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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The "Passion" Hits The Stores
Mel Gison's "Passion of the Christ" hit stores today. According to my server's news service The DVD of Mel Gibson's biblical epic "The Passion of the Christ" went on sale Tuesday and sold 2.4 million copies by midday.
Will that be one copy for each of you, Messrs. Kerry and Edwards? No? Ah, I see. . .
There's your two Americas.
I've been waiting years for somebody to make a bold exclamation of America's greatness and its importance in the world--not for what it can do, but for what it stands for.
Leave to the megastar with the Austrian accent to make the case--AND IN SPADES! There were several points in the speech which had me pumping my fists. Of course, it would have to be someone with an accent talking about America's greatness--his personal story is as gripping and revealing as any fake stories from a Gore/Kerry stump speech.
All the feigned pride/flagwaving/patriotism of the Dem convention just got drowned in one 22 minute speech.
I've been a little ambivalent about the Governator--um. . .my bad. He is a political superstar of the same magnitude as his movie stardom.
There's much great and lucid commentary on the RNC in the blogosphere--but not here. Check out the links to the right for smart people writing about what they know.
Just saw the ACLU's ad on the TV. It claims to be "not right, not left, not Republican, not Democrat. . ." and tries to lay claim to the mantle of champion of freedom and justice, it barely manages not to gloat in its typical elitist smugness.
Of course, a little reminder that it was the ACLU that signed on to take the "Pledge of Allegiance" case to the Supreme Court, or that its been the ACLU that has consistently done everything in its power to get judges to overrule the will of the people with respect to school prayer and other social issues, and the little facade will crumble.
Kinda makes me wonder what motivated to ACLU to come out and defend itself.
Here's some ideas I would love to hear from the President this week. It goes a li'l somethin' like this:
In 1941 this country was attacked by a bold and determined enemy. Our response was to mobilize the greatest military action the world has ever seen; within a few months, our Navy was rebuilt to the point of fighting the Japanese to a draw at Midway. Within a year our young men had peopled a military to dwarf those of the rest of the world to be able to fight in two theaters. And within two years those who stayed behind in America had built a Navy to fill the seas and an air force to blot out the sun.
Three years after The Day Of Infamy, our military, in conjunction with our powerful and steadfast allies, invaded an entire continent to repel an enemy. This enemy had not attacked the United States, and had only a very limited capacity to do so. But the atrocities of its expansion and the stated hostility towards America was enough to motivate great action.
The invasion was not always easy, nor was it without blemish. In September of 1944, three months after the Day of Days, our army got bogged down in Holland in the now infamous "Operation Market Garden". In a bold effort, the Americans tried to end the war before Christmas, unsuccessfully, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 American soldiers. Three months after that our forces had to repel a Nazi offensive in the Ardennes forest. The cost of this action, over the course of five weeks, was 19,000 Americans.
But Americans do not run from the enemy when the going gets difficult. The American people, the American leadership, and the American military persevered. And just five months later Americans had liberated millions of people from the Nazi threat, including those incarcerated in the abominations of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, and others.
Twenty-five years later, in January 1968, the American people were confronted with a different situation. Engaged in a war on foreign soil, against an enemy which had not attacked America, and had little capability to do so, but who had expansionist ambitions and a stated hostility towards America, the Vietnam War was a flashpoint of controversy and high emotion. When the Vietcong army launched the Tet Offensive, America and its allies responded with overwhelming prowess. And though the American military lost 1,100 courageous men, the enemy lost about 9 times as many, and was thoroughly repelled.
Unfortunately, for that one instance in all of American history, America did not respond with resolve, but allowed a military victory to be turned into a political defeat. America abandoned its allies, and relegated hundreds of thousands to death, torture, and displacement.
America now faces a similar choice to the ones it made in the last century. We have been attacked by a shadowy and nebulous enemy. We have responded by taking the battle to the enemy; and as a result, Afghanistan and Iraq are now on the road to democracy.
It has not been, and is not, an easy road. But the choice before the American people could not be more clear. We can live up to our best traditions, best character, and noblest spirit by enduring the difficulties in full faith that by doing so, we will make the world a better place for our children. Or we can pull back, seek compromises that dilute our objectives, shrink from danger, and leave the future in the hands of people and organizations whose commitment to liberty, plurality, and freedom is, at best, dubious.
September 11th made it all too clear that the world is a dangerous place, and we can no longer afford to wait for the enemy to announce its intentions and its methods. This enemy would destroy us, if it could, for no better reason than because we enjoy liberty, plurality and freedom. And this enemy will not be found in neat, orderly ranks under the flag of one country. Our one, best weapon in this war is to create and expand the conditions on this planet that encourage people to seek their own destinies. We have enjoyed that condition in America for over two-hundred years; we forgot how difficult such a transformation can be. But we know that such freedom is our natural ally in this war; and if billions more around the world become our allies, our enemy will have nowhere to hide.
Or something like that.
|Barely Passed the Laugh Test
Time Magazine opens its article about today's poll with the following:
A new TIME poll finds President Bush heading into next week's Republican National Convention amid signs that his opponent's advantage is softening. Two weeks of John Kerry playing defense over his Vietnam record and relentless Republican attacks on what they characterize as his "flip-flopping" on Iraq appear to have taken a toll: President Bush now appears to be in a statistical dead-heat with Kerry in a three-way race among likely voters . . .
Okay. That seems encouraging. When last we looked, the Time poll had Kerry at 48% and Bush at 43%. So maybe the President has closed up the gap to within the margin of error. So we read on. . .
. . . with 46% backing Bush, 44% backing Kerry and 5% opting for Ralph Nader and 3% undecided.
So Kerry's advantage is "softening?" That's like saying the ice cream I took out of the freezer four hours ago is "softening" out on the sidewalk. Time tries valiantly to spin a seven point swing away from Kerry as a "softening"--a minor blip, as it were. In reality, well . . .
Chuckles all around.
|What We're Up Against--pt.2
This contains a video I saw on MSNBC this morning. In it, a Kerry supporter at a rally in Washington State turns around and cold-cocks a Bush supporter, without any apparent provocation. The video ends with the Kerry supporter being led away in cuffs.
Unfortunately, I am technologically handicapped at this site (or, for that matter, any site), so you have to dig a little to see the video. First, register with the station (free), then select the story about the Kerry rally, and then scroll down to find the video links--click on the one that says "Bush/Kerry Supporters Clash At Rally." It's really worth the short search.
But what this really points out is, as I titled, what we are up against. The Dems are SO convinced of and comfortable with the moral superiority of their goals that they will justify ANY means to get there--including the violent supression of opposition.
I guess they should change the bumper sticker to "Surrender Globally; Be As Violent As You Want To Locally."
Okay, two thoughts tonight. . .
The controversy over the SBVT has now dominated the news for an entire week (though it's occupied the blogosphere for far longer), and I think it may have gone as far as it is likely to go. Kerry's credibility is now, rightly, in question, but there's so much "he said, he said" that a knockout punch seems rather unlikely.
But two very important things have come out of it. One: any momentum Kerry brought out of his convention has abruptly stalled out--dead in its tracks. And two: the country has had an opportunity to observe Kerry under duress, and frankly, it's not a pretty sight.
There has been speculation that Kerry himself put this issue into the mainstream media last Thursday by denouncing the ads. Then he's managed to keep stoking the fires with silly stunts like sending Max Cleland to Texas. I don't know how it would be possible for this to backfire against the President, so there's really no good reason for Kerry to keep this alive.
In other words, his personal pique and lack of discipline has put very damaging information about him into the mainstream, where it otherwise may have languished in the blogosphere.
So how would this man negotiate with Congress? With the U.N.? How about Israel? Isn't it indicative of a lack of Presidential temperament that he lacks even the rudimentary political skills to swallow his pride and let the issue die its own inevitable death?
A man who is this self-absorbed and borderline delusion has no business being this close to being President of the United States.
Just one quick thought tonight:
After seeing the FoxNews report about the anticipation of violence at the RNC next week, it occured to me that there are two possible outcomes. The first, and frankly, the one I expect the most, involves the media split-screening the events of the RNC with the shots of the protesters, and the coverage being dominated by the protests. This would, I expect, have the effect of blunting the message and severely restricting the bounce of the convention for the President.
The other possibility is that the protests will go so far over the line that the contrast between the class and dignity of the RNC and the crassness of the protests will remind the public of why this President and this party needs to remain in power. Call it the "Wellstone Memorial Bounce."
I will be curious to see which plays out.
Of course, there's a third and far worse possibility . . . That the hundreds of thousands of protesters will have the 36,000 member NYPD so preoccupied that somebody else has the opportunity or a little mischief. That's the nightmare scenario.
|Good Personal News
About a week ago I blogged that my brother and his wife had their baby, but had to wait for the blood work to see if he, too, was infected with Cystic fibrosis as their first son is.
Well the tests came back today, and little Caleb has a clean bill of health.
I--we--sincerely appreciate all the prayers. God is great, and he takes care of his community, who taecare of their community. Thank you.
I haven't had time to read the Partial-Birth Abortion Decision yet today, so I'll withhold comment for about 24 hours.
But still, it has to be troubling that one person in New York overruled the voices of over 400 elected legislators who collectively represent millions of people. This is where we stand right now in this country, I guess.
|Starting To Turn
Five new polls have come out in the past two days, and the trend seems positive.
In a direct comparison to the most recent poll from each organization, this polling cycle shows the President picking up an average of 2.2 points over that time. More importantly, his job approval average has ticked back up over 50%, which many speculate is the threshhold for re-election.
Not to get too excited--a poll in August is still just that. But Labor Day is just around the corner, the traditional start of the serious campaign, and the President still has a convention to launch. Even if his "bounce" is only as large as Kerry's was--say, three points--that puts this race outside the margin of error.
Gotta keep workin'. Only a decisive victory is a message. Gotta keep working.
|What If There Was A Rally. . .
but nobody important came.
John Edwards was in town today to give a little talk at the JeffCO Fairgrounds. By most accounts, a couple thousand people were there to greet him, along with a handful of demonstrators.
There are three interesting aspects of this. One is the purpose of the speech: health care. Of course, nobody in the town-hall style meeting was willing to ask this question, but some reporter should: how much of the "administrative waste" in the health care system is a direct result of your profession--the tort?
Second aspect is the coverage: I've searched the websites of both dailys in town and all three "major" network affiliate newssites. As of posting, the Denver Post and Channel 9 (NBC) both cover the event in "real time;" but the Rocky Mtn News, Channel 7 (ABC),and Channel 4 (CBS) either neglect the story altogether or have this morning's "Edwards will be here" coverage. I find it interesting that the man who would be Vice President doesn't even rate a mention on the website of half the major media in Denver.
But the third aspect is what has my interest most piqued. I wasn't there, and haven't talked to anybody that was there, so I can't say for sure. . . but none of the coverage mentions Ken Salazar's presence at the rally. Neither of the major media stories mentions Salazar, and the Salazar website is bereft of mention or picture of him with his arm around John Edwards.
Now, it could be that the coverage is just not hitting this point. And I did not see any of the live reporting on the evening news, so I could be speaking out a little prematurely. But when Vice President Cheney was in town three weeks ago he was introduced by Bob Beauprez and, with the primary still a week away, both Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer were prominently in attendance. One would think that with the Veep candidate in town that Salazar would make a point of being there and of being VERY public about his presence--something like posting a picture on his website.
Could it be that the Salazar campaign recognizes that, his crafted persona notwithstanding, putting the candidate next to Sen. Lightweight would be a giant net minus in this state?
cross-posted at Salazar v. Coors
|Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
I got a call tonight from an old friend who lives out of state now.
For some reason, he was watching the mainstream news. This, of course, led him to the conclusion that the President will lose this election because the press is going to make it so darn hard for him to get the truth out.
And, to a point, he's right. But I think our side is a lot smarter about "alternative news sources", and, as the SBVT controversy proves, the alternative media can force astory into the limelight.
I also think, as I've said before, that the old models don't apply any more. Sure, I'm no expert, but I think in a post 9/11 world the way polls are conducted do not show the reality. What evidence do I have? Well, not much. The results of the 2002 cycle show me something, but I also have a fundamental faith in the intelligence of the American people, and I have hope. Like I said, not much.
And hope, as Tommy Franks would say, is not a very good strategy. That is why (coupled with previous post) I made a mental pledge today to give five hours a week (roughly the length of time of a round of golf) to working for Bush/Cheney, Beauprez, Coors, and the JeffCO GOP.
As the song says, "You hope, and I'll hurry; you pray, and I'll worry. . ." I don't know what I can do to help, but know I won't help if I'm sitting on my can.
|Getting My Goat, and What We're Up Against
There are very few things that get me riled up enough to call a "news" station, but I saw just such a thing yesterday.
Every day as I drive to and from work I travel along a significant arteriole that goes north-south through Arvada. Along the way are large stretches of fence--back fences of properties that back up to the street. These fences provide great opportunities for statements. And, accordingly, in recent months one stretch of the fence has been decorated with a "Beauprez" sign, and across the street another stretch has featured a "Dave Thomas" sign.
In all the time I've seen the two signs up, I've never seen any sort of defacing or even joking mismarking of the Dave Thomas sign. The Beauprez sign, on the other hand, has had on at least two occasions had "Kerry/Edwards" signs pasted to it. Okay. . .that, I guess, is what we should expect from the maturity level of our opposition.
But yesterday they crossed the line. Spray painted over the white portions of the Beauprez sign in black paint was a swastika.
Now, I'm not Jewish, and to the best of my knowledge no one in my family for several generations back has been Jewish, but I get offended at that symbol. That the Left would trivialize the horrors of the Holoaust by attaching the Nazi Party symbol to something as innocuous as a fence sign, thereby hinting that the party involved--Bob Beauprez--is akin to a regime that slaughtered six million men, women and children indicates an almost dangerous disregard for proportionality and history. And the blitheness with which this charge is leveled (how often have we heard members of the Bush Team compared to figures from the Third Reich?) indicates a willingness to distort reality that borders on sociopathic. If they'll go to these lengths of hyperbole to describe their opponents, they'd be capable of anything.
They might go so far as to invent a special dog, a covert mission across enemy lines, heroic exploits, terrible scars. . .
Oh, wait. . .
Don't know exactly what happened to Blogger yesterday, but I had so much to say and no forum to say it. ARGGGH.
Fortunately, I seem to be back today, so . . . . suffer!
|The National Press Is Watching
George Will weighs in today on Amendment 36.
The meat of the matter:
Under the Colorado proposal, almost all of that state's elections would result in 5-4 splits of its electoral votes. The one-vote prize would hardly be worth a Colorado stop by any candidate. Still, the proposal appeals to single-minded—-hence simple-minded—-majoritarians.
I wish I could boil things down so succinctly.
Just in case anybody's taking their eye off the ball. . .
Pakistan has arrested at least five Al Qaeda-linked (search) terrorists who were plotting suicide attacks on government leaders and the U.S. Embassy, officials announced Saturday.
|Kerry, Kerry, Quite Contrary
John Kerry spoke out again tonight, asking the President to stop the Swiftboat Veterans' ads.
Kerry said the attacks by a group of Vietnam veterans and former Swift Boat commanders have intensified "because in the last months they have seen me climbing in America's understanding that I know how to fight a smarter and more effective war" against terrorists.
"That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that. The president needs to have the courage to talk about it."
Two things: 1) They're attacking your credibility because your credibility is suspect, Senator, not because you're climbing in the polls; and B)You are still not addressing the issues, Senator--release your military records, and let the public decide for themselves.
Oh, and, by the way, Senator, at what point in either 2000 or early in 2004 did you speak out and demand of Terry McAuliff, MoveOn.org, et al. that they stop the attacks on the President's own service?
For the last three weeks the Swiftboats Veterans have dominated the airwaves with their first ad, though the DNC was trying to keep "Kerry the Hero" alive, too. But by the time the Kerry campaign managed to respond, the Swifties follow up with their second ad. At the same time, the Bush campaign releases this ad, called "Victory," which is one of the better political ads I've seen in a long time.
Let me say this a different way: the Swifties managed to drive a wedge through Kerry's persona; by the time Kerry managed to respond, the Swifties changed the subject and pointed out the treasonous activities of John Kerry upon return to the U.S. So an electorate starting to doubt his service is now reminded of his role in reversing the direction of the war. I believe in military parlance this is known as "getting inside their decision-making cycle." On top of this the Bush campaign capitalizes on its big strength, which is its vision for the future of democracy in the world.
All in all, I would say this round went to the President. Decidedly.
Depending on if my wife is in the car with me, I occassionally end up listening to a station that plays music from the 80s--my generation. And while I share Jared's love of things from the 80s, I am sometimes ashamed. For instance, tonight I heard two songs from Rick Springfield (yep. . .sorry about that, art history) and "Rock Me, Amadeus", which I believe--and I'm no historian here--may be the first unfortunate example of rap music in the mainstream.
Why is Muqtada al Sadr still alive? I understand the strategy the first go-around, and it turns out to have been a whole lot smarter than what I wanted to do. But, seriously. . . each of the last five days the headline on my server has been some variation of "Renegade Cleric Agrees to Walk Away Whistling." How many times does this guy get to cuckold us before we blow him away? This stupid Charlie Brown/Lucy dynamic is what makes us lose the respect of the Arab world. To quote a favorite lefty of mine "They'll like us when we win!"
I've been pretty impressed with the Olympics. Especially in light of what I thought might happen (and not that it still mightn't). Especially the performance of our individual gymnasts, who showed both Perseverence and Indomitable Spirit in overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to bring home unlike gold medals. Way to go, USA!
And, by the way, I really like the version of the Star-Spangled Banner that the team is using for gold-medal ceremonies. A little different than your standard brass band effect.
|Sometimes it's the little things
August means a lot of different things for me--many of them bad. End of golf season, back to school, etc.. .
But there is something altogether gratifying about turning on the TV and seeing football highlights! Makes all the other stuff worth it.
Don't get me wrong--I'm basically a baseball guy. Which is why summers in Colorado are so sad. But when this season starts draggin' through the dog days, there's nothing better than the sound of pads popping in the crisp autumn air.
|A Little Redundant Dissection
Sure, others more gifted than I have done this, but let's pick apart the statement made yesterday by Sen. John Kerry:
"More than 30 years ago I learned an important lesson. When you're under attack the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attack. That's what I intend to do today."
Speaking of the organization airing the ads that challenge his war record, Kerry said, "Of course, this group isn't interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. ...
"But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know. He wants them to do his dirty work."
Yeah. So let's go from the beginning.
"More than 30 years ago I learned an important lesson. When you're under attack the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attack.
First of all, his whole strategy in dealing with this issue has been hapless, at best, and arrogantly superior, at worst. It has taken him three weeks to "turn his boat into the attack." Why, with that sort of reaction time, it's no wonder the SVFT are questioning the valor of his service. Secondly, wouldn't "turning" involve some bold move such as, say, holding a press conference and releasing all the military records of the era? Perhaps going on a hostile venue such as Brit Hume's show to deal with the issues head-on? But instead, he chooses to fire back from the cover of a union hall--kinda the rhetorical equivalent of "bravely" returning fire from the shadow of a destroyer with F-102's flying overhead.
"Of course, this group isn't interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. ... So, pray, do tell the truth, won't you Mr. Kerry? You, on the one hand, have been demonstrated to have lied repeatedly about an incident on Dec 24, 1968. At this point, that simple fact draws into question the veracity of every wartime claim you have made. So please, don't just TELL us the truth--back it up with corroborative documentation. Hey, I know--sign a form 180 and let us look for the whole truth ourselves. And when I say "us", I am, of course, referring to the alternative media--the big boys don't want this with a ten-foot pole.
But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. First of all, no. . .that's NOT what we really need to know about them. That's interesting, and goes somewhat to motive, but it really has nothing to do with the issue at hand. At this point, what we really need to know about them is "are they telling the truth--which implies 'are you NOT telling the truth.'" In classic fashion, Sen. Kerry evades the real issue with subterfuge and misdirection--hey, maybe he did learn a little something from the CIA/magic hat guy.
And, by the way, "funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars"? That's hardly the sort of money you are used to seeing thrown about by the 527s on your side. For example (courtesy LGF, via Powerline)"Now that John Kerry and the Democrats have started denouncing section 527 committees, it's worth pointing out that of the twenty-five largest contributors to 527's, only one -- that's right, one -- is a Republican. The top two donors are Peter Lewis ($14,030,000) and George Soros ($12,600,000). Altogether, the 24 Democrats contributed $56,693,000. The lone Republican donated $1,020,000." So those "hundreds of thousands" ought to be pretty influential. I would say these guys are getting an awful lot of bang for the buck. And, by the way, anybody want to place a bet on Peter Lewis or George Soros having given money directly to the Kerry campaign?
They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know. He wants them to do his dirty work." Speaking of unsubstantiated charges. . . Is that like how you denounced Whoopi Goldberg: "Oh, some things were said that I don't agree with and in some pretty unfortunate terms.. ." or something like that. THAT kind of denouncement? Or perhaps your denouncement of Michael Moore :"Oh, gee, I don't need to see the movie because I've lived it." So if that's everything we need to know, than we infer that everything we need to know about YOU, Sen. Kerry, is Michael Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. . . and the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crowe, etc. . . I'll put 256 Vietnam Vets and officers up against your dozens vets and that crowd ANY DAY.
And in the end, Sen. Kerry still had not addressed the core issue: did he or did he not invent, exaggerate, or embellish significant parts of his war record? And, if his war record is central to his claim on the White House, is that issue not central to the public's assessment of his fitness for office?
By the way, if you fall back on "the Navy said so," you'd better follow that up with "and the Air National Guard said so about the President, so we accept as axiomatic that he served how he was supposed to serve."
|Technology. . .To Make Our Lives Easier
Remember how I blogged several days ago about my upgrade in hardware which would make me a more prolific blogger? Yeah. . .didn't quite work out. The hardware is, well, quirky, and I'm spending most of my time just trying to regulate it. Which explains my lack of blogging of late.
I'll get it worked out and be back on schedule in no time.
. . . he says optimistically.
|Been a Wierd Day
Two bits of personal news today: my brother and his wife had their baby--healthy, and strong, Caleb was brought into the world this morning. Given his brother's condition, the first thing they did was draw some blood to test little Caleb for cystic fibrosis, the results of which won't be available for a couple days. A blessing, to be sure, and a wonderful gift to two wonderful people--but with a little bit of anxiety attached.
And then tonight we got word that my wife's father has prostate cancer. BUT. . .they caught it very early on, and the doctors are throwing around numbers like 85-95%. So, certainly an anxious time for the family, but with a great deal of hope sprinkled in.
Which is just a roundabout way of saying this: I would appreciate any extra prayers anyone can throw in the direction of my family.
|Early Polling for Senate
In the first poll that I've seen on the US Senate race, Pete Coors gets 48% of the vote, and Ken Salazar gets 47%. The poll of 622 likely voters was conducted by Survey USA.
The poll also shows that the Presidential race is a dead heat at this point, with both candidates getting 47% of the vote.
These numbers don't add up, to me. . .especially the second one. I know that everybody thinks this may be a battleground state this year, but I just don't see it that way. That the Presidential race is even in this poll indicates to me a 4-6 point discrepancy from reality in favor of John Kerry. Which, given the internals, seems to also point to a 4-6 point lead for Pete Coors.
Follow up that intuition with a reminder of how wrong the polls were about the GOP primary, and I think this bodes very well for Pete Coors.
Follow THAT up with a look at the SUSA methodology, and you find that they seem to have overpolled Democrats by a decent margin: this poll consisted of 35% Rep, 32% Dem, and 32% Independents. In a state where voter registration splits along lines closer to 36% GOP, 33% Ind and 30% Dem, Kerry/Salazar probably picked up a few points in the methodology.
cross-posted at Salazar v. Coors
|A Good Idea
The President announced plans for a massive re-deployment of American troops over the next ten years.
Downsizing in Europe and Asia. . .good. One can only hope that there will be a large and painful effect on the economies of our soft "allies."
The only thing that would be better, in my view, is a shifting of those same forces to places like Poland, Australia and Yemen.
I don't want to sound too vindictive here towards Germany and South Korea, but those who chose to stand with us when we called should be the ones who benefit most from our largesse. To continue quartering troops, providing huge economic benefits, not to mention the strategic importance of an American presence, in places which would not answer the call seems like folly.
|The Really Stupid Idea Is Official
Initiative 99--the one which reduces Colorado's Electoral count to 1 vote--is officially on the ballot. It will be Amendment 36.
So how the theme has to be "86 36"
|This is Insightful
Today's Rocky Mountain News contains thumbnail-type profiles of the two candidates for Senate. In sum: Coors has money, Salazar is Hispanic.
Okay, it was a little more than that, but. . . well, read for yourself.
Money, as well as more than a passing familiarity with matters political, got Pete Coors into the race. He and his family have made significant financial contributions to Republican candidates and conservative causes.
In an era when the Hispanic population is exploding - standing at 18 percent statewide in the 2000 Census - and both parties are courting the minority vote, Salazar boasts an impressive pedigree. His ancestors settled the city of Santa Fe. His family has farmed Colorado's San Luis Valley for five generations. He still speaks Spanish with his 82-year-old mother.
Pretty pointless--as if anyone in Colorado didn't know this about these two. Or, for that matter, anywhere in the country. If this is the coverage we can expect from this race, wake me up on Holloween.
cross-posted at Salazar v. Coors
|Quick Ad Update
In the last two days, I've seen two new ads from Ken Salazar. You know--blue jeans, a jeep, a cowboy hat. . . Average Joe rancher wants your vote so someone who fights for the little guy can represent you in the Senate.
Honestly, with the exception of the names, it could easily be the same ad that Pete Coors would run. Average Joe--not a career politician who can make the Senate work because I've made a business/AG Office run.
I'm wondering when the serious ads start. I think they've both staked credible claims to the native son/common man ground. Let's move on. Let's get serious about the issues.
I look forward to a Pete Coors ad that asks "Mr. Salazar, if elected to the Senate, how would you vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment? How would you vote on nominees for the federal bench who are rated as "highly qualified" by the ABA, though they might vote against your political philosophy? How would you vote on a judicial nominee who would act to strike the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance? How would you vote on the renewal of the Patriot Act? Which parts would you change/amend/alter/attempt to strike?
It's time--the iron will be hot for a few weeks here leading up to the Republican National Convention. Don't be goaded into lollygagging by the call for a "clean campaign" (you lollygag around the statehouse, you lollygag around the courtroom, you lollygag around the campaign trail. . . you know what that makes you?).
cross posted at Salazar v. Coors
|The Press Has Cast Their Ballots
I wanted to let the story sit for a few days. I felt it was necessary to let the dinosaur press have a chance to jump on the hottest internet story going. I wanted to believe the HH guests who predicted that this would hit the mainstream by Thursday. I even thought with an extra day the Denver press might have an extra chance to hook up to an AP or NYTimes story.
So I've been searching the paper with great interest the last two days, and nothing. Nada. I even went to the websites of both the Post and the News and did a search for "Kerry Cambodia" to no avail.
So the obvious conclusion one has to come to is that the press in general and the Denver press in particular has chosen to be complicit in the Kerry campaign's coverup of the Kerry meltdown.
Perhaps they don't see this as a real story, I tell myself. Not likely. The Bush/National Guard story had a much more plausible explanation and his alibi a better corroboration, but nonetheless it got two weeks' headlines. Maybe they're waiting for better evidence than the word of veterans, I say. But that doesn't hold up, either. "Bush lied" was all the rage for a while, even though his conclusion was corroborated by the previous administration, the U.N., the French, the Germans, the Russians, and the Israelis, and Kerry's story is not just untrue--it borders on unlikely.
But what is most laughable is the press' willingness to buy the defense of the Kerry supporters without hunting for the real truth. Their strongest argument, apparently, is that Kerry was awarded the medals for heroism by the Navy, and he was awarded the Purple Hearts by the Navy, so that should be good enough. They, of course, selectively ignore the fact that the President was awarded an Honorable Discharge by the Texas Air National Guard, as if that is somehow not good enough. And the "Band of Brothers"? How many of them are there? Twelve? Compare that number to the total number of swiftboat vets who contributed to "Unfit for Command"--what??hundreds? Or compare that dozen to the total number of swiftboat veterans out there who could speak up for Kerry--thousands! Even their treatment is ludicrous: you can't question the swiftboat veterans FOR Kerry because of their honorable service to the country, but the motives of John O'Neill and the veterans AGAINST Kerry are fair game.
There is a reason that the blogosphere has become the best clearinghouse for information and opinion for anybody slightly to the right of Nancy Pelosi. It's the same reason that newspaper readership is down, advertising dollars are down, and "news"rooms are emptying.
Because the mainstream media has become an active participant in the campaign, and that means it CANNOT be trusted.
UPDATE: Well, one media person is following the story--or, rather, following the media's lack of coverage of the story. That one is Dave Kopel in today's Rocky Mountain News.
Not that that's actually such a new development--just ask anyone in my graduating class.
But today--at the wife's insistence--I went and bought a wireless router. So now the wife can continue to work on her computer--and I have access to the internet all day long. Actually a very easy thing to hook up, too. Much to my surprise. I should have learned by now to listen to her without question.
What does this mean? I should be a much more prolific blogger (har har har) since I don't have to spend so much of my 'blogging time' getting caught up on the news and thoughts of others. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen.
|So Much Going On. . .
And not enough time to comment on it all in a lucid fashion. So instead I'll pen two quick prayers: one for the residents of Florida who are busily scurrying out of the way of Charley; and one for the wife and one-year old child of James McGreevey.
Not much in the way of original thinking tonight, so I direct you to Salazar v. Coors to get the very thorough thoughts of my compatriots on the Salazar position papers.
Likewise, stay tuned to HH and my brother to stay on top of John Kerry's Incrementally Less Memorable Adventure.
|Just In Case You Were Waiting. . .
the Kerry campaign still has not gotten back to Carl Cameron with an explanation of Christmas Eve, 1968.
What's that? . . . I hear the sound of .. . is it?. . .yes, those are wagons starting to circle.
Nice Job, Guys!!! I was unable to listen, but I've been thoroughly entertained by both the recollective accounts of the event and Rich's live blog of same.
I'm very jealous, but very proud to be even on the link list of such illustrious media commentators. Way to go!!
|Coors v. Salazar
In what turned out to be a not-very-close election, Pete Coors beats Bob Schaffer 61-39, while Ken Salazar beats out Mike Miles 74-26. Contrary to all expectations, neither race had much drama from about two minutes after polls closing on.
Two points about this. Again, I state that I believe there is a groundswell among Republicans/Conservatives that is completely escaping the notice of pollsters and pundits. Just the turnout for the GOP primary (as of this writing, GOP ballots number nearly 325,000, compared to Dems 222,000) indicates an enormous interest in not just this race, but this seat. Sure, in this state the GOP registereds outnumbers the Dems, but not by the 46% margin of tonight's turnout. That Pete Coors, in a closer race, still got 30,000 more votes than Ken Salazar has got to be a bit of an eye-opener for the Democrats.
Secondly, and I tip my hat to Jonathan, who blogged this earlier, I also think that the negative attacks by Bill Armstrong, the Colorado Conservative Voters and the Colorado Christian Coalition played a bigger role in this than can be measured. Bob Schaffer tried to stick to a positive message, but did not have the resources to compete; into that vacuum went an ugly underbelly of GOP politics that did not resonate with the general public. The result: a surprisingly easy victory for Pete Coors. And where Jonathan left with speculation, I declare: keep the message positive and simple, Mr. Coors, and we will soon be addressing you as Senator Coors. Go hard-core negative, and you might just give this away.
Good Luck tomorrow, guys! I can't listen in, but I'm looking forward to a full report of "out-loud live blog" glory!
I held off on delivering my ballot until both campaigns had the weekend to try to sway my vote one more time. Neither worked very hard. . .
Until Sunday afternoon I got a call from a real, live person from the Coors campaign. End of story for me. Having only gotten one mailing and no e-mails or phone calls from the Schaffer campaign (the one pre-recorded message from the CCV doesn't count, in my mind), I am forced to conclude that they got out-worked for my vote.
By the way, if you haven't voted yet--DO SO. DO SO EARLY, DO SO PROUDLY.
|Swiftboat Service and Memory
I have recently gotten into trouble at work for my memory. Well, let's be more clear--I actually screwed up about seven years ago. It's just that I was recently asked about this and my memory is vague, which put me back in the hot water. My opinion? If the only thing on record is distant events and my memory, then there is reason to question my integrity; if, on the other hand, there is an intervening record which indicates otherwise, my character should not be subject to "pop-quizzing" of my memory.
Which brings me to John Kerry. Sure, I'm willing to give him a little leeway on his memory of thirty year old events. The problem for him is that the intervening record indicates an opportunism and, shall we say, creativity or embellishment about the past that would bring into question his integrity. At the very least, the public deserves a full accounting of the events of Christmas Eve 1968, an explanation of how a person 20 years of Senate service is unfamiliar with the lag time between elections and inaugurations, and a discussion of the root issues behind his aggrandizement of his service on the floor of the Senate.
There is a vast world of difference between forgetfulness about the past and the invention of the past. The one is forgivable, if not necessarily desirable in a President; the other is disturbing, and disqualifying of the highest office.
|Slow News Night
So my thoughts remain on this morning's sermon (I know--for some of you this is second nature; for me it's a fairly recent meditative process), which, coincidentally, had much to do with news.
Pastor John is a very effective speaker. Today, he drew our attention to the theme of today's sermon as published in the bulletin--Human Sexuality--and then segued by saying "God's first commandment to man in the Bible is 'Go and have sex'" to much laughter. He followed by reminding us that a.) God used a little different language (Be fruitful and multiply) and 2.) God immediately put a fence around this activity: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Gen 2:24) From chapter two, through several Old Testament passages, to the Gospel of Matthew (ch. 5:5-6) into Romans and Jude, he took us through a scholarly, Biblical foundation for preaching on the subject of homosexuality. The obvious conclusion, to any who believe in the efficacy of Scripture at all, is that marriage is an institution that predates governments and consists strictly of one man and one woman. My favorite point of his was, when referencing a common argument of the left that heterosexual infidelity is a far greater problem to society, when he said "And speaking in stictly volume of the problem terms, yes, that is true; but you don't hear anybody trying to legitimize heterosexual infidelity."
Pastor John then spent the second half of the sermon reminding the congregation that all people--homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals--are God's children, created by Him to serve Him. He spoke of the various opportunities he's had over the years to minister to homosexuals, and how he tries--and encouraged us to try in no uncertain terms--to remember that God's Grace is abundant, and that our ministry should be grounded in love and grace.
It was a very effective reminder, at least to me. Often, in the goofiness that the cultural wars have become, it's easy to look at the activist homosexual element and see them as the enemy. And, perhaps,there is enough vitriol and offense coming from that corner to understand why it's easy to see them as the enemy; but we are called to love them. I think it is a mistake for people on the far right to get so engaged in the "war" aspect of it that they forget the Great Commission and fail to minister to those who need it.
That said, there is also quite clearly a mandate in the Bible to view marriage in a certain, limited way. This is one aspect of the cultural war that the center-right can win, as the vote in Missouri this week demonstrates. The actions of the Circuit Judge in Washington one day later give us--in a political sense--the foundation from which to move the argument forward. Simply put: if you want to have a voice, through your legislatures or the ballot process, in what your state defines as "marriage," then you cannot reasonably vote for a Democrat. No matter what their personal view (when you can pin them down on it (ahem, Sen. Kerry)), a Democrat will always appoint or vote to confirm a judge more likely to redefine this issue against your will than a Republican.
My brother has some good thoughts on the the subject. I give him high marks for balance, and he qualifies as a milblog, which significantly bumps his credibility.
Tonight on FoxNews' The Beltway Boys--
Morton Kondracke: Fred, you just did a better job in 10 seconds explaining the state of the economy than the Bush administration has done all year.
|Oh. . . Ouch
32,000? That's it--32,000. That's pretty disappointing, and rather inexplicable.
Combine that with the downward revisions of the May and June numbers, and the job growth--as measured by the payrolls--is not where you would hope it to be.
So, tell me: how did the unemployment rate drop to 5.5%?
And, given how the markets reacted to the good news a couple months ago--with a sell-off based on inflationary concerns--why did the market tank today?
And, I guess, on a more fundamental level, is economics actually a science? or do they just make this stuff up as they're going along?
|Let's See them Make THIS Case
If the arrests in Albany today are the result of either a.) intel found in Iraq, or 2.) actions taken under the Patriot Act, I will be rather disappointed if the administration fails (as is its habit) to forcefully make the case to the American people that it is doing the right thing.
Sometimes, you really do have to lead the horse to water. . .
|It's The Jobs, It's the Jobs, It's the Jobs. . .
Anxiously awaiting tomorrow's jobs report.
Listening to the punditry today, anything less than 225,000 would be considered a disappointment. Some have speculated as many as 250k, but the CW has it somewhere around 225.
Anything over 250 could seal the deal for the President--despite the likely lack of coverage from the mainstream media.
|More Initiative 99
Peter Blake came out today with a fairly comprehensive piece on Initiative 99, of which I blogged weeks ago and many others in the Alliance have shot into recently.
Blake's conclusion: The initiative has been preponderantly financed by a wealthy Californian named J. Jorge Klor de Alva. Of course he's not trying to do the same thing there, since Kerry is supposed to win California. Why give up, say, 25 of the state's 55 electoral votes to Bush?. . .
Presumably they will be polling on the presidential race throughout the fall. The moment that it looks as though Kerry is pulling ahead, they will stop spending money promoting the initiative - and maybe even work against it.
I had the great honor of attending the Vice President's rally today at the JeffCo Fairgrounds. As far as I could tell, the place was packed, enthusiastic, and very well-mannered and informed. The Veep was perfectly punctual, which stands in stark contrast to his opponents, and delivered a serious, sobering assessment of America's security challenges and the efforts of this administration to meet those needs, as well as speaking to the state of the economy and the culture at this point. It was concise, well-delivered, and perfectly on pitch with what Republican partisans need to hear at this point. He hit all the main themes, articulated a vision, drew contrasts with the opposition, and made the case. All in all, very effective.
My favorite line of the day, one that should make it into every commercial and public appearance: The Democrats in Congress have blocked every attempt at reforming the civil lawsuit process, costing America millions of dollars every year in frivolous lawsuits. The American people understand that businesses have an easier time hiring people to work for them when they don't have to hire so many lawyers to defend themselves. I edited a little, but you get the gist.
Last night I wrote about back-to-back ads on the telly. I identified the CCV one as starting and ending with "Coors backs gay agenda." I apologize: the ad I saw starts and ends with "Coors wants to lower the drinking age and encourage teenagers to drink." What can I say? As readers of this site know, I am sometimes addled.
However, the error on the blog in no way diminishes the point I was trying to make. In fact, there's a fairly strong conservative, republican argument to be made for a lower drinking age, but that's not the point.
|A Simple Observation
Went to Water World today with the family. Great time had by all, but towing around a three-year-old gives one time to look around. And, generally speaking. . .
I would say that the anorexia/bulemia/Calista Flockhart craze is a thing of the distant past.
Read into that what you will. But let me just add that, if what I saw today is any indication, the generation about to emerge into adulthood is easily the softest generation in history.
That's all I'm saying.
|I Don't Often Cite Dick Morris. . .
because he's a smarmy, oh-too-slick political operative who seems to lack a soul.
But today he made a great point. In his NYPost column (courtesy RCP) he argues that Kerry's strategic decision to run on the war was a tactical error: never fight on another's battlefield.
The graf that brought it home for me:
Voters want a president with brains, not just guts, and all they saw was a warrior telling his old tales on Thursday night. And it wasn't enough. Picture the Springfield song "Glory Days" and one of those sad former jocks who you see at high school reunions talking about "the big game." That's what Kerry managed to do to himself last week.
|A Case In Point
Tonight, while watching the telly (for my British audience--er. . .they know who they are)I was treated to back-to-back campaign ads for the GOP Senate primary.
The first started out with an ominous picture of Pete Coors and the banner (to the effect of) "Supports Gay Rights and the Gay Agenda". It then spent twenty seconds touting Bob Schaffer's record of fiscal and social conservatism before spending the last five on "Supports Gay Rights."
The second is the one with Pete Coors sitting in a field (or something) with his wife talking about his business experience, his values and what he brings to the table--never mentions his opponent or rebuts the attacks.
The stark contrast between the two highlights the point I made last night: Coors has the resources to burn on a positive message, while Schaffer lacks those resources and his supporters who have them are devoting them to attacks.
I think that the vast majority of Schaffer supporters are smart, devoted people who genuinely believe that his brand of conservatism can win statewide. And I don't think I disagree with them. Unfortunately for Schaffer, he lacks the money to make that case for himself, and the brand of conservatism his supporters is putting out there cannot win statewide. Regardless of how much money gets pumped in after the primary, the first impression is a powerful one, and not one that gives me hope for Schaffer.
Is Pete Coors a perfect candidate? Heck, no. I've blogged before about his obvious inexperience and seeming discomfort with the microphone. And in a perfect world the Senate would be enough in GOP control to allow me to cast a strictly ideological vote. But I'm still leaning towards the good win rather than the perfect loss.
Seven days to go.
Eight days until the Senate primary, and here's what the general public knows: Pete Coors and Ken Salazar are both just "aw. . .shucks" Colorado types who wear blue jeans and have lived in state their whole lives; Pete Coors' opponents (read: Bob Schaffer) are flame-throwers who have little fear of seeming bigoted; and there's this other guy, what's his name. . .Niles?
What do I base this assessment on? This is what's managed to make it to television in the form of ads. Is anybody really watching? That's harder to assess. Unfortunately, the debate on the GOP side is (to the public view) fairly one-sided, since Schaffer hasn't had much in the way of TV time yet. No matter how busy a campaign schedule you keep (see Ben on this one), you can't reach as many as you do with one ad buy. And since his supporters have only worked the "attack-dog" side of the game, Schaffer doesn't have the profile to match Coors at this point. For that matter, I was a JeffCO County and 7CD delegate, but I haven't gotten any mailings from the Schaffer campaign in several weeks.
I'm going to hold off filling out my absentee ballot for a few more days. I want to give Schaffer more time to demonstrate that he has the resources to compete. But if you forced me to vote today, I'd fill it out for Coors.
|The Polling Trend
Others have done an admirable job of going through the numbers, and I'll trust that if you managed to find my little site you've probably gone through the big boys who did that for us.
So, I'll just add a comment: if, as I think my average seems to indicate, John Kerry got a grand "bump"-let of 0.5%, that tells me that he may have hit his high-water mark for the year. 45 interminable minutes of tough talk don't really wipe out 19 years of public life. Almost. . .but not really.
On the other hand, if the numbers indicating "hard support" and undecided hold up, that shows that there's only about 10-15% of the electorate that is even open to persuasion. So after a four day infomercial, John Kerry managed to sway about 3% of the swayable. Not a very good performance, by any indication. However, after four years, the President still needs to make his case to the rest of this swayable part of the electorate. That's not a very good sign.
In other words, I gave John Kerry too much credit--I predicted a 3-5 point bounce, and it did not materialize. More encouraging, however, is how little he managed to break in to the mid-ground. For the President to put this away, he'll need to pull in a significantly larger portion of the mid-ground--which would translate into a 5-point bump.
That will take some doing. But if he reminds the people why they like him in the first place, and if the protesters do what they're fixin' to do in force, I think it'seasily within reach.
I'm feeling optimistic today.
|Find the Similarities for Yourself
I thought John Kerry's goofy salute looked familiar. And I found it!! Look for yourself (third picture down) and decide
Perhaps a more gifted technorati than I can post the two side-by-side--just for fun.