Carol Platt Liebau: October 2004

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Kerry: Wrong on Every Major Foreign Policy Issue

The following is a short summary about John Kerry's record on foreign policy. Feel free to forward it to anyone, with or without attribution. The important thing is that the message gets out to those who are open to it.



(A) After he returned from Vietnam, he accused his fellow veterans of being war criminals. (Source here).

(B) In a 1971 speech, Kerry asserted "Those of us who have served in Vietnam know that the real guilty party is the United States of America." (Source here; how it has been subsequently used against the US here).

(C) In testimony before the U.S. Foreign Relations committee in 1971, Kerry stated:
-- The US was "paranoid about the co-called communist monolith"
-- "There'd be no interest on the part of the Vietnamese to start massacring people after the U.S. pulled out." (Sources here and here).

(After America withdrew, three million died; at least 750,000 South Vietnamese were forced into reeducation camps, more than a million refugees fled the country, the Khmer Rouge claughtered 2 million people in the killing fields.) (Source here).

(D) Kerry met with America's enemies -- the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong delegations -- on his own in Paris in 1971. (Source here).

(E)Kerry was following Vietnam War protest guidelines from North Vietnamese communists in the early 1970s. (Sources here and here).


(A) In his 1984 Senate campaign, "Kerry talked a different language about national defense, denouncing President Ronald Reagan's military buildup and calling for cuts of about $50 billion in the Pentagon budget, including the cancellation of a long list of weapons systems, from the B-1 bomber to the Patriot antimissile system to F-14A, F-14D and F-15 fighter jets." (Source here).

(B) Kerry opposed the anti-Communist contras. Three months after he entered the Senate, he went on a "fact-finding trip" to Nicaragua where he visited with Marxist Sandinista President Daniel Ortega. Soon after Kerry's trip, Ortega flew to the Soviet Union to collect a $200 million check from the Soviets. (Source here).

(C)Kerry voted against almost all the Reagan defense programs, from the early versions of the B-2 bomber to SDI. His first speech on the Senate floor was in opposition to the MX missile. (Source here).

(D) Kerry opposed giving aid during the communist insurgency in El Salvador during the 1980's. (Source here).

(E) Kerry called the invasion of Grenada "a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation. The invasion only served to heighten world tensions and further strain brittle US/Soviet and North/South relations." (Source here).

(F) When Reagan bombed Libya in response to a Berlin disco bombing (killed one U.S. soldier and wounded 51): "It is obvious that our response was not proportional to the disco bombing and even violated the Administration's own guidelines to hit clearly defined terrorist targets, thereby minimizing the risk to innocent civilians.... We are not going to solve the problem of terrorism with this kind of retaliation. There are numerous other actions we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring significant pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists." (Source here).

(G) Kerry supported the nuclear freeze. (Source here).


(A) Kerry voted against Gulf War I, charging President George H.W. Bush was engaging in a "rush to war." (Source here).

(B) He criticized the undertaking on the grounds that it lacked "a true United Nations collective security effort." (Source here).


Home at Last!

It's Halloween, and the Kerry team is scary. From The New York Post, we learn that Chris Heinz has called the President a "cokehead". Chris' mom is taken to task by the man she told to "shove it" here.

Adjunct members of the team, like "Uncle Walter," are an illustration of just how out of the mainstream the party has become. He actually thinks that Karl Rove has arranged for the Osama tape! Say what?

President Bush, on the other hand, has Curt Schilling and Rudy Giuliani on his team. It's not a time for despair -- it's a time to email everyone on your list and -- if they're Bush people -- remind them to vote!

Coming up shortly: The ad I wish I had seen from President Bush.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

If the choice for President weren't already clear, here's a question: How come Michael Moore, John Kerry, and Osama Bin Laden use the same set of talking points, as even The Washington Post was constrained to notice? He even gets in a little dig about the whole Moore/Kerry "My Pet Goat" issue.

Read the statement for yourself. It isn't directed against John Kerry, or even against both Bush and Kerry -- it's directed against Presidents George H.W. and George W. B ush. And then, in effect, Osama Bin Laden offers the United States a non-aggression pact. He says he's angry with us because of "transgressions and the coalition between Americans and the Israelis against our people in Palestine and Lebanon." And that's why the towers came down. So presumably, if we do nothing to anger him, he'll do nothing to come after us. He's asking us to be more "sensitive," a little more like Sweden.

Well, we could do that. We could elect Kerry, and terror could become a second-tier issue again -- a "nuisance," a law enforcement matter. In the meantime, Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen would gather strength and technology, obtain a nuclear bomb, and then be able to dictate the terms of America's foreign policy.

Or we can keep fighting, as President Bush wants us to do. We can keep OBL on the run so that all he can do is keep making these offers from some cave, probably in an inaccessible area of Pakistan. We can continue to prosecute the war on terror as if it is a war.

Ask yourself and your friends: What do you think George Washington would advise? What would Abraham Lincoln want? How would Ronald Reagan proceed? These are not men who were willing to compromise with evil. Nor should we be.


Yes, the polls look close and the MSM's cheerleading for Kerry is palpable. For a reality check, read this. No one is condoning any Labor Department employee wasting time on political analysis -- but John Kerry is poorly positioned to complain about it, since under his "big government" vision of society, government would be doing just about everything else.

This is also important -- though, again, it's likely to be overlooked or dismissed by MSM, just as the Swift Boat vets (true American heroes) have been. The nub? "Documents have been uncovered at Texas Tech University that show Kerry was following Vietnam War protest guidelines from North Vietnamese communists in the early 1970s." And these -- unlike Dan Rather's documents -- have already been authenticated.

And for a little something different, here's a little something about one of the best journalists out there today.

Friday, October 29, 2004

It's killing me to be away from my computer until Sunday -- but at least here in Texas, it's Red State utopia.

From the more limited look at the news pages I've been able to take, it seems clear that Bush momentum is growing, and the Kerry campaign is beginning to flail -- sounding vaguely desperate.

Real Clear Politics has poll averages; most heartening is President Bush's 53% job approval rating in the Gallup poll. If that figure is accurate, Kerry is in trouble.

This Weekly Standard piece features an interesting tidbit from Matthew Dowd about why undecideds won't necessarily break for Kerry, as so many wishful Dems had predicted.

And this kind of silliness is why people of faith overwhelmingly tend to prefer Republicans. Tom Harkin thinks he's reached out to the religious by telling voters that Kerry has been rising in the polls (what?!) because "That's how God wants it to be." How cool is it that Senator Harkin somehow knows the mind of the Almighty? And who would have guessed that God was in favor of partial birth abortion?

As a good friend of mine is wont to say scornfully, "Whatever."

More tomorrow -- and when I return to LA, I will respond to the emails that are piling up in my box!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Though The Washington Times is trying to be evenhanded, I can't fathom any way that having gay marriage amendments on the ballot in places like Ohio and Michigan can do anything but help the President.

Home on Sunday

Until then, blogging will be light! Sorry to be out of pocket in the waning days of campaign 2004 . . . but it's heartening to see all the Bush signs here in Atlanta!
John Kerry's calculated efforts to exploit the Red Sox victory may be slowed down a bit by this. Even this St. Louis girl loves Curt Schilling!
Drudge is reporting that the tape of terror threats obtained by ABC has been authenticated. Now, Drudge states that ABC is holding off on the broadcast of it "out of fear it will be seen as a political move by the network during election week."

Just a couple of observations. Neither CBS nor "The New York Times" had any apparent qualms about disseminating stories about the missing munitions in Iraq, which had the putative effect of damaging the Bush campaign (and helping the Kerry campaign) in the final days before an election. "60 Minutes," after all, was planning to air the highly controversial charges (now in the process of being significantly discredited, see here, for example) less than 48 hours before Election Day itself.

Here, ABC has an authenticated tape, of much more pressing interest to the American people, much of its contents has already been disclosed, and yet there's still a debate about whether it be reported on. It's also clear to most political observers that, rightly or wrongly, such threats tend to bolster President Bush, as he is seen by most Americans as much stronger than Kerry in fighting threats.

Is ABC's reluctance -- in such contrast to CBS and "The New York Times" -- just the a matter of there being more prudent editors at that network? Is it just coincidence? Or could it be the manifestation of the MSM's reluctance to aid President Bush, even indirectly?
Drudge is reporting that the tape of terror threats obtained by ABC has been authenticated. Now, Drudge states that ABC is holding off on the broadcast of it "out of fear it will be seen as a political move by the network during election week."

Just a couple of observations. Neither CBS nor "The New York Times" had any apparent qualms about disseminating stories about the missing munitions in Iraq, which had the putative effect of damaging the Bush campaign (and helping the Kerry campaign) in the final days before an election. "60 Minutes," after all, was planning to air the highly controversial charges (now in the process of being significantly discredited, see here, for example) less than 48 hours before Election Day itself.

Here, ABC has an authenticated tape, of much more pressing interest to the American people, much of its contents has already been disclosed, and yet there's still a debate about whether it be reported on. It's also clear to most political observers that, rightly or wrongly, such threats tend to bolster President Bush, as he is seen by most Americans as much stronger than Kerry in fighting threats.

Is ABC's reluctance -- in such contrast to CBS and "The New York Times" -- just the a matter of there being more prudent editors at that network? Is it just coincidence? Or could it be the manifestation of the MSM's reluctance to aid President Bush, even indirectly?
Myrna Blyth appears to agree with me that discussion of First Ladies is legitimate -- and that Teresa Heinz Kerry is a decided detriment to the Kerry campaign.

Her experience is consistent with mine -- even liberal women have a hard time finding something positive to say about Teresa Kerry, the self-described "Mama T." There was, after all, a lot for liberals to admire about Hillary Clinton. She brought impeccable liberal credentials to the table, and although she won her Senate seat on the coattails of her husband's betrayal, she had accrued an impressive left-wing record even before marriage (graduation speaker at Wellesley, Yale law, working for the Watergate Committee, involved with Children's Defense Fund, etc.). It's fair to say that she has earned her place in the liberal pantheon (whether that's a good thing is another topic entirely).

In contrast, Teresa has basically bought her way into liberal respectability by dint of huge donations from the money bequeathed her. And she doesn't sound particularly articulate when she speaks. And she has an air of entitlement that must confound liberals -- Teresa sounds the way they would expect a rich Republican to be.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

One final thought: It has occurred to me that, in some sense, Bush has been a victim of his own success in fighting terrorism on our shores. With no further attacks, Americans have forgotten how likely we feared another onslaught was in the wake of 9/11.

The latest warnings may at least have the salutary effect of reminding everyone that we are not at peace, we are at war. And we need a real wartime President. Make sure that any friend of yours that insists (wrongly!) that Kerry is "better" on domestic issues remembers this.

more tomorrow.
It's hard to link on a different computer, so just a couple of observations.

The new terror warnings are disconcerting, of course, but the American people are not cowards -- we will carry on as always. The effect, of course, is to remind everyone why it's imperative that President Bush remain in office. Is there anyone who really believes that John Kerry will take as hard a line as the President?

In the meantime, Kerry is being revealed as the desperate say-anything type he is, as he appears to have been willing to take the word of an anti-Bush U.N. type, ensconced in the pages of The New York Times, about the efficacy and competence of the 101st Airborne, who were charged with securing the munitions at Al Qaqaa. That tells you what four years of Kerry would be like, right there.

Now is not a time for faint hearts of any kind. It's a time for steadiness and resolution. Some polls may be encouraging, some may not be. But it's vital that EVERYONE do his or her part to make sure that we have a strong, determined leader who trusts the American people and the American military over the UN high command and the "international community."
Many thanks to Sherry for updating the blog. This morning at 6:30 am, Blogger couldn't be accessed, and after being caught in accident-traffic and a hair-raising ride to LAX, there was no time to post.

Carol is traveling. Will Post soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Alexander Hamilton has been a very good friend to this new blog. Tonight, he writes that a draconian land use regulation put in place in Washington State could potentially have repercussions in the election. Check it out and see what you think.
The best laid plans of mice and men . . .

It's important that all of us do everything we can to help counter the propaganda spread by the New York Times and CBS. Unless Kerry and his pigeons in the media want to claim that the 101st Airborne let 38 trucks filled with explosives travel right past them on road the US was occupying, there's no way its propaganda can be true. Fox News has it straight.

Of course, if other munitions disappeared during the run up to war, it's possible that WMD's may have, too. See the comment from the 7:49 am post by reader Gary.

In recent years, it's become habit for Dems to try to drop a last minute stink bomb to throw off an election. Luckily, given early balloting, they tried earlier than before this year, so there's time for the truth to get out.

After the election is over, it's going to be time to start thinking systematically about how to get a handle on the MSM and its obvious partisanship. Jesse Helms may have been on to something.

And for more on the character of the man the MSM loves, read this by Thomas Sowell. Stop and think, indeed!
Reader Stu informs me that Archbishop Chaput has received death threats in the wake of his fine op/ed in The New York Times. Care to email him with a message of support? Do it here -- stand up for the right. It will only take a minute. Don't forget that everyone, even Archbishops, can use some kind words and a reminder they're not alone, as they try to fight the good fight.
If the Gipper were alive and well, it's hard to doubt that he would have pretty effectively rebuffed Kerry's claims to following in his footsteps. Because the truly great are always with us, here he is. (Hat tip: Kerry Spot). Trot out President Clinton all you want -- on his best day, he was never close to being the equal of President Reagan on his worst. Enjoy.
In the steady drip-drip-drip of evidence about the quality of John Kerry's character, we now have this. It appears that he plagiarized passages in his 1997 book and elsewhere. Remember when plagiarism problems were enough to eliminate Joe Biden from the presidential race of 1988? Seems quaint in the post-Clinton era, doesn't it?

Just add this episode to the following:

1) His fantasies about meetings with the Security Council and Christmas-in-Cambodia

2) His refusal to reprove violence -- real or threatened -- against political adversaries

3) His attack on Mary Cheney

4) His deliberate use of bald faced lies for political gain -- scaring young people with lies about the possibility of a draft and scaring old people with lies about social security being taken away

5) His embrace of radical left wing groups like and Michael Moore -- which constitutes the liberal equivalent to President Bush receiving support from some weird separatist militia

6) His willingness to blame others for his own mistakes -- remember when he cursed at his Secret Service agent when he fell down in the snow, or pointed to his speechwriters when a portion of his speeches, on "outsourcing", drew criticism?

Even aside from his politics of left wing pessism and appeasement, John Kerry doesn't have the character to be president. Know of other non-policy-related examples I should add? Email me (see above right under "Contact").

Monday, October 25, 2004

Well, well, well. Trying desperately to help Kerry find traction, the New York Times today printed a story purporting to show that 380 tons of powerful convention explosives had gone missing from Iraq through U.S. negligence.

Now, however, according to the Drudge Report, NBC News is reporting that the stockpiles were missing before Americans got into Iraq. (I have not found any NBC site that confirms this; it sounds like it was reported on the television news).

John Kerry and John Edwards spent the day discussing the Times piece on the campaign trail. Will they apologize for slandering the President and US troops for "incompetence"? Don't hold your breath.

Just one more example of the Times' electioneering.
So, former President Clinton, happily restored to health, hit the trail for Kerry today in Philadelphia and Florida. In the meantime, Rudy Giuliani has been with President Bush.

Press coverage for the Clinton appearances has, predictably, been glowing. But the dirty little secret that the MSM wants everyone to forget is that Clinton isn't all that popular with highly-coveted "swing" voters. Everyone remembers (and would rather forget) Clinton's eight years spent defending thong-snapping and socialized medicine, while Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda surreptitiously gathered strength, and Saddam defied UN mandates on a whim.

To those in the press who are overwhelmed with Clinton's re-emergence, I have one question: What's Clinton's endorsement worth? Maybe they should ask "Florida Governor" Bill McBride, "Hawaii Governor" Maizie Hirono, "California Governor Gray Davis" and a host of Senate candidates in 2002. What do all these people have in common? (1) They were endorsed by Clinton and (2) They lost.

Clinton is good for one thing: Boosting African American turnout. What having him on the trail indicates is that Kerry still doesn't have this constituency nailed down (he's got between 69%-77% of the African American vote, compared to Gore's 90%). They're having to spend time in Philadelphia, eight days before an election!? That's tantamount to President Bush having to drop into St. Louis -- it wouldn't be a good sign.

In the meantime, President Bush is out with Giuliani -- a man whose appeal cuts across party lines, and who represents a living reminder of 9/11. He's got appeal for swing voters -- unlike the incredibly polarizing Clinton. So does Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will be appearing with President Bush in Ohio.

So while all the pundits have said that President Bush is merely trying to shore up his base, and Senator Kerry is reaching for the middle, they might want to take a look at the surrogates -- and the message they're sending. Seems to be quite the opposite.

I know who I'd rather be campaigning with -- "America's mayor" and "The Governator."
Wow. When the consummate old time Democratic insider David Broder has so many unflattering things to say about Kerry, it's pretty damning.

Reader Dennis wrote in to comment that, in his estimation, Kerry's defining weakness is an inability to accept responsibility -- even for something as trivial as a snowboarding wipeout, where he cursed at his Secret Service agent (in my view, a very revealing and quite unforgivable lapse. If someone is brave enough to be willing to take a bullet, it seems like they might deserve at least a modicum of respect from the person whose life they'd save).
Red State is taking analysis of the Kerry-and-the-Security-Council fairy tale to a new level.
There has been discussion on this site, over at Keith Burgess-Jackson's and others about the wisdom of President Bush's oft-criticized reluctance to "apologize" for mistakes both real and perceived. Here, Noemie Emery,a wonderful writer, puts it all together.

A question for those who have condemned President Bush for insufficient public emoting about missteps: Does John Kerry intend to treat us to public hand-wringing and tears if he becomes President? It's not likely -- he hasn't even been able to bring himself to apologize about slandering untold numbers of heroic Vietnam War veterans, or secretly meeting with our Communist enemies in Paris, or meeting with Communist Daniel Ortega as a freshman senator, or bashing President Reagan, or advocating a nuclear freeze, or opposing Gulf War I, or treating the War on Terror as nothing more than a cynical opportunity to win votes.

As much as apologies for all that are warranted, should he win, apologies for the conduct of the current war would be wrong. As the President has said: The perception of weakness emboldens our enemies.

Shameless Self Promotion Moment

My weekly column is at California Republic. It's called "Judge 'Em By Their Friends" and it's about the creepy silence emanating from the Kerry/Edwards camp(and the press) about the campaign of violence against Republicans this year.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

John Kerry: Truthfulness is "the fundamental test of leadership."

John Kerry: "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."

He said it as recently as the second presidential debate. He said it in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations last December. He lied. And perhaps now we know why his mother's last words to him were, "Integrity, integrity, integrity." It may have been a warning, of sorts, from the woman who knew his weaknesses (and his strengths) from childhood forward.

Most disturbing, this seems to be part of a pattern -- from his charges about the "war crimes" allegedly committed in Vietnam, to the Christmas Eve in Cambodia fairy tale, to the "secret plan" for a draft. This truly is is a man who either (1) Can't tell truth from fiction or (2) Really will say anything to get elected. I can't decide which is scarier.

Bill Clinton's pathological inability to tell the truth did damage to America and its politics. To elect another truth-challenged President -- and now, in time of war -- would increase that destructiveness exponentially.

Kerry has no business being anywhere near the levers of power.
"This man committed an act of treason. He lied, he besmirched our name and he did it for self-interest. And now he wants us to forget. What he stands for is wrong."

--- George 'Bud' Day, an Air Force pilot who won the Medal of Honor for his heroic resistance in North Vietnamese captivity.

Read the full story here. It's what the Kerry campaign doesn't want you to know.
Memo to John Kerry: Leadership includes being willing to answer tough questions -- not just direct criticism with 20/20 hindsight at the decisions someone else has made. As the guy on Saturday Night Live used to say, "Look into it."
Tempting hints about a "big" anti-Kerry story coming out tomorrow have been bandied about on Red State and Powerline.

The rumors been out there since yesterday afternoon; I always hesitate to bring these up, lest we get distracted by something that turns out to have less fizzle than we might have thought . . . even so, perhaps it's something we all should be aware of, at least . . .
There are a couple of harsh stories about Teresa Heinz Kerry floating around this morning here and here.

It does seem fair to ask whether the American people really want someone like this representing our country, both at home and abroad, as First Lady.

A lot of people believe that none of us have any business discussing potential First Ladies (including a lot of peole I respect, like Hugh Hewitt, who has said he tries to keep discussion of candidates' wives to a minimum on his radio show). But aside from engaging in petty swipes about the wives' clothes/looks/weight, I think they're a pretty important subject.

Maybe I'm biased because I'm a wife myself, but wives play an important role in men's life. The attributes of a spouse tell you what qualities are important to the person they're married to -- and, perhaps, what qualities are lacking, as many marriages do have a strong aspect of complementarity. And a couple's relationship can have a huge impact on the success of a presidency -- just ask Bill and Hillary Clinton. Their marital drama ended up infecting the whole country, and we're still living with it now, in the shape of her senate seat from New York.

While it's cheap and petty to be snooping around any couple's bedroom door, when there's a clear sense of how a relationship operates -- as there is with President and Mrs. Bush -- it's reassuring. When there's not -- as with the Heinz Kerrys (or one suspects that perhaps neither of them is there for entirely the right reasons) -- it adds to a sense of discomfort about the candidate himself.

It's not that Kerry would necessarily be taking marching orders from his wife as President. After all, if he were elected, he would be the powerful one, and able to draw a healthy income on his own after he left office. No, what seems more likely to happen would be a definite shift in marital roles; he, formerly deferential, would be released from the obligation to keep her happy in order to get the bills paid. She, formerly deferred to, could end up feeling less "attended to" than she prefers. Every marriage works on its own internal dynamics, and when those are upended, trouble can result. The unfortunate thing is that when there's trouble in The White House, pretty soon all of us have to hear about it, live through it, and potentially be impacted by it (in the shape of a distracted President or a troublesome First Lady), too.

All this is highly speculative, of course. Even so, I'm not up for any more East Wing dramas. Eight years of the Clintons were enough, thank you.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A ruling for sanity in Ohio -- the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal court just one step below the Supreme Court in the federal judicial system) has upheld the principle that provisional ballots must be cast in the right precinct in order to be counted. Let's hear it for a fair and orderly process, rather than the chaos that the Dems are seeking to inject into the process.

With this holding, Ohio joins Florida, Missouri and Colorado in holding that provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct don't count.

Good news.
What would the MSM say if it turned out that, as a young man, President Bush had secretly met with a band of right-wing radicals in another country, who were at the time killing, imprisoning and torturing his fellow Americans -- and, perhaps, he had even taken strategic advice from them? Before coming home to propound their point of view as his own? There would be a firestorm, and rightly so.

It's shameful that so few people know about the depth of Kerry's contemptible, dishonorable activities during the Vietnam War. Read here in The Weekly Standard for a story about his activities -- including how he met secretly with both Communist delegations in 1970 -- that will knock your socks off.

Apparently, for Kerry, Ho Chi Minh was "the George Washington of Vietnam." And he thinks President Bush has something to apologize for???

It's a sad day when such an arrogant, misguided, wrong-headed person can be in serious contention for the presidency of the United States.
Kerry: I Would Have Killed Bin Laden. But only if Kofi Annan gave me permission!

(And note that Kerry was for the way we were going about the operation to get OBL before he was against it. For now, suffice it to say that "the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality." Just ask Tommy Franks.)
At this point, no one besides insiders in the two presidential campaigns really knows what's going on.

Gotta love this headline in today's Washington Times: "Polls Show Bush Stronger than in 2000." Remember that if President Bush simply won everything he won in 2000, but no more, he would have 278 electoral votes.

Even so, some parts of the Times story are enough to make one vaguely uneasy. Things are still too close for comfort in Ohio, although, as the story points out, President Bush could compensate for losing it by winning any two of these three: Michigan, Wisconsin and New Mexico.

And this story in Slate reports that the Kerry team has taken to claiming that they're actually ahead -- not just tied -- in the election. This thinking relies on a host of assumptions -- most notably, that undecideds will swing for Kerry. In other years, that conventional wisdom doubtless is true. The question is whether, in wartime, even people dissatisfied with Bush will be willing to gamble on a challenger about whom they clearly have strong doubts (if they didn't, they'd be solidly in the Kerry camp by now).

Despite the nervous-making tone of some of the stories (and remember, the MSM wants a horse race for both ideological and business reasons), I suspect that something may be happening "under the surface" that none of us are seeing (because, in part, the MSM isn't reporting on it). An Ohio correspondent to the Kerry Spot speculates that Second Amendment-loving union members may be classifying themselves as "undecideds" because they don't want to run afoul of union leaders.

And at least for now, it seems that Hawaii, hitherto one of the most reliably Democratic states in the USA, has the President and John Kerry in a statistical dead heat. Think of the headlines if an anologously Republican state -- say, Georgia -- were showing similar movement toward Kerry. The press would be going wild, theorizing that a Kerry landslide was in the making.

Finally, the 4 million evangelicals who didn't vote in 2000 are, predictably, being overlooked by the MSM. I've seen virtually no coverage of massive movements like Redeem the Vote (except for this piece in the excellent Washington Times). If these good people turn out, the liberals can forget it. We're sitting pretty, and it'll be a short night.

So keep working hard but be of good cheer -- and if you're in a swing state, make sure that you take your busy but Bush-supporting friends to the polls with you!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Diana West makes an excellent point in this piece in The Washington Times. A vote for Bush/Cheney really is a vote against the bias of the MSM.

That being said, I and other conservative partisans who doubtless love the piece have to remember that it is of minimal persuasive importance to "normal" Americans. To them, Tom/Peter/Dan are just guys who show up on the nightly news -- guys they're familiar with and have seen for years. It always makes me a little nervous when Republicans start focusing on the MSM right before an election; it reminds me of 1992 when bumper stickers came out saying, "Disappoint the Media: Vote for Bush" or words to that effect.

Sadly, it's still a fact of life that Republicans can't expect a fair shake from the MSM. But with only 11 days to go until the election, let's ignore what we can't change immediately (like the media) and focus on areas where we can have an impact (beating John "Global Test" Kerry like a cheap dimestore bongo drum).
Could this have anything to do with the fact that President Bush is predicted to increase his share of the Jewish vote this year? It's amazing to me that every Jewish American who cares about Israel isn't up in arms about Kerry's likely plans . . .
Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has its own discussion of correlations between baseball and the outcome of presidential races here. But at least there's a concession about how it's neither a serious nor a scientific method.
Well, it's about time. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, lays it on the line in this piece in The New York Times. Here's someone brave enough to state the obvious: The Constitution was decided to protect freedom for religion, not freedom from religion.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Here's an intriguing little update to a story I posted about over the weekend. It looks like Tom Daschle signed an affidavit claiming that his $1.9 Washington house was his "principal place of residence" in order to avail himself of a $288 tax break. If he'd only be as careful with taxpayer money as he is with his own!

Good to know that the Daschle v. Thune guys are keeping a close eye on the matter. Go John Thune!
For the liberal press, has it really come to this? Jonathan Alter's searching desperately for a parallel to the presidential election in the Red Sox coming from behind to beat the Yankees.

But wait. How about this one? St. Louis (located in swing state Missouri, trending Bush's way) was ahead 2-0, then Houston got some temporary momentum (during the debates, no less!) and pulled ahead 3-2. But then St. Louis came back (after Kerry's Mary Cheney gaffe in the last debate) and finished it off. Coincidence??? You decide . . . . (cue Twilight Zone music).

Talk about strained metaphors. Maybe Alter should just stick to seeing if his Alpha-Bits magically spell out W-I-S-H-F-U-L / T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G.
Something seems to be amiss with the "blogger" software this morning -- my first post of the day must be floating somewhere in the outer reaches of the web, and without it, the one from 10:12 doesn't make much sense.

Here's what was lost, in sum:

One good gauge of the performance of the Kerry/Edwards ticket is the emergence of Bill Clinton. Throughout the election season, the Clintons have had to walk a narrow road. On the one hand, they don't want Kerry to win, as it would destroy Hillary's chances in 2008. One the other hand, they don't want to alienate the Democratic fold by having "taken a powder" in the fight against the hated George W. Bush.

Bill Clinton's heart surgery offered the perfect excuse for having the ex-President sit out the race until it was clear which way the wind was blowing. But today, The Washington Post notes that Clinton is returning to the campaign trail to "help" John Kerry. To me, this suggests that the Clintons figure that the race is trending against Kerry and it's "safe" for the ex-President to come out.

After all, nothing I've seen suggests that Clinton has much appeal among the swing voters that Kerry is trying to court. Clinton's only possible appeal is to black voters, who seem less than enthused about John Kerry.

Note also that there have been stories about President Bush winning a larger share of the Jewish vote.

So Clinton could also be trying to make sure that the Boston Brahmin doesn't shred the Democratic coalition for 2008.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Even as Fox's competitors and others try to bring it down, it's still obvious who's most "fair and balanced" at least from a journalism point of view . . . interesting to note in The Washington Times that between Sept. 7 and Oct. 1, ABC, NBC and CBS tilted 18% more favorable coverage toward Kerry than Bush. Fox tilted its favorable coverage toward the President by only 2%.
This is absolutely horrifying.

Kerry's belief in working with allies runs so deep that he has maintained that the loss of American life can be better justified if it occurs in the course of a mission with international support. In 1994, discussing the possibility of U.S. troops being killed in Bosnia, he said, "If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no."

So it's okay for Americans to die under the U.N. flag, but not under the Stars and Stripes? Doesn't he have it backwards?

Senator Kerry seems to have confused procedure with substance. Procedurally, it's preferable to have allies to help win and to share the burdens. But substantively, having allies doesn't make a war more or less right. The issue is why we're fighting at a particular time and in a particular place, not with whom. And the reason we fight is (or should be) the justification for any American loss of life. After all, if the entire U.N. decided tomorrow that we should all invade Israel and return it to the Palestinians, would the fact that "everyone" decided to do it together under make it right, and justify the loss of American life in such an outrageous scheme? Or would America be right to defend Israel, even if no one did it with us?

Senator Kerry is someone who apparently didn't listen when his parents said, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would that make it right?"

And in the Post story linked above, note the use of an unsourced quote, attributed only to a "Republican," complimenting John Kerry. The praise lacks any real substance -- why was so important as to justify a blind quote from a nameless "Republican" who "admires Kerry"?
Kerry's staff has made Teresa apologize: ""I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children. As someone who has been both a full time mom and full time in workforce, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are. I appreciate and honor Mrs. Bush's service to the country as First Lady, and am sincerely sorry I had not remembered her important work in the past."
As reader Delaware Observer correctly points out, Laura Bush worked as a school librarian and teacher for three years, so Teresa Heinz Kerry is factually incorrect in her assertion that the First Lady has never had a "real job" even as Heinz Kerry defines it. My point is that one shouldn't have to collect a paycheck to be considered a productive member of society -- wives, mothers and, yes, many volunteers have "real jobs" even though they are not paid for what they do.

Heinz Kerry has released two pages of tax returns, which is barely the tip of the iceberg in terms of revealing the extent and thrust of her financial holdings.
In this piece in USA Today, Teresa Heinz Kerry says the following about Laura Bush:

But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences.

Teresa Kerry goes on to insist that she's not criticizing Laura Bush -- she's just observing.

Well. One hesitates to spend a lot of time discussing first ladies, but this comment calls for some response.

(1) Since when is being a wife, mother and First Lady of Texas not a "real job"? Does Teresa Kerry believe that a "real job" requires one to receive a paycheck? And if so, well, what "real job" has she had since she's been married? Surely she isn't paid for heading the Heinz Foundations . . . of course, we wouldn't know, because she won't release her tax records (more on that here).

(2) Once again, this comment is amazing for the lack of judgment it reflects. Given that Teresa Kerry is a billionaire, proud owner of six houses staffed by a fleet of servants, she might refrain from advertising her obvious lack of familiarity with the concept of housework. The normal American stay-at-home mom spends a lot of time cleaning up the kitchen, loading the dishwasher, doing the laundry, picking up the cleaning, etc., etc., etc. That's work, all right.

Teresa Kerry reminds me of Hillary Clinton. Remember the "I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had tea" remark? It reflects the same arrogant, ignorant, elitist attitude about the lives and activities of normal American women. Can you imagine four years of this?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It looks like Arnold's going to support state-funded stem cell research. Funny, there's another proposition on the ballot that would eliminate partisan primaries, so that the general electoin ballot would contain the names of only the top two candidates, regardless of party. And the governor supports that one, too.

Coincidence? Of course not. If there's an open primary, Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't have to bother with the Republicans . . . he can be as liberal as he wants, without the fear that he could be denied his party's nomination.

Something's smelling rotten in Sacramento. And the stench, for once, isn't coming from the Legislature.
One more reason to view polls with suspicion and just keep on working: "Kerry Unable to Gain Ground In New Jersey" and "Kerry Solidies Lead in New Jersey" -- both polls of registered and likely New Jersey voters over the same time period, yet showing very different results.

But there are reasons for optimism: "Poll: Bush Doubles Suport Among Blacks".

And as two lovely bookends dissecting the Kerry campaign, see David Yepsen's piece in The Des Moines Register and David Brooks' piece in The New York Times.

Of particular interest in Yepsen's piece is his observation that "For many Americans, particularly rural Americans, Kerry just can't say he's "one of us." Showing up and asking "Can I get me a hunting license here?" isn't going to do the trick. As one "rural" character said in a television sitcome once, "I may talk funny, but I ain't stupid."

The Brooks and Yepsen pieces are stories by judicious, respectable voices that any campaign would shudder to read two weeks out from an election. They're not good news for Kerry, who needs the illusion of momentum to get Democrats (who are not overwhelmed with him as it is) to the polls -- and not for Nader.


In my "shameless self promotion" moment yesterday, I wrote that the KPCC program with Kitty Felde would run at 9:00 am today. I was wrong. It is a taped piece that will run at 2:00 pm on KPCC "sometime this week" and on California Cable at an undetermined date in the future.

Monday, October 18, 2004

It's John Kerry v. Reality. Tommy Franks sets him straight on his Tora Bora prevarications here. That's after Richard Lugar complained about Kerry misusing his comments (here). And that's after the nation's largest police labor union called on Kerry to stop misrepresenting their support (here). Kerry doesn't seem to do well under pressure, does he?

Another Shameless Self Promotion Moment

For those in California, I will be appearing from 9-9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning on KPCC's "Talk of the City with Kitty Felde." The show is broadcast on the radio, but is also available on some cable systems in Southern California, including the California Channel.

Shameless Self Promotion Moment

My weekly column can be found at Titled "Where Have You Gone, Mrs. Miniver?," it's about Team America and what it says about Hollywood's response to the War on Terror.

Another Hewitt symposium

Here's the question: "In 250 words or less, why vote for Bush and what's wrong with Kerry?"

Here's my answer:

President Bush deserves reelection both because he will defend America, and because he believes America is worth defending. President Bush has demonstrated that he will take decisive action when it is needed -- regardless of his personal popularity at home or abroad -- to keep Americans safe. His sincere religious faith provides an assurance that his decisions will be driven by considerations of what's right, rather than by what's expedient. In his faith, directness, honesty and "heart," he reflects the best of America, and in turn, he sees the "real America" as generous, steadfast, capable and kind. Understanding that all people have the right to be free, he believes that the United States has a unique role to play in ridding the world of Islamofascist terrorism by spreading democracy.

John Kerry sees an America that is morally compromised and riddled with injustice and division -- a country that is unfit to serve as an exemplar to anyone, no more fit to possess nuclear weapons than Iran. His career is marked by vacillation and pandering, with opportunism and political ambition its only consistent themes. Kerry's domestic big government liberalism reflects an arrogance that deems politicians more qualified to run citizens' lives than the citizens themselves. His foreign policy vision -- from his Vietnam testimony through the nuclear freeze through Gulf War I to the present -- is dangerously naive. His obsession with the opinion of the "international community" and his history of relying on words rather than deeds in the foreign policy arena will leave Americans vulnerable to the predations of our enemies.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

As an Episcopalian who is also a political conservative, I am awaiting this report with much interest. If and when some consensus is reached on the topic of the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA)'s unilateral decision to ordain Gene Robinson as a bishop, there will still be plenty of other issues to address, including the increasing discomfort experienced by many conservatives who want to worship free from politics of any stripe. My take on this topic was set forth in this column in about how the ECUSA is driving out traditionalists. Episcopal traditionalists are at last finding their voices through organizations like the American Anglican Council.
Here's why it should give you a chill that John Kerry and the Democrats are so convinced that Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. So much for all of the claims that there's no connection between Al Qaeda and our struggle in Iraq. My guess is that the Dems won't be convinced until either (1) Osama bin Laden claims Saddam Hussein as his long lost brother, or (2) Jacques Chirac confirms the Iraq/Al Qaeda link. And the former is far more likely than the latter.
From a story in the Boston Globe, how revealing this comment is: At one point last winter, Kerry once said he could "dumb down" his language, speak more plainly . . .

It reminds me a little of that precious Kerry moment in last week's New York Times Magazine. Author Matt Bai wrote, in reference to the fact that many voters didn't think Kerry had made his plans for the country clear, that "what I heard from some of [Kerry's campaign advisors] in response was that Kerry's theories on global affairs were just too complex for the electorate . . . " (emphasis added).

Why should Americans vote for someone (1) who is firmly convinced they are stupid; and (2) who equates plain speaking with stupidity? It's just a formula for four years of condescension -- when Kerry deigns to speak with the public at all. We're electing a president here, not a monarch . . .
Zev Chafets likewise believes that Christian conservatives are not the one-dimensional homophobic creatures of the collective Kerry/Edwards imagination. Read this.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I absolutely cannot stand Barbara Boxer. (If you don't believe it, go here and hear me discuss why Boxer is "the most embarassing thing to come out of California since the Chia pet.") I'm pretty sure that I would vote for almost anything with two legs and a heartbeart (maybe even a couple things with four legs and a heartbeat!) over Boxer.

And so it would take something as regrettable as this to make me express my disappointment with her opponent, whom I supported in the primary and forward. A lot of people -- who have significantly less than the candidate -- were asked to give money and to help the campaign, with the request predicated on the understanding that a "late ad blitz" would be coming. Will they be getting their money back from the Jones campaign, too? For shame. Even if the campaign were doomed to failure (and that was hardly a foreordained conclusion, given Boxer's low ratings), California Republicans deserve better.
For a discussion of the role of religion in American life, this is an interesting article. But for my money, the best is this one -- with a lot of handy information for debating secular liberals.

From the things of God to the things of Mammon . . . wouldn't this be great if it turns out to be true? And for more on the lifestyles of those leading the party of the "little guy," look here. And then to see what the creative minds at the Club for Growth did with it, go here and take a look at "Fair Share."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Hewitt symposium post

Last night's post has been recycled for the symposium at Hugh Hewitt's:

First John Edwards, and then John Kerry, have used Mary Cheney's homosexuality in a ploy to drive a wedge between George W. and what leftists love to call "the religious right." Well, I'm not the type of fundamentalist Christian at whom this ploy is aimed, but I know some -- and I think they have been fundamentally (no pun intended) misunderstood by John Kerry and his ilk.

Contrary to the stereotype that circulates through the refined circles on the coasts, fundamentalist Christians are not haters. They are certainly more conservative than most Americans, and they certainly know the Bible better than many liberal theologians (not to mention John Kerry, who couldn't even quote the commandment to love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" correctly). But in approaching the whole question of homosexuality, their outlook is to "Love the sinner, hate the sin." They believe homosexual behavior is wrong, but they also believe that homosexuals carry the full weight of God's glory and are as beloved by the Almighty as any heterosexual He ever made.

I believe that Kerry's ploy was an example of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" -- he doesn't understand Christian conservatives or the way they think, because he doesn't like them and isn't interested. And as a result, he "misunderestimated" them and thus engaged in cowardly and despicable behavior that will cost him votes. Who says there's no divine justice?
There's a lot of reason for encouragement this morning. According to the polls at Real Clear Politics, Bush has taken a decided uptick in the daily tracking polls.

Even the liberals are appalled by Kerry's disgusting reference to Mary Cheney. When even Howard Fineman, the voice of conventional MSM opinion, criticizes Kerry for it, you know there's a problem (for Kerry, that is).

The sharp-penned-but-empty-souled Maureen Dowd also makes a passing, disparaging reference to Kerry's behavior, as she writes that she "isn't that into Kerry" (of course, she doesn't like Bush, either, but it's not like that's a shock -- she writes for The New York Times).

Along with Mary Cheney, there are a couple of other icebergs for what Hugh Hewitt has called "The Titanikerry" to worry about. This perspicacious piece notes that: "Here, then, is a danger for the Democratic contender: if Americans keep being given shrill reminders that much of the world is barracking for Kerry, it could become the kiss of death." Well said. Who wants the French to decide for whom we should vote?

And finally, if the MSM does its homework at all, this story about Democratic attempts to subvert the integrity of our elections by lodging false claims of voter intimidation should receive long, loud play. Republicans should do everything they can to make sure that voters are prepared for the disgraceful antics that the Democratic Party has up its sleeve.

But why are we surprised? A party that would destroy our confidence in the fairness of our elections has, at the head of its ticket, a man who would drag his opponent's child into the debates, in a bigoted and misguided attempt to win at any cost. Seems to me like the man and the party deserve each other.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

John Kerry has begun to realize that he has made a significant mistake in crudely and cruelly dragging Mary Cheney's sexual orientation into the campaign. That can be the only explanation for his belated "clarification" -- which the campaign insists is not an apology.

Through all of this, one cannot help feeling for Mary Cheney -- by all accounts a devoted and loving daughter (check out this post from Powerline, via Hugh Hewitt). How absolutely awful -- every dutiful child's nightmare -- to be used as a tool by her father's enemies. And how the Cheneys must, in turn, be wounded by her pain.

There's something here worth noting. First John Edwards, and then John Kerry, have used Mary Cheney's homosexuality in a ploy to drive a wedge between George W. and what leftists love to call "the religious right." Well, I'm not the type of fundamentalist Christian at whom this ploy is aimed, but I know some -- and I think they have been fundamentally (no pun intended) misunderstood by John Kerry and his ilk.

Contrary to the stereotype that circulates through the refined circles on the coasts, fundamentalist Christians are not haters. They are certainly more conservative than most Americans, and they certainly know the Bible better than many liberal theologians (not to mention John Kerry, who couldn't even quote the commandment to love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" correctly). But in approaching the whole question of homosexuality, their outlook is to "Love the sinner, hate the sin." They believe homosexual behavior is wrong, but they also believe that homosexuals carry the full weight of God's glory and are as beloved by the Almighty as any heterosexual He ever made.

I believe that Kerry's ploy was an example of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" -- he doesn't understand Christian conservatives or the way they think, because he doesn't like them and isn't interested. And as a result, he "misunderestimated" them and thus engaged in cowardly and despicable behavior that will cost him votes. Who says there's no divine justice?

On a recent plane trip to Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to read The Faith of George W. Bush, by Stephen Mansfield. In the book, it reports that, in 1992, the Bush campaign had all kinds of dirt on Bill Clinton's extramarital infidelities. But George W., who was at the top of his father's reelection campaign, forbade the information to be used because he didn't want his dad to win "that way." What a contrast between W and John Kerry -- W refused to use an opponent's own "personal life" against him, but Kerry will exploit his opponent's daughter in a contemptible display of election year gutter theatrics.
Jeff Jacoby certainly called it on this one:

I do wish Kerry would explain sometime why it is OK for his faith to shape his stands on social welfare programs and the environment when he vows never to let his stands on abortion and embryonic stem cells be shaped by that same faith. Just another Kerry contradiction, I suppose.

Read it all here.

Even though I agree that sometimes it would be nice to hear about smaller government again, well, let's re-elect Bush, squash the terrorists like bugs, and then it'll be time to go after big-spending Republicans.
Mickey Kaus has one of the pithiest and most insightful comments coming out of last night's debate: "My gut tells me that, contrary to voluminous polling data, many voters are looking for reassurance that it's OK to reelect Bush. If so, I think he gave them that reassurance."

One of the most lasting issues in coverage of the debate is Kerry's slimy reference to Mary Cheney. But apparently, the Democrats don't know when it's time to cut their losses. Elizabeth Edwards, who until now hasn't put a foot wrong, chimed in this morning with the following assertion: "She's overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs… I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences."

Wow, great way to make things worse. Attacking a mother who's standing up for her daughter isn't the best way to win votes or sympathy. It was a low down, sneaky trick on Kerry's part -- and the best way for the Kerry-Edwards people to get behind it would be to apologize if any offense were inadvertantly caused.

But they won't -- and now lots of middle of the road voters have a solid reason to justify their hitherto-indefinable dislike for the Kerry-Edwards team.
How I admire Jane Clayson. And indirectly, she helps make the point about why Kerry's measurement of the "wage gap" between men and women was so misleading.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

One more thing . . . in the first debate and in this last one, President Bush did something very important: He explicitly asked for people's votes. A very successful politician told me once that there is nothing more important . . . that it can't be left implicit, and that the one who asks for the votes is the one who tends to get them. Obviously, President Bush belongs to that same school.
There's a little discussion going on at National Review Online about whether Senator Kerry's joke (saying that he, Schieffer and President Bush are "three examples of lucky people who married up. Some would say maybe me more than others.") was effective. And Hugh Hewitt, always esteemed here, gives Kerry's response an "A". I disagree.

First of all, the line was obviously prepared -- calculated to address a perceived (and real) problem for Kerry. But worse, it didn't have the right elements to be funny. When the President makes fun of his syntax, well, it's obvious and although sometimes embarassing, but it's not important in the grand scheme of things. In a word, it can itself be funny, and so when the President makes fun of it, he's being self-deprecating in a rather charming way. It wouldn't be funny if he made fun of something "real," like the perception that he's stubborn.

But Kerry's repeated ability to find rich women to marry isn't just embarassing in the same silly way that leads the President to be "misunderestimated." It plays on a very visceral fundamental sense among people of both genders about the role of money in marital relationships, perhaps? There was a "ick" factor there -- maybe because Kerry seemed to be so smarmily complacent about the fact that he's basically a kept man? That he didn't even seem to be truly embarassed? Something about it set one's teeth on edge.

Maybe it comes down to this: Having poor syntax is a disadvantage, but it's nothing to be embarassed about. Allowing your wife's first husband to subsidize your extravant lifestyle is.

Bush is the Real Strong Closer

A clear win for President Bush. Yes, he was a little flummoxed (understandably) by the bizarre question about the flu vaccine, and he should have explained a little better about why the minimum wage costs jobs, he could have emoted a bit more about affirmative action (explaining how he supports opportunity for all people, as all people should), but I quibble.

President Bush landed the heavy blows and Kerry didn't look so good. Kerry was pale and sweaty, and kept going back to answer previous questions -- not a sign of confidence. Just as "I've been consistent" is a signifier that, in fact, Kerry hasn't been consistent on whatever issue is at hand, he kept saying "I respect" everything that he, in fact, has shown little sign of respecting, such as the right to life, the importance of religious faith, or his support for the right to bear arms. (And while Kerry was quoting the Bible, he got it wrong, saying "Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart and body and soul" -- it's all thy heart, all soul and all thy mind).

The story of Kerry in the debates has been the story of pandering. He won't raise taxes, but he's going to give health care to everyone, and he won't raise taxes on anyone over $200,000 but he's going to raise the minimum wage to $7.00. Where is the "leadership" or the "tough choices"? AWOL, just like any meaningful Kerry legislation in twenty years in the Senate.

Where Kerry really lost it was on abortion and gay marriage. About whether homosexuality is a choice, President Bush was willing to say "I don't know" -- but to explain that the issue is the sanctity of marriage, and the willingness of activist judges to redefine it against the will of the people. Kerry took the low road by discussing Mary Cheney -- reflecting, I believe, the stereotype on the left that holds that the "religious right" will be upset about Cheney having a gay daughter). And what was interesting was to hear Kerry talk about situations where women find out they are married to gay men -- kind of an odd digression, designed (as most of his pitch was) to appeal to women.

On the abortion/stem cell question, he basically admitted that he disagrees with Church teaching, and said in one breath that "I cannot legislate an article of faith" but then went on to say, in effect, that everything he does has to be "guided by faith but not based on it" (huh)? President Bush also landed a solid blow on Kerry about opposing the ban on partial birth abortion.

In fact, Bush came after Kerry tonight -- in a very low-key, woman-friendly way -- and landed a lot of blows on him:

--Bush will stay on offense in war on terror; Kerry is for a "global test"
--He nailed Kerry on voting against tax cuts 127 times, and for busting the budget caps 277 times;
--Kerry opposed DOMA;
--Kerry voted against the partial birth abortion ban;
--Kerry has no record of leadership on health care -- 20 years and no bills;
--Kerry plan will cost $1.2 trillion and lead to a government takeover of health care, which in turn will lead to rationing and less choice;
--Kerry voted to tax social security;
--Kerry voted for amnesty for illegal immigrants;
--Kerry has no plan to relieve what he has called a "back door draft"
--Kerry voted against the first Gulf War, despite all the countries in the coalition.

It's interesting that usually it's the challenger who's talking about the future; tonight, it was the President. All Kerry has done is criticize the past, and for all the dialogue about "I have a plan", well, we didn't hear one about anything except health care, and that was shown convincingly to be deeply flawed.

Kerry has no plan:
--On Iraq (at least one that's different from the President);
--For Social Security;
--On immigration reform (aside from the age-old invocation of cracking down on employers).

And the questions that Bob Schieffer thought might be hard for the President -- on the role of religion in his leadership, and on women -- the President knocked out of the park. He was warm, self-deprecating, and his answer on the religious question allowed America to look right into his heart. He connected; he was fantastic.

Thank you, Mr. President. Great job.

Kerry Calls This "Diplomacy"?

First the Poles, now the Italians. Is John Kerry trying to insult every country in our coalition? First he forgets to pay tribute to the sacrifices of Polish soldiers in Iraq, earning him a well-deserved slapdown from Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (see here).

Now in Alexandra Pelosi's follow-up documentary to "Journeys with George" (this one's called "Diary of a Political Tourist") she records Kerry coming out with this little gem in someone's living room around the time of the primaries: "The Iraqi Army is in such bad shape now that even the Italians could kick their ass." Kerry then is cut down to size by an offended listener.

The funny thing is that Kerry came out with virtually the identical comment before, back in 1997 (read Jeff Jacoby's Boston Globe column on it here). Jacoby reports that Massachusetts state auditor, Joseph DeNucci, was not amused. And yet Kerry used the same joke again in 2003?!

One would hardly expect the Democratic daughter of the House Minority Leader to include such unflattering footage -- but note the last name. Hmmm -- could she be Italian?

How many more Italians, Poles and others will the self-proclaimed "diplomat" alienate?
Talk radio today featured a theory that Bush's performance -- allegedly "too hot" last Friday night -- turned off women. I'm not sure about that . . . but here's more unsolicited advice for the President.

The best way for him to go after Kerry is with seriousness of purpose combined with humor.

That's a strength for Bush -- he's funny, Kerry's just not. And it's a form of getting a message across that's less "threatening" than non-stop pummelling, just in case there are some women out there who, however bizarrely, really do want a more "tender touch" from the person they're trusting to protect their children from terrorists.
For more information on how you can make your voice heard by Sinclair Broadcasting, click here. (Thanks to reader Pat). Whatever the ultimate importance of the charges against Kerry, there is an even larger issue at stake -- protection of the First Amendment.
I've been wondering what' s happening with the documents presented last week by CNS, which show a link between Saddam Hussein and numerous terror groups. Here is an article about them. "[T]he documents link al-Zarqawi-associated groups throughout the Middle East, including al-Qaeda, on Saddam's payroll and acting under his direct authority."

Of note:

Former Clinton advisor Laurie Mylroie, who taught at Harvard and the U.S. Naval College and authored two books on Iraq under Saddam Hussein, told CNS the find represents "the most complete set of documents relating Iraq to terrorism, including Islamic terrorism."

Where is everybody? Are these real? Because if so -- well, this information should be shouted from every rooftop.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is welcoming emails on the subject of the decision to broadcast "Stolen Honor." If you have anything you'd like them to know, click here.
This article in The New York Sun suggests that John Kerry might have been released from the service in 1972 with something other than an honorable discharge. Of course, there's no way to know, since the MSM has allowed Kerry to evade answering the kind of repetitive, detailed questions that they have repeatedly thrown at President Bush. It's really too bad that, when everyone is focused on whether President Bush should "apologize" for unspecified offenses, no one seems willing to ask Kerry for an apology for slandering American troops, meeting with the enemy in Paris, or hanging around with Jane Fonda and allowing himself to be used as a propaganda toy by people otherwise occupied with capturing, torturing and killing our soldiers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Professor Keith Burgess-Jackson comments on the whole "Bush won't apologize" meme on his blog

Professor Burgess Jackson opines that "until you persuade President Bush that he made a mistake, he has nothing to apologize for," and I tend to agree.

It's hard to believe the whole left-liberal insistence that women, in particular, are offended by the President's refusal to apologize. The myth being propagated is that the President is reminding women of a trait they dislike in their own husbands. But if -- as we were told -- women were charmed throughout the '90's by a skirt-chasing, promise-breaking, smooth-talking southern President who left a string of maligned or abandoned women in his wake, it's hard to believe that they are holding their Presidents to the same standards to which they hold their husbands.

There is one other way to think about this entire matter. There are apologies, and there are expressions of empathy. The former ("I'm sorry I lost my temper") is an admission of fault and an implicit request for forgiveness. The latter ("I'm sorry you have a headache") is not an admission of fault -- rather, it's a recognition of another person's feelings.

By separating the two functions of "I'm sorry," the President might be able to lay this whole situation to rest as follows:

"I'm not sorry that I made the decision to invade Iraq -- I believed then and I believe now that it was vital to help keep American families safe. But am I sorry that people have died? Of course; one of the most difficult things any President does is to send our nation's finest young people into combat -- and then try to comfort their families if they are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. Am I sorry that our intelligence -- the same intelligence as my predecessor and my opponent relied on -- was flawed? It goes without saying, and we are going to get that fixed. Am I sorry that -- as in every previous military engagement America has undertaken -- things haven't always gone perfectly? No question. I regret all of those things, and I take responsibility for everything that takes place on my watch.

But I will never apologize for pushing for every single measure that, in my judgment, will help prevent another attack against innocent civilians in our homeland."
Here is a little information about "Stolen Honor" -- the documentary the Kerry campaign doesn't want you to see. The fact that Sinclair Broadcast may run "Stolen Honor" puts the Kerry people in a difficult situation; if they complain too much, they will draw attention to the film, but on the other hand, it's a problem for them that it is going to run in swing states only a week or so before the election.

I'm looking forward to seeing it. I'm curious if Kerry comes across as he did in his Senate Foreign Relations testimony -- as someone with an odd, affected accent, very impressed with himself.

It doesn't take a lot of insight to recognize Kerry as arrogant. He reminds me a lot of Jane Austen's description of the dislikable Bingley sisters in Pride and Prejudice:

They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of making themselves agreeable when they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, . . . were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank, and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others.

Yep, except for the part about having an independent fortune, that's Kerry. Just look at two recent episodes:

(1) At the debate, discussing the tax cut, Kerry argues "Now, for the people earning more than $200,000 a year, you're going to see a rollback to the level we were at with Bill Clinton, when people made a lot of money. And looking around here, at this group here, I suspect there are only three people here who are going to be affected: the president, me, and, Charlie, I'm sorry, you too." (emphasis added)

What did he mean? How does he know? What about them made them look like there was no way they could be earning in excess of $200,000? Or were they just Midwestern hicks? How obnoxiously condescending -- not to mention dishonest; they were other "Washington grandees" sitting in the audience. Even Kerry's spokesmen, McCurry and Lockhart, doubtless make in excess of 200K in their private sector endeavours.

But Kerry doesn't just tend to think of himself as richer as the "ordinary people" (which is true, thanks to his wife), he's smarter, too.

(2) In last weekend's New York Times Magazine, Matt Bai wrote: "When I asked Kerry's campaign advisers about these poll numbers [showing that 57 percent of the respondents said Kerry hadn't made his plans for the country clear, and 63 percent believed he said what he thought people wanted to hear], what I heard from some of them in response was that Kerry's theories on global affairs were just too complex for the electorate . . . " (emphasis added).

All this reminds me of the repugnant elitist strain of the Democratic Party -- the famous story about some Democrat saying to Adlai Stevenson, "All thinking people support you" and Stevenson famously replying, "Yes, but I need a majority."

Why should the American people trust a "leader" who thinks they're too dumb to understand his policies, and who can't fathom that any number of ordinary people are able to earn $200,000 yearly without having to marry it?

For enough analysis of the internals of recent polls to make your head fall off, check out Polipundit. It's excellent.

Overdue hat tip to my reader Stu, who pointed out the Polipundit analysis.
Mark Steyn is the kind of writer that can make you laugh out loud, or think hard -- every time you read one of his pieces, you wish you had written it. He's a weekly guest on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, too. Apparently, his most recent column(which I found posted at some harsh truths about the death of British hostage Kenneth Bigley was pulled from The Telegraph. Here it is. And it's well worth reading.

Monday, October 11, 2004

At the moment, the polls seem to be all over the place (they can all be found at Real Clear Politics).

The CNN/USAT/Gallup poll is: Kerry 49, Bush 48, Nader 1. But the Washington Post poll has Bush at 51, Kerry at 45, and Nader 1. According to Rasmussen, Bush is at 49, Kerry is at 45. But Zogby says Kerry is at 47, Bush at 44, and Nader at 2.

A few thoughts:

(1) Everything depends on the sample of Democrats vs. Republicans in each poll. After the first debate, Newsweek showed a huge swing for Kerry -- but that's because they were polling many more Democrats than they had when they had Bush up by 11 immediately after the Republican Convention. The difficulty of predicting turnout is one of the factors that makes it hard for pollsters to know how to weight their sample. But polls that simply use the turnout model from 2000 may well be oversampling Democrats -- given that 9/11 probably increased Republican identification throughout the country.

(2) The most important polls are the ones in the swing states. As I wrote last week, it doesn't much matter if Kerry goes up in national polls because he has nailed down some hitherto uncommitted voters in California or New York -- because he's going to win those states anyway. But if he would begin to win over the undecideds in Ohio, for example, that would be more troubling, and more potentially indicative of an important trend.

(3) Polls are going to flunctuate over the next few weeks, and it's not a time for nerves. Slow and steady gets the job done. It's important that undecided voters know that John Kerry views terrorism as a law enforcement issue -- and as a "nuisance" -- because people know that's not the way we're going to win the war on terror and keep American families safe. And it's vital that everyone do all s/he can to help make sure that Republicans turn out (see this piece by Michael Barone arguing that it's all going to come down to turnout).

(4) There is reason to be encouraged. Numerous polls have noted that Republicans support President Bush because they genuinely like and admire him; in contrast, Democrats largely support John Kerry because they dislike President Bush. Conventional wisdom holds that this works to Bush's advantage, because voters will go to more trouble in order to vote FOR a candidate they're enthusiastic about than they will to vote for a candidate they're lukewarm on, simply to express their opposition to his opponent.

(5) Finally, it seems the Catholic Church is finally making it clear that it is a sin to vote for any candidate who flouts Church teaching any one of five "non-negotiable issues," abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage. (See this piece from The New York Times). Not good news for Kerry, who's on the wrong side of all these issues from the Church's perspective -- but very good news for Bush.

Permanent email link now complete!

Thanks to one of my wonderful readers/correspondents, Ed -- who told me how to do it -- I now have a permanent email link immediately below my profile on the sidebar. I appreciate all comments and read each one -- so keep them coming! Thanks for all your kind notes and your interest in this blog.
The Drudge Report has linked to this story in The Wall Street Journal (subscribers only).

It looks like John and Teresa Kerry have availed themselves so thoroughly of creative tax laws designed to benefit the "top out of sight" wealthy that they paid an effective tax rate of only 12.8% on their income for 2003. The average middle class taxpayer paid 20%, and President and Mrs. Bush (who had 1/10 of the income that the Kerrys reported) paid 30.4%.

Now, Kerry has never been known for his generosity. As Byron York reported here back in March on National Review Online,

In 1995, according to published reports, Kerry reported a taxable income of $126,179, and charitable contributions of $0. In 1994, he reported income of $127,884, and charitable donations of $2,039. In 1993, he reported income of $130,345, and contributions of $175. In 1992, he reported income of $127,646, and contributions of $820. In 1991, he reported income of $113,857, and contributions of $0. (emphasis added).

Granted, his wallet opened a little farther after 1995, when he married Teresa Kerry. But it seems as though Kerry thinks taxes are for "the little [rich] people" who make $200,000, not those who enjoy a $6 million yearly income like he does. Could that be why he has no aversion to raising taxes on "the rich"?

One more thing: The other night, in answering the question about abortion, John Kerry said, "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." Then how is it that he can vote for a progressive income tax that forces "the rich" to pay a higher percentage of their income than the middle class does? Isn't that nothing more than an "article of faith" with Kerry, that those who have more should pay more?

Well, judging from the Journal piece today, maybe not . . .
On the campaign trail in Texas, Mrs. Kerry let loose with this little gem: “John would never send our boys and girls in uniform to war over the need and greed for oil,” Kerry stated.

A couple of comments about this ridiculous remark:

(1) Does Mrs. Kerry believe our young men and women are in Iraq fighting because of the "need and greed" for oil? Does her husband? Do they think the war is about oil, or terrorism?

(2) The liberal mantra "No blood for oil" is as ignorant as it is tiresome. First, that's not what the war is about. Second, earth to the left: How exactly do they think this economy runs? Without oil, it shuts down. Goods can't be transported, machines can't manufacture, goods can't be as easily or inexpensively made or transported, prices go up, people can't pay so they go without, and those who sell or produce lose their jobs. Surely even a liberal economist can understand why this would be a problem.

Doing without oil doesn't just mean that we all begin to bicycle to pick up children at school, do the grocery shopping, and take clothes to the cleaner. It means that jobs disappear, people can't pay their bills, and the economy crashes.

If Mrs. Kerry is so appalled by the "need and greed for oil," perhaps she might consider selling the private jet and getting rid of a house or two!?

Shameless Self Promotion Moment

My weekly column is posted here at It focuses on an irony: People in places like Afghanistan, South Africa and El Salvador are willing to brave danger and inconvenience in order to vote -- while at the same time, some Americans oppose measures that would help ensure the integrity of the vote, like requiring government-issued identification at the polls, because it would be "intimidating".

Sunday, October 10, 2004

A columnist in my old hometown newspaper "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch" notes an interesting remark after the debate on Friday night, when Charlie Gibson said to Dick Gephardt in a "private moment":""It should have been you up there - things would have been different." (Read about it here).

Wonder what the press reaction would be if, say, Brit Hume had said something comparable to President Bush.
A friend in St. Louis tells me that one of the "undecideds" at last Friday's town hall meeting -- the dark haired man with glasses who sat directly behind Charlie Gibson's right shoulder (to the left of Gibson as one viewed the screen)-- is a relatively well known Democrat. Interesting.
If you want to be ready for the week ahead, settle in and read this piece in The New York Times Magazine about Kerry's views on the war on terror. And then pass the piece on to anyone who might not understand what's at stake in the upcoming election.

Here are some of the "money quotes":

(1) ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise."


This is reminiscent of Teresa Kerry's earlier comment on the July 8 edition of Larry King Live, where she noted "I think most Americans subconsciously believe something [another terror attack on the United States] is going to happen. It's a matter of when, and it's a matter of how... but, you know, Europeans have lived that way, and other people around the world have lived that way. Americans have been very safe, at least as a nation." (emphasis added).

For the Kerrys, it appears that terrorism is something that Americans should just learn to accept, like prostitution or illegal gambling. The goal is to make sure that terrorism doesn't increase -- not to stop it entirely. And if the Europeans have had to live with it, why should America be any different?

But what exactly does he mean that we should "get back to the place we were"? Are we to retreat into the ignorant complacency of the '90's -- at least until another attack is launched on American soil?

(2)How would Kerry wage a more "effective" war on terror? ''I think we can do a better job of cutting off financing, of exposing groups, of working cooperatively across the globe, of improving our intelligence capabilities nationally and internationally, of training our military and deploying them differently, of specializing in special forces and special ops, of working with allies, and most importantly -- and I mean most importantly -- of restoring America's reputation as a country that listens, is sensitive, brings people to our side, is the seeker of peace, not war, and that uses our high moral ground and high-level values to augment us in the war on terror, not to diminish us.'' (emphasis added).


On August 7, 2004, John Kerry said the following: “I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror . . .." After being roundly ridiculed, he tried to "clarify" the remark, but he obviously meant what he said.

Kerry has always seen the war as a law-enforcement operation. During the Democratic debate that took place in Greenville, South Carolina on January 29, 2004, he argued, "The war on terror is...occasionally military. ... But it's primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world."

Senator Kerry, law enforcement is for criminals. War is for terrorists. Criminals break the laws. Terrorists who shoot children in the back and cut off the heads of bound hostages don't recognize the existence of law. You try and incarcerate the former. But you must kill the latter.

(3) And finally, don't forget that along with any President, you get the President's team:

''We're not in a war on terror, in the literal sense,'' says Richard Holbrooke, the Clinton-era diplomat who could well become Kerry's secretary of state. ''The war on terror is like saying 'the war on poverty.' It's just a metaphor." (emphasis added).


This is truly chilling. Three years ago, more Americans are murdered en masse than at Pearl Harbor, but there's not a war on. It's just a "metaphor." Let's ask Ted Olson, or the loved ones of any of the people murdered so senselessly and so brutally on 9/11 if they think those who died were just crime victims, like people who get mugged in the street.

Criminals seek money or power so that they can make money, or else they are psychopaths who murder for some deranged personal purpose of their own (like Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy). The terrorists are out to impose a murderous, oppressive and totalitarian Islamofacist ideology across the world -- yes, much as Hitler and Stalin were. And anyone who can't grasp that simple distinction has no business being anywhere near the levers of power.

Read this piece. It is a reminder of just how high the stakes in 2004 are. President Bush believes that when terrorists -- who subscribe to an ideology that embraces death and sanction the mass murder of innocents -- target America, we must hunt them down and kill them. Kerry believes that we must reason sweetly with them, in conjunction with the diplomats of the United Nations, and send law enforcement officers to apprehend them.

It's clear Kerry's views creeped out even the Times Magazine reporter -- no right-wing conservative he. Here's how the piece concluded:

"[Kerry's] less lofty vision might have seemed more satisfying -- and would have been easier to talk about in a political campaign -- in a world where the twin towers still stood."

Amen to that. Kerry's is a vision of a 9/10 America that, sadly but truly, is no more.