The question is no longer if John Kerry will lose (he will, and badly), but how many people are willing to sacrifice their integrity for him as he does so.
And with that reiteration of the bleeding obvious, I bid you adieu. After more than two years of dwindling traffic numbers, either I have little worth saying or I still haven't learned how to say it very well, or perhaps both. In the grand scheme of things, the meager rewards cannot justify the requisite expenditure of time and energy. Time to just, dare I say it, move on.
A special thanks to Andrea Harris for all her help and support.
Much of John Kerry's argument that he should be president seems to rest on the fact that he served in Vietnam for four months, was wounded three times, displayed courage and leadership under fire, and that, somehow, all of this establishes his bona fides to be the man to lead America for the next four (eight?) years. Even if we dismiss everything the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are saying, grant that John Kerry was a war hero for his four months of service in Vietnam, that he actually did run clandestine missions into Cambodia, that he rescued Jim Rassman from the Mekong under fire, that he earned all his purple hearts and his bronze star, and that he has some consistent, coherent, finely nuanced explanation for his self-incriminating congressional testimony and other anti-American actions after returning from Vietnam -- how does this qualify him to be president?
In 1972 America rejected an authentic WW II hero, George McGovern, and instead elected a man for president who had no military experience, Richard Nixon. The elections of Jimmy Carter in 1976, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, and George H.W. Bush in 1988, had next to nothing to do with their respective military histories. In fact, I don't recall it coming up at all except in passing or in ridicule in the case of Ronald Reagan. In 1992 America rejected a true WW II hero, George H. W. Bush, for a documented Vietnam era draft dodger, Bill Clinton. America also rejected another man with impeccable military credentials, H. Ross Perot, in 1992 as well. When presented with an opportunity to rectify this error, America rejected another WW II hero with serious war wounds, Bob Dole, as well as H. Ross Perot again in favor of the same draft dodger, Bill Clinton. In 2000, the Republicans choose a National Guardsman, George W. Bush, over a true hero who endured years of torture in Vietnam, John McCain. Also in 2000, America elected this same George W. Bush over a man who had served in Vietnam, Al Gore.
If military service and heroism is the standard by which we are going to elect our presidents, then why aren't Colonel David H. Hackworth (most decorated man in Vietnam), General Norman Schwarzkopf (highly decorated Vietnam veteran and leader of the Gulf War), or General Tommy Franks (leader of the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq, who was also wounded three times in Vietnam) at, or near, the top of the list of presidential contenders? Why haven't any of the 3400 men and women who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for service, ever been elected to be president, or even nominated by the major parties? Interestingly enough, the Democrats had a chance to elect a senior military leader this year in the person of General Wesley Clark (who was shot four times and grievously wounded in Vietnam), and they demurred.
I can only conclude from all this that military service, heroism in the armed forces, and even life-long injuries and torture suffered on behalf of our nation, is of little or no importance when listing the criteria for electing a president. Or, perhaps, America's history with Vietnam is so tainted that no one gets any credit, or blame, for their actions in it, though that hardly explains the rejection of so many WW II veterans. Or maybe both of these reasons are applicable, though in different, convoluted ways. From the examples above, this cuts across party lines, so it is not a Republican vice Democrat thing.
So John Kerry's service in Vietnam is largely irrelevant to our decision this November, whether because military service is itself of little value in determining who should be president, or because any service in Vietnam should be excluded regardless. Either way, the rationale for making John Kerry's brief Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign seems to be an increasingly poor decision. Military service remains good and honorable and it should be respected, but it is probably not in the top ten qualifications for becoming president.
One other observation, as I thought through this it occured to me yet again that Korea really is the forgotten war.
Based upon his 20 years in the Senate, it would seem that John Kerry should have been recognized as being a victim of the Peter Principle a long time ago. I suppose John Kerry's inability to manage his own campaign wouldn't worry me so much if he were an advocate of a laissez-faire approach to government. But given his proclivity for managing the economy, foreign affairs, intelligence, and well, almost everything through a highly nuanced tweaking of the knobs and levers of government, if the Peter Principle applies now, how bad might it be if he became president?
I also wonder sometimes about the value of nuance since its primary attibute when used by John Kerry seems to be to keep him from articulating exactly what it is he actually intends to do in any of these areas -- other than spouting platitudinous declarative statements promising to make anything and everything better, faster, cheaper, fairer, cleaner, lighter, greener, clearer, safer, cooler, simpler, hipper, easier, freer, happier, stronger, lower in carbs and saturated fat, less divisive, less unilateral, less dangerous, less fearful, more compassionate, more diverse, more inclusive, more tolerant, more secure, more sensible, more unified, more prosperous, more sensitive, more respected in the world, and, perhaps, most importantly, even more accesible to those who want to belly up to the plaintiff's bar.
The silver lining in any potential John Kerry presidency is that he probably will be about as effective as president as he was as candidate. Then again, I would have said the same thing about Al Gore through 9/10.
It is extremely unfortunate that a significant mistake was made the other night in the men's all around gymnastics competition that robbed Yang Tae-Young of the gold medal, awarding it instead to Paul Hamm. I hope they give Yang a gold medal, a second gold medal at the very least. He earned it. But so did Paul Hamm, so taking his away isn't the right answer either. It would be a bad precedent that will have someone protesting almost every Olympic result if the IOC starts revisiting results days after the competition, no matter how good the reason. Note: disqualifying athletes for failing drug tests is an entirely seperate issue.
DOWNDATE: Dual medals? Hardly an original thought.
Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe has won a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in Athens. Good for her. It is nice to hear something about Zimbabwe that isn't dreadful for a change. Good luck as a senior at Auburn next year Ms. Coventry.
Meanwhile, lest we forget, Robert Mugabe is still destroying Zimbabwe:
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's economic and political policies have led to a serious decline of the country's health delivery system and worsened the Aids pandemic, a report released by the United States Institute of Peace said this week.
The report, titled Downward Spiral: HIV/Aids, state capacity and political conflict in Zimbabwe, said Mugabe's policies were a major stumbling block in the fight against Aids.
It says about 34% of the adult population are reportedly infected by HIV, which causes Aids. The report points out that Mugabe's violent land reforms, a wholesale crackdown on the media and intimidation of political opponents have worsened the plight of those living with the disease.
It says the absence of the rule of law and the prevalence of political violence have led to the breakdown of health and social services, exposing thousands to the Aids scourge.
The projected increase in the number of Aids patients will adversely impact on Zimbabwe economy, which has been teetering on the brink of collapse over the past four years.
"Economic contraction is likely to intensify in the years to come as more HIV-infected individuals develop Aids and succumb to the illness," the report says.
... the Kerry campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that alleged the group behind the ad was illegally coordinating its efforts with the Bush-Cheney campaign.
The search for a controlling legal authority continues...
It cited "recent press reports" and the group's own statements.
How can you trust the statements of a group you just claimed you can't trust the statements of? I've heard that all Cretan's (cretins?) are liars, but jeez. And don't even get me started on the use of "recent press reports" as a reliable source.
Drizzle, drazzle, dradle, drone, time for this one to come home.
(Enter Hillary, stage left.)
Heavens To Murgatroid... It's SNAGGLEPUSS!!!
Ok, that's a little mean and over the top. I feel so ashamed.
Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry's campaign formally alleged that a group attacking his Vietnam war record had illegal ties to US President George W. Bush's reelection bid.
In a statement released to reporters, Kerry's campaign announced it had "filed a legal complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign."
The move by the Kerry campaign came shortly after the Swift Boat group released a second ad attacking the Democratic presidential candidate, who was wounded three times while serving on a Swift Boat in Vietnam and decorated twice for valor.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have accused Kerry of lying about one of the wounds he suffered and of embellishing his acts of heroism during his four months in Vietnam, charges strongly rejected by the senator from Massachusetts.
Kerry on Thursday accused the Bush administration of using the Swift Boat veterans as a front group to do the "dirty work" of attacking his Vietnam War record.
The New York Times on Friday reported that there is a "web of connections" between the Swift Boat group and the "Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove."
The "web of connections" sounds so conspiratorial, whereas, here in flyover country we just call them friends and acquaintances. Hmm..., is this how the RNC is going to get McCain-Fiengold declared unconstitutional? I mean, if your friends and people that support you can't help you, then who can? If so, then Karl Rove is a frickin' genius, letting Kerry and his allies in Big Media do all the heavy lifting for him. Poor old Karl's just a howlin', "Don't throw me in that briar patch!" The folks within Big Media better think this one through carefully before they find themselves disinvited to all the A-list parties.
DOWNDATE: Instapundit notes:
Another reader notes that Oliphant's high journalistic standards probably should have led him to disclose that his daughter works for the Kerry/Edwards campaign. Hmm. Maybe -- though in the world of journalism, I think such connections are assumed, and thus aren't regarded as requiring disclosure.
Hmm..., a conspiratorial "web of connections" indeed!
There's only one thing that could lead to Mayor Richard M. Daley losing re-election as Mayor of Chicago on this plane of existence, and that is if he continues this fight he has going on with the Tribune Company and orders Wrigley Field shut down:
City officials ordered a new round of inspections at Wrigley Field on Thursday and threatened to block Monday night's game if the team can't prove the ballpark is safe.
Buildings Commissioner Stan Kaderbek said he ordered the review after a reporter noted during an interview Wednesday that some repairs at the ballpark were "shoddy."
"I said that certainly the reports we received from the Cubs don't indicate that," Kaderbek said, but he said he was concerned enough that he ordered new inspections.
Let's be very clear, this isn't about Wrigley Field being unsafe. The Mayor, a White Sox fan by the way, is gonna get his head handed to him if he screws around and causes the Cubs to miss out on the playoffs becuase he can't take a little criticism. It's not like he hasn't done something like this before, ever heard of Meigs Field?
In other news, Greg Maddox won number 301.
Have the New York Times and the Washington Post registered with the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service as a 527 yet? Oh, that's right, if they did that then they couldn't coordinate directly with the Kerry campaign.
Thy name is Al Trautwig. He is always nattering on and on when he should be quiet. If he's not a nabob, he's certainly a nob. And he's got negative down pat, way down pat.
Another helpful hint would be to avoid using MoveOn.org as a reputable source -- it's not. No doubt they occasionally get something right, but their blatant falsehoods and their wicked viciousness have robbed them of a seat at the adult table. Slate's certainly more reputable, but a little selective when it comes to which facts they'll use and which they'll ignore.
Now that I've read the article, I take it back. Slate is no better than MoveOn.org. They just have a better vocabulary and perhaps don't drool quite as much. Sometimes I wonder how people so filled with bile get through the day.
Feel free to use this as often as you like:
... John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Senator from Massachussetts, who, by the way, served in Cambodia...
What if President Bush told the press this afternoon that he changed his mind and was going to send an additional 150,000 troops to Germany?
And station them along the border in France.
Would that make everyone happy?
Records Counter a Critic of Kerry
Huh? What? Who is this critic of which you speak? Isn't it interesting that in the case of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the "correction" appears on page one above the fold, while the original news was buried on page 19.
Military records counter a Kerry critic
Say, these headlines look suspiciously similar. These folks aren't cribbing from each other or working from the same playbook, are they?
It may seem outlandish to launch a campaign broadside by television ad and book flackery devoted to discrediting the respectable Vietnam War record of Senator John Kerry, who has five combat medals. But that is exactly what a Republican-financed group of partisans is doing in presenting itself as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and tattooing the Democratic presidential nominee with accusations of lying about his service and war wounds. Never in Mr. Kerry's command, but claiming to have served near enough, its members are trying to contradict the firsthand accounts of his crewmates who are vouching for his war record.
And in case you still had a doubt where the NY Times squats:
The attack ads and the book, "Unfit for Command,'' are a visceral part of the anti-Kerry campaign in the battleground states.
For the loyal left, nothing says evil like Republican attack ads, unless, of course, we can drop NIXON into the mix:
The leader of the attack, John O'Neill, a Swift boat veteran and Texas lawyer, has been a detractor of Mr. Kerry for decades, ever since the Nixon White House recruited him to rebut Mr. Kerry's criticism of Vietnam policy.
Case closed. Or minds closed. Well, actually, neither case nor minds ever opened, but the effect is much the same.
Reading the latest throughout the blogosphere today, it seems Big Media’s sins of omission are beginning to become more serious than their sins of commission, which is what the blogosphere is usually going on about. Instead of “What Liberal Media?” perhaps we should be asking “What Professional Media?”
Al-Sadr Reportedly Accepts Peace Plan
Let's hope we made him an offer he couldn't refuse. When it comes to Al Sadr: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, shame on President George W. Bush; fool me four times, you better hope you're dealing with John Kerry and Kofi Annan.
Really. John Kerry and his supporters are trying to do everything they can to turn the War on Terrorism into Vietnam. Again. We are winning every battle, and much more decisively than in Vietnam, yet we are constantly told we are losing the peace, if not the actual war on terrorism, not to mention the goodwill of so many self-important, erstwhile allies. Like Uncle Walter (good riddance to a true tranzi), John Kerry wants to stand up and say, "this war is no longer winnable," and abandon the people of Iraq to thugs like Moqtada Al Sadr or the Mullahs of Iran. Having lived through and successfully played the part of anti-American war protestor to a position in the US Senate, John Kerry wants to do it all again as he seeks the highest office in the land -- and why not since it worked so well for him last time. Like any good coach, you keep running a play that works until the other team shows they can stop it.
I don't buy John Kerry's I-would-still-vote-for-the-Iraq-War-Resolution-even-if-there-aren't-any-WMDs crap. Everything else John Kerry says leads me to believe he will sacrifice our sovereignty to act and protect ourselves at the altar of transnational progressivism. Oh, and some kind words from France and the UN. I thought we learned from the Clinton years that character does matter when things get tough, and boy oh boy is John Kerry a character.
I am not all that pissed off that John Kerry and his fellow travelers are doing all this. Hells bells, I've come to expect that from them and long ago learned to put on protective geopolitical asbestos undergarments when engaging them. I am, however, pissed off that so many people are buying this dangerous charade and that the Fourth Estate is playing along, if not outright cheerleading. What are we supposed to think about the self-professed watchdog of our liberties when they so openly takes sides?
And another thing, the Liberation of Iraq was a great success, not a miserable failure no matter how many times the Angry Left says it. To say otherwise is to indicate a callous disregard for the people of Iraq who lived in terror under Saddam, as well as to display a shocking ignorance of history with respect to military campaigns. Sure it hasn't been perfect, but what is? The perfect remains the enemy of the good. Every time I read some article that pumps up John Kerry be quoting a poll that says something like 51% of the people believe President George W. Bush has mishandled Iraq, I want to slap the author upside the head and note that perhaps as many as 10% of us don't like President George W. Bush's handling of Iraq because he hasn't gone far enough nor fast enough. Do you really think we're going to vote for Kerry?
The War on Terrorism is becoming Vietnam in all its glorious ignominy. Or should that be ignominious glory? Watching the transmogrification of the Democratic Party from hating the Vietnam War and all those who fought in it to loving all those who fought in it, unless, of course, they don't like John Kerry, reminds me that Oceana has never been at war with Eastasia. And if John Kerry wins, my marginal tax rate will no doubt be decreased to 45%.
Big deal. We've known for a long time that adults who think like children favor Kerry so why should we be surprised that children who think like, well, children are going to favor Kerry? And just in case you were thinking of taking this seriously anyway, my 8 year-old daughter -- who reads beyond a 4th grade level, which seems to exceed the reading level of most pro-Kerry trolls -- has an on-line Neopet, but I wouldn't think of asking her who she would vote for. I mean, I can buy her vote for a piece of candy, which, when you think about it, explains the thinking of far too many Democratic voters these days.
Can NBC please get rid of their primary announcer for men's gymnastics and find someone who will focus on the incredible feats the athletes are performing and the joy on their faces when they complete an excellent routine, rather than dwelling on the smallest mistakes and virtually wishing for mistakes from competitors not from the USA? It's about being the best, not being the least worst.
DOWNDATE: Oh, it's Al Trautwig, whose signature comment tonight was, "Damage assessment?" after one of the American athletes finished her floor routine. Congratulations Al, you're the biggest asshole at the Olympics since Jim Gray in Seoul.
When I was a senior in high school 27 years ago, I was told we would be out of fresh water, oil, and food within 15 years, i.e., by 1992. Seems like nothing ever changes, at least for the BBC:
The World Water Week in Stockholm will be told the growth in demand for meat and dairy products is unsustainable. Animals need much more water than grain to produce the same amount of food, and ending malnutrition and feeding even more mouths will take still more water. Scientists say the world will have to change its consumption patterns to have any realistic hope of feeding itself.
Thank God Bill Clinton came along in 1992 and restored the Earth to health, at least until the evil George W. Bush came along and destroyed everything. Again.
But my favorite item in this story was this picture with this caption:
Meat is a treat for the rich
Somehow, I don't think this is how the lucky 1% who have unfairly benefitted from George W. Bush's tax breaks on the backs of the middle class eat. But I can't wait for Morgan Spurlock to discover that he is now succeptible to John Kerry's confiscatory tax policies as one of the "rich."
Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards on the Syrian border and replaced them with his own intelligence agents who supervised the movement of banned materials between the two countries, U.S. investigators have discovered.
The recent discovery by the Bush administration's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) is fueling speculation, but is not proof, that the Iraqi dictator moved prohibited weapons of mass destruction (WMD) into Syria before the March 2003 invasion by a U.S.-led coalition.
Two defense sources told The Washington Times that the ISG has interviewed Iraqis who told of Saddam's system of dispatching his trusted Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) to the border, where they would send border inspectors away.
The shift was followed by the movement of trucks in and out of Syria suspected of carrying materials banned by U.N. sanctions. Once the shipments were made, the agents would leave and the regular border guards would resume their posts.
"If you leave it to border guards, then the border guards could stop the trucks and extract their 10 percent, just like the mob would do," said a Pentagon official who asked not to be named. "Saddam's family was controlling the black market, and it was a good opportunity for them to make money."
Sources said Saddam and his family grew rich from this black market and personally dispatched his dreaded intelligence service to the border to make sure the shipments got through.
The ISG is a 1,400-member team organized by the Pentagon and CIA to hunt for Saddam's suspected stockpiles of WMD, such as chemical and biological agents. So far, the search has failed to find such stockpiles, which were the main reason for President Bush ordering the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam.
But there is evidence of unusually heavy truck traffic into Syria in the days before the attack, and with it, speculation that some of the trucks contained the banned weapons.
Maybe the trucks were filled only with antiquities taken from Baghdad's museums since the US failed to post enough guards there, even before the liberation.
Unfortunately, I think, the only image that comes to mind every time I read about John Kerry saying of his Christmas 1968 incursion into Cambodia:
"I have that memory, which is seared -- seared -- in me.
All I can picture is Anthony Hopkins, as Hannibal Lecter, pan frying thin strips of Ray Liotta's brain in a pan of virgin olive oil seasoned lightly with fresh garlic.
Honestly, if there was ever a movie I wish I hadn't seen, this was it. Funny, though not in a ha ha manner, I feel the same way about the Kerry campaign.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Monday international observers agreed that leftist President Hugo Chavez won an Aug. 15 recall referendum fairly despite opposition concerns over fraud in the vote.
I guess it's true that you can't teach on old dawg new tricks.
I stopped watching the NBA years ago about the time they stopped playing, well, basketball. Once travelling and carrying the ball were no longer violations and the game in the paint resembled a sumo match more than a game of finesse, I lost interest. The boorish behavior of the NBA's stars is of little consequence from my perspective, though if I cared at all it would probably annoy me considerably.
And now the results of years of an entitlement approach to its sport and business have yielded the results that we can expect in any aspect of life where responsibility is detached from authority, standards are casually tossed away when inconvenient, and accountability is waived for short term gain:
Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and the rest of the U.S. basketball team fell 92-73 to Puerto Rico on Sunday, only the third Olympic defeat ever -- and first since adding pros -- for the nation that ruled the sport for three-quarters of a century. It was by far the worst defeat for a U.S. men's team, coming in the Americans' first game of the Athens Olympics.
I detest the overly emotional coverage of the Olympics by NBC and wish they would spend the time showing us more actual competition rather than trying to manufacture tugs on my heart strings. On the other hand, it's clear that the US Men's Olympic Basketball team generates no feelings of warmth at all. I certainly could care less about these guys, other than the fact that they are wearing a USA on the front of their jerseys. But in a variant of what so many others have noted before, the amateur game is about the name on the front of the jersey, the pro game is about the name on the back of the jersey. It is telling to me that NBC spends so much time talking about how much money a gold medal will be worth to so many of the competitors across the board.
At least we shouldn't have to hear about the NBA having the world's greatest athletes again for a while, while David Stern starts to get a clue on why the NBA is losing market share.
Commenting on how America is reacting to their words and deeds of late, Instapundit notes:
European politicians really don't understand the extent of the damage they have done.
As one of my former bosses in Alabama used to say, you can't call someone ugly all week and then ask them to the dance on Saturday night.
ELO's on the intercom now. Let's see Jeff Goldstein talk back to that.
.... blogging has picked up here today. I'm sitting in Richmond, Virginia, with a couple hours to burn while I wait for a flight to Chicago where I will catch a flight to St. Louis later this evening, where I will catch a cab back to the office to pick up my care so I can finally go home. Business travel -- it's not a job, it's an adventure!
Don Henley's singing "Not Enough Love In the World" over the intercom, with frequent PSA (TSA?) interruptions, reminding everyone not to accept any packages from strangers, especially 80 year-old grandmothers since we all know how dangerous they are. There are plenty of power outlets but none of them seem to have any actual electricity flowing through them, so I sure hope I'm not stranded here tonight while the remnants of Bonnie keep dumping buckets of rain until Charley can get up here, or blogging will cease. But maybe that's a good thing.
They'll exploit any human tragedy to give the people a voice in deciding who will govern them.
DRUDGE EXCLUSIVE: Commission on Presidential Debates to announce Debate Moderators this afternoon.
First Presidential Debate: Jim Lehrer (PBS)
Second Presidential Debate: Charlie Gibson (ABC)
Third Presidential Debate: Bob Schieffer (CBS)
Vice Presidential Debate: Gwen Ifill (PBS)
Gee, so Paul Begala wasn't available?
Hmm. 50 miles isn't that "near" -- it's about halfway to the coast.
If Cambodia is 100 miles from the coast of Vietnam where the Mekong Delta is and John Kerry estimated he was in Cambodia when he was in fact 50 miles away, then Mr. Kerry made a 100% math error in his recollection of where he "celebrated" Christmas in 1968. Gee, how many more things is John Kerry 100% wrong about?
Sometimes I dream that he is me
You got to know that's how I dream to be
I dream I move, I dream I groove
I can be like Mike
I wanna be like Mike
I can be like Mike
No worries mate, you're well on your way to being another Mike -- Mike Dukakis.
Meanwhile in Berlin... the owner again asked if I was in the party of ten. "Nein!" I said. Having already ate, I left the Seventh Heaven at six, grabbed my fifth and strode forth onto Third Street. Just for a second, an image of my first wife zeroed in on consciousness to negate a rare, fleeting moment of bliss.
I feel like Kevin Brooks (James Naughton) in The Paper Chase now when it comes to captions.
Woo Hoo! I won the Nuance And Courage Twin Awards at Captain's Quarters this week. I have had to seek alternate outlets for my creative sluices now that Dodd has folded up shop. And now on to this week's favorite moment of zen...
"Holding these ears of corn as I do now, and realizing the nutritional value of this fruit (sic) of the plains and the jobs that are generated by these golden kernels... reminds me that a was a lieutenant in Vietnam..."
"Teresa has asked that you make her a corn silk purse from these soused ears. Have it done by 5:00 this afternoon."
"Do you know who I am? Does this help jog your memory?"
"I am Cornholio!" the candidate yelled to the crowd at his daughter's urging, making a mental note to ask Vanessa again later who Cornholio is.
The corn, bread and circuses approach also failed to lift John Kerry in the polls.
"The one in my right hand kinda reminds me of John Edwards and his perfect hair."
"Aw, shucks. Shucks? Is that the right word?"
"Little people of Iowa, I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."
Maybe John Kerry's trying to milk these ears of corn judging from the way he's holding them, although I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he's actually juggling three ears of corn and the picture has been cropped to eliminate the third ear. But on second thought my first impression was probably correct.
Well, at least President Bush knows what to with an ear of corn.
There's an old aphorism that there are three possible answers to any yes/no question. The people of Missouri skipped past "yes" and "no" and said HELL NO! to gay marriage when they approved by over 70% a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
This is much worse than it looks for the progressives who, ahem, shot their wad a little early. The self-proclaimed progressives and the the Democratic Party fought like, well, like hell to get this on the August primary ballot instead of the general election ballot in November -- explicitly because a greater relative percentage of Democrats would be voting in August than November due to the race between Governor Bob Holden (goodbye and good riddance) and Claire McCaskill for the Democratic gubenatorial nomination. They got their wish and forced Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blount (who, incidentally, won the Republican gubenatorial nomination) to put it on the August ballot and they still got trounced, thrashed, and terminated. Not only do all the right-wing nutjob fundamentalist Republicans in Missouri oppose gay marriage, but perhaps a majority of the Democrats of Missouri do as well. Gosh, I almost expect John Kerry to come out forcefully against gay marriage now as a result of this measurement of the prevailing political winds.
Gay marriage is not an issue that plays well outside the echo chamber of blue state Big Media salons and coffee houses. FWIW, once again, I favor civil unions for gay and lesbian couples for a lot of reasons, but I continue to oppose gay marriage for even more reasons I lack the time and space to go into here.
In other local news, Propositions K & L both lost in Kirkwood (population 33,000), so our library gets neither the additional operating funds they requested ($0.09 tax increase) nor the bond issue ($16M -- or $500 per resident) to build a new library. After also losing the school bond issue ($100M for a school district with 5,000 students -- or $20,000 per student!) last year, I hope our city leaders will get more realistic in the requests they put before the public so they can get the additional funds they need for our civil and educational infrastructures.
I heard John Kerry in an especially monotone voice this morning complain that, "George Bush isn't moving fast enough to combat terrorism to make us safe." Didn't he also accuse George Bush of rushing to war? Whatever. And, of course, don't believe anyone who says they will make you safe vice safer. Such god-like powers are not available to us mere mortals. Hmm..., maybe that's the problem.
I also heard John Kerry say something along the lines of, "I will lead. We need leaders who lead with leadership, not followership. M'kay?" Well, that went over like a lead balloon. Ok, I added the m'kay, but it certainly seemed to fit. But who exactly was George Bush following in his unilateral rush to war?
Oh, and the Missouri primaries are today, so show me you care if you live in Missouri.
Love the 1962 film by John Frankenheimer. I'll wait to watch the remake on HBO or Showtime. But there is one thing I'm curious about. From the reviews I've read, why isn't this film called The Halliburton Candidate? What is the link to Manchuria in this remake other than an allegiance to the title of the original film, where a reference to Manchuria actually made sense? Or are the corporate evildoers in the remake Chinese food moguls or cheap plastic novelty magnates?
In this article from The Hill highlighting the tension within the Kerry campaign regarding the candidate's reluctance to be more vocal about gun control, we find this gem:
Asked if Kerry will highlight the issue in his campaign, Blaine Rummel, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said, “There is some shiftiness,” said.
Something has long troubled me about John Kerry's assertion that President Bush has squandered the goodwill of "important" allies since 9/11. Is it safe to assume that he believes Al Gore would have nurtured and maintained this goodwill with our "important" allies after 9/11 had he been "selected" as president by the Florida Supreme Court? If so, how would a President Gore have accomplished this feat? I leave aside the question of whether this is what is really important for another time.
There are two ways that a President Gore might have been able to do this. First, perhaps our "important" allies would have granted a President Gore more leeway in acting decisively to protect America than they were ever willing to grant President Bush. I think this is true up to a point, but it is difficult to know exactly what that point is. I also do not think that you can blame President Bush for the intransigence of our "important" allies when it comes to fighting the War on Terror. What it reveals to me is the relative unseriousness of our "important" allies when it comes to assessing what is important to us, to them, and to all of us together.
Second, a President Gore might have curried favor by doing exactly what I believe most people suspect he would have done -- appeal to the transnational progressive institutions he respects and then abide by their decisions, regardless of the will of the American people. I suffer from no illusions about how the US is viewed by these institutions and wish to never sacrifice our sovereignty to them, at least until they have the same inherent respect for the individual that motivates and drives us. At best, I believe this approach would have only kicked the can down the road a bit, allowing our enemies to grow ever stronger, until a day of reckoning could no longer be avoided. As history has shown many times, waiting until the threat is demonstrably imminent generally leads to horrific tragedies than could have been dealt with much quicker and with less loss of life and materiel. It is perhaps worth noting that most of us are asleep when something has to absolutely, positively be delivered overnight, which is one way of defining imminent.
Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Kerry has been quite clear that he thinks much more like Mr. Gore than President Bush on these matters. Let us hope we do not find ourselves in the not too distant future saying, "I wish the adults were still in charge." Worse yet, let us fervently hope that we do not wake up one day sincerely asking the same question Michael Moore has asked rhetorically,
Dude, where's my country."
I've been lying in bed unable to sleep while my wife insists on watching Bowling for Columbine. After an hour of his lies, innuendos, and non sequiturs, mixed with a heavy dose of evil corporations, and blame America firstism, I still have trouble believing that he was an honored guest at the DNC Convention this week.
Everything has changed since 9/11, but not all of it has been for the better.