This debate should be good
During a campaign stop with her husband, a group of volunteers moved into the crowd with microphones for the question-and-answer period. Vice President Dick Cheney told supporters to look for the people with dark orange shirts. When Cheney paused as if searching for the words to describe the shade of orange, Lynne Cheney said, "How about John Kerry's suntan?" The remark drew a big laugh from the crowd and the vice president.So far, so good. Doesn't sound like any kind of partisanship or attack on his character - just an interesting coincidence that gave people a giggle. Now read the response from the Dems:
Responding to her comments, Kerry campaign spokesman Bill Burton said, "Is Mrs. Cheney jealous considering how hard it is to get sun in the undisclosed location with her husband Dick? Or is she distracted over how red-in-the-face George Bush should be considering his failed presidency?"Hello! Where did that come from? Are we a little touchy here? Can't even laugh at yourselves? I'm not sure if bitterness is a campaign strategy, or just a continuing theme among liberals. I fail to see how their response improves their position. How much nicer to have seen a response like this:
Responding to her comments, Kerry campaign spokesman Bill Burton wryly replied, "We selected orange for the debates after extensive polling. Blue was preferred by focus groups, but caused problems with the cameras." He also noted, "The spray-on tan treatment should fade to a more natural tone in time for the debate."Respond to a joke with a joke, right? The counterattack just makes Kerry (or his minions) appear to have the personality and sense of humor of a stick. We already have Al Gore - we don't need another National Tree. To say it another way (though he was talking about a different situation):
Bush spokesman Scott Stanzel said, "Humor is an effective way to be persuasive without being corrosive. Americans appreciate humor and leaders who don't take themselves so seriously.""Persuasive without being corrosive" - what a concept. Liberals take note: you really do catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If the RNC is poking fun at Kerry, it's at least partly deserved. His platform hasn't exactly been one you would call "clear". Even when he tries to explain himself, he just ends up making it worse. Take, for example, his now-infamous quote of "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Kerry's explanation:
"I had one of those inarticulate moments, late in the evening when I was dead-tired in the primaries, and I didn't say something very clearly," Kerry said on ABC's "Good Morning America."The problem with this is that the fateful quote was made at a noontime rally. What really has me concerned is that the Kerry campaign seems to be in take-no-prisonors mode, striking out on any front they can think of. The insults last week of the Iraqi President don't inspire me to think of him as a Commander-In-Chief, coalition-builder type. In fairness, Kerry didn't make the comments himself, but this comment and others like it indicate that Kerry accepts this treatment. Why would we expect that he won't staff his presidential cabinet the same way he's staffed his campaign? Furthermore, Kerry has shown clearly and stated publicly that he'll say whatever he needs to say to get elected. When he was fighting against Howard Dean, he modeled himself as the anti-war candidate. Now that Dean is out of the picture, he's more willing to support the war. That's not called taking a position - it's called playing the field.
Preemptive Strike - CORRECTION
[WRONG_QUOTE] "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest." [/WRONG_QUOTE]
In reference to a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding access to Iraqi weapons sites, Mr. Kerry actually said: "I think that's our great concern — where's the backbone of Russia, where's the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity — but in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq."Another story which hasn't recieved much press yet is Fox News' investigation into the Oil-for-Food program. There's a lot of evidence (not conclusive yet) suggesting that France and Russia (maybe Germany too) were profiting from this program, and that the program was being used to fund terrorism. Many of the records are confidential, and the UN is doing what they can to block the investigation. So now Kerry can say "I actually agreed with Bush before I disagreed with him." [Correction: the WashPost quotes were corrected later in the day. I updated the quotes above to reflect the new information.]
Later, referring to French and Russian reservations on the use of force, Mr. Kerry said: "There's absolutely no statement that they have made or that they will make that will prevent the United States of America and this president or any president from acting in what they believe are the best interests of our country."
Contrast this with what the Iraqi President is saying about our efforts and progress. I read some numbers yesterday (sorry, no link) saying that if Iraq were California (and they're about the same size), the cities in turmoil add up to about the equivalent of Los Angeles. There's an awful lot of California outside Los Angeles. Come to think of it, I think it's safe to predict the worst parts of Los Angeles are much worse than the best parts of Fallujah. I wonder how many people die from gunfire each day in LA, New York, Chicago or Boston? Why isn't the press reporting those body counts?
In an election year, our engagement in Iraq is a legitimate topic for sober debate. But Kerry isn't serious. All he does is to declare defeat. He certainly doesn't want to be al Qaeda's candidate, but he's made himself into their man through his irresponsibility.
If Kerry were insisting, without caveats, that we're going to stay the course and win, while backing up his criticisms with convincing details of how he would improve our efforts, that would be fine. But his mad claims of disaster and his inability to maintain a firm position unquestionably give aid and comfort to the enemy.
The terrorists and their allies already intended to increase the level of violence in Iraq before November. But Kerry's pandering has encouraged them to pull out all the stops. I wish it were otherwise, that our election process had more integrity, but the truth is that every roadside blast and car bomb in Iraq is meant to support John Kerry.
The media myths about Bush's TANG service
Is blogging affecting the election debate?
Subscribing to my blog
Now that gives me a lot of confidence.
"Teachers, it is reasonable to assume, care about education, are reasonably expert about it and possess quite a lot of information about the schools in which they teach. We can assume that no one knows the condition and quality of public schools better than teachers who work in them every day." "They know from personal experience that many of their colleagues make such a choice [for private vs. public schools], and do so for good and sufficient reasons."Currently, we're planning to put Ethan in public school, but this adds an interesting spin to that decision.
Burkett vs. the facts
- Verified by unknown experts
- Proportional text, uncommon in 1971.
- One document has a raised "TH" (for 111
TH), which seems impractical using 1971 technology.
- A memo entitled "CYA" which seems to be more damning of the author than of Bush. Not much of a cover.
- The documents have centered text which is impractically perfect. We're talking centered at a pixel level, purportedly using a typewriter, on two documents produced four months apart. This kind of centering would be almost impossible, and certainly much more work than someone would make for a memo nobody would ever read.
- Retyping the documents on the exact Selectric Composer CBS claims was used creates a document which does not match the document. Typing the content into MS Word produces an image so similar that the only variances are easily explained through the fuzzing of multiple photocopies.
- One of the documents mentions a certain senior official pressuring people in certain ways. Unfortunately, the named person had resigned the military about a year earlier, and had no such influence.
- The General (CBS's prime witness) now says the documents are fake, and says CBS misled him into thinking it was a handwritten note.
- CBS's document expert was only a handwriting expert. He verified the signature was that of the purported author, but not whether the document was authentic, or even whether the signature originated on that page.
- No verifiably authentic documents from TANG have yet been uncovered using a similar typeface, style, or superscript. (It's possible someone might, but not likely.)
- Both the author's wife and son say the document is uncharacteristic and improbable.