been decided, and many voters who were waiting in line left the polling place. In Florida, as elsewhere, voters who have arrived at the polling place before closing time often end up voting after closing time, because of long lines.

    At 10:00 p.m., which network took the lead in retracting the premature Florida result? The first retracting network was CBS, not Fox.

    Over four hours later, at 2:16 a.m., Fox projected Bush as the Florida winner, as did all the other networks by 2:20 a.m.

    CBS had taken the lead in making the erroneous call for Gore, and had taken the lead in retracting that call. At 3:59 a.m., CBS also took the lead in retracting the Florida call for Bush. All the other networks, including Fox, followed the CBS lead within eight minutes. That the networks arrived at similar conclusions within a short period of time is not surprising, since they were all using the same data from the Voter News Service. (Linda Mason, Kathleen Francovic & Kathleen Hall Jamieson, “CBS News Coverage of Election Night 2000: Investigation, Analysis, Recommendations” (CBS News, Jan. 2001), pp. 12-25.)

    Moore’s editing technique of the election night segment is typical of his style: all the video clips are real clips, and nothing he says is, formally speaking, false. But notice how he says, “Then something called the Fox News Channel called the election in favor of the other guy…” The impression created is that the Fox call of Florida for Bush came soon after the CBS/CNN calls of Florida for Gore, and that Fox caused the other networks to change (“All of a sudden the other networks said, ‘Hey, if Fox said it, it must be true.’”)

    This is the essence of the Moore technique: cleverly blending half-truths to deceive the viewer.

    --Dave Kopel

    Thanks to Not Todd for the heads up.

    Thursday, July 1, 2004
    Kerry's resume has put out a John Kerry resume. I figure it's no less fair than the old Bush resume.



    President of the United States, Renter of the Lincoln bedroom, Intern Supervisor, Commander and Chief and Defender of the Working Man, I mean Person


    Educated at Swiss Boarding Schools -- because my parents did not like me that much

    Attended elite private schools like Fessenden School in West Newton, Massachusetts and St. Paul's in New Hampshire -- just like your kids

    Graduated Yale University, 1966 (I am much smarter than that Bush guy -- oh, wait, he also went to Yale.)

    Graduated Boston College Law School in 1976 (I am much smarter than that Bush guy -- oh, wait, he got an MBA from Harvard.)


    Served as an officer on a swiftboat in the Mekong Delta in VIETNAM for three long months -- tried my best to come home a hero like JFK after his service on PT-109. I was in VIETNAM -- VIETNAM was a place where I was for a while. Did I mention that VIETNAM veterans love me?

    I collected three Purple Hearts in my three months (had to get three in order to come home and run for Congress as a hero like JFK) and the last one for that scratch on my finger -- it REALLY did hurt! It was important to have the right connections so I could get home and run for Congress on my hero status like JFK -- he was not in VIETNAM, but I was.

    Brought my own motion camera to make sure images of me in VIETNAM becoming a hero made it back home to the states. Got a free trip home after three months on my swiftboat where I suffered severe injuries and collected three Purple Hearts (did I mention that), a Bronze and Silver Star for heroism -- ensuring my destiny as a hero and man of the people like JFK.

    Got home and found out they were not bestowing hero status on war heroes like me, so I threw my medals, or was it my ribbons, over the White House fence. Maybe it was someone else's medals.

    Co-founder of the VIETNAM Veterans of America and spokesperson for the VIETNAM Veterans Against the War and worked closely with Jane Fonda to make sure everyone knew that all the guys in VIETNAM were war criminals -- I was too, and even testified before the Senate about my own war crimes.

    "Represented" my cadre of anti-American misfits in a Paris meeting to discuss how we could better provide "aid and comfort" for the North Vietnamese and to discuss the unconditional surrender of the U.S. In doing so, I knowingly, directly violated UCMJ Article 104 part 904, and U.S. Code 18 U.S.C. 953.

    Did I mention that this meeting, and my other anti-American activities, also put me in violation of the Constitution's Article three, Section three, which defines treason as "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy in time of warfare.

    Consequently, I stand subject to the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment, Section 3, which states, "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President...having previously taken an support the Constitution of the United States, [who has] engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

    But I don't have to resign -- I am understudy to Teddy Kennedy, now the patriarch of JFK's family.

    I topped off my coddling of Commies by authoring a book called The New Soldier -- but since military heroes are back in vogue, I now sue anyone who reproduces the cover of that book on any website, especially a website like (The cover picture is a mockery of the Iwo Jima flag raising -- you can see it at until my lawyers get them to take it down.)

    NOTE: Please join fellow Patriots and sign the petition demanding John Kerry's resignation. Link to -- http://PatriotPetitions.US/Kerry

    Volunteered as a campaign worker for my mentor, Teddy Kennedy in 1962. I just love that big lug!

    My first campaign for Congress was in 1972 -- I was a war hero like JFK but nobody noticed so I ran on my anti-American platform. I won the primary with a little help from my campaign manager (brother Cameron) who broke into my opponents campaign headquarters. Unfortunately, because of that Watergate thing, I lost the general election to a Republican even after spending more than any other Congressional campaign in the nation.

    In 1982, with the help of Uncle Teddy, I got elected as lieutenant governor for governor Michael Dukakis -- then got elected to the Senate in 1984 -- it has been smooth sailing ever since. I have dedicated the last 20 years, between wives and vacation homes, promoting big government spending (except in defense and intelligence, which I vote against every chance I get), class warfare, the welfare state and general wealth redistribution, any kind of abortion on demand (without parental consent for minors), and obstructionist tactics in the judicial nominee process.

    According to Americans for Democratic [sic] Action, a far-left watchdog group, I have a higher lifetime liberal voting record at 93% than Ted Kennedy with 88%

    I am the ranking Democrat member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. My current millionaire wife is heiress of the Heinz Ketchup fortune -- a "small" business

    Ranking member of the Hispanic Task Force, even though I "borked" Miguel Estrada

    Chaired the Senate Democratic Leadership Steering and Coordination Committee

    In 1987, teemed up with Teddy to get an override of presidential veto of Boston's Big Dig Boondoggle -- one of the most larded distributions of taxpayer largess in U.S. history.

    In 1991 the Senate created the Select Senate Committee on POW/MIA Affairs to investigate the possibility that U.S. prisoners of war and soldiers designated missing in action were still alive in Vietnam. Acting as chairman, I helped persuade the group to vote unanimously that no American servicemen still remained in Vietnam. In doing so, I helped begin the process of normalizing U.S.-Vietnamese relations.

    Wealthiest senator ("man of the people"), with an estimated net worth of nearly $200 million (that's $800 million if you combine it with my current wife's assets)



    Voted to federally fund abortions

    Voted against parental consent for minors

    Voted against ban on Partial Birth Abortion (3 times)

    Voted against ban on sending money to UN population fund -- the money was sent to pay for China's forced abortion and sterilization policy

    Have been warned by Catholic clergy that I will not be served communion due to my stance on this issue

    NARAL lifetime rating of 100%; National Right to Life Committee lifetime rating of 0%


    Oppose federal and/or state death penalty (except for innocent unborn children -- see above)

    Voted against death penalty for terrorists

    Voted against death penalty for drug-related murders


    I like high taxes and want to raise them

    Voted against all three Bush tax cuts & want to repeal them

    Voted for 1993 Clinton tax hike (largest in history)

    Voted against major tax relief packages at least 10 times

    Support re-raising taxes on the wealthy to redistribute money for healthcare and education -- i.e., Socialism

    Claim I can stop outsourcing and create 10 million new jobs in four years, despite the fact that there are only about 8 million unemployed people in the U.S.

    Want to raise the minimum wage, which will result in outsourcing and the loss of jobs

    Voted at least 5 times against balanced budget amendments

    Voted at least 5 times to raid the Social Security Trust Fund

    Believe Washington manages your money better than you could

    Lifetime rating of 26% from Citizens Against Government Waste


    We don't need a military, per se

    Favor UN control of remaining U.S. Troops

    Voted for 7 major reductions in military funding

    Voted against Gulf War I (1991)

    Voted for Gulf War II -- but then criticized and voted against military appropriation for troops

    Voted against MX missile, Trident Submarine, SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative -- Star Wars), and the B-1 and B-2 Stealth Bomber/Fighter

    Supported slashing $2.6 billion from intelligence funding while serving as a member of Senate Intelligence Committee



    Have earned a lifetime rating of 0% from the National Rifle Association


    Against/Don't have any

    Voted Against Defense of Marriage Act

    Favor civil unions for homosexuals until marriage is popular enough to support

    Voted to extend hate crimes protections to homosexuals

    Voted against voluntary school prayer

    Voted against ban on human cloning and support embryonic stem-cell research


    Voted against voucher pilot program

    Voted against approving a school-choice pilot program

    Support racial profiling and preference for admission to universities, known as "affirmative action"


    Against racial profiling and preference when dealing with terrorism

    Voted against confirmation William Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

    Voted against confirmation of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court

    Only support activist judges who will support abortion, persecute Christians and rewrite the Constitution

    Voted against confirmation John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General

    Voted against punitive damage limits in products liability cases

    As Michael Dukakis' Lt. Governor from 1983-1985, supported granting prison furloughs to hundreds of Massachusetts inmates


    Against linking Most Favored Nation status to China's human rights record

    Voted for Kyoto Protocol on Environment that exempted major Third World polluters, while creating an unfair burden on American taxpayers

    Supported Iraq regime change as late as January 2003, but not anymore

    Support unilateral nuclear freeze

    Support submitting completely to the UN, as well as the International Criminal Court, taking all sovereignty away from the U.S. and its citizens

    Don't know what the Geneva Conventions say, mean or who they apply to


    Five multi-million dollar mansions

    A large multi-million dollar yacht

    Many "American" cars, including several gas-guzzling SUVs, which I am opposed to politically

    Personal 757 campaign jet

    Access to unlimited condiments -- did I mention my current millionaire wife is heiress to the Heinz fortune

    Have dual citizenship in France


    General Vo Nguyen Giap -- most celebrated military hero of NORTH VIETNAM, where I served

    "Hanoi Jane" Fonda

    Teddy Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy -- we have the same initials

    Howard Dean -- (Albert Gore by proxy)

    Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings

    "Foreign Leaders" who I am unable to name at this time

    --Kerry Resume for President

    Posted by robbernard at 8:48 PM in Politics/Government
    "More Distortions From Michael Moore"

    Newsweek has an article on the distortions of Fahrenheit 9/11

    [F]or all the reasonable points he makes, on more than a few occasions in the movie Moore twists and bends the available facts and makes glaring omissions in ways that end up clouding the serious political debate he wants to provoke.
    The use of innuendo is rife through... critical passages of “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
    The innuendo is greatest, of course, in Moore’s dealings with the matter of the departing Saudis flown out of the United States in the days after the September 11 terror attacks. Much has already been written about these flights, especially the film’s implication that figures with possible knowledge of the terrorist attacks were allowed to leave the country without adequate FBI screening—a notion that has been essentially rejected by the 9/11 commission. The 9/11 commission found that the FBI screened the Saudi passengers, ran their names through federal databases, interviewed 30 of them and asked many of them “detailed questions." “Nobody of interest to the FBI with regard to the 9/11 investigation was allowed to leave the country,” the commission stated. New information about a flight from Tampa, Florida late on Sept. 13 seems mostly a red herring: The flight didn’t take any Saudis out of the United States. It was a domestic flight to Lexington, Kentucky that took place after the Tampa airport had already reopened....

    It is true that there are still some in the FBI who had questions about the flights-and wish more care had been taken to examine the passengers. But the film’s basic point—that the flights represented perhaps the supreme example of the Saudi government’s influence in the Bush White House-is almost impossible to defend. Why? Because while the film claims—correctly—that the “White House” approved the flights, it fails to note who exactly in the White House did so. It wasn’t the president, or the vice president or anybody else supposedly corrupted by Saudi oil money. It was Richard Clarke, the counter-terrorism czar who was a holdover from the Clinton administration and who has since turned into a fierce Bush critic. Clarke has publicly testified that he gave the greenlight—conditioned on FBI clearance.


    Wednesday, June 30, 2004
    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 robbernard at 6:14 PM in Politics/Government
    "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man"
    The new book Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man from David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke is out. Looks like it should be worth a look.
    Posted by robbernard at 4:56 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, June 29, 2004
    Do you like being able to keep your own money and use it as you see best?

    If so you'd better not vote Democrat.

    "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

    --SF Gate

    Because we all know that taxing the economy to a screeching halt is the "common good"...

    Posted by robbernard at 6:23 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, June 28, 2004
    Kerry plays "Let's Pretend"

    Another excellent article from Orson Scott Card.

    Kerry is stealing a page from the Clinton election handbook by focusing on the exact issue where the Republicans have him beaten.

    He's not pulling a Howard Dean and raving about pulling our troops out.

    No, he's talking like Clinton: Bush has done a terrible, terrible job. Elect me and I'll do a lot better with this war on terror. And you know how I'll do it?

    By doing every single thing that President Bush has done. Only I would have done it sooner and better.

    Why would anybody believe him? Kerry may or may not have been a war hero -- it's for darn sure he saw more active duty than George W. Bush. But we're not voting for favorite ex-soldier, we're voting for the policies that will protect us from foreign enemies.

    Kerry's voting record in the Senate says that he'd rather our military consisted of a sixty-man chorus dressed in camo and singing "Give Me Some Men Who Are Stout-Hearted Men."

    And maybe, maybe, one bugler.

    If it had been up to Kerry, we wouldn't have had enough of a military to take over downtown Dallas, let alone Iraq.
    The Democratic Party knows that Kerry isn't serious about running a tough anti-terrorist war. And the Republican Party knows he isn't serious about it.

    But the vast middle group, the people who get their news from Leno and Letterman and Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, all they know is "Bush Is Dumb" and "Kerry's Going to Win the War." So guess which one they'll vote for.
    Regardless of what Kerry promises during his campaign, a vote for him is a vote to end any serious effort to fight terrorism using our military abroad. And since he is also committed to dismantling the laws that make serious homeland security possible, just how do you think he's going to do against our sworn enemies?

    There is a difference between the two candidates. A huge one.

    --World Watch - Orson Scott Card

    Posted by robbernard at 5:17 PM in Politics/Government
    Newsday on Fahrenheit

    Newsday has a take on the limited view presented in the film. Most noteworthy IMO is this section:

    Moore suggests Bush's conflict of interest was manifest shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks when the White House "approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis" who, fearing reprisals, were flown out of the United States. Embellishing the well-known scenario, Moore interviews a retired FBI agent who says authorities should have first questioned the bin Ladens.

    But the bin Ladens were questioned. The commission investigating the attacks reported in April that the FBI interviewed 30 passengers: "Nobody was allowed to depart on these six flights who the FBI wanted to interview in connection with the 9/11 attacks or who the FBI later concluded had any involvement in those attacks."


    Yes, that would be something in Moore's film that's *surprise!!* not true.

    Sunday, June 27, 2004
    Fahrenheit 9/11

    Just like Columbine, it's a long series of self-contradictory arguments many of which are or border on conspiracy theories. President Bush wanted to invade Iraq after 9/11! He only invaded Afghanistan because it was obvious al Qaeda was being harbored there! No, we invaded Afghanistan simply so we could set up a natural gas pipeline! As with Columbine he's just throwing reasons up against the wall hoping that something will stick.

    He jokes about people thinking that the Wal-Mart in their town might be the target of a terrorist attack. Of course that's silly, it's not like a couple weeks ago people were arrested for planning to blow up a shopping mall in the Midwest. That's just crazy talk!!!

    The assumption going into every point made seems to be that the vilest of motives and reasoning possible can of course be assigned to President Bush. A name is blacked out in personal documents released? It couldn't possibly be to protect the privacy of the person who's name was blocked out! It's obviously a nefarious scheme to hide from people that the person whose name is blacked out is connected with the bin Laden family. And never mind that there's nothing wrong with having associations with that family. GEORGE BUSH IS EEEEEEEEEEEVIL!!!!!!

    It distorts the Dickens out of the real world. You walk out under the impression that every person in America thinks President Bush is an evil, money-grubbing, power-hunger monster and that not one person in the military thinks liberating Iraq was the right thing to do. If you went solely on this film you would think that Saddam was the most beloved of all rulers, that he treated his people fairly and humanely and no harm ever came to them until that evil George Bush showed up.

    It does have its heart wrenching moments, but even with those you can sense Moore trying to shoehorn them into the case he's trying to make. They're good reminders of the sacrifices people make, but then Moore feels the need to start throwing around opinions presented as fact like "the war in Iraq is immoral".

    All that being said, it really is a very well-made little propaganda film. There probably hasn't been a better propaganda movie made in 70 years or so. Those who come in wanting to believe that President Bush is the source of all that's wrong in America will have no problem coming out believing every word of it, believing that "Truth" is the limited and flawed worldview presented in this film.

    To close this out I'm going to point you back to Christopher Hitchens who rebutted the film so well. It really is a film that cries out for a good fisking.

    Saturday, June 26, 2004
    Maybe not the best choice of battles

    The Kerry campaign is up in arms. Thursday President Bush's campain released this web video that exposes what the President's oponents are saying about him and how they're saying it.

    The Kerry campaign sent out an e-mail yesterday:

    Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.

    The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.

    We sent you a fundraising plea earlier this morning. But when this came up, we decided it was important to show you just what we're up against: a presidential campaign that is willing to do or say absolutely anything to win. You're our only line of defense against these underhanded tactics.


    President Bush's campaign responded, saying they agree completely.

    Dear ____________,

    On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed. The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President. Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by - a group campaigning for Kerry - in January.

    On Friday night, John Kerry's campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use "disgusting."

    The Kerry campaign says, "The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong."

    We agree. These ads, like much of the hate-filled, angry rhetoric of Kerry's coalition of the Wild-eyed, are disgusting.

    Where was John Kerry's disgust when he hired Zack Exley - the man responsible for encouraging the production of these ads as part of a MoveOn contest - to run the Kerry campaign's internet operation?

    Where was John Kerry's sense of outrage when Al Gore, just yesterday afternoon, compared the Bush Administration to the Nazis saying, "The Administration works closely with a network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops.'"

    Where was John Kerry's anger when Al Gore in May spoke of "Bush's Gulag"?

    Why has John Kerry not denounced billionaire and Democrat Party donor George Soros for comparing the Bush Administration to Nazis. Soros stated, "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ('The enemy is listening')."

    Why has Kerry not spoken out against filmmaker Michael Moore who last October compared the Patriot Act to Mein Kampf. "The Patriot Act is the first step. 'Mein Kampf' - 'Mein Kampf' was written long before Hitler came to power."

    We created this web video to show the depths to which these Kerry supporters will sink to win in November.

    Is this the Democratic Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who reassured his countrymen we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

    No. This is John Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed, who have nothing to offer but fear-mongering.


    Ken Mehlman
    Campaign Manager

    Yeah, when complaining that the other side is comparing you to Hitler ya might want to check first and make sure it's not your side that's comparing the other side to Hitler.

    Posted by robbernard at 5:37 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, June 24, 2004
    Supreme Court sends energy task force case back down

    From CNN.

    I've never understood what's so important about knowing who was consulted when coming up with a policy/law. The energy plan is out there. It's big and convoluted, but it's no secret. If there are bad things in there you should be able to find them in the plan itself, it shouldn't matter who was consulted in coming up with it. Whether the consulted evil oil people or Greenpeace, it doesn't change the actual language of the plan. If something in the plan would be wrong after finding out who inspired it, it should still be wrong without ever knowing who was behind it.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:52 PM in Politics/Government
    Clinton on NPR

    "In America it's the people on the Right who have deified their heros and demonized their enemies. The Democrats haven't done that as much and are uncomfortable with doing that." --Bill Clinton

    I call bullshit on Democrats not feeling comfortable demonizing their enemies and offer up Linda Tripp, Ken Starr, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Hitler... I mean President Bush as proof.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:32 PM in Politics/Government
    Could Fahrenheit 9/11 be trouble for Kerry?

    Jim Pinkerton over at Newsday thinks so.

    [Maybe] Bush doesn't really need to worry about this movie. And here's why: If Bush and the Iraq war are this bad, why vote for John Kerry? After all, in 2002, Kerry voted with Bush and the Republicans - and against a majority of congressional Democrats - to support the war.

    Try as he might, Moore will not get his R-rated film before the mass of American moviegoers. Instead, it will play heavily in liberal areas - places that are already likely to go strongly for Kerry. Bush voters will be few and far between.

    Here's the rub: The more left-leaning the locale, the more likely that third-party candidate Ralph Nader will be a force there, too.

    Indeed, as public opinion has turned against the war, support for Kerry has increased, but so has support for Nader. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Kerry besting Bush by four points. But Nader, who strongly opposed the war all along and proposes an immediate American pullout, is gaining, too. In recent months he has surged from asterisk levels to 6 percent. Almost all of those votes come out of Kerry's hide.
    So if Moore's film is a hit at the box office, it's more likely to turn Kerry voters into Nader voters than it is to turn Bush voters into Kerry voters. That probably isn't Moore's intention, but the problem with zealous prosecutors is that once they get their blood up for the big confrontation, it's hard to get them to cool down, even if that would have been best for their case.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:46 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, June 23, 2004
    "Net-Savvy Campaign Boosts Bush"

    Wired has an article describing how President Bush's campaign is using the net to their advantage.

    "They've basically taken the idea of a viral, team-led campaign structure, where they find these team leaders, who go recruit friends, neighbors and relatives," he said. "That gets a much higher response rate. Friend-to-friend is a much more effective solicitation than campaign-to-individual. They've also combined it with a Camel Cash approach. It's a good way to spread the message."


    Posted by robbernard at 6:49 AM in Politics/Government
    President Bush and the families of the fallen and missing heroes in Iraq

    Because if I don't mention it people will keep saying President Bush doesn't care about casualties and their families...

    Maupins meet with President Bush

    The parents of Spc. Matt Maupin, the Clermont County soldier held captive in Iraq, were aboard Air Force One for a private meeting with President Bush before he left for Washington Monday night.

    Carolyn and Keith Maupin "were very comforted by what the president had to say to them," said Maj. Mark Magalski, the Army family assistance officer who has aided the Maupin family since the 20-year-old Army reservist was taken captive by Iraqi insurgents in a convoy assault on April 9.

    --Cincinnati Enquirer

    Families of slain military men say Bush shed tears with them

    Some of the families who met privately with President Bush during his visit to MacDill Air Force Base said he shared their grief and shed tears with them.

    Donna Ginther, the widow of Navy Petty Officer Ron Ginther who was killed by mortar fire in Iraq last month, told The Ledger for a story Thursday that she expressed to Bush her fears of raising her 9-year-old daughter without a father.

    "When I told him that, he pressed his forehead against mine and said, `You can do it, and we'll all help you through it,'" she said. Bush met with Ginther and nine families of slain servicemen after his Wednesday speech to troops at MacDill.

    --AP/Gainesville Sun

    And from back in May...

    President Meets With Captive Soldier's Family

    President George W. Bush made two public appearances in Greater Cincinnati Tuesday, but he also made one very private stop.

    The president reportedly met with the family of Matt Maupin, a soldier from Batavia who is being held hostage in Iraq, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Jonathan Hawgood reported.

    A source close to the Maupin family told WLWT that the visit was heartfelt and emotional. The exact location of the meeting was not revealed.


    Operation Tiger Claw

    Protest Warrior has a great page up detailing one High School student's effort to make his beliefs heard at school. It's a pretty entertaining read, go check it out.

    Though I will disagree with Bryan, the student, in that I don't think "Operation Tiger Claw" was a failure. He may not have gotten the posters that were taken down put back up, but I think he certainly got his message out.

    Monday, June 21, 2004
    Hitchens on Fahrenheit 9/11

    Some great stuff from Christopher Hitchens.

    To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
    A film that bases itself on a big lie and a big misrepresentation can only sustain itself by a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims. President Bush is accused of taking too many lazy vacations.... But the shot of him "relaxing at Camp David" shows him side by side with Tony Blair.... A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off.
    [In] spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem. No problem at all.
    Moore has announced that he won't even appear on TV shows where he might face hostile questioning. I notice from the New York Times of June 20 that he has pompously established a rapid response team, and a fact-checking staff, and some tough lawyers, to bulwark himself against attack. He'll sue, Moore says, if anyone insults him or his pet.... By all means go and see this terrible film, and take your friends, and if the fools in the audience strike up one cry, in favor of surrender or defeat, feel free to join in the conversation.

    However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point. And as for the scary lawyers—get a life, or maybe see me in court. But I offer this, to Moore and to his rapid response rabble. Any time, Michael my boy. Let's redo Telluride. Any show. Any place. Any platform. Let's see what you're made of.

    --Slate - Unfairenheit 9/11 - The lies of Michael Moore. By Christopher Hitchens

    The entire things good, go read it.

    Thursday, June 17, 2004
    PRESIDENT BUSH SAID IRAQ WAS INVOLVED IN 9/11! (it's perfectly true, except that, ya know, he did no such thing...)

    Many are using this letter that President Bush sent to Congress on the day the war began in Iraq, or a similar one 3 days later, as proof that he did say that Iraq was involved in 9/11. The people saying this are full of it.

    The letter states:

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

    (2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.



    The more ill-informed among the left are claiming that section 2 above is proof that President Bush said Iraq was involved in 9/11. That's simply not true.

    This is a letter that Public Law 107-243, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, requires the President to send to Congress within 48 hours of using force in Iraq.

    Specifically it says:

    Presidential Determination.--In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--

    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

    (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    --Public Law 107-243

    Do sections 1 and 2 there look familiar? That's right, exactly the same as the sections in the letter sent by President Bush with the exceptions that in Section 1 Congress uses "either-or" while President Bush uses "neither-nor" and in Section 2 President Bush replaces "this joint resolution" with "the Constitution and Public Law 107-243" and makes "terrorist" plural.

    consistent with... continuing to take the necessary actions against... terrorist organizations...

    That's the part the Left essentially has its panties in a bunch over. Let's look at the definition of "consistent" real quickly...

    con·sis·tent Pronunciation Key (kn-sstnt)

    1. In agreement; compatible:

    Now that section above simply says that using force is compatible with the War on Terror, not that invading Iraq was a part of going after those responsible for 9/11.

    Section 2 in the resolution simply means that the President must assure Congress that using force in Iraq would not be detrimental to continuing to take action against terrorists and that part of the President's letter is simply doing so. This is Congress' way of ensuring that the war in Iraq does not harm the War on Terror, not the President's way of telling Congress that Iraq was involved in 9/11.

    There, we have that straightened out now. The more out there on the Left can go back to dreaming up more lies to tell about President Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:18 PM in Politics/Government
    Top Ten reasons John Kerry is running for President
    Top Ten Real Reasons John Kerry Is Running For President

    10. To bring renewed tedium and uncertainty to the Democratic party

    9. Vows to be the greatest horse-faced President since Polk

    8. Couldn't live with himself if he didn't hold a higher office than Schwarzenegger

    7. Needs an excuse to get out of a wedding in February

    6. Get elected, eat a ton of waffles, become the fattest President

    5. Long days on the campaign trail beats sitting around being nagged by the wife to put away the socks

    4. An unusually persuasive horoscope told him he should

    3. Did you know if the President kills some guy in a bar fight the FBI will make it cool?

    2. A leader who supports both sides of every issue is a friend to all Americans

    1. Show the world not all Democrats are ass-grabbing womanizers

    --Late Show with David Letterman Top Ten Archive: June 15, 2004

    Posted by robbernard at 2:40 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, June 16, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    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 robbernard at 3:42 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004
    Things continue to look up for job growth
    In Dayton, 33 percent of the companies interviewed for the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey said they will hire additional employees in the third quarter. Seven percent will reduce payroll; 58 percent will maintain employment levels; and another 2 percent aren't sure what the future holds.

    Nationally, 30 percent of the 16,000 U.S. employers interviewed, or 4,800 employers, expect to hire workers in the third quarter. An estimated 6 percent, or 960 companies, expect to cut jobs; 59 percent foresee no change; and 5 percent are unsure of hiring plans.

    --Dayton Daily News

    Posted by robbernard at 4:53 PM in Politics/Government
    Surprise, surprise!

    The LA Times poll mentioned previously was working with a sample of 38% Democrats and 25% Republicans.

    Sen. John Kerry "has taken big lead," according "to an L.A. Times poll."

    But the Times poll that showed Kerry "beating Bush by 7 points" has created a controversy over whether the poll's sample accurately reflects the population as whole, ROLL CALL reports on Tuesday.

    "Not counting independents, the Times' results were calculated on a sample made up of 38 percent Democrats and 25 percent Republicans -- a huge and unheard-of margin," ROLL CALL claims.


    That's some high quality polling there LA Times. You know, I bet if you polled only Democrats then Kerry's "lead" would be even bigger! In fact if you only poll the Democrats that support Kerry I bet he'd be a lock to win this election!

    Posted by robbernard at 4:30 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, June 14, 2004
    Bad week for "Bush's enemies"

    The UK Times has a piece laying out how the past week has gone badly for those opposing President Bush.

    All in all, it seems that in a single week the reputations of George Bush and Tony Blair have moved from the valley of despair to the bright uplands reserved for those who get it right in the tough world of geopolitics.
    [This] is a misfortune for John Kerry. His campaign rests on a three-legged stool. The first leg is that Bush is a job destroyer; but the economy has created almost 1m jobs in the past three months, and is probably adding more than 10,000 every day.

    The second leg is that Bush has antagonised America’s allies and is isolated. The 15-0 Security Council vote to recognise the Bush-backed Iraqi government saws that leg off.

    The final leg is that the Bush tax cuts have been a disaster. But Reagan’s death has reminded everyone that the late president’s tax cuts helped to end the recession he inherited from Jimmy Carter, just as Bush’s cuts kept the Clinton recession short and mild.

    It has not been a good week for the president’s foes, here and abroad. (hat tip AlphaPatriot)

    Posted by robbernard at 4:34 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, June 12, 2004
    Again on Reagan

    Once more I'll be brief.

    One of the greatest testaments to how much things have changed thanks to Ronald Reagan came today.

    The former leader of the Soviet Union sat next to the former Prime Minister of Great Britain at the funeral of the former President of the United States. Take a moment and go back in your mind 25 years or so. Back then do you think anyone could have imagined such a thing happening?

    My, how things have changed.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:56 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, June 11, 2004
    Putin: No moral right to attack President Bush over Iraq
    Speaking during a joint press conference yesterday at the G8 summit in Sea Island, Georgia, [Russian President Vladimir Putin] was asked about news articles questioning Russia's place at the G8.

    He replied that such articles were part of an internal U.S. political debate. Then, he followed up with this little gem: "I am deeply convinced that President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq because they did exactly the same. It suffices to recall Yugoslavia. Now look at them. They don't like what President Bush is doing in Iraq."

    This is almost too good to be true, but Putin is 100% right. Liberals like to bash President Bush for allegedly "going it alone" in Iraq (even thought there were other countries involved, and the U.N. did have resolutions on the books threatening Iraq with the use of force.) They love to talk about Bush's unprecedented, unilateral action, but at the same time, Democrats and their buddies in the media conveniently forget about President Clinton bombing the Serbs 5 years ago. There was no U.N. approval there at all, but as usual, Clinton gets a pass.

    --Neal Boortz

    Posted by robbernard at 7:48 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, June 10, 2004
    The LA Times poll

    The LA Times has a poll out that shows Kerry leading in a national poll (of course worth nothing due to the Electoral College) 51% to 44% in a two-way race. It seems quite likely though to have oversampled Democrats by quite a bit.

    Bush campaign senior advisor Matthew Dowd tells First Read that the poll "is a mess. Bush is leading independents by three, ahead among Republicans by a larger margin than Kerry is ahead among Dems, and we are down by seven. Outrageous. And it gets worse. They have Dems leading generic congressional ballot by 19. This means this poll is too Democratic by 10 to 12 points."

    Dowd adds, "Apparently the Los Angeles Times has uncovered a Democratic revolution in this country that has happened in the last ten days."


    And as much as the poll is being touted as good news for Kerry it shows Bush with a double-digit lead in Missouri and even with President Bush in Wisconsin and Ohio. Even a real lead in the national poll does you no good if you're not winning in the battleground states.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:40 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, June 9, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    You might also consider giving to Republican 527s, such as The Club for Growth, GOPAC, Progress for America, the College Republican National Committee and The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

    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 robbernard at 2:31 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, June 8, 2004
    "And my good friend Frankenstein is now Frankenreagan."
    Burns: Welcome fellow Republicans, to start with the old business, brother Hibbert will read a report on our efforts to rename everything after Ronald Reagan.

    Dr. Hibbert: All Millard Fillmore schools are now Ronald Reagan's, the Mississippi River is now the Mississippi Reagan--

    Dracula: And my good friend Frankenstein is now Frankenreagan. Blah!

    Burns: Excellent!

    Look out Alexander Hamilton! President Reagan's coming!

    Personally I think there are better options than getting rid of Hamilton or splitting the dime with Roosevelt. Can anyone explain why Grant deserves to be on the 50?

    Posted by robbernard at 3:26 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, June 6, 2004
    And now for something completely different...

    Jonah Goldberg has a column on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that ties it into bigger life lessons of the Conservative variety.

    You could always tell Whedon was deeply influenced by Marvel Comics.... The overriding message of almost all Marvel stories from the 1960s to 1980s was, in the words of Spider-Man... "with great power comes great responsibility."

    This was the unifying motivation for Whedon's heroes. "Do you think I chose to be like this?" asks Buffy. "Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or ... God, even studying. But I have to save the world. Again."

    In an age when the entire world seems to think "might makes wrong" when it comes to American power, the resonance of this message should be obvious.

    Running like a steel spine through Whedon's work is the conviction that evil exists, isn't going away and must be constantly fought or it will win. Indeed, the series finale of Angel last month concluded on the eve a massive battle we'll never see, offering a simple message — redemption is for tomorrow, but the battle against evil is for right now.

    This may not be how they teach things at Sunday school, but in secular culture, which often sniffs at the notion morality is real, this message is welcome.

    --Jonah Goldberg

    Posted by robbernard at 12:57 AM in Politics/Government , TV

    Saturday, June 5, 2004
    Ronald Wilson Reagan dead at 93.

    Don't have time to write at great lengths. I will say though that he was certainly the best President of my lifetime and he's right up there on the all-time list.

    My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes.

    Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.

    The Challenger speech:

    We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

    And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

    I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.
    The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:35 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, June 4, 2004
    Once again, more jobs

    248,000 jobs added in May. Additionally March and April numbers revised up by 16,000 and 58,000 jobs respectively. The only sector of employment that didn't gain jobs this past month was the Government sector. Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs.

    Since President Bush took office the number of jobs added according to the Household survey is up to 5.019 million and the nonfarm job loss according to the Establishment survey is down to only 905,000. (If the next 3 months turn out like the past 3 months then the Establishment survey will be showing an increase in jobs under President Bush's leadership following the release of the August data.)

    You want to see the worst possible spin of this news? Check out CNN/Money. The job related headlines on their front page: "Will jobs dent profits?", "More jobs, but hunt is still hard" and "Job seekers don't believe it".

    The Bush team has a new ad touting the growing economy and highlighting Kerry's economic pessimism.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:35 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, June 3, 2004
    Rasmussen also finds President Bush leading in Ohio

    On the heels of the Plain Dealer poll showing President Bush leading Kerry 47% to 41% in Ohio comes this poll from Rasmussen Reports showing President Bush leading 46% to 44%. This same poll had shown Kerry to be ahead of President Bush in March. The President's lead in the new poll is within the margin of error but I believe it does, when combined with the Plain Dealer poll, lend weight to the idea that there were problems with the ARG and Zogby polls that had shown big leads for Kerry.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:30 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, June 2, 2004
    Kerry at the Wall
    Ted Sampley, a former Green Beret who served two full tours in Vietnam, spotted Kerry and his Secret Service detail at about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Wall. Sampley walked up to Kerry, extended his hand and said, "Senator, I am Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, and I am here to escort you away from the Wall because you do not belong here."

    At that point a Secret Service officer told Sampley to back away from Kerry. Sampley moved about 6 feet away and opened his jacket to reveal a HANOI JOHN T-shirt.

    Kerry then began talking to a group of schoolchildren. Sampley then showed the T-shirt to the children and said, "Kerry does not belong at the Wall because he betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam."

    Just then Kerry - in front of the school children, other visitors and Secret Service agents - brazenly 'flashed the bird' at Sampley and then yelled out to everyone, "Sampley is a felon!"


    It's good to see he was able to handle the whole incident so calmly and cooly. I'd hate to think a Presidential candidate would engage in anything but the highest level of discourse and debate.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:02 PM in Politics/Government
    Well this should be a close and exciting race

    Voinovich leads Fingerhut 55% to 24%.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:50 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    You might also consider giving to Republican 527s, such as The Club for Growth, GOPAC, Progress for America, the College Republican National Committee and The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

    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 robbernard at 1:06 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, May 30, 2004
    New poll of Ohio shows Bush lead

    The Plain Dealer has a new poll President Bush leading Kerry 47% to 41% with Nader running a close third with 3%. The poll shows that 62% of Kerry's support is of the "Anything but Bush" variety.

    Some recent polls have shown President Bush trailing Kerry by 4.5-7%. It should be noted that the Zogby poll is an internet poll of people who have signed up as interested in being polled, thus possibley skewing the numbers and the ARG poll sampled only 600 people compared to the Plain Dealer's 1,500. Looking at the polls rounded up over at RealClear Politics I note that polls of Ohio with samples in the thousands seem to show a Bush lead while those with smaller 500-650 person samples seem to show a Kerry lead. Take that for what you will.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:06 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, May 28, 2004
    "How dare Al Gore disgrace this nation"
    He never mentioned Nicholas Berg. Or Daniel Pearl. Or a single person killed in the World Trade Center. Nor did former Vice President Al Gore talk of any soldier by name who has given his life in Iraq. And he has the audacity to condemn the Bush administration for having "twisted values?'' Gore spent the bulk of a speech before the liberal group Wednesday bemoaning Abu Ghraib and denouncing President Bush's departure from the ``long successful strategy of containment.'' Yes, the very same strategy that, under Gore's leadership, allowed al-Qaeda operatives to plan the horror of Sept. 11 for years, while moving freely within our borders. ... How dare Gore say that Americans have an "innate vulnerability to temptation... to use power to abuse others.'' And that our own "internal system of checks and balances cannot be relied upon'' to curb such abuse. And this man - who apparently has so much disdain for the nature of the American people - wanted to be elected to lead it? It is Gore who has brought dishonor to his party and to his party's nominee. The real disgrace is that this repugnant human being once held the second highest office in this great land.

    --Boston Herald

    JunkYardBlog has a good homemade political ad on Gore.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:44 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, May 27, 2004

    Ted Rall finally manages a well thought-out and unobjectionable column and what does he do? He titles it in such a way as to compare people to Nazis. He was sooooo close....

    Posted by robbernard at 11:12 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, May 26, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    You might also consider giving to Republican 527s, such as The Club for Growth, GOPAC, Progress for America, the College Republican National Committee and The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

    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 robbernard at 1:48 AM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, May 25, 2004
    Real Clear Politics on the CBS poll
    Thanks to the fact that two other polls were conducted over the same time period and released on the same day, we can get a better idea of just how the CBS poll compares...

    ...the bias isn't pro-Kerry, it's anti-Bush. As we've mentioned before, CBS News/NY Times usually undersamples Republicans and oversamples Democrats and Independents, leading to weaker numbers all around for the President.
    In every instance except one this year (and a very iffy one at that), CBS/NYT produced the worst job approval number of any of the three polls during a comparative time period.
    CBS/NYT is spitting out job approval numbers that run, on average, about 4.25% lower than their competitors and a full 3% lower than the average of all 29 polls taken by the three groups this year.


    Posted by robbernard at 11:18 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, May 24, 2004
    My one thought on the post-speech reaction

    Cued up the Reds game on the DVR so I didn't see too much of the post-speech spin. Anyway...

    Senator Lieberman was on CNN... I think... He is probably the Democrat I respect the most. The easy, party-endorsed thing to do would have been for him to go on TV and spew forth the talking points of how President Bush has no plan in Iraq… that he lied... that he has no record to run on... that he kicks puppies and eats babies for breakfast. Instead he comes out and talks about how this is a fight that must be won, that we have to be steady and see the situation in Iraq through to a successful conclusion.

    It’s a shame that the Democrats are so blinded by hatred that they can so thoroughly ignore the few members of their party talking sense. If a Democrat had to be President I would want it to be someone like Senator Lieberman.

    Posted by robbernard at 10:44 PM in Politics/Government
    President Bush's speech

    Full text is here. I liked it. (I'll pause while you gasp.... done? Ok.) Was it perfect, no. He could have been more at ease. (Though for a serious speech like this I wouldn't want him too at ease.) I kind of wonder whether the speech might not have achieved its purpose better had it been from the Oval Office and spoken straight to the camera rather to the audience. All things considered though he got his point across quite well.

    The less important points. Sovereignty by 7/30, elections by the end of '05. Sovereign leaders should be announced in the next week. Abu-Ghraib to be razed, with the new government's permission. (Yeah, like they're going to want to keep it around...) Won't decrease troop levels. Willing to increase troop levels if needed.

    The most important part of the speech though is the plan for extinguishing the opposition. This isn't a fight that will be won by American generals sending American troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This isn't a fight that will be won by American generals sending Iraqi troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This is a fight that will be won by Iraqi generals sending Iraqi troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This is a fight that will be won by helping the Iraqi government secure the country.

    This is not a situation to be quelled with more troops, it's not to be avoided with less troops. It is a situation that will be solved by THEIR troops, and THEIR leaders, and THEIR people. We will help however we can, but it is imperative that Iraqi people know that they are fighting for themselves, not for the United States of America.

    Iraqis will know that when they build a school or repair a bridge, they're not working for the Coalition Provisional Authority, they are working for themselves. And when they patrol the streets of Baghdad, or engage radical militias, they will be fighting for their own country.
    Working as allies, we will defend Iraq and defeat these enemies.

    America will provide forces and support necessary for achieving these goals.

    That is the important aspect of this speech. The defeat of the Baathists and terrorists in Iraq cannot be accomplished by an occupying force. It can be, must be, and will be accomplished by the Iraqi people themselves. We will supply them with everything we can to ensure they are able to defeat the enemy but in the end it will be the Iraqis' own resolve that will secure their freedom from violence and tyranny.

    This strikes me as funny

    And I'm not really sure why.

    Bush was wearing his bike helmet and a mouth guard when the mishap occurred. Duffy said he didn't know exactly how the accident happened.

    "It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," the spokesman said. "You know this president. He likes to go all out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes." (emphasis added)

    Posted by robbernard at 9:47 PM in Politics/Government
    Boston Herald on Kerry
    He had it right the first time. Or was it the third time?

    Sen. John Kerry told the Associated Press last week that he wouldn't impose a pro-abortion litmus test on his judicial selections should he become president. Flip.

    After a bevy of women's groups complained, Kerry said he would impose such a litmus test on candidates for the Supreme Court. Flop.

    But he's actually voted the other way. Flip.

    Pro-litmus test Kerry, by the way, was simply reverting back to a position he espoused to win the hearts of Democratic activists during the primary season. Flop.

    But it wasn't Kerry's position during his early tenure in the Senate when he decried ``the systematic targeting of any judicial nominee who does not meet the requirements of a litmus test.'' Flip.

    And, of course, Kerry voted in 1986 to confirm anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Flop.

    In almost the same breath last week, Kerry pointed to the Scalia vote as evidence that he would ``appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that.''

    Soon after, Kerry bemoaned his Scalia support as one of the biggest mistakes he's made in the Senate. Flip and Flop.


    Kerry makes it maddeningly easy for the Bush campaign to portray him as the consummate spineless, unprincipled Washington politician.

    It's not that politicians aren't entitled to change their minds. That happens.

    John Kerry goes way beyond that. He changes or shades or outright contradicts statements he's made or votes he's taken in the past, when taking a different view is advantageous.

    And he does it as smoothly as any salesman.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:08 PM in Politics/Government
    "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!... Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?"
    E.L. Doctorow, one of the most celebrated writers in America, was nearly booed off the stage at Hofstra University Sunday when he gave a commencement address lambasting President George W. Bush and effectively calling him a liar.

    Booing that came mainly from the crowd in the stands became so intense that Doctorow stopped speaking at one point, showing no emotion as he stood silently and listened to the jeers. Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz intervened, and called on the audience to allow him to finish. He did, although some booing persisted.

    Doctorow, who spent virtually all of his 20-minute address in Hempstead criticizing Bush, told the crowd that like himself the president is a storyteller. But "sadly they are not good stories this president tells," he said. "They are not good stories because they are not true." That line provoked the first boos, along with scattered cheers.
    "Another story was that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in league with the terrorists of al-Qaida," he said. "And that turned out to be not true. But anyway we went off to war on the basis of these stories."

    Those lines provoked an outburst of boos so loud the "Ragtime" author stopped the speech. Rabinowitz approached the podium and called for calm. "We value open discussion and debate," he said. "For the sake of your graduates, please let him finish."

    Some students and most of the faculty responded with a standing ovation, and Doctorow resumed speaking. He attacked Bush for giving the rich tax breaks, doing "a very poor job of combating terrorism" and allowing the government to subpoena libraries "to see what books you've been taking out."

    Many parents and relatives of the more than 1,300 undergraduates were livid over the address, saying afterward that a college graduation was not the place for a political speech. "If this would have happened in Florida, we would have taken him out" of the stadium, said Frank Mallafre, who traveled from Miami for his granddaughter's graduation.
    Many students also called Doctorow's speech inappropriate. Peter Hulse, 24, of Manchester, England, said, "He's a bit like Michael Moore," the documentary director who provoked booing at last year's Oscars' ceremony by criticizing the war in Iraq.

    But some defended Doctorow's speech. "I think he's entitled to his opinion and he's as American as anyone else," said a Hempstead resident who identified himself only as Frank and whose daughter was graduating.

    Of course he's entitled to his opinion. That is not however the same as being entitled to force his opinion on graduating students on a day that should be about them. And it's certainly not the same as being able to express those opinions without his audience expressing their own opinions on the subject. He has a right to say and think whatever the hell he wants, he does not however have the right to say the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time and not be taken to task by those he has chosen to speak to. He has his opinions, the people who booed him made theirs quite evident.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:32 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, May 23, 2004
    On the Bush graduations

    Because some actually thought President Bush deciding not to attend his daughters' graduation ceremonies was proof that he didn't love his daughters I'll just point out that Jenna Bush didn't even attend her own graduation.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:11 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, May 19, 2004
    This should make things easier for Democratic Underground posters

    The George W. Bush Conspiracy Theory Generator

    Now they no longer have to go through all the hard work of coming up with insane theories and accusations on their own. Just select the event, co-conspirators, victim and goal and it'll whip up a conspiracy theory for ya.

    (Hat tip: WMD)

    Posted by robbernard at 6:31 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday

    This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection. This week I'll also throw Republican 527, such as The Club for Growth into the mix. The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

    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 robbernard at 1:07 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, May 17, 2004
    What do John Kerry and Cicadas have in common?

    The GOP has a web video which explains.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:33 PM in Politics/Government
    Michael Moore: Victim of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
    Controversial film-maker Michael Moore has accused President George W. Bush's government of trying to thwart the creation and release of his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.... According to Moore, "someone connected to the White House, a top Republican" has put pressure on film companies not to release the movie. Moore explains, "The potential for this film to have an impact on the election was much larger than they thought. It is certainly something the Bush administration does not want people to see."

    I expect he's being about as truthful here as when he complained about Disney springing their refusal to distribute it on him. Can you say manufactured controversy?

    Posted by robbernard at 3:12 PM in Movies , Politics/Government

    Sunday, May 16, 2004
    Responses to Zogby

    Pollster John Zogby recently predicted that the Presidential race is John Kerry's to lose.

    Horace Cooper in the Washington Times disagrees, saying Kerry will come out of the convention "unlikely to win and possibly headed for a thumping in November."

    Scott Rasmussen meanwhile argues that at worst the election has gone from Bush's to lose to a tossup.

    What little movement we have seen suggests that the President loses a couple of points every time a new level of bad news comes from Iraq. After a few days or a week, however, the numbers return to the toss-up range. Senator Kerry loses a few points every time the spotlight focuses on him. Kerry's numbers bounce back when the focus returns to the President.

    Also, a key part of the Zogby analysis is that "The President’s problem is further compounded by the fact that he is now at the mercy of situations that are out of his control." It's absolutely true that the economy and Iraq are out of the President's control. But, they are also out of Senator Kerry's control.

    When all is said and done, it is the reality in Iraq and the economy will determine the election. If Iraq stabilizes in any way and the economy improves, the President will be hard to beat. If Iraq deteriorates significantly and the economy fails to improve, the Senator will have the edge.
    While the polls have shown an incredibly tight race for months, I don't believe it will be that close on Election Day in November. I'm not envisioning a landslide, but believe the most likely scenario is for one candidate or the other to win a modestly comfortable victory.

    Why do I say this? Because events in Iraq and the economy will determine the outcome. Those situations will change for better or worse and voters will decide accordingly. If they go one direction, Bush wins. If they go the other way, Kerry wins.


    Personally I side with Rasmussen here. Zogby seems to take for granted that the economy and Iraq will continue going badly through November. If both those things continue to get worse than sure it's John Kerry's to lose, but I certainly don't think you can go making that assumption at this point. It's a pretty big assumption, especially given the increase we've already seen in job creation and the fact that June 30 will be a turning point in Iraq. It's not inevitably a positive turning point, but it's certainly likely that events in Iraq will be different after that date than before. You can't be basing predictions on world events being exactly the same 6 months from now and expect to be right.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:07 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, May 14, 2004
    Fair use

    Currently the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) makes it illegal for you to make a backup copy of any copy protected digital media you have legally purchased, including software, music, and movies. You know that copy of The Lion King you just bought your kid? You're not allowed to make a copy of it for when your kid bends it, breaks it, steps on it or does any of the number of things kids do to small shiny discs that can be scratched.

    Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia has introduced the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (H. R. 107). This bill would change the law so that you can get past the copy protection legally and companies can make software that allows you to do this.

    It's just common sense that you should be able to make backup copies of digital media for your own personal use if you've paid for the right to use it.

    Please consider writing to your Representative and encouraging him or her to support the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:43 AM in Movies , Politics/Government , Technology/Internet

    Thursday, May 13, 2004
    Kerry up a mere 1 point in California

    According to a KABC Poll.

    Bush 45%, Kerry 46%, Other 6%.

    Take it for what you will.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:33 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004
    Air America losing advertisors

    The NY Daily News has a story on the hatred and vitriol flowing out of Air America radio. It ends with the mention that advertisers are refusing to buy spots on Air America affiliates.

    During a day of torture by radio, I heard ads for Hewlett-Packard, Greyhound and, especially, General Motors. I asked GM why it appeared in such shows.

    Ryndee Carney, GM's manager of marketing communications, said the ads were wrongly picked up from an earlier deal with WLIB. She said the station was ordered to "cease and desist" yesterday, and added: "GM will not advertise on any Air America affiliates."

    --NY Daily News (via Matt Margolis)

    Posted by robbernard at 4:30 PM in Politics/Government
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    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 robbernard at 4:02 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, May 10, 2004
    Who's calling people unpatriotic?

    The Democrats constantly moan and whine that every time Republicans mention National Defense they're quesitoning the Democrat's patriotism.

    Never mind that no Republican bigwig has called anybody unpatriotic.

    Never mind that it's only the Democrats who are actually calling people unpatriotic.

    From Teresa Heinz Kerry:

    To have a couple of people, who escaped four, five, six times and deferred and deferred and deferred calling him anything regarding his service is in and of itself unpatriotic. Unpatriotic.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by robbernard at 6:24 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, May 7, 2004
    Good stuff from Hobbs today
    Job Seeker Saddened By Latest Job Growth Data

    Massachussetts job-seeker John Kerry today said he laments that latest data showing strong jobs growth last month, saying it makes it harder for people like him to advance to the next level in their careers.


    Posted by robbernard at 4:26 PM in Politics/Government
    Air America misses payroll
    In yet another sign of trouble for Air America Radio, the liberal talk network entering its fifth chaotic week on the air, co-founder and chairman Evan Cohen resigned Thursday, as did vice-chairman and investor Rex Sorensen.

    The CHICAGO TRIBUNE is planning to report in fresh editions: The company also failed to make its scheduled payroll, leaving its staff roughly 100 radio personalities, writers, and producers unpaid until Thursday.

    The departures of Cohen, a former political operative from Guam who was among the network's initial investors, and Sorenson, an investor who owns radio stations in Guam, mark the second executive shake-up at the fledgling network in as many weeks.


    Posted by robbernard at 4:14 PM in Politics/Government

    Employment Situation Summary

    Another 288,000 jobs created last month, more than 1 2/3 the expected number of 173,000. It was also a month of increasing, though still modest-to-small, growth in Manufacturing jobs. The biggest increase was amongst Professional and business services with 123,000 new jobs. The previous month's numbers were also adjusted up by 29,000. 1.1 million jobs have been created in the last 8 months.

    The decrease in the number of jobs since President Bush took office is now down to 1,227,000. (And let's just keep in mind that we're lucky it wasn't more with how hard 9/11 could have hit the economy.)

    Can I assume John Kerry's site will be quickly updated to reflect the new number. Yeah right. He keeps using that 3 million job loss figure. It was never true to begin with and it certainly isn't true now.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:09 PM in Politics/Government
    Bushes not attending daughters' graduations

    President Bush and Laura Bush will not be attending the graduations of their two daughters this spring because they want to avoid disruptions for the other families and graduates.

    They want the focus to be on the graduates and their families and not how long they're going to have to wait to go through the metal detectors.


    This is basically the same reason President Bush gives for not attending the funerals of soldiers. The Left gets up in arms over that and says the President doesn't care about the dead soldiers.

    Can we then assume that the Left believes this is proof that President Bush doesn't care about his daughters?

    Posted by robbernard at 3:03 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, May 6, 2004
    Ohio Bush supporters stand by him
    Worries about war and jobs may have taken their toll on President Bush's popularity elsewhere, but in this Republican stronghold in the swing state of Ohio his followers are standing by their man.

    Support for Bush remains rock solid along Lebanon's tidy main street of antique shops and general stores, where few voters question his decision to go to war in Iraq or blame him for a slumping economy.

    "I have been very impressed with him. He's proven himself to be much more intelligent and capable than anyone gave him credit for," said Melissa Applegate, a registered nurse from nearby Milford who was shopping in Lebanon's historic district the day after Bush's campaign bus tour made a stop.

    "I think he's a steady leader," she said, repeating a phrase that has blared endlessly at Ohio residents from their television sets during a cascade of Bush campaign commercials.

    --Wired News

    Posted by robbernard at 11:35 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government
    President Bush pauses to comfort daughter of 9/11 victim

    Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president's hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke:

    "This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11."

    Bush stopped and turned back.

    "He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man," Faulkner said. "He looked right at her and said, 'How are you doing?' He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest."

    Faulkner snapped one frame with his camera.

    "I could hear her say, 'I'm OK,' " he said. "That's more emotion than she has shown in 21/2 years. Then he said, 'I can see you have a father who loves you very much.' "

    "And I said, 'I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.' It was a special moment."

    Special for Lynn Faulkner because the Golden Lamb was the place he and his wife, Wendy Faulkner, celebrated their anniversary every year until she died in the south tower of the World Trade Center, where she had traveled for business.
    "I'm a pretty cynical and jaded guy at this point in my life," Faulkner said of the moment with the president. "But this was the real deal. I was really impressed. It was genuine and from the heart."

    --Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Some Libs of course are up in arms over the propaganda and can't believe that such an evil man could possibly be heartfelt and sincere in comforting a child. Their blind hatred of Bush by some can't even accommodate the event of him showing compassion to the victim of a tragedy.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:18 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government

    You don't get attacks tougher than this from

    (via Instapundit)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:16 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, May 5, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

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

    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 robbernard at 3:44 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, May 4, 2004
    The deficit cut by a quarter already?
    What's more, there's been a surge in withheld income taxes in the last two months.

    ``As the withholding story goes, so goes the revenue side of the budget ledger,'' Wiegand said.

    And that's the second part of the story. The 2004 federal budget deficit, which is forecast at $477 billion by the Congressional Budget Office and $521 billion by the Office of Management and Budget, could come in at $370 billion, or 3.1 percent of gross domestic product, according to a new Citigroup forecast.

    The Treasury confirmed its improving fiscal position yesterday when it announced plans to borrow a net $38 billion in the April-to-June quarter, half the amount estimated three months ago. (via Instapundit)

    A drop in the deficit from $521 billion or $477 billion to $370 billion would be a decrease of 22%-29%.

    The story also point to good news in the labor market.

    But back to the implications for the labor market. In the last two months, ``withheld receipts jumped 12.5 percent annualized,'' Wiegand said. ``The message is, there is no way that you can see withheld income taxes rising unless there's a decisive turn in labor market conditions, including payrolls, hours and compensation.''

    Posted by robbernard at 2:52 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, May 3, 2004
    John Kerry v.1971

    The story's a couple weeks old, but what the heck...

    John Kerry, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, was quoted by a student newspaper at West Virginia's Bethany College in 1971 as saying, "Our democracy is a farce; it is not the best in the world."

    Kerry made the remarks on Nov. 2, 1971, according to the Bethany College student newspaper, The Tower. has obtained a copy of the article written by John Majors, which details Kerry's visit to the college and appeared in the Nov. 11, 1971 issue of the newspaper. At the time, Kerry was still a leader of the anti-war group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
    During his speech to Bethany College students, Kerry was quoted as saying that communism did not pose any kind of threat to the United States.

    "The soldier went to Vietnam to defend the country from aggressive communism in the tradition of World War II," Kerry reportedly said. "But the soldier learned he was not fighting communism. Communism was not a threat to our country and the war was not moral," he added.

    One of my brothers will be starting at Bethany College next year. The other is already at Bethany and is actually the current Business Manager of The Tower.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:16 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry doesn't even have a campaign office in Ohio
    In Ohio, the state that strategists for Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush view as perhaps the most critical battleground, Mr. Kerry has yet to hire a state director or open a campaign office. His operation is relying so far on the work of committees working independent of the Kerry campaign.

    By contrast, Mr. Bush appointed an Ohio state director on Jan. 1, and opened a headquarters in Columbus, staffed by 13 people, three months ago, his aides said.

    The Kerry campaign has yet to open its own full-fledged campaign "war room" — staffed with researchers, tacticians and press aides — to deal with Republican attacks and systematically marshal surrogates to make Mr. Kerry's case.
    --New York Times

    Also in the article...

    At a recent meeting of senior staff members, Democrats said, Mr. Kerry's aides became entangled in a lengthy debate over what might seem to be a less than urgent issue: whether they should send a Democratic operative to Bush rallies dressed as Pinocchio, a chicken or a mule, to illustrate various lines of attacks Democrats want to use against Mr. Bush. (They say they want to portray him as a liar, a draft avoider and stubborn.)

    --New York Times

    Hmmm, they want to send people to Bush rallies dressed as Pinocchio, a chicken or a mule... and yet when people show up waving flip-flops John Kerry complains and calls it it proof that "they're very rude and they have no manners".

    Yep, people dressed as chickens and mules are sooooooooo much more well-mannered than people holding flip-flops.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:46 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry: "Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief"

    So say hundreds of veterans.

    Hundreds of former commanders and military colleagues of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry are set to declare in a signed letter that he is "unfit to be commander-in-chief." They will do so at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.

    "What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension," John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

    "We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief," O'Neill said.
    B. G. Burkett, author of the book Stolen Valor and a military researcher, believes that Tuesday's event will not be dismissed easily by Kerry's campaign as a "partisan" attack.

    "There are probably just as many Democrats amongst sailors who sailed swift boats as there are Republicans. What Kerry fails to realize is this has nothing to do with politics -- this has to with Vietnam Veterans who served, who have a beef with John Kerry's service, both during and after the war," Burkett told

    Posted by robbernard at 3:08 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, May 2, 2004
    Democrats as the new conservatives

    Feces Flinging Monkey points out that the Democrats aren't exactly winning the war of new ideas of late.

    There is no innovation [in the Democrats' issues], no new plan or new future, nothing bold or risky or daring. It's a gigantic holding action. The only real change ever discussed is an increase in scale, an increase of quantity rather than kind. You can run the same speeches from the 1980 race and nobody would notice the difference.

    What about real reform, new ideas that might work or that might not? School vouchers, tort reform, individual Social Security accounts, eliminating subsidies, basing affirmative action on need rather than race - these are big ideas, things that just might take off and really work out well. These are not illiberal ideas, but they challenge the status quo and the Democrats generally oppose them.

    Now, don't get me wrong, the Republicans are not exactly great innovators either, but they are supposed to be conservative. When these folks are beating you at the new ideas game, you know you got some serious problems.

    --Feces Flinging Monkey (via AlphaPatriot)

    Posted by robbernard at 3:55 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, April 29, 2004
    Zell Miller wants to repeal the 17th Amendment

    The story from WorldNetDaily.

    I'm all for it. The 17th Amendment would the the one that ended the prectice of state legislatures appointing Senators and changed it to popular elections.

    The Constitution was a balancing act to ensure that big states couldn't dominate little states and to ensure that the federal government could never dominate the states. The 17th Amendment knocked that balance out of whack. The states no longer have any real power in Congress and have been relegated to beggers looking for highway funds and other bread crumbs. At some point the people started to believe this country is a Democracy and not a Republic and the rights of the individual states have been going downhill ever since.

    Plus, can you imagine if Senators no longer needed to pander to the public for their votes and instead could just do the work of their state?

    (On the opposite side of the spectrum in this argument would be the fools who believe that the Electoral College should be done away with. Never mind that there are very good reasons for keeping the EC. For example, to ensure that there won't be nationwide chaos in the event of a tight Presidential vote and to ensure that the larger states don't have too much influence in choosing the President. Can you imagine the chaos that would have happened in 2000 if they had had to recount every vote instead of just those in Florida?)

    Posted by robbernard at 11:32 PM in Politics/Government
    Party for the President

    Back from a Party for the President. It was a good event. Didn't quite go as planned, State Senator Steve Austria didn't show up as he might have and there was some confusion and we didn't get into the Vice President's conference call, but all in all it was a good party. About 30 people showed up. WKEF Channel 22 was there. It was good to see so many people excited about re-electing President Bush this year and even more exciting to know that across the country over 5,200 more parties just like ours were taking place.


    Got about 2 seconds of screen time in the background on WKEF. Unfortunately I was holding a cup of pop and my clapping came off much more half-hearted than I wish it had.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:11 PM in Politics/Government
    Attacking Kerry on substance

    Brian Griffin has taken notice of this post in which I relay John Podhoretz's belief that John Kerry is a "terrible, terrible, terrible candidate". Brian is upset that John Kerry isn't being attacked more substantive issues than flip-flops and his voting record.

    I wish I could attack him on something more substantial, but there isn't anything substantial about this guy's positions, at least not that he's laid out so far. He can't decide whether the war in Iraq would have happened if he were President. When asked to introduce himself to the country he launches into screeds about President Bush. When asked what he'd do differently in the war in Iraq he lays out the same plan that the President is using; stay in Iraq until the job is done and continue trying to get other countries to help. He can’t seem to come up with a more substantial reason to elect him than the fact that he’s not President Bush.

    The man has not given us anything close to a coherent platform. He is trying to be everything to everyone. You can't attack a candidate like Kerry on the issues because if you wait a day he won't have the same stand on the issues. Those votes that Brian doesn't want attacked are as close to a stand on issues as Kerry comes.

    Let John Kerry clearly set out what issues he believes in and I'll attack him on those. Until then he's a black hole of a candidate who's only distinguishing feature seems to be his complete lack of distinguishing features.

    As for this:

    Now, where are those WMD??? Where was the threat from Iraq (note one that could have hurt someone in Saddam's lifetime)? Where is the Iraq - al Qaeda connection?

    Why not ask the 2002 version of John Kerry?

    Posted by robbernard at 2:47 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday

    I'm not a big fan of the name, but I'm going to do it anyway. This is Wictory Wednesday. This is the weekly post where I encourage you to volunteer to help the President win reelection. Consider yourself encouraged.

    This week I'll also point out that tomorrow over 5,100 Parties for the President are taking place across the nation and encourage you to take part. The Enquirer has an article on these parties. Turns out Ohio, with 430, has more parties planned than any other state.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:45 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, April 27, 2004
    A real quick arithmetic lesson for John Kerry
    The first thing John Kerry will do is fight his heart out to bring back the three million jobs that have been lost under George W. Bush.

    January 2001 Nonfarm employment:132,129,000
    March 2004 Nonfarm employment:130,548,000

    132,129,000 - 130,548,000 = 1,581,000

    1,581,000 ≠ 3,000,000

    And if you'd like to look at the Household survey instead of the payroll I can add another 3.88 million which would flip the 1.581 mill deficit to a gain.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:33 PM in Politics/Government
    "Kerry is a terrible, terrible, terrible candidate."
    THE conventional wisdom is that the presidential election will be close. It's a 50-50 country, so the CW goes, just as it was in the year 2000. The problem is that the conventional wisdom hasn't taken a proper accounting of John Kerry. Here's the truth that Democrats don't want to admit and that Republicans are fearful of speaking openly because they don't want to jinx things:

    Kerry is a terrible, terrible, terrible candidate.

    It's not so much the policies he proposes, although they don't add up to all that much. The problem is Kerry himself. He no sooner opens his mouth than he sticks first one foot and then the other right in there.
    The issue isn't Bush or his campaign. The issue is Kerry and a series of statements he made on the record in the media dating back more than 30 years. Trying to change the topic to Bush's service simply smacks of cornered desperation.

    And that is Kerry's great weakness as a candidate - a weakness that will be hard for him to overcome, because it appears to be a character trait. The man who said "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it" is a man filled with the conviction that he can talk himself out of a tough situation.

    Sometimes, it's better just to be silent, take the hit and move on. But Kerry seems constitutionally incapable of doing that.

    --New York Post Online

    Posted by robbernard at 5:07 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, April 25, 2004
    John Kerry: I never even implied that I threw away my medals
    "I gave back, I can't remember, 6, 7, 8, 9 medals," Kerry said in an interview on a Washington, D.C. news program on WRC-TV's called Viewpoints on November 6, 1971, according to a tape obtained by ABCNEWS.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Kerry has denied that he threw away any of his 11 medals during an anti-war protest in April, 1971.

    His campaign Web site calls it a "right wing fiction" and a smear. And in an interview with ABCNEWS' Peter Jennings last December, he said it was a "myth."

    But Kerry told a much different story on Viewpoints. Asked about the anti-war veterans who threw their medals away, Kerry said "they decided to give them back to their country."

    Kerry was asked if he gave back the Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat duty as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. "Well, and above that, [I] gave back the others," he said.

    The statement directly contradicts Kerry's most recent claims on the disputed subject to the Los Angeles Times last Friday. "I never ever implied that I did it, " Kerry told the newspaper, responding to the question of whether he threw away his medals in protest. (via Instapundit)

    So remember, when he says he never even implied that he gave his medals back what he really means is that he directly said that he gave every medal back.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:38 PM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, April 24, 2004
    Boston Herald on Kerry's gas guzzling
    Rising gas prices are the latest John Kerry campaign theme, so naturally the senator was asked this week about his personal vehicle usage. Kerry insisted, ``I don't own an SUV.'' When pressed about a Chevrolet Suburban, the mother of all SUVs, kept at the Heinz Kerry abode in Idaho, Kerry said: ``The family has it. I don't have it.'' Kerry has now closed the distance between nuance and flat-out deception. And that's without mentioning the other gas-guzzlers this candidate and his family enjoy, all the while posturing about reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and fuel efficiency. At last count, there were eight ``family'' cars and SUVs, including the 1995 Suburban (15 mpg highway, 12 mpg city), a 1993 Land Rover Defender (12 mpg highway, 10 mpg city), a 1989 Jeep Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 16 mpg city), a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Audi Allroad (21 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser (25 mpg highway, 20 mpg city), a 1985 Dodge 600 Convertible (26 mpg highway, 23 mpg city), and a 2002 Chrysler 300M (26 mpg highway, 18 mpg city). Kerry, however, only owns up to the latter two. Then there's the 2002 Harley Davidson (his), two powerboats (one his, one hers), a power inflatable 2001 Novurania (his), and a Gulfstream II private jet (hers). President Kerry would have to open his own pipeline in Saudi Arabia just to meet family fuel demand. ... [If] voters can't trust John Kerry to play it straight on the little things, how can they trust him on the big things?

    Posted by robbernard at 2:45 PM in Politics/Government
    Calling on John Kerry to tell the truth

    "I'm going to try and change the discussion and just tell the truth to the American people. I never ran one negative advertisement against my opponents in the primaries. And I haven't run negative advertising yet."

    John Kerry now wants to pretend that he has never run a negative ad in this campaign. The Bush team has a new video calling them on it.

    57% of his ads have directly attacked the President. 73% of his ad budget has gone towards negative ads. Over $17 million spent on these ads. They've run more than 28,285 times.

    So remember, when he says he hasn't run a negative ad what he really means is that he's run them more than 28,000 times.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:32 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, April 23, 2004
    John Kerry: "I don't own an SUV"

    By that he of course means "My family owns some SUVs."

    Posted by robbernard at 6:07 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, April 22, 2004
    John Kerry: Fluent in French... or maybe not

    Bad news, it looks like John Kerry may have lost his ability to understand French and speak it fluently since the primaries. Perhaps he used up all his linguistic brain cells in learning Dolphin.

    During [Kerry's] primary campaign, he was noted for engaging French journalists in French.

    "He was quite accessible in Iowa and New Hampshire," [France 2 Washington bureau chief Alain de Chalvron] told the New Yorker.
    De Chalvron recalls recently asking Kerry about Iraq. Kerry just stood there mute.

    "He didn't answer. In front of the American journalists, he didn't want to take a question that was not in English," de Chalvron said.


    Posted by robbernard at 10:57 PM in Politics/Government
    9 reasons the race looks good for Bush

    Good article from Howard Fineman. His reasons include "Richard Ben-Veniste & Co.", "Fallujah and Najaf", "Resolve", "Bob Woodward's blessing", "Tony [Soprano] & [Donald] Trump", "Fifty million bucks worth of ads", "The Economy", "Nader", and "Kerry, of course". Read his explanations.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:18 PM in Politics/Government
    John Kerry: Fluent in Dolphin
    "He thinks that empty slogans like the 'Clear Skies' initiative and the 'Healthy Forest' initiative -- that somehow names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer -- that those names will make people forget what is really happening in our country."

    Almost on cue, a dolphin slipped through the water. "There he is over there," Kerry said. "He says, 'help, help, help."'

    --Yahoo! News

    I'll also point out that since George Orwell was not a proponent of Doublespeak that "names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer" would thus be names that are straightforward and to the point.

    So to sum it up, John Kerry talks to dolphins and thinks George Bush is straightforward and to the point.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:14 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, April 20, 2004
    Does combat kill a proportionally higher number of minorities?

    Rep. Charlie Rangel says so, calling the Iraq war a "death tax" on the poor and minorities. He complains that 26% of the soldiers who have died in Iraq have been black or hispanic.

    Realpolitik points out that blacks and hispanics account for 24.8% of the total population. That puts Iraq war minority deaths a mere 1.2% higher than their actual representation in the general population. If you're going to get in an uproar over this shouldn't the deviation be closer to 10% than 0%?

    Now remember, Charlie Rangel wants to reinstate the draft because of this.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:41 PM in Politics/Government
    John Kerry: I will release all my military records.

    And by that he of course means: I will not be releasing all my military records and in fact will not release ANY new military records.

    Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," was asked whether he would follow President Bush's example and release all of his military records. "I have," Kerry said. "I've shown them -- they're available for you to come and look at." He added that "people can come and see them at headquarters."

    But when a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.

    "He is releasing all military records he has released to The Boston Globe," Meehan said in a telephone interview. In a follow-up e-mail, Meehan said it was those particular records to which Kerry was referring on "Meet the Press."

    Here's the transcript from Meet the Press.

    Here's a gem:

    Now, we're in a position now to be able to respond and introduce myself to the country. I look forward to that. I look forward to Americans getting to know who I really am.

    Let me give you an example.

    --NBC News' Meet the Press

    He then launches into 133 words on what's wrong with President Bush. Sooooo... his plan to introduce himself to the country is to talk about President Bush....

    Posted by robbernard at 2:35 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, April 19, 2004
    The LA Times' David Shaw on Air America
    My fellow liberals have long argued that they haven't been able to match the conservative success on talk radio because the medium is ideally suited to conservatives. According to this self-serving argument, conservatives are more willing than liberals to engage in nasty name-calling and to see everything in black and white, while liberals — concerned with nuance and complexity — are inevitably reasonable, willing to consider both sides of an issue. But President W's policies — especially in Iraq — have now so enraged liberals that they are willing to play dirty too. Hence, Air America.


    Not, at least, during the 17 hours I listened. Oh sure, the new network's assorted hosts, guests and callers did engage in a bit of obligatory name-calling. Henry Kissinger was "a war criminal." Rice was "reptilian," "a liar" and "a perjurer." President Bush was "an idiot," "a liar," a "lazy sack of crap," "a fake Christian," "a murdering scumbag" and — amid a discussion of Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl — "the biggest boob of all."

    But Limbaugh does his name-calling so creatively and hilariously that it usually winds up being entertaining. As repellent as I find his politics, Limbaugh is an entertainer as well as a polemicist, and after liberal talk-show experiments with such policy wonks as former Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Mario Cuomo of New York all failed, the folks behind Air America promised that they'd learned their lesson. They too would find ideologues who are funny.

    Nice try.
    I laugh easily, and I didn't get a single laugh from Franken, Garofalo or Rhodes — or from any of the other Air America hosts I listened to. Rhodes is the best of them, but unlike Limbaugh — who has a rich, mellifluous voice — her voice is so grating that I found myself wincing, no matter how vigorously I agreed with what she said. (Even Rhodes says, "I hate my voice.")
    In a country in which 64% of the public say they attend weekend worship services at least once a month, mocking religion might not be the most effective way to win converts — and yet, on Good Friday no less, that's exactly what the various Air America hosts repeatedly did.

    Two of the hosts gratuitously announced that they're Jewish, and one — Marc Maron of the network's "Morning Sedition" program — went on to make fun of Easter and Christmas rituals. Then, in a segment he called "morning devotional," Maron began his prayer for divine guidance on behalf of President Bush by saying, "Dear Lord, what the hell is going on up there?"

    --LA Times

    Posted by robbernard at 3:26 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Friday, April 16, 2004
    Taking Moore apart

    Right Thinking From the Left Coast rips apart a recent comment from Michael Moore. It's really quite a screed. I'd suggest giving it a look just for the sheer idiotic lunacy of it.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:12 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, April 14, 2004
    Boy, that Air America sure is a high-class outfit

    Their statement on the charge that they bounced a check and owe Arthur Liu of Multicultural Broadcasting $1 million:

    Normally we’d let this go because “habitual liars” like Drudge are laughable, and ridicule is our business.

    But Arthur Liu --- not funny. He lied to us, he ripped us off and now we’re chasing him down with a pipe wrench. It’s a metaphor.

    Here’s what really happened:

    This Liu-ser was ripping off our boss Evan Cohen big time (he can’t do that, that’s our job). Evan found out about it and he stopped payment on a check to keep Liu-cifer from ripping him off even more. You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line. And if we ever get low on cash, we can always call Barbra Streisand. Or any of the
    Baldwins. Except Stephen.

    So we got screwed, Liu’d, and tattooed. How Liu can you get? In Liu of payment. Liu’d and lascivious behavior. These write themselves. What we’re getting at is that we hate him.

    --Air America Radio

    --Update-- Once again highlighting their integrity and class they've deleted the page, as if it never happened. Realpolitik has a pdf of the page.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:09 PM in Politics/Government
    "They should be ashamed"
    Bush's tough talk - and the action it's backed up with - will do much to convince the enemy of the futility of their attacks. That may prompt some to give up.

    The enemies of freedom have surely taken heart from the language of some folks right here in America - folks who are intent on attacking the president and his efforts in Iraq.

    Last night, for instance, reporters questioning Bush couldn't have been more hostile.

    Why won't Bush admit failure? Why did he get it so wrong in Iraq? Wasn't he responsible for 9/11? Isn't Iraq another Vietnam?

    They should be ashamed.

    Bush's answer was 100 percent correct, by the way, about the comparison to Vietnam, which comes courtesy of Sen. Ted Kennedy, on behalf of the John Kerry-for-President campaign.

    "The analogy is false," he said. And it "sends the wrong message to our troops and . . . to the enemy."

    No matter.

    Nothing will shake this president.

    Not the terrorists.

    Nor his reckless critics at home.

    And hallelujah for that.

    --New York Post Editorial


    Tuesday, April 13, 2004
    Campaign 2004 turns extreme in Florida with the placement of a newspaper ad calling for physical retribution against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!

    "We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad reads.

    The call-to-arms fundraising ad, placed by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club in the current issue of the GABBER, a local St. Petersburg paper, asks readers to make an urgent donation to the John Kerry campaign.


    Drudge has a copy of the ad here.

    Another line from the ad that's worth paying attention to: "The Bush Bunch calls the Iraqis insurgents.... The Iraqis aren't insurgents. They're Iraqi patriates[sic] who want us the hell out of their country and we should get the hell out of their country now!"

    Posted by robbernard at 8:13 PM in Politics/Government
    Misery Index

    While they're cherry-picking data to gin up a new Misery Index, I'll point you to the MLB Misery Index. The Reds are 24th out of 30.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:48 PM in Politics/Government
    Clarke errors

    The Seattle Times exposes several errors in Richard Clarke's book.

    Clarke, who worked for both Clinton and Bush, said he convened the Counter-terrorism Security Group, which he chaired, and sent out warnings both overseas and to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies around the country to be on heightened alert for suspicious activity. "And then we waited," he wrote.

    "The break came in an unlikely location," Clarke wrote, describing Ressam's arrest by customs agents during a "routine screening."

    According to a former customs agent who was involved, Clarke's version, laid out in one chapter of his book, wrongly implies they were on "heightened alert" and somehow looking for terrorists.

    "No," was the terse reply of Michael Chapman, one of the customs agents who arrested Ressam, when asked if he was aware of a security alert.

    "We were on no more alert than we're always on. That is a matter of public record," said Chapman, now a Clallam County commissioner.

    --The Seattle Times

    There are several more errors that seem to make the efforts in 1999 appear more effective than thay really were which is at least slightly relevant when you consider that his point lately seems to be how badly things were handeled post 1/01 compared to the previous administration.

    Posted by robbernard at 7:41 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, April 7, 2004
    On Dodd

    Dodd on Byrd:

    In words that Republicans believe sound awfully similar to the comments that knocked Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) out of the GOP leadership, Dodd said, “It has often been said that the man and the moment come together. I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia that he would have been a great Senator at any moment. Some were right for the time. Robert C. Byrd, in my view, would have been right at any time.”

    Despite the charges of racial insensitivity that have been lobbed at Byrd over the years, Dodd added that his colleague “would have been right during the great conflict of Civil War in this nation” and at other key times. “I cannot think of a single moment in this nation’s 220-plus-year history where he would not have been a valuable asset to this country,” said Dodd. “Certainly today that is not any less true.”

    --Roll Call

    Dodd on Lott:

    "If Tom Daschle or another Democratic leader were to have made similar statements, the reaction would have been very swift," Dodd said. "I don't think several hours would have gone by without there being an almost unanimous call for the leader to step aside."
    Dodd agreed that the Republicans should make the decision about Lott but added that if the senator were to stay, a move to censure him "takes on more of a reality."

    "But it ought to be bipartisan," he said. "It ought not to be Democrats versus Republicans."

    --Croooow Blog (More on the subject.)

    I'll agree with Dodd on that last point. It shouldn't be Democrats vs. Republicans. Plenty of Republicans took Lott to task for his statements, along with the Democrats. Now where is the Democrat outrage over Dodd's blunder?

    I'm sure the outrage from the party that seems to think it's virginally pure on racial issues will be forthcoming in no time and that they won't simply fall back on the excuse that Dodd isn't their leader.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:38 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, April 2, 2004
    Jobs, jobs, and more jobs

    Non-farm payrolls increased by 308,000 in March, more than two and a half times the 123,000 that had been expected. Additionally, the January and February numbers were revised up from a combined 118,000 to a combined 205,000.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:32 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    Some more interesting poll results, this time from Rasmussen.

    Looking out over the next four years, 55% of American voters think George Bush will be more aggressive leading the War on Terror than John Kerry. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 28% believe Kerry will be more aggressive.

    The survey also found that half of America's voters (50%) believe that Richard Clarke is making his accusations about the President either to sell his book or to help John Kerry's campaign. Just 39% believe Clarke is merely a concerned citizen telling the truth about what he saw.

    As with most issues in this election system, opinions are shaped along partisan lines. Republicans, by a 88% to 6% margin believe Bush will be more aggressive leading the War on Terror. Democrats, by a 53% to 29% margin, believe Kerry will be more aggressive.

    Half of those not affiliated with either political party (50%) believe that Bush will be more aggressive while just 21% of unaffiliateds pick Kerry.

    The same is true on the question of Clarke's motives. The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 60% of Democrats believe that Clarke is just telling the truth. Only 13% of Republicans hold that view. Those unaffiliated with either major party are evenly divided on this point.

    --Election 2004 Clarke Impact

    Posted by robbernard at 4:10 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, March 30, 2004
    "Remarkable turnaround"
    A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows a remarkable turnaround in 17 battleground states where polls and historic trends indicate the race will be close, and where the Bush campaign has aired TV ads. Those ads say Bush has provided "steady leadership in times of change" while portraying Kerry as a tax-hiking, flip-flopping liberal.

    The ads have been one factor in wiping away an inflated lead Kerry held in those states. Most of them have had primaries or caucuses that allowed Democrats to dominate the news and Kerry to emerge as a victor. In a survey taken in mid-February, Kerry led Bush by 28 percentage points in those states, 63% to 35%. Now Bush leads Kerry in them by six points, 51% to 45%.

    In contrast, there has been much less volatility in states where the ads haven't aired. Kerry held a four-point lead in them in February; Bush holds a two-point lead now.

    The Bush campaign also has begun defining Kerry before he has defined himself. In the states where the ads have run, Kerry's unfavorable rating has risen 16 points since mid-February. In the other states, it's up just five points. The margin of error for each group of states is +/{ndash}5 percentage points.

    --USA Today

    Posted by robbernard at 7:22 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, March 26, 2004
    Heh, again.

    The official Kerry campaign blog has a link to "Republicans for Kerry". What do you get when you click on that link? "There is no group called republicansforkerry."

    Posted by robbernard at 7:00 PM in Politics/Government

    I think it's time to start taking up donations to get the Democratic party a sense of humor transplant, the one they have now certainly isn't working.

    President Bush gave the traditional comedic speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner. He had what everyone there seemed to think was a very funny joke about President Bush looking under the WH furniture for WMD.

    Now the Kerry campaign's gone and gotten itself in a tizzy over it.

    "How Out of Touch Can This President Be?

    "George Bush insulted me as a veteran and as a friend to many still serving in Iraq. This act lowers the dialogue about weapons of mass destruction. War is the single most serious event that a President or government can carry its people into. No weapons of mass destruction have been found and that is no joke - this is for real. This cheapens the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families are dealing with every single day." -- Brad Owens (Iraqi War Veteran, US Army Reserves)
    That's supposed to be funny?

    If George Bush thinks his deceptive rationale for going to war is a laughing matter, then he's even more out of touch than we thought. Unfortunately for the President, this is not a joke.

    585 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the last year, 3,354 have been wounded, and there's no end in sight. Bush Turned White House Credibility into a Joke George Bush sold us on going to war with Iraq based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction. But we still haven't found them, and now he thinks that's funny?


    Yeah, yeah, every word in any way related to war is an insult to veterans and questioning people's patriotism, blah, blah, blah. Get over yourselves.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:57 PM in Politics/Government

    The GOP has a new version of Kerry vs. Kerry up, this time featuring commentary by Don King.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:35 PM in Politics/Government
    Attacked by the left (literally)

    Matt Margolis of Blogs for Bush and the eponymous Matt Margolis Blog got into a bit of a row when union members outside a Bush fundraiser started taking swings at he and his brother.

    A brawl erupted between opponents and supporters of President Bush last night behind police barricades a block from his fund-raiser at the Park Plaza Hotel.

    Two Bush supporters, twin brothers Matt and Aaron Margolis, traded blows at the corner of Arlington and Boylston streets with several men who they said were union members.

    The fight started after a man wearing an Ironworkers Local 7 sweatshirt, perched atop a subway entrance, repeatedly taunted the brothers.

    "They told us to get out of here or we'd get beaten up,'' said Matt Margolis, 24, of Beverly.

    "I said, `I support your freedom of speech - please support mine. Come on down and we can have a conversation.'

    "He jumped down and swung on my brother. Then they all jumped in and tore our signs apart.''

    One union worker, declining to give his name, said the brothers instigated the brawl.

    "They called the guy down, and he obliged them,'' the union member said.

    --Boston Herald

    Matt goes into more detail over at Blogs for Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:34 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, March 25, 2004
    Grasping at straws?

    Brian Griffin thinks I'm grasping at straws with Tuesdays post on a report of a document that may show that Osama bin Laden was an Iraqi "collaborator". I'm going to have to disagree.

    For 2 years we've heard from the left that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. We can't attack Iraq, they have nothing to do with Osama. Iraq under Saddam is a secular government; Al Qaeda hates them as much as they hate us!

    Documents like this and those that show that Abdul Rahman Yasin, 1993 WTC bomber, was given safe harbor in Iraq go to show that no matter how much the left may disagree, the Iraq war was not completely disconnected from the War on Terror. We didn't attack Iraq because we needed oil (have you looked at gas prices recently?). We didn’t attack Iraq because it was good politically. We didn't attack Iraq just because we felt like it. We attacked Iraq because they had terrorist connections and our best intelligence said they had WMD. We attacked Iraq because we thought they posed a threat.

    I can't say whether the document is real or if real, true, but if it is then it's an illustration of the threat a Baathist Iraq posed. It would certainly be important and certainly is not "grasping at straws".

    Posted by robbernard at 12:12 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, March 24, 2004
    Richard Clarke in '02
    Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.

    Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998.
    And the third point is the Bush administration decided then, you know, mid-January, to do two things. One, vigorously pursue the existing policy, including all of the lethal covert action findings, which we've now made public to some extent.
    So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.
    Over the course of the summer — last point — they developed implementation details, the principals met at the end of the summer, approved them in their first meeting, changed the strategy by authorizing the increase in funding five-fold, changing the policy on Pakistan, changing the policy on Uzbekistan, changing the policy on the Northern Alliance assistance.

    And then changed the strategy from one of rollback with Al Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda. That is in fact the timeline.
    QUESTION: What is your response to the suggestion in the [Aug. 12, 2002] Time [magazine] article that the Bush administration was unwilling to take on board the suggestions made in the Clinton administration because of animus against the — general animus against the foreign policy?

    CLARKE: I think if there was a general animus that clouded their vision, they might not have kept the same guy dealing with terrorism issue. This is the one issue where the National Security Council leadership decided continuity was important and kept the same guy around, the same team in place. That doesn't sound like animus against uh the previous team to me.
    QUESTION: The elimination of Al Qaeda, get back to ground troops — now we haven't completely done that even with a substantial number of ground troops in Afghanistan. Was there, was the Bush administration contemplating without the provocation of September 11th moving troops into Afghanistan prior to that to go after Al Qaeda?

    CLARKE: I can not try to speculate on that point. I don't know what we would have done.

    Unless you're one of those who will believe anything that is unflattering towards Bush I think you'd have to admit that something is fishy, at the very least, about Clarke’s recent apparent Bush-bashing.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:10 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004
    The whacko element of the left

    Brain Terminal has a good video exposing just what some of the crazier element on the left believe. They took a camera to Al Gore's/MoveOn's January speech on global warming and just interviewed some of those who attended.

    Additionally, here are some amazing pictures from a protest in San Fransisco on Saturday.

    If these people didn't take part in the selection of our government some of this stuff might just be funny.

    (via Instapundit)

    Posted by robbernard at 12:29 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, March 22, 2004
    On Richard Clarke

    Ok, in Richard Clarke you have a man who thinks he was demoted by the Bush administration. A man who teaches at Harvard with John Kerry's foreign policy advisor. A man whose biggest charges seem to involve his personal interpretations of people facial expressions and actions. A man who seems to put the full blame on a 9 month old administraition and ignores the 8 years of the previous administration. An interview with a news program owned by the same company as his publisher is, in which that connection was not disclosed.

    Forgive me if I take his charges with a big ol' grain of salt. I realize he's saying bad things about a Republican so many immediately want to believe him and raise him to the level of a hero,
    but you might want to read the administration's take on it.


    What follows is the part of a story on cyberterror by Declan McCullagh from 1 year and 1 day ago that relates to Richard Clarke.

    But now that agency budgets are up for review, Ridge seems to be treading the same alarmist path as did his former cybersecurity deputy, Richard Clarke, who quit in January.

    Clarke was a professional paranoiac, a modern-day Chicken Little blinkered by a career spent in the cloistered intelligence community. It didn't help that Clarke's résumé featured such harrowing tasks as planning for the "continuity of government" after a nuclear strike on Washington--a job where no precaution is too extreme. Soon after President Clinton appointed him to a "national coordinator" post in 1998, Clarke became infamous for darkling warnings about the specter of a "digital Pearl Harbor" that would snarl computers and roil the world's economy.

    To understand this bureaucratic mindset, consider that--while at the U.S. State Department in the mid-1980s--Clarke concocted a zany plan to incite a coup against Moammar Gadhafi to punish the Libyan strongman for embracing terrorism. Clarke's suggestion: SR-71 spy planes would buzz Libya, creating sonic booms that would appear to herald an invasion, thus unnerving Gadhafi. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy would fake hostilities off the coast and the State Department would encourage "speculation about likely Gadhafi successors," according to a memo coauthored by Clarke. After news of the plan leaked, an embarrassed Reagan White House unceremoniously ditched it. The New York Times' William Safire dubbed the scheme "stupid and venal."

    Clarke's penchant for the dramatic, which I witnessed firsthand when I spent an hour interviewing him in December 2001, extended to a farewell statement he circulated in January. It warned of the dangers of the SQL Slammer worm, which infected servers running Microsoft software.

    In that statement, Clarke claimed that Slammer "disabled some root servers, the heart of Internet traffic." Not true. A report from the RIPE Network Coordination Center--one of the Internet's four regional registries--said that at most the worm slowed connectivity to two of the 13 root servers and did not disable any of them. "This did not cause any degradation in (domain name system) service," RIPE concluded.
    It's not just Clarke and Ridge. Exaggeration is easy when you're a bureaucrat hoping to make yourself seem more important and thereby fatten your paycheck at your next job, or when your funding is up for review, or when you want to lobby for new and probably unwise laws that would endanger privacy or impose additional costs on technology firms (one of Clarke's pet ideas).

    Posted by robbernard at 1:14 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, March 19, 2004
    John Kerry's defense record

    Even fellow Democrats were blasting his amendment to cut spending in 1994.

    When John Kerry offered a surprise plan to trim $43 billion in spending a decade ago, he encountered some harsh resistance: The cuts would threaten national security. U.S. fighter pilots would be endangered. And the battle against terrorism would be hampered, opponents charged.

    And that's just what Kerry's fellow Democrats had to say.
    "We are putting blindfolds over our pilots' eyes," Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a decorated World War II veteran, said of the impact of Kerry's proposed intelligence cuts. Senators rejected Kerry's plan on a vote of 75-20.
    "The amendment offered by the senator from Massachusetts would reduce the fiscal year 1994 budget for national defense by nearly $4 billion," said Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. ... "We have already cut defense spending drastically. ... Cutting another $4 billion is simply unwise and insupportable."

    Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., then the Intelligence Committee chairman, took Kerry to task at the time for reducing intelligence spending by $6 billion over six years, saying it would leave Americans vulnerable while facing problems such as the war in Bosnia, nuclear proliferation and terrorism.

    "It makes no sense for us to close our eyes and ears to developments around the world," he said, wondering aloud why Kerry didn't raise the idea of his cuts with the committee first.

    Inouye... rebuked Kerry for proposing military cuts without consulting Pentagon leaders. "This is clearly micromanaging the Defense Department without any input from our military commanders," the Hawaii Democrat said.

    Inouye several times criticized the Kerry amendment for what he said was contradictory spending choices. For instance, he said, it would stop production of Titan missiles capable of carrying military satellites into the sky even as the military proceeded with new satellite development.

    --Yahoo! News (via Blogs for Bush)

    Posted by robbernard at 7:27 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, March 18, 2004
    New Ad

    President Bush's campaign already has an ad (the one on the left) using John Kerry's "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" line.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:30 PM in Politics/Government
    This is good

    John Kerry was responded to a questionnaire from the HumaneUSA PAC. One of the questions was "Do you have any pets that have made an impact on you personally?"

    Now he couldn't possibly work into his answer that he served in Vietnam, could he?

    When I was serving on a swiftboat in Vietnam, my crewmates and I had a dog we called VC. We all took care of him, and he stayed with us and loved riding on the swiftboat deck. I think he provided all of us with a link to home and a few moments of peace and tranquility during a dangerous time. One day as our swiftboat was heading up a river, a mine exploded hard under our boat. After picking ourselves up, we discovered VC was MIA. Several minutes of frantic search followed after which we thought we'd lost him. We were relieved when another boat called asking if we were missing a dog. It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed confused, but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol.

    --Humane USA

    Posted by robbernard at 4:03 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, March 17, 2004
    John Kerry: Both for and against funding our troops
    "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," he said.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:49 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, March 16, 2004
    Kerry's leaders

    On the foreign leaders brouhaha Kerry seems to just keep digging himself deeper and deeper.

    The Boston Globe reporter who was covering a Florida fundraiser for Kerry on March 8 wrote in a pool report, which was distributed to the rest of the press corps, that Kerry said he had spoken with "foreign leaders" who had indicated they want him to beat Bush.

    But on Monday, the reporter said that, upon review of his tape, he realized that Kerry had in fact said "more leaders" want him to beat Bush.

    --LA Times

    So Kerry may not have actually said foreign leaders. The problem is, his campaign's once again on both sides of the issue. On one side, he was misquoted and it shouldn't be a story:

    But the campaign said Monday that the Globe's clarification demonstrates some ambiguity about what Kerry meant. His reference to "more leaders," said Kerry's spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, "could mean anybody." The media's repeated references to "foreign leaders" allowed critics to suggest he was talking about heads of state. "He was misquoted," said Cutter. "Had he not been misquoted, this wouldn't be a story."

    --LA Times

    And from Kerry, I meant it:

    John Kerry is not backing down from his claim that some foreign leaders privately support him against President Bush, dismissing suggestions by the White House that he is lying if he is not willing to identify the leaders.

    "I'm not making anything up at all," Kerry told The Associated Press in an interview Monday.

    --Yahoo! News

    So the basic message: "I was misquoted, I didn't mean it, this shouldn't be a story, but I meant every word of it."

    Posted by robbernard at 10:20 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, March 14, 2004
    Things seems to be happening in Iran

    There's been an uprising going on in Fereydunkenar for several days. Good luck and god/Allahspeed to those trying to overthrow their oppressors.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:18 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, March 12, 2004
    Who do the terrorists want to win?

    According to a survey, people think it's John Kerry by a more than 2 to 1 margin.

    A survey by a Washington pollster released Friday found a majority of those surveyed think terrorists would prefer to have Sen. John F. Kerry as president.
    Asked, "Who do you think the terrorists would prefer to have as president," the independent poll found that 60 percent said Kerry while 25 percent said Bush.

    --Washington Times

    Posted by robbernard at 11:14 PM in Politics/Government
    John Kerry's intelligence record
    With the end of the Cold War, some in the Clinton White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress saw the opportunity in the 1990s to sharply curtail spending on one of their least favorite government organizations: the Central Intelligence Agency. ... Operatives were discouraged from recruiting those whose backgrounds included unsavory aspects such as human rights violations. Such individuals are, by their very nature, the types who have close-in access to the plans and intentions of international terrorist movements, criminal enterprises and dictatorial regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein. U.S. intelligence capabilities atrophied seriously.

    Where was the junior senator from Massachusetts? Serving as a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1993 to 2000, John Kerry had direct oversight for every facet of the U.S. intelligence community. Did he fight the cuts in intelligence spending or the restraints on U.S. intelligence operatives?

    Far from it. In fact, he was leading the way to make deep and devastating cuts.

    Kerry's antipathy to the U.S. intelligence community dates back to his first unsuccessful run for Congress in 1970, when Kerry promised to ``almost eliminate CIA activity'' if elected. Nearly 20 years later, in 1997, Kerry questioned his colleagues in the Congress, ``Now that [Cold War] struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow?'' During his 19 years in the Congress, John Kerry proposed or supported cuts in intelligence spending reaching into the billions.
    Kerry, like many other Democrats, now complains that U.S. intelligence has been inadequate to meet the challenges of the war on terrorism and Iraq. The Bush administration did indeed inherit a demoralized and downsized intelligence community, but if John Kerry wants to criticize those shortcomings, he should first account for his own record.

    In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has made the most sweeping reforms in intelligence in decades. Budgets are up, recruitment of key capabilities is up, morale is up and U.S. intelligence operatives are leading in new and innovative ways to try to keep America safe from terrorism.

    It would be irresponsible to guarantee that the nation will ever be completely safe. But because of President Bush's leadership, we are certainly safer as a result of his support for a revitalized, well-funded and more effective U.S. intelligence community. And, as the record shows, all without the support of the junior senator from Massachusetts.

    --Tampa Tribune

    Posted by robbernard at 6:09 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, March 11, 2004
    Payroll employment vs. Household employment

    The Heritage Foundation has a very long and detailed look at the Payroll survey, which shows a decrease in jobs since President Bush took office, and the Household survey, that shows in increase in jobs.

    Their conclusion:

    The payroll survey may be systematically undercounting job growth, creating an unprecedented job growth gap between its total employment measure and the household survey's. In the past six months, the BLS has approved new techniques to smooth the household survey's measure of total employment in order to make month-to-month comparisons. Analysts can now point with confidence to the employment of a record number of Americans as of January 2004 and the employment of an additional 2.2 million workers since the recession ended.

    Why has the payroll survey missed so much recent job creation? The BLS is skeptical of the start-up explanation, and recent benchmarks confirm the BLS's position. Self-employment is a different matter, and the latest statement by the BLS commissioner confirms the appearance of a new class of contractors. The evolution of the workforce--specifically, the demographic emergence of consultants and contractors who do not consider themselves self-employed--is a likely wedge between the surveys. Self-employment has grown by over 600,000 in two years, and misidentification by the LLC and consulting workforce implies a much higher number.

    --Heritage Foundation (via Blogs for Bush)

    Posted by robbernard at 5:11 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry's campaign of hatred and smears

    Blogs for Bush has a roundup of the hateful, vitriolic things to come out of the Kerry campaign so far.

    The Dems complain that President Bush’s campaign will at some point in the future be the dirtiest and most hateful ever. They should know, the Democrats have been running that campaign for the past 7 months.

    Posted by robbernard at 5:05 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, March 10, 2004
    Kerry attacks Bush team as "crooked" and liars
    Earlier Wednesday in Chicago, Kerry toughened his comments about his GOP critics after a supporter urged him to take on Bush. "Let me tell you, we've just begun to fight," Kerry said. "We're going to keep pounding. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary."

    --AP/Blogs for Bush

    And now a vocabulary lesson. Because between AWOL, Halliburton, being warned of 9/11, misleading and so forth it seems to be the only thing that comes out when the Dems open their mouths.

    ad hominem
    Pronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&m
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person
    1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

    Posted by robbernard at 11:39 PM in Politics/Government
    Are the Democrats really all riled up?

    Not according to a nonpartisan study of primary turnout.

    At the height of this year's presidential primaries, on Feb. 20, Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe declared that "people are turning out in record numbers" -- even though in the Virginia primary 10 days earlier, the 7.5 percent of Democrats who voted failed to match the only previous Democratic primary, and the figure was well below the 13.2 percent of Republicans who voted in their party's 2000 primary.

    Only New Hampshire and Wisconsin saw truly impressive increases, according to Curtis Gans, who conducted the survey for the nonpartisan Committee for the Study of the American Electorate.
    In New York, on the other hand, the Super Tuesday primary on March 2 marked a historic low: just 5.39 percent showed up to vote in the Democratic primary, down from 7.40 percent in the 2000 race between Al Gore and Bill Bradley. In Massachusetts, Republican participation plummeted this year, understandably, given that Bush has no competition on the GOP ballot. Democrats voted at a rate of 13.65 percent, up from 12.55 percent in 2000, but down from the 17.99 percent who voted in 1992 and the record 22.24 percent who voted in 1980.

    --Boston Globe

    Posted by robbernard at 4:00 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, March 9, 2004
    NY Post on the uproar over President Bush's ads
    To hear some folks tell it, families of the 9/11 victims have risen en masse to denounce President Bush for using brief images from Ground Zero in his campaign commercials. We have no doubt that the use of the images is appropriate - given that the president's leadership in the wake of 9/11, and his conduct of the War on Terror, are under drumbeat assault by John Kerry and the Democrats.

    But now it turns out that this whole furor is driven by a tiny group that's motivated by a far-left agenda and a festering hatred of the president - and has some quite dubious financial ties.

    Leading the rhetorical charge has been an outfit called September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows - which, the group admits, has only a few dozen members and represents relatives of no more than 1 percent of the 9/11 victims.

    More to the point, the group was formed specifically to oppose the entire War on Terror: Not just the campaign against Saddam Hussein, but also the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    They... demanded that Congress set up a $20 million fund to compensate Afghan "victims" of the U.S. military.

    And back in January 2003, the group said had it had gotten a "verbal commitment" to the fund proposal from the junior senator from Massachusetts - John F. Kerry.

    Little surprise there - because Peaceful Tomorrows' parent group, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, has received millions from foundations controlled by Kerry's heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
    Tides has also funded groups like United for a Fair Economy, which has been involved in violent anti-globalization street protests.

    For example, the Ruckus Society, which was largely responsible for the anarchy in Seattle in 1999 and trains would-be environmental terrorists in the practice of "monkey-wrenching" - the willful destruction of construction equipment and so on.

    Tides gets much of its funds from philanthropists like Mrs. Kerry and billionaire George Soros - who has made defeating President Bush his top personal priority.
    This, then, is the fringe crowd that declares itself "offended" by the Bush ads.

    They're people who are offended by anything this president does - and they are working hard to put John Kerry in the White House.

    Remember that the next time you hear a news report about "widespread popular outrage."

    --New York Post Online

    Posted by robbernard at 4:54 PM in Politics/Government
    DNC Demands Bush Drop 'President' from TV Ads

    (2004-03-09) -- After slamming the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign for its use of 9/11 imagery in campaign ads, the Democrat National Committee (DNC) today again demanded that the ads be pulled, this time because they refer to Mr. Bush as "president."
    "Some families of the victims of the 2000 election have come to me, weeping because the commercials reminded them of that tragic time."


    Posted by robbernard at 4:41 PM in Politics/Government
    What good are polls?

    Went searching for polling data from 1984 and lucky for me Tim Blair's already had some.

    Let's recap. In 1984 Walter Mondale lost in November with 13 electoral votes. That's about 1/20th of the electoral votes he'd need to win. President Reagan recieved 58.8% of the total votes to Mondale's 40.5%. This election was the textbook definition of a landslide.

    Now what did the polls look like before months before the election?

    July 23, 1984: Poll Puts Mondale Even With Reagan

    Democratic presidential nominee Walter F. Mondale, on a post-convention fishing vacation in Gunflint Lake, Minn., did not catch any fish but hauled in some good news yesterday from a poll that showed him pulling even with President Reagan.

    May 3, 1984: Mondale-Hart, Reagan-Bush Tickets Running Neck and Neck in New Poll

    If the November election were held today, a Democratic Mondale-Hart ticket would run even with a Republican Reagan-Bush ticket, according to a new Gallup Poll.

    --Tim Blair.

    That's right, the biggest landslide in presidential history polled as a tie 4 months before the election. Polls show John Kerry as tied with President Bush 8 months before the election.

    Care to tell me now how Kerry's being tied is proof that he'll pose a challenge for President Bush in November?

    -Note- This isn't proof that President Bush will win in a landslide in November but it does show that Kerry's current poll numbers are certainly no proof that he'll stay tied or take the lead.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:29 PM in Politics/Government
    John Kerry v.2002 on the Iraq war

    In October 2002 the Senate debated whether to authorize President Bush to use force to disarm Saddam and enforce UN resolutions regarding disarmament. With the Iraq war being such an important issue in the upcoming election and John Kerry being the presumptive Democrat candidate for president I thought it might be good to back through the Congressional Record and actually see what he thought back then and not just go by what he now says he thought back then.

    First off, for those who say President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the country as to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, let's look at what John Kerry believed about the threat posed by Saddam.

    [Saddam] has continually failed to meet the obligations imposed by the international community on Iraq at the end of the Persian Gulf the Iraqi regime provide credible proof war to declare and destroy its weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems and to forego the development of nuclear weapons. during the 7 years of weapons inspections, the Iraqi regime repeatedly frustrated the work of the UNSCOM--Special Commission--inspectors, culminating in 1998 in their ouster. Even during the period of inspections, Iraq never fully accounted for major gaps and inconsistencies in declarations provided to the inspectors of its pre-gulf war WMD programs, nor did the Iraqi regime provide credible proof that it had completely destroyed its weapons stockpiles and production infrastructure.

    It is clear that in the 4 years since the UNSCOM inspectors were forced out, Saddam Hussein has continued his quest for weapons of mass destruction. According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of the 150 kilometer restriction imposed by the United Nations in the ceasefire resolution. Although Iraq's chemical weapons capability was reduced during the UNSCOM inspections, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort over the last 4 years. Evidence suggests that it has begun renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard gas, sarin, cyclosarin, and VX. Intelligence reports show that Iraq has invested more heavily in its biological weapons programs over the 4 years, with the result that all key aspects of this program--R&D, production and weaponization--are active. Most elements of the program are larger and more advanced than they were before the gulf war. Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery on a range of vehicles such as bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives which could bring them to the United States homeland. Since inspectors left, the Iraqi regime has energized its missile program, probably now consisting of a few dozen Scud-type missiles with ranges of 650 to 900 kilometers that could hit Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region. In addition, Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs, capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents, which could threaten Iraq's neighbors as well as American forces in the Persian Gulf.

    Prior to the gulf war, Iraq had an advance nuclear weapons development program. Although UNSCOM and IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors learned much about Iraq's efforts in this area, Iraq has failed to provide complete information on all aspects of its program. Iraq has maintained its nuclear scientists and technicians as well as sufficient dual-use manufacturing capability to support a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. Iraqi defectors who once worked for Iraq's nuclear weapons establishment have reportedly told American officials that acquiring nuclear weapons is a top priority for Saddam Hussein's regime.

    According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons. The more difficult question to answer is when Iraq could actually achieve this goal. That depends on is its ability to acquire weapons-grade fissile material. If Iraq could acquire this material from abroad, the CIA estimates that it could have a nuclear weapon within 1 year.

    Absent a foreign supplier, it might be longer. There is no question that Saddam Hussein represents a threat.
    And while the administration has failed to provide any direct link between Iraq and the events of September 11, can we afford to ignore the possibility that Saddam Hussein might accidentally, as well as purposely, allow those weapons to slide off to one group or other in a region where weapons are the currency of trade? How do we leave that to chance?
    The Iraqi regime's record over the decade leaves little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and, obviously, as we have said, grow it. These weapons represent an unacceptable threat.

    --Congressional Record, October 9, 2002 (S10172)(S10173)

    Let me just pull out a couple sentences there.

    "According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons."

    This first sentence would seem to contradict the current memes that President Bush cherry-picked data and misled Congress and the people. John Kerry's belief that Saddam had WMD and was seeking nuclear weapons didn't come in some White House briefing or the like. It was a CIA report. And with "all U.S. intelligence experts agree" it hardly seems that the CIA reports were brimming with doubt about nuclear weapons as we've been led to believe since then.

    And the sentence that summarizes his stance then:

    "There is no question that Saddam Hussein represents a threat."

    Now tell me, does this sound like a man presented with vague, cherry-picked data that might or might not prove that Saddam was dangerous?

    He lays out the same basic ideas that Colin Powell brought to the UN and yet somehow the Bush administration, that believes the same thing as Kerry, is lying and misleading and cherry-picking.

    Now let’s move on to what Senator Kerry thought he was voting for when he voted for the authorization to use force. He has since said "I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations."

    I want to underscore that this administration began this debate with a resolution that granted exceedingly broad authority to the President to use force. I regret that some in the Congress rushed so quickly to support it. I would have opposed it. It gave the President the authority to use force not only to enforce all of the U.N. resolutions as a cause of war, but also to produce regime change in Iraq, and to restore international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region. It made no mention of the President's efforts at the United Nations or the need to build multilateral support for whatever course of action we ultimately would take.

    --Congressional Record, October 9, 2002 (S10173)

    Here we see that Kerry didn't go into this vote blind. If he voted to authorize more than he thought he did, it certainly wasn't because he just didn't think about the breadth of authorization being discussed.

    The revised White House text, which we will vote on, limits the grant of authority to the President to the use of force only with respect to Iraq. It does not empower him to use force throughout the Persian Gulf region. It authorizes the President to use Armed Forces to defend the ``national security'' of the United States--a power most of us believe he already has under the Constitution as Commander in Chief. And it empowers him to enforce all ``relevant'' Security Council resolutions related to Iraq. None of those resolutions or, for that matter, any of the other Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi compliance with its international obligations, calls for a regime change.

    In recent days, the administration has gone further. They are defining what ``relevant'' U.N. Security Council resolutions mean. When Secretary Powell testified before our committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, on September 26, he was asked what specific U.N. Security Council resolutions the United States would go to war to enforce. His response was clear: the resolutions dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the disarmament of Iraq. In fact, when asked about compliance with other U.N. resolutions which do not deal with weapons of mass destruction, the Secretary said:

    The President has not linked authority to go to war to any of those elements.
    I would have preferred that the President agree to the approach drafted by Senators Biden and Lugar... It would require the President, before exercising the authority granted in the resolution, to send a determination to Congress that the United States tried to seek a new Security Council resolution or that the threat posed by Iraq's WMD is so great he must act absent a new resolution--a power, incidentally, that the President of the United States always has.

    I believe this approach would have provided greater clarity to the American people about the reason for going to war and the specific grant of authority. I think it would have been a better way to do this. But it does not change the bottom line of what we are voting for.

    The administration, unwisely, in my view, rejected the Biden-Lugar approach. But, perhaps as a nod to the sponsors, it did agree to a determination requirement on the status of its efforts at the United Nations. That is now embodied in the White House text.
    If the President arbitrarily walks away from this course of action--without good cause or reason--the legitimacy of any subsequent action by the United States against Iraq will be challenged by the American people and the international community. And I would vigorously oppose the President doing so.

    When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein.

    --Congressional Record, October 9, 2002 (S10173) (S10174)

    Now the word “threat” appears there 4 times, but always in reference to the threat of Saddam Hussein. Not once does the word “threaten” appear. He makes it clear that he’d oppose the President if he arbitrarily walked away (and let’s keep in mind that when diplomacy did finally end France was threatening to veto any resolution stronger than “we’ll think about war again in 6 months”), but he makes it quite clear that he is voting to give President Bush the authority to use force, not just threaten its use.

    The administration must continue its efforts to build support at the United Nations for a new, unfettered, unconditional weapons inspection regime. If we can eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction through inspections, whenever, wherever, and however we want them, including in palaces--and I am highly skeptical, given the full record, given their past practices, that we can necessarily achieve that--then we have an obligation to try that as the first course of action before we expend American lives in any further effort.

    --Congressional Record, October 9, 2002 (S10174)

    Now here let’s remember that Iraq did not cooperate fully with inspectors. They haggled over when U2s could fly over and whether they'd destroy missiles. They dragged their feet and were not at all proactive in their disarmament.

    It is clear the Senate is about to give the President the authority he has requested sometime in the next days. Whether the President will have to use that authority depends ultimately on Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein has a choice: He can continue to defy the international community, or he can fulfill his longstanding obligations to disarm. He is the person who has brought the world to this brink of confrontation.

    He is the dictator who can end the stalemate simply by following the terms of the agreement which left him in power.

    --Congressional Record, October 9, 2002 (S10175)

    Here Kerry was right. Hussein could have ended the whole ordeal if he had proactively disarmed. Instead he offered a little cooperation at first, and then when things started to get serious he offered a little more cooperation. At no point did they fully cooperate and in the end France et al seemed content with this noncompliance. They refused to entertain the thought that there should be any limit at all on the amount of time Saddam would be given to stymie inspectors, leaving President Bush no choice but to walk away when it was evident that the cooperation that was needed to disarm Iraq, both from within Iraq and from the Security Council, would never come.

    Senator Kerry can make the argument that President Bush pulled out too soon. (I've made my case as to why holding out longer would have done no good.) He cannot however honestly say that he didn't think Iraq was a threat. He cannot say that President Bush misled him on the threat Iraq posed. He cannot say that he voted to "threaten to use force", he talked only of authorizing the actual use of force, never once even giving the impression that President Bush was only allowed to threaten and would have to come back to Congress to actually be allowed to use it.

    He knew at the time that it was a bill authorizing actual force and not just threats and he knew that Iraq posed a threat.

    He was right at the time to vote for the resolution. He was right to believe that Iraq posed a threat. Now however it is an election year and suddenly he needs to make President Bush look bad. Now he claims he was lied to by President Bush about the threat Saddam posed. His very own words above disprove that. He knew, just like everybody else that Saddam posed a threat. He said "all U.S. intelligence experts" agreed that Iraq was trying to gain nuclear weapons. They may have been wrong, but if so then the intelligence was wrong. As much as Kerry wants to smear President Bush, intelligence experts providing the President and Congress with wrong information is not the same as the President cherry-picking evidence and lying to and misleading Congress and the American people. Kerry left no doubt. The evidence was "clear", all the experts agreed. It is disgraceful that Kerry is now trying to turn this into some grand scheme and lie from President Bush when he himself was convinced by the same reports, the same evidence.

    Today he is trying to weasel out of his record and to deny what he knew. He has been constant in wanting multilateral support (though considering that we had the help and support of at least 34 countries, perhaps what he actually wanted was omnilateral support), but his positions on the use of force authorization and the threat posed by Saddam are pure examples of flip-flopping of the most politically expedient kind. He held certain beliefs. Now that the exact opposite can help him he not only says he believes the opposite but is trying to rewrite history in such a manner as to make people believe he never held his original beliefs at all.

    Monday, March 8, 2004
    "They do not represent me"

    Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother on 9/11 takes issue with those that raised a ruckus over President Bush's ad.

    It is one thing for individual family members to invoke the memory of all 3,000 victims as they take to the microphone or podium to show respect for our collective loss. It is another for them to attempt to stifle the debate over the future direction of our country by declaring that the images of 9/11 should be off-limits in the presidential race, and to do so under the rubric of "The Families of Sept. 11." They do not represent me. Nor do they represent those Americans who feel that Sept. 11 was a defining moment in the history of our country and who want to know how the current or future occupant of the Oval Office views the lessons of that day.
    Whatever these 9/11 families may think of the president's foreign policy or the war in Iraq, I ask them to reconsider the language and tone of their statements. We should not tolerate or condone remarks such as those of the 9/11 relative who, so offended by the campaign ads, said that he "would vote for Saddam Hussein before I would vote for Bush." The insult was picked up and posted on Al-Jazeera's Web site. In view of the sacrifice our troops have made on our behalf, this insensitivity to them and their families suggests a level of self-indulgence and ingratitude that shocks the conscience.
    Ms. Burlingame, a life-long Democrat, is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, III, captain of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.


    Sunday, March 7, 2004
    The "Open Letter to America"
    More than a dozen families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 attacks released a letter Saturday declaring their support for President Bush and his use of images of the destroyed World Trade Center in campaign ads.

    "There is no better testament to the leadership of President Bush than Sept. 11," the letter states. "In choosing our next leader we must not forget that day if we are to have a meaningful conversation."
    "In the November election we will have a clear choice laid before the American people," the letter reads. "President Bush is rightly offering us that choice and the images of Sept. 11, although painful, are fundamental to that choice. The images in President Bush's campaign television ads are respectful of the memories of Sept. 11."

    When asked about the ads on Saturday, President Bush said he will "continue to speak about the effects of 9-11 on our country and my presidency."

    "How this administration handled that day, as well as the war on terror, is worthy of discussion. And I look forward to discussing that with the American people," he said.
    Jimmy Boyle, former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said he came up with the "Open Letter to America" after hearing that the president was being criticized for the ads.

    "I don't think he's taking advantage of Sept. 11 and I feel that he's given us the leadership that we need," said Boyle, who said he will be voting for a Republican president for the first time in November.


    Posted by robbernard at 1:08 AM in Politics/Government

    Friday, March 5, 2004
    More on President Bush's ad

    Citizen Smash has a round up of reactions to the 9/11 footage hubub.

    Through Smash's page:

    John Hawkins looks at the people who have been complaining about President Bush's ad and finds that most of them have attacked President Bush in the past and that Harold Schaitberger, being touted as the voice of fire fighters, is "co-chair of the Kerry for President campaign".

    Moderate Voice provides this from Rudy Giuliani: "Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani came forward, insisting he had volunteered to speak out:''This is part of the President's record,' Giuliani told the New York Daily News. 'It's part of history. He did such a good job it would almost be false advertising not to include images of 9/11.'"

    And Dean Esmay provides this:

    So, in response to this one innocuous ad, Democrats (and one labor union that endorsed John Kerry months ago) shrieked and sprayed spittle, ranting about how the President was "trying to scare people" and "acts as if the last three and a half years never happened" and is "using people's deaths for his own re-election," and on and on and on.

    It has been nauseating to listen to, it really has been. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way, either. I never thought Democrats could top their mean-spirited, shallow sniping of the last couple of years, but they've alrady managed to do it in their response to this one 2-second flash in a single series of ads.
    If this is how Democrats run the rest of their campaign, Bush is going to destroy them in November. Absolutely destroy them. Except for gentle jokes and barbs, he'll launch very, very few attacks at all. I am in awe watching it start to unfold.

    It's a pretty long post, go read it all.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:05 PM in Politics/Government
    Yep, North Korea seems to like Kerry
    North Korea's state-controlled media are well known for reverential reporting about Kim Jong-il, the country's dictatorial leader.

    But the Dear Leader is not the only one getting deferential treatment from the communist state's propaganda machine: John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic candidate, is also getting good play in Pyongyang.

    In the past few weeks, speeches by the Massachusetts senator have been broadcast on Radio Pyongyang and reported in glowing terms by the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), the official mouthpiece of Mr Kim's communist regime.
    Mr Kerry was first introduced to North Korea's information-starved people in early February, when Radio Pyongyang reported that opinion polls indicated he was likely to defeat Mr Bush.

    A few days later, the station broadcast comments by Mr Kerry criticising Mr Bush for deceiving the world about Iraq's elusive weapons of mass destruction. Later in February, KCNA welcomed Mr Kerry's pledge to adopt a more "sincere attitude" towards North Korea if elected.

    "Senator Kerry, who is seeking the presidential candidacy of the Democratic Party, sharply criticised President Bush, saying it was an ill-considered act to deny direct dialogue with North Korea," said the news agency.

    Pyongyang's friendly attitude towards Mr Kerry contrasts with its strong anti-Bush rhetoric.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:21 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, March 4, 2004 takes issue with parts of a Kerry attack ad

    The nonpartisan group is correcting several statements in a video sent to Kerry's supporters.

    At one point the ad shows Bush saying “we must provide the best care” for veterans, then shows a graphic saying: “200,000 veterans cut off from health system.” It cites the Department of Veterans Affairs as the source. But the statement is false.

    In fact, no veterans have had benefits cut off under Bush. Quite the contrary, as we’ve previously noted , spending for veterans benefits has grown 27% since Bush took office, and the ranks of veterans drawing benefits have increased by more than 1 million.

    The Kerry campaign says the ad is referring to a proposal in Bush’s budget for fiscal year 2005, which begins Oct. 1. But that proposal has not been enacted and, in fact, a similar proposal was rejected last year. Congress is expected to reject it again this year.

    Furthermore, the proposal would not “cut off” veterans as the ad says. It would instead raise the cost of the VA’s popular prescription–drug benefit. The VA estimates this would cause an estimated 200,000 veterans to leave the system -- voluntarily -- because they have better benefits from other sources. The drug benefit currently requires no payment to gain coverage, and a $7 co-payment for each one-month supply of prescription drugs. The Bush administration proposes to charge $21 per month for coverage, and to raise the co-payment to $15 per one-month supply of prescription medications.
    The ad wrongly states that 2.9 million jobs have been lost under Bush, and cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the source. That’s wrong.

    BLS figures actually show the loss in total payroll jobs has been 2.2 million jobs. The Kerry ad overstates the job loss by a number that exceeds the population of Washington DC. (via Hobbs)

    And that's not even addressing the difference between the payroll and household survey.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:41 PM in Politics/Government
    A handy-dandy list of Kerry's waffling

    9 issues Kerry has waffled on in one convenient table over at Slate.

    The issues: Welfare Reform, Mandatory Minimums, Affirmative Action, the Death Penalty, Education Reform, Double Taxation, Gas Taxation, Social Security and Trade.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:34 PM in Politics/Government
    Oh no! There were pictures relating to 9/11 in the President's ads!

    I'm sorry, but this seems like a lot of commotion over nothing. These ads aren’t showing the planes crashing into the towers. They aren’t showing the towers collapsing. They aren’t showing people jumping to their deaths. They are showing brief images to illustrate the collective tragedy that was 9/11. Of course President Bush is going to be mentioning 9/11 and in an age of both audio and visual there are going to be images to go with the narration. 9/11 is THE defining event of the past 4 years and though some would very much like to forget the events of September 11th and pretend that it wasn't a major influence in President Bush's foreign policy, President Bush can't and won't simply pretend it didn't happen and not bring it up in his commercials.

    Is using pictures related to 9/11 somehow politicizing the tragedy of 9/11? Probably. But then would it have not been politicizing if it had just been a black screen while somebody talked about 9/11? Is it not politicizing to claim that the Administration failed in their duty to prevent 9/11? Is not any mention of 9/11 during a political campaign politicizing it? This is a political campaign, and it's a political campaign where 9/11 must be discussed. To say this is out of bounds is like suggesting that FDR shouldn't have been able to mention Pearl Harbor or WWII in his 1944 campaign.

    9/11 will be a major part of this campaign, on both sides. President Bush's performance cannot be evaluated in a 9/11-free vacuum. To suggest that in the debate about who will lead us in the next four years of the war on terror the candidates aren’t allowed to bring up an event where 3,000 Americans were killed by terrorists does a grave disservice to the nation.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:32 AM in Politics/Government
    John Kerry: The choice of Kim Jong Il
    North Korea has never had a real election, doesn't believe in democracy and wouldn't dream of putting the political fate of "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il in the hands of ballot-wielding commoners. But it does have an election strategy — as far as the United States is concerned.

    The regime in Pyongyang, analysts say, is rooting for virtually anyone other than George W. Bush to be the next U.S. president. That's why many observers are expecting little progress at the six-party talks aimed at halting North Korea's nuclear program that started yesterday in Beijing.

    "North Korea is waiting for its own regime change — in D.C.," said Pang Zhongying, professor of international relations at China's Nankai University.
    Pyongyang is betting that by stalling, it can achieve a better deal with a new administration, analysts say. Nor does it want to grace President Bush with a diplomatic victory that might help re-elect him.

    --The Seattle Times (via Hootinan)

    Posted by robbernard at 3:25 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, March 3, 2004
    Someone give these guys a raise

    After seeing President Bush's first TV ads I can't imagine the people who made them are being paid enough for what they do. They're positive, they're actually, I think, moving, and I think they're going to be quite a contrast to Kerry's.

    Edwards may not have been able to beat Kerry with his positive message but in the beginning at least President Bush is taking the idea and running with it.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:59 PM in Politics/Government
    A nice quick summation

    Saw this elsewhere and it seemed a nice, efficient summation.

    "What's wrong with Kerry?"

    "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

    Posted by robbernard at 6:49 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, March 2, 2004
    There's still time

    If you can vote in an election today and you've informed yourself on the issues, then make sure you get out and vote. If you aren't informed on the issues then get informed. If you don't feel like getting informed then please, don't vote.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:20 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, March 1, 2004
    Who's doing the smearing?

    It's conventional wisdom now that this may be one of the nastiest presidential campaigns ever. But those keeping score should observe that, right now, the muddy epithets thrown at President Bush outweigh those thrown at Democrats by tons.

    That's not the way things are being reported, though. The media seem to be uncritically accepting the Democratic charge that any criticism of Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) public record is "sliming" or "smearing."

    But for months now, Democrats have accused Bush of being a "liar" who "misled" or "deceived" the nation into the Iraq war; a "usurper" who "stole" the 2000 election in Florida; "a right-wing extremist" on tax, social and foreign policy; and a "menace to the nation's basic liberties," owing to his employment of Attorney General John Ashcroft. …

    Democrats claim that Republicans either have questioned or will question their patriotism in this campaign, but actually the only accusations of lacking patriotism have come from Democrats.
    [N]o Republican of any stature has yet thrown what could even remotely be described as a low blow. If that changes, I'll scream. But so far, if anyone's "sliming," it's Democrats. And the media should call them on it

    --Mort Kondracke - Roll Call (subscription required)

    Posted by robbernard at 5:12 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, February 27, 2004
    Double standard on racism
    House Rep. Henry Bonilla, a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has taken back his demand that Rep. Corrine Brown resign her seat in Congress for remarks she made accusing the Bush administration of racism in its Haiti policy. But even after Bonilla accepted Brown's apology, he said the fact that her comments raised few hackles demonstrates a double standard among Democratic Party members.

    "If a Republican had made such derogatory, insulting and discriminatory remarks there would be a firestorm of outrage. The current silence is deafening," Bonilla, R-Texas, said. "If we truly advocate zero tolerance for racism, then we must insist the statement be addressed."

    Posted by robbernard at 6:10 PM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, February 26, 2004
    John Kerry: Bastion of integrity

    Or not... If you go and equate something to a traitor, what does it say about you when you accept support from said "traitors".

    Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, frequently calls companies and chief executives "Benedict Arnolds" if they move jobs and operations overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

    But Kerry has accepted money and fundraising assistance from top executives at companies that fit the candidate's description of a notorious traitor of the American Revolution.

    Executives and employees at such companies have contributed more than $140,000 to Kerry's presidential campaign, a review of his donor records shows. Additionally, two of Kerry's biggest fundraisers, who together have raised more than $400,000 for the candidate, are top executives at investment firms that helped set up companies in the world's best-known offshore tax havens, federal records show. Kerry has raised nearly $30 million overall for his White House run.
    Kerry has come under attack from President Bush, as well as some Democrats, for criticizing laws he voted for and lambasting special interests after accepting more money from paid lobbyists than any other senator over the past 15 years.

    --Washington Post

    Posted by robbernard at 6:48 PM in Politics/Government
    U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the President's policy on the beleaguered nation "racist" and his representatives "a bunch of white men."

    Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department's top official for Latin America.

    Brown sat directly across the table from Noriega and yelled into a microphone. Her comments sent a hush over the hourlong meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, including several members of Congress and Bush administration officials.

    Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants.

    Brown then told him "you all look alike to me," the participants said.
    After her comments about white men, Noriega said he would "relay that to (Secretary of State) Colin Powell and (national security adviser) Condoleezza Rice the next time I run into them," participants said. Powell and Rice are black. (via Instapundit)

    The whole situation pretty much ridicules itself, doesn't it?

    Posted by robbernard at 11:56 AM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, February 25, 2004

    Welcome Instapundit readers! Make yourselves at home.

    There's more on the gay marriage debate and specifically President Bush being accused of bigotry over the issue here and here.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:54 AM in Gay Marriage , Politics/Government
    What would Kerry's policies do for workers in Ohio?

    From the Bush campaign:

    You don't have to look far to discover how John Kerry's policies would hurt Ohio workers and put the brakes on our economic recovery.

    Did you know Sen. Kerry's bill to increase CAFE standards to 36 mpg by 2015 would kill 100,000 jobs in the automotive industry, according to a study by Penn State University? And did you know that Kerry has called for reductions in 18 weapons systems, the same systems that are winning the War on Terror today, including the M1 Abrams Tank, maintained in Lima, OH?

    Look beyond the rhetoric to discover the truth about John Kerry. His record of cutting defense spending, his calls to raise taxes, and his plans for increased regulations would cost Ohio workers jobs and turn America back to the tired, failed policies of the past.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:43 AM in Politics/Government
    Some items of note in Bush's gay marriage speech

    The text of the speech is here.

    First off, no matter what people may have you believe, he did not endorse the FMA, he did not endorse H. J. RES. 56 or S. J. RES 26 which have been introduced in Congress. He called for AN amendment, but not any particular amendment. He never endorses any particular wording for the amendment. No mention is made of the troublesome "legal incidents thereof". He doesn't say civil unions should be banned at the same time. In fact, he actually says it should protect marriage while leaving the door open for other arrangements like civil unions.

    The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

    --White House

    Secondly, he addresses how this isn't necessarily an action against states' rights.

    The Constitution says that full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state. Those who want to change the meaning of marriage will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in America. Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of Marriage Act, by declaring that no state must accept another state's definition of marriage. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.

    Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of Marriage Act will not, itself, be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a marriage. Furthermore, even if the Defense of Marriage Act is upheld, the law does not protect marriage within any state or city.

    --White House

    Kerry is in favor of an amendment as long as it allows for civil unions.

    I believe... that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's my belief. If the amendment provides for partnership and civil union... that would be a good amendment.

    Keeping in mind the President's "free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage" belief, would anybody care to point out how Kerry's position differs from that of President Bush.

    I expect not, but since President Bush is a conservative some have no problem distorting his stance and calling him a bigot.

    It's been pointed out that the clip I was working off of above for Senator Kerry's quote was actually in reference to a hypothetical Massachusetts amendment. That would mean that Kerry is taking a more states’ rights approach to gay marriage, but all the same he comes out banning gay marriage and allowing for civil unions, the same as President Bush.

    Those calling President Bush a bigot, or who say he’s homophobic and that he doesn’t like gays aren’t doing so because of qualms over states’ rights. They’re doing so because he wants to define marriage as between a man and a woman, the same as Senator Kerry so I stand by the conclusion that he’s getting more heat than a liberal for the same opinions.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:27 AM in Gay Marriage , Politics/Government

    Tuesday, February 24, 2004
    Whopper of the night

    From Congressman Greg Meeks on Hannity and Colmes: "The Bush administration's greatest nightmare was John Kerry becoming nominee."

    I think the administration has a few things that worry them more than the thought of running against John Kerry.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:16 AM in Politics/Government
    This is a great line

    From President Bush's entrance into the fray. (via Sullivan)

    "The other party's nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group with diverse opinions: for tax cuts and against them; for NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] and against NAFTA; for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act; in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts."

    Posted by robbernard at 1:07 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, February 23, 2004
    Will Kerry release HIS military records?

    Mickey Kaus is wondering why nobody's making an issue out of the non-release of Kerry's records.

    I give Kerry points for his Vietnam service. But since it (along with some plug-n-play Shrum rhetoric) is almost the entirety of his campaign for president, can it really be true that he hasn't authorized release of his military records? Does he think this is a defensible position? ... Hello, Edwards! Get somebody to demand the release, like tomorrow, before Kerry wises up and realizes he can't say "no" (i.e. while there's still a chance he'll initially stonewall, thus dragging out the story in the days before the March 2 primaries.)


    Posted by robbernard at 7:41 PM in Politics/Government
    Carnival of the Bush Bloggers

    This week's Carnival of the Bush Bloggers is up over at Blogs for Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:51 PM in Politics/Government
    Schwarzenegger on the presidency

    Schwarzenegger thinks non-natural born citizens should be allowed to run for President. (And there's even a proposed amendment to allow it. [Search for "SJ Res. 15"])

    I'm telling you, Demolition Man is coming true!

    Posted by robbernard at 5:58 AM in Politics/Government
    Bush a bigot? Part II

    Brian Griffin has responded to my first post on the subject and now the ball's back in my court. [He now has trackback, so now we can both know exactly when we have a problem with each other. :)]

    Bush and his horde are against gay rights.

    --Cincy Blog

    That’s just not true. President Bush has said that he has no problem with civil unions so long as they start at the state level and aren’t foisted upon the populace by the judiciary.

    “[T]he position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state, or does start at the state level.”

    -- NY Times

    It’s also worth noting that John Kerry "says his position is the same as that of Bush's Vice President, Dick Cheney."(Yahoo)

    Rob even tried to float the idea from radio talk show host, a real "authority," that heterosexual men have no more rights to marry men they gay men do. I hope he is just trying to be funny, because that is laughable as a reason. I guess he would say that if a black man could not marry a white woman, that is not discrimination as long as a white man could not marry a black woman.

    --Cincy Blog

    First off, I’m going to stick with equal rights and equal protection and not wade into the semantics of the word "discrimination" here. Secondly, the argument came independently of any radio host. Thirdly, I’m willing to bet that Neal Boortz with his law degree, is more of an authority on the legal definition of equal protection than Brian.

    If you view the word "marriage" by its historical definition, the union of a man and a woman, then the prohibition of interracial marriage would of course not be an equality of rights and would be a violation of equal protection. This however is not a universe where the definition of marriage has historically been simply the union of two people and thus the parallels between gay marriage and interracial marriage are not as strong as you may like.

    Bush wants to both ban homosexual marriage and civil unions. Greg Mann comments on why the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment does both.

    --Cincy Blog

    There seems to be a great deal of debate over that second sentence. A great many very smart and unbigoted people can’t agree on whether it would outlaw civil unions. It seems to me that it says that rights can’t be given to “unmarried” couples simply because the rights are given to married couples. Would this disallow giving similar rights to couples in another type of union? I don’t think so, but I think the wording should be cleared up and I wouldn’t support anything that would outlaw civil unions. As I pointed out above, President Bush seems to have no problem with civil unions so long as they start at the state level and aren’t forced upon a state by judges.

    And because the quote bears repeating:

    "[T]he position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state, or does start at the state level."

    -- NY Times

    In fact, the group that originally drafted the text has said it would be willing to change the text to ensure that states still have the right to set up civil unions.

    When that text was drafted by the Alliance for Marriage, no one was really thinking about the phenomenon of civil unions. We are willing to make it explicit and unambiguous that the goal is not to deprive the states of existing authority over benefits, including, if they wish, civil unions.


    Damn, even the people who drafted the amendment say they're willing to make it clear it wouldn't ban civil unions. Where are all these bigots I keep hearing about.

    If civil unions was something Bush supported he would be doing the logically thing, including an establishment of civil unions in the Marriage ‘Defense’ Amendment. Why will that not happen?

    --Cincy Blog

    Why won’t it happen? Because supporting civil unions and making them law in every state are two completely different matters. As he has said, it is the administration’s position that civil unions must be established by the states, not thrust upon them by judges or the Federal government.

    Those pushing the Amendment do not want to provide equal rights or any level of rights to gays or lesbians on issues they can't claim otherwise. That is bigotry, and Bush is supporting it.

    --Cincy Blog

    I'll refer you to before where the people who actually wrote the amendment have said they have no problem allowing for civil unions and the rights they provide. There's nothing to show Bush has anything but a States Rights stance when it comes to civil unions.

    And moving on to one of Brian's other posts on the response of the Republican audience when Governor Schwarzenegger took a stand on San Francisco's mayor breaking the law...

    Arnold could have used a little less glee in his enforcement of shutting out gays from marriage. The cheers make those Republicans sound like bigots, which I would bet they are. Yep, I called someone else a bigot! Better start complaining that I called a duck a duck.

    --Cincy Blog

    The problem is not that you're labeling bigots as bigots; it's that your definition of bigot is simplistic enough that it's the equivalent of defining a duck as a white thing with wings. Is a duck a white thing with wings? Sure, but so are swans and the White House. Are some of the people who were clapping bigots? Maybe, but to label them all as bigots lumps the people who simply want the rule of law followed and who don’t think it’s the job of the Mayor of one city in California to decide what the state will recognize as marriage in with the ducks. Sure you’re probably calling some ducks ducks but you’re also calling a great number of other winged creatures and executive residences ducks while you’re at it.

    You can't expect people to take your arguments too seriously when you go around making accusations of bigotry against every person that applauds a governor saying the law should be enforced or simply has an opinion different than yours. The brush being used to paint here is so broad that it could stretch from coast to coast and it's wielded at the slightest whim.

    Please, if you can, show me where President Bush has said he’s against equal rights for gays. (I can show you where he has said he’s for them.)

    Please, show me where he has said he would like to outlaw all civil unions. (I can show you where he says he wouldn't.)

    Please, show me where those pushing the amendment say it has to outlaw civil unions and all rights for gays. (I can show you where they're willing to make it clear that it doesn't.)

    Please, show me some kind of proof that the people in the room with Governor Schwarzenegger were applauding keeping the gays down and not just a governor taking a firm stand on a mayor breaking the law.

    In the zeal for a black and white world when it comes to gay marriage everything short of "white as the driven snow" is being lumped in with black and it isn't helping the cause.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:30 AM in Gay Marriage , Politics/Government

    Sunday, February 22, 2004
    Could a Kerry attack be any more off base?

    Senator Saxby Chambliss says "When you have a 32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems, folks in Georgia are going to look beyond what he says and look at his voting record."

    Kerry responds in a letter to Bush saying "As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation’s history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do."

    No it's not! It is not what Bush has chosen to do. It's what you've chosen to do Senator Kerry. You are the one bringing up your 5 months in Vietnam for political gain. The Republicans haven't attacked your record in Vietnam. They've attacked your record since returning from Vietnam. You have voted against the B-1, B-2, F-14, F-15, F-16 and Harrier jets, the Blackhawk and Apache helicopters, Patriot Missiles and Aegis Cruisers. You've voted against the Trident Missile System, M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. This qualifies as a bad record when it comes to Defense, THIS is what we are attacking and it is not the same as your war record.

    This was Brit Hume's take on it on Fox News Sunday:

    “[Kerry’s letter to President Bush] is an amazing document in the sense that you talk about having it every which way on the issue. Kerry has been running in no small measure on his Vietnam record…. John Kerry’s Vietnam War record and his medal-winning performance over there has been a centerpiece of his campaign. Now he accuses the President of making an issue of it, which the President demonstrably has not done. … So now Kerry is saying, ‘I challenge you to a debate on this issue which you have raised. And we shouldn’t be talking about this.’ Amazing.”

    Damn right.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:53 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, February 20, 2004
    Boortz on the equal protection gay marriage argument

    You might have a variety of reasons for wanting to push this gay marriage concept, but equal protection under the law certainly isn't one of them. I, as a straight male, do not have one single right under the law that you don't also enjoy. Not one.

    You say that you aren't free to marry your gay lover? Well, guess what. I'm not free to marry another man either. Same rights. Equal protection. All single men are free to marry single women. All single women are free to marry single men. Men are not free to marry men .. ditto for women. Same rights. Equal protection.

    The gay community has spent years and frankly gone through a bit of hell trying to gain a measure of acceptance in American society. It's a shame to see this good will being expended on this ridiculous gay marriage controversy. You're not doing yourselves any favors here.

    --Nealz Nuze

    Posted by robbernard at 4:42 PM in Politics/Government
    Bush won't let people protest near him! He's stifling people's dissent!

    The Dems are awfully fond of complaining that Bush stifles dissent by setting up zones for protestors in out of the way places where they don't pose a threat to the President. Now we discover that the exact same thing is happening for their Boston Convention.

    Protesters at this summer's Democratic National Convention in Boston may be confined to a cozy triangle of land off Haymarket Square, blocked off from the FleetCenter and convention delegates by a maze of Central Artery service roads, MBTA train tracks, and a temporary parking lot holding scores of buses and media trucks.

    Under a preliminary plan floated by convention organizers, the "free-speech zone" would be a small plot bounded by Green Line tracks and North Washington Street, in an area that until recently was given over to the elevated artery. The zone would hold as few as 400 of the several thousand protesters who are expected in Boston in late July.

    "The area looks a little silly, to be honest with you," said Urszula Masny-Latos, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild's Massachusetts chapter. "People will not be able to express their concerns with whatever will be happening, because no one will have access to delegates. No one will be heard, and the area is just too small."

    Posted by robbernard at 3:00 PM in Politics/Government
    Will the Deaniacs and Deanie Babies show up for Kerry or Edwards?

    As I commented earlier, they didn't show up for Dean so why would they start showing up in November?

    But anyway, Blogs for Bush has a good roundup of comments from the "Blog for America expressing Dean supporters' disgust with Kerry, Edwards, and the Democrat party in general. One even suggests that it would be better for Bush to win so Dean can run again in '08.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:42 PM in Politics/Government
    President Bush a bigot?

    Brian Griffin has a link saying Bush will probably support an amendment to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman. To Brian this makes President Bush a bigot. Not that him calling people bigots is that out of the ordinary, the word's appeared in his blog 36 times in the past month.

    Being in favor of defining marriage a certain way is nowhere close to the same thing as being a bigot. There are plenty of reasons someone might be in favor of an amendment to define marriage without it being bigotry.

    Throughout history marriage has been defined as a union between a man and a woman. Why should the courts be allowed to change that definition based on trumped up equal rights grounds? Homosexuals have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as heterosexuals have, and heterosexuals have the same limits preventing them from marrying someone of the same sex. The ability to marry whomever you please is not currently a right.

    This is the text of the proposed amendment: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

    Now we come to the part of my post where I ask a bunch of questions and answer them all “No.”

    Would this proposed text ban civil unions? No. Would supporting this mean that somebody is opposed to the idea of civil unions? No.

    Does George Bush support gay marriage? No, but then neither do John Kerry or John Edwards. Does this mean that they’re bigots? No, opposition to the redefinition of a word does not equate bigotry.

    All that being said, if you want to add a system like civil unions, whereby loving homosexuals can commit themselves to one another, then I say go for it. The more people in committed relationships the better, but getting judges to make up non-existent rights and getting Mayors to break the law and calling everyone that isn’t 100% with you a bigot isn’t the way to go about it. If you want to do it right you’re going to need to go through the legislatures and try and win the people over.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:16 AM in Gay Marriage , Politics/Government

    Thursday, February 19, 2004
    21 reasons for Republicans to be optimistic

    Election Projection has a very good essay laying out 21 reasons why those backing President Bush should be optimistic about the election.

    (via Blogs for Bush)

    Posted by robbernard at 10:04 PM in Politics/Government

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004
    John Kerry: Both for and against drilling in ANWR
    MATTHEWS: How about ANWR? You guys want to see ANWR because you want to see guys working in your business. I guess there‘s a lot of Teamsters jobs up there lined up and organized, if you could put a pipeline up to the Alaska wilderness. He is against that.

    HOFFA: Well, we talked about that.

    He says, look, I am against ANWR, but I am going to put that pipeline in and we‘re going to drill like never before. . . .

    MATTHEWS: But he is against drilling up there. What are they going to run through the pipeline?

    HOFFA: Well, they are going to drill all over, according to him. And he says, we‘re going to be drilling all over the United States. And he says that is going to create more jobs. . . .

    MATTHEWS: It just seems amazing that he has turned around on NAFTA, turned around on WTO, turned around on ANWR, anything to get the Teamsters.

    HOFFA: Oh.

    --Hardball (via Instapundit)

    I tell ya, name an issue and he's got at least 2 positions on it.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:39 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004
    Fisking Kerry

    Andrew Sullivan has a very good fisking of John Kerry's recent debate performance up at The New Republic.

    My regret is this president chose the wrong way, rushed to war, is now spending billions of American taxpayers' dollars that we didn't need to spend this way had he built a legitimate coalition, and has put our troops at greater risk.
    More flim-flam. Does Kerry believe that other governments would be funding the bulk of Iraqi reconstruction if they had given token consent to the invasion? He has no evidence for this. This was always going to be a fundamentally American commitment. Only the United States has the military means and economic power to bring about a transition to democracy in Iraq. Anyone who believes otherwise is engaged in a fantasy about the real world.

    * * *

    GILBERT: Senator Kerry, President Bush a week ago on "Meet the Press " described himself as a war president. He said he's got war on his mind as he considers these policies and decisions he has to make. If you were elected, would you see yourself as a war president?

    KERRY: I'd see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president. And add them all together, you can't be safe at home today unless you are also safe abroad.

    KERRY: So I would see myself as a very different kind of global leader than George Bush.

    Well, what we have here is a clear and damning difference. Bush thinks we are at war. Kerry seems to believe that unless you have higher employment and expanded health insurance, we are vulnerable to terrorism. Then he says, "You can't be safe at home today unless you are also safe abroad." That seems like a direct refutation of the previous sentence. Ah, I'm beginning to get it. The two parts of the answer are designed for two constituencies: doves and hawks. Once again, Kerry's response to a simple yes or no question is: both.

    --The New Republic

    Posted by robbernard at 8:29 PM in Politics/Government

    Monday, February 16, 2004
    Carnival of the Bush Bloggers

    Blogs for Bush has started up a Carnival for the people in the Blogroll for Bush. Check it out.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:11 PM in Politics/Government
    Dan Burkett's sanitization story

    Bill Hobbs takes on Kevin Drum's defense of the Dan Burkett "the files were 'sanitized'" story.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:30 PM in Politics/Government
    The Bush Resume

    Looks like the liberal propaganda version of Bush's resume is making the rounds again. (Jay Solo got it)

    To present the truth and just to make sure I can find it at a later date without having to wade through all the liberal web sites giddy over their drollery I offer this link debunking the "George Bush Resume".

    Posted by robbernard at 1:18 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, February 15, 2004
    John Kerry: Attacking the President's record because he has no defense of his own
    In response to the ad titled "Unprincipled," which was put out on George W. Bush's website, John Kerry's campaign has put out their own ad, titled "More Than Anyone" clearly a reference to the line in the "Unprincipled" video which reveals that John Kerry has received more money from special interests than any other senator.

    Kerry responded in the usual way Democrats do. Whining about the "Republican smear machine" and labeling the ad "misleading." Is Kerry suggesting that he and his rivals have never attacked President Bush or put out misleading ads or statements?

    The Kerry campaign's statement in response to "Unprincipled" completely misses the point of the ad and absolutely avoids justifying their claim that the ad is misleading.
    Is Bush going around the country saying "I have a message for the influence peddlers … and the special interests who now call the White House their home: We’re coming, you’re going, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!"

    George W. Bush isn't proposing a plan on his website to "end the era of special interests."

    Is he, John Kerry? Or is that you?

    Towards the end of Kerry's video, the narrator asks, "Who’s the politician who’s taken more special interest money than anyone in history? The same one who’s attacking John Kerry’s record because he can’t defend his own."

    It's [embarrassing] for the Kerry campaign that they couldn't think of anything less hypocritical to say. Did they actually watch "Unprincipled" or did they just whip out their own ad without looking once at the video they were supposed to be responding to?

    Let's spell this out simply for the Kerry campaign: The video [begins] with video of Kerry speaking against interests and then goes into Kerry's record of accepting special interest money.

    Get the point?

    Kerry's the one going around pretending to be against special interests when accepting money from them has been a key theme of his career in politics. John Kerry is pretending to be somebody he is not. John Kerry's ad attacked Bush's record. Why? Because John Kerry couldn't defend his own record. Where's the response to all the facts regarding the money Kerry has accepted from special interests? It's nowhere. Kerry can't defend his own record, so he's tried to turn the tables around and say "Well, Bush takes special interest money." That's not defending Kerry's own record – its attacking Bush's record with even addressing the message of the video.

    Who's the politician who's taken more special interest money than any other Senator and now claims to want to end the era of special interests? The same one who's attacking President Bush's record because he can't defend his own.

    --Blogs for Bush

    Posted by robbernard at 9:40 PM in Politics/Government
    You've heard of the affirmative action bake sale, now there's the whites only scholarship
    A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action.

    The application for the $250 award requires an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."

    "Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants," says the application, issued by the university's College Republicans.

    Jason Mattera, 20, who is president of the College Republicans, said the group is parodying minority scholarships.

    "We think that if you want to treat someone according to character and how well they achieve academically, then skin color shouldn't really be an option," he said. "Many people think that c