Σάββατο, Ιουλίου 31, 2004

Kerry's Defense Plans (shudder)

RTO Trainer goes through Michele's list of Kerry's defense promises and decimates them. One point that particularly stood out to me during the speech and annoys me now:
- End the military's heavy reliance on National Guard and military reservists.
RTO says:
Umm... Okay. How?

Actually, its not okay. Maybe I'm not typical, but I signed up to serve. If we're fighting a war I expect to be there. The lesson of Vietnam (didn't Kerry serve in Vietnam?) was that we had to make certain that the Guard and Reserve were involved in a future war. (Recommended Reading: On Strategy by COL (ret) Harry Summers) Mission accomplished there so now the obvious lesson is to undo that? I got some compelling reasons from COL Summers for the earlier decision, I'm going to need some for this one.

Ending the military's heavy reliance on some National Guard and Reserve specialites and units, that I can go for.

The Dems have a rather wicked little double standard going on as it pertains to the National Guard and Reserves. On the one hand, they should never be deployed, ever, unless perhaps Iran marches on Milwalkee, because if they're deployed, it's a "backdoor draft." On the other, they seem to think that the National Guard are practically deserters and dodgers if they don't get deployed, even though they are still Brave, which the Dems use like men use "Well, she has a good personality."

My personal feeling is that we aren't paying and training these guys to defend Michigan from Ohio, we're paying and training them to be ready and willing to go to war if and when we need them. I realize that is inconvenient, but nobody held a gun to their heads and forced them to enlist. If we need to revamp their benefits or something to compensate them more accurately for their service (I apply this everyone in the military) I say go for it, and I tell the part of my mind that is reminding me that Kerry voted against funding our troops to just simmer on down.

Incidentally, this argument applies to Kerry's "We're gonna add 40,000 troops but not deploy them, especially not to places they might be useful, and really especially not to Iraq because that would be crazytalk" plan. No sense in spending tax dollars to fund 40,000 guys who are going to sit around in the US. No sense enlisting guys who will have to sacrifice control and normal lives and civilian haircuts if they're not going to do the jobs they're hired and trained to do.

And another thing: Kerry says he'll, on his first day in office, "immediately reform intelligence gathering." There is exactly one way to immediately reform a government agency, and that's to cut all of its funding, and that's an option that applies to the Federal Department of Moss Management, not intelligence gathering. Besides that, I want rapid reform, but human intelligence seems to be the issue here, and that ain't built in a day. I see Kerry either a) breaking his promise or b) doing something half-cocked and half-assed that will do more harm than good.

RTO Trainer writes from Afghanistan, and has lots of interesting things to say, so just keep scrolling.

Kennedy Voters

Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette has, in the interest of restoring balance to the blogosphere, kindly provided a graphic for the anti-War folks, so they won't feel left out by the whole Eowyn Voters League thing.

Nice. Very Nice.

Bigger Things

I saw Spiderman 2 last night, and it had tons of good stuff about sacrifice and responsibility and courage and all that jazz. The one line that really popped out at me though was when Peter's friend Whats-His-Name was getting all bent out of shape that Peter wouldn't tell him Spiderman's identity and would choose to protect Spiderman rather than help him get revenge. At that point, Peter turned to him and said something to the effect of "There are bigger things going on here than the two of us," namely that Doc Oct was about to blow up New York.

I think this line would be well remembered by the Bush-haters/Anybody-But-Bush people. Bush is just trying to, literally, save the world in general, and the US in specific. The terrorists are, literally, trying to kill us all, although they are willing to settle for doing it in segments. There are bigger things than whether or not you approve of his pronunciation of "nuclear"going on here. There are bigger things than whether or not the French and Germans approve of our actions going on here. There are bigger things than gay marriage going on here than.

Far bigger things.

Παρασκευή, Ιουλίου 30, 2004

Bush in Springfield

The blog ate my post. So I'm redoing. I'm not happy. Anyway.

Bush's speech was very good this morning, and the whole experience was fun. We had to be there way early to go through the line and security and stuff, but it was an interesting place to people watch. We got to see the protesters, which the media said numbered in the hundreds, but I would say 40 is more accurate and 70 would be very very generous. Here's what I saw:
The people on the hill and immediately in front of it are protesters, the people in the foreground facing towards the hill/left are Bush supporters.

The AP's choice protester quote is this:
“I’m so frightened about what’s happening to the country,” said Joan Wagnon, 72, of Springfield. She held a sign reading, “Don’t waive your rights while waving your flag.”
She's the khaki body on the right. Her face is obstructed by an operative from the Federal Moonbat Protection Program, Nasal Division.
Babe, you're 72 and you live in Springfield, MO, which Al Qaeda is unlikely to target over places that are actually important. Furthermore, the chances of the Patriot Act being used to subpeona lists of the Harlequin Romances you have read recently are slim. You will not be drafted. Dubya gave you prescription drug benefits. He's not going to change social security for the people currently on it, and you'll be dead when it runs out. And very few white suburban grandmothers have been interned at Guantanmo. So what are you afraid of?
Some of the other protesters had completely incomprehensible signs. This one reads: "GWB Heroin of the Bami Air Wars" which may simply be to clever for my limited intellect.
About 10,000 Springfieldians turned out, pretty good for a work day. It was nice to see that capitalism remained in effect.

Finally we got through security and into the stadium, and heard warm-up speeches from Jim Talent, Kit Bond, Roy Blunt, and various and sundry other Missouri politicians. The woman running for Secretary of State promised to "count every vote, count them only once, and make sure the votes only come from people who are alive and from people who are human. St. Louis is an interesting electoral creature.

And then Bush arrived, greeted like a rock star, accompanied by country music. He walked out with about four other men, one of whom looked a good deal like my friend Joe White. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that it was indeed Joe White, who is, in all honesty, perhaps the greatest human alive. He runs both Kanakuk Kamps (which I attended for 9 years and my brother does still), which reaches over 20,000 kids a summer and Kids Across America, which reaches thousands of inner city kids each summer, is a national speaker for Promise Keepers, plays football with the guys at Kamp, sends me graduation gifts, called my dad when he was sick last year, and knows me only as Mango, which was my camp nickname. A good man, that Joe White.

My mother and I had made a bet on what color tie Bush would be wearing, but we both lost, as he was wearing a windbreaker and blue button-down, which was a sensible fashion decision because it was cold and misting, and anyway, it's Springfield, MO and 9am -- no need to impress.
(I didn't take this picture) We saw the guy put the seal on the front of the podium. Apparently it has its own little pouch. I want that job.

The text of Bush's remarks, with audience response, is here. It was a good speech and I recommend reading it all. He had a lot of specifics about what he is doing, which was a nice contrast to Kerry's speech last night, which mostly consisted of broad platitudes about things that he will do, instead of things he has done or is currently doing. As he hasn't really done anything to speak of in 19 years as a senator and has missed 90-odd percent of the votes in the past year, he simply doesn't have that much to talk about. Bush used a lot of present tense, and I like that. For example:
We have more to do to make America's public schools the centers of excellence we all know they can be, so that no child is left behind in America. When we came to office three-and-a-half years ago, too many of our children were being shuffled from grade to grade, year after year, without learning the basics. We're challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations. We've raised the bar. We're setting high standards. We're focusing on results. We're insisting on accountability. We're empowering parents. We're making sure local folks are in charge of schools. And, today, children across America are showing real, substantial progress in reading and math. (Applause.) When it comes to improving America's public schools, we are turning the corner and we're not turning back.
One of his main themes was that the world is changing. He applied the idea to several concepts, but the best part was this:
These are exciting times for our country. It's a time of amazing change. The economy is changing. The world is changing. In our parents' generation, moms usually stayed home while fathers worked for one company until retirement. The company provided health care, and training, and a pension. Many of the government programs and most basic systems, from health care to Social Security to the tax code were based, and still are based on those old assumptions.

This is a different world. Workers change jobs and careers frequently. Most of these jobs are created by small businesses. They can't afford to provide health care or pensions or training. Parents are working; they're not at home. We need to make sure government changes with the times, and to work for America's working families. You see, American workers need to own their own health care accounts. They need to own and manage their own pensions and retirement systems. (Applause). They need more ownership so they can take the benefits from job to job. They need flex-time so they can work out of the home.

All of these reforms are based on this conviction: The role of government is not to control or dominate the lives of our citizens. (Applause.) The role of government is to help our citizens gain the time and the tools to make their own choices and improve their own lives.
If he can pull this off, this is a great paradigm. I really like the idea of changing the way things are structured instead of making them bigger. It's like trying to get more processing power when you have one of the ancient supercomputers. You could just keep making it bigger, or you could redesign it to make it more efficent, to the point where what would once take up several city blocks is now sitting on my lap.

Bush also did a great job explaining the Bush Doctrine, and how exactly we have made progress in the past three years. he said:
We have more to do to wage and win the war against terror. America's future depends on our willingness to lead in the world. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch. (Applause.) The world -- the world changed on a terrible September morning. And since that day, we changed the world.

Before September the 11th, Afghanistan served as the home base for al Qaeda, which trained and deployed thousands of killers and set up terror cells in dozens of countries, including our own. Today, Afghanistan is a rising democracy, an ally in the war on terror, a place where many young girls go to school for the first time. And as a result of our actions, America and the world are safer. (Applause.)

Before September the 11th, Pakistan was a safe transit point for terrorists. Today, Pakistani forces are aggressively helping to round up the terrorists, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.) Before September the 11th, in Saudi Arabia, terrorists were raising money and recruiting and operating with little opposition. Today, the Saudi government has taken the fight to al Qaeda, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.) Before September the 11th, Libya was spending millions to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Today, because America and our allies have sent a strong and clear massage, the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and America and the world are safer.
In the long run, our security is not guaranteed by force, alone. We must work to change the conditions that give rise to terror: poverty and hopelessness and resentment. You see, a free and peaceful Iraq and a free and peaceful Afghanistan will be powerful examples to a neighborhood that needs the example of liberty. Free countries do not export terror. Free countries do not stifle the dreams of their citizens. By serving the ideal of liberty, we're bringing hope to others, and that makes America more secure. By being resolute and strong, by working for the ideal of liberty -- after four more years, America will be more secure and the world will be more peaceful.
That last bit convinces me that the Shrub from Crawford has a much clearer and more expansive vision than the Brahmin from Beacon Hill.

About Iraq and his decision to invade, he said:
Before September the 11th, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America. He was defying the world. He was firing weapons at American pilots and forcing the world to sanctions. He has pursued and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He had harbored terrorists, he invaded his neighbors, he subsidized the families of suicide bombers. He had murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens. He was a source of great instability in the world's most vulnerable region.

I took those threats seriously. After September the 11th, we had to look at the threat in a new light. One of the lessons of September the 11th is we must deal with threats before they fully materialize. (Applause.)

The September the 11th Commission concluded that our institutions of government had failed to imagine the horror of that day. After September the 11th, we cannot fail to imagine that a brutal tyrant who hated America, who had ties to terror, had used weapons of mass destruction and might use those weapons or share his deadly capability with terrorists was not a threat.

We looked at the intelligence; we saw a threat. Members of the United States Congress from both political parties, including my opponent, looked at the intelligence and they saw a threat. (Applause.) We went to the United Nations, which unanimously demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, or face serious consequences. After 12 years of defiance, he refused to comply with the demands of the free world. When he continued to deceive the weapons inspectors, I had a decision to make: to hope for the best and to trust the word of a madman and a tyrant, or remember the lessons of September the 11th and defend our country. Given that choice, I will defend America every time.
And that is why I will vote for him. I have great faith in a man who is willing to put his political career on the line to liberate two little sandy, rocky nations full of 50 million oppressed and forgotton people, I have great faith in a man who is willing to trust his judgement and make a decision to protect his people, and I have great faith in any man who hangs out with Joe White. Four More Years!

UPDATE: Deacon at Powerline has thoughts on Bush's Stump Speech. He says:
From the transcript, I'd say that , domestically, he's matching the Democrats promise for promise, while touting the job growth (1.5 million new jobs since last August) that has followed his tax cut. On values, it's all about marriage.

But it's when he discusses the war against terrorism that, in my estimation, Bush outshines Kerry. That's because he has a strong and unambiguous record.
I agree. The other major issue between their two stump speeches is delivery. Bush seemed at ease, happy to be there, and genuinely relatable and accessible, as much as one could be while surrounded by Secret Service and the like. I haven't seen Kerry in person, but he seems like a foreign-but-reasonably-fluent practitioner of, I don't know, American behavior or something. The other vibe I get from Kerry is "Ooh! Look at me! I'm important! Hey! Look at me! Don't you know who I am! I'm Important! Hey! Look at meeeeeeee!" Bush knows he's important. He knows he's powerful. On Bush, power and influence wears naturally. On Kerry, it looks like a little girl trying on her mothers make-up, jewelry and high heels (savor that mental picture...). In a lot of ways, Bush does remind me of Joe White -- yeah, Bush is the leader of the free world, but he'd also come over and help you deal with an ant problem in your kitchen or clear brush or go fishing with you. Kerry seems like the sort where you'd go to his mansion and sit in the parlor and you'd entertain yourselves by scolding the servants, and if you had an ant problem he might give you the name of his Insect Termination Consultant or send one of the servants, but unless he really wanted your vote, he's not the sort of guy you'd find in your crawlspace. Just my impression.

Sure You Can!

Go read this from LLama Butchers -- It's entitled "Who says you can't mix Tolkien and politics" and it's really quite amusing. So scamper on over. Then come back.


I just got home from Bush's speech in Springfield. It was really very good, and I'll have more on it later, but I was up late last night and had to get up Very Early this morning to go see Bush speak (doors opened at 6:30) so I'm going to take a nap and then get right on that, so check back later and I'll have quotes and pictures and everything.

Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 29, 2004

The Watcher's Council Speaks

This week's winning posts from the Watcher's Council. The full results are here.
The council post is Control Room by Patterico's Pontifications. The non-council post is Getting It Out by S-Train Canvas. They both come highly recommended. Go read.

I'm fisking. I'll try to get it done in an hour or so. Otherwise it may have to wait till tomorrow. We have to get up WAY early to go see Bush. General impression: It would have been hard to have less specifics while still using nouns. I'm not inspired.

UPDATE: No, I'm not. I'm going to watch Friends and relax. Man does not live on blog alone. Go read Rob Sama. He's good. Instapundit has a running thread too. Ed liveblogged. A good read.

Kerry's Speech

Lurch has entered the building. He's pressing the flesh. The Secret Service guys don't seem to be thrilled to be there. They just added the steps today so he could enter through the people. The vertical "KERRY" signs are reminiscent of highly magnified pictures of intestinal villi. He's there. There's chanting. The villi are excited. Leo DiCaprio is there. I'll be playing Cards # and #, but I have to look up the numbers in a minutes. I'll fisk the speech later, but for now, I'm just gonna have fun and yell obscinities "Reporting for duty."
Dad: I'm going to barf.
Mom: This is gonna be tough. Kerry: "I'm home again."
Katie, screaming: You've been home for 35 years!!
Mom: "If I had 'Home' on my card, I'd have Bingo by now."
JFK:"I was born in the West Wing."
Dad:"Hopefully this is the closest you're gonna get, buddy."

9:22 He accepts! He can't raise any more money! He can't raise any more money!


Okay folks, post your card number here when you call BINGO. Feel free to go for a second BINGO, or play Blackout. Whatever works. Here we go!


Now they're dragging out Max Cleland. This speech is brought to you by the word: "Patriotism." The crowd has red "MAX" signs. John Edwards applauds prettily.

Max is telling his story of when he met John Kerry. He was being airlifted out of Vietnam, John Kerry was heading to Vietnam. That doesn't actually tell us how they met. While Kerry was earning medals, Max was in the hospital. He resolved to make something of his life. Good for him. I support that.

I'm going to take a brief typing break till Kerry's speech. Blogging will be light because I'm gonna play Kerry Bingo!

Okay, Max is losing it. I didn't get a chance to get all that down, I'll update it later when the speech transcript is up. The gist seems to be that currently Bush is excluding people from education and destroying the environment.

"He looked at me with those long sad eyes and said 'I won't let you down.'" Max, we're electing a president, not buying a puppy. This man needs to write Harlequin Romances.

(500th Post)

Last Chance!

Get yer Bingo Cards. 15 more minutes!

The Kerry Video

Oh, here's the fabled Kerry video. Starts with lots of people talking. "A Remarkable Promise" The music is remenicsent of a slow version of the "Jurrasic Park" theme. Bio of the parents. Sister speaking. John speaking about the parents. He was 6'4". He was part of the "Electras" rock band. See yesterday's post on Edwards wife. "
"John went to Yale."
Who is this narrator?
"John chose to serve in Vietnam." Albeit not for very long.
Now John's narrating, and we have pensive string music. Now we have one or two of the few boatmates who are still speaking to him. Now we're seeing the swiftboat footage, and explosions. No Kerry in action yet. I'd like to know what video came from Kerry.

The music is "Come Holy Spirit Come," which is gorgeous. I never thought I'd hear THAT in a Dem video, but you couldn't really make out the words, so I guess it's okay...yeah... Video of Kerry walking past camera in gear, with soldeirs behind him. He came home to fight against the war, became an activist. Testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His pow-wows with the Viet Cong are not mentioned. Nor is the discredited Winter Solder investigation.

He went to congress. He commuted home to be with his family. He tried to be a good senator. Will we hear about the legistlation he proposed? No. There isn't any to speak of.

He married Teresa Heinz. The first wife has been forgotten, apparently. This is definately the Botoxed John.

Now we're hearing Teresa's story. "Being an American is something I have to work every day to deserve." Everyone deserves the liberties we have, that's what the Declaration of Independance says. And Dubya's trying to bring those liberties to people around the world.

Dad says: "I think I'm going to be sick!." Dead air. People are chanting. Quick -- somebody sing something.

Now we are seeing the "John went to the funerals of some firefighters" video again.

Now we have the members from Kerry's swiftboat. You'll notice that there aren't that many of them, and they're not even all from Kerry's boat, only the first four are. It's a bit disingenuous, because they make it seem like those guys all served on John's boat, but they kept calling out different boat names. Only about 4 were from John's boat. I'd love to have all 200+ members of Swiftboat Veterans for Truth at the GOP convention.

Heinz-Kerry Kids

Andre is up. His step-dad is a sportsman, a public servant, loving person etc. Andre sounds a) very formal and b) vaguely British.
Now Chris is standing around with him.

Now the Kerry girls are up. Both of their dresses are opaque. The red daughter wandered off. That may have been Vanessa. Or Alex. "As someone who knows all 6'4" of my dad best." I was hoping that Teresa knew all 6'4" of him best, but some families are different. I thought most of those of those families lived in Arkansas, but apparently not.

Shocking developments: John laughs, is sad, and hugs his children. He also embarrasses them at times. "He and our mother have given us great gifts." Well they'd better have, what with a net worth of upwards of a billion dollars. "He had the courage to take risks (cough) Our house..." Right, cuz Teresa couldn't have wiped out that mortgage with a weeks worth of interest on her fortune.

"My grandmother was ailing, she loved the autumn, and we wanted to bring her some foliage."
This speech is brought to you by: Webster's Thesaurus

Apparently that was Vanessa. This is Alex. She's going to tell a silly story. The hamster fell in the pond and was going to drown. Kerry fished the hamster out and began to administer CPR. Well, that will win him the rodent vote. I'm still not convinced of why that qualifies him to be president.

Alex is giving the speech Teresa should have. She's good.

More on the Music

Now they're dancing in a semi-coordinated way to the "John Kerry's Tryin' to Make A Difference" song. They seem to also have the lyrics on the big screen. The dance seems to be somewhere between John-Travolta-in-Saturday-Night-Fever and Taibo. "The Real Deal keeps on flyin',
John Kerry Keeps on tryin',
Tryin' to make a difference."

Please God don't ever make me listen to that song again.

They play this goofy wash under all the quotes. This is like watching the Disco/Motown rounds of American Idol, but without the joy that is Simon. Or Clay Aiken.

As I said, if I were planning the GOP convention, I'd go for Copeland, Sousa, etc. Gravitas. "We have experience, we can kick terrorist butt while increasing our portfolio, and we don't boogie." That is the GOP motto.

Willie and Maddy and Alfrie

Here's Willie Nelson with a blue-robed gospel choir singing "Livin' in A Promised Land." I can see the teleprompter. Shouldn't he know the lyrics by now. People are waving their flags whimsically. They've chosen to shine blue lights on the blue-robed people. They look like African-American Smurfs. I reiterate my contention that Democrats have no rhythm. I suspect that GOP doesn't either. As far as I can tell, the choir was there to sing the final chord.

Madeline Albright is up. When I was in high school, all the girls on my debate team thought Madeline Albright was all that and a bowl of granola. Good God, what happened to her hair. I am no longer in awe. She starts that 40 year ago she voted for a senator from Mass. Translation: I am old.

She has known Kerry for 20 years, and is looking forward to him being president. In this time of danger, she wants someone who will keep Amerca strong secure and safe, and will lead in the tradition of Roosevelt Truman and Eisenhower, the greatest generation folks. Translation: I am old, but better than you.

The past few years we've seen a new enemy arise: Terrorism.
Good call, Maddy. Our adversaries have nothing to offer their followers except hatred and death. I assume she means the terrorists.

John Kerry will mobilize the full arsenal of American power.
When? When Manhattan is rubble? Or before? That seems important.

"He will use intelligence to shape policy, not twist intelligence to justify policy."
Even Egypt and Jordan warned us that Iraq had WMDs and would use them.

He will stop the spread of the worlds most dangerous weapons by concentrating on where they are, not where they are not.
So we'll be attacking Iran and Syria with (shudders to type it) President Kerry?

He will not seek a truce, settle for surrender nor accept a stalemate. We will persist until we prevail.

Now some believe our country should never take action without permission. John Kerry will seek to explain and strive to gain support. If I recall correctly, Bush kept going back to the UN to explain himself.

"We must help with the dangers that most threaten them. John Kerry will do whatever it take s to defend America whether it's approved by other nations or not." Even though he did say he wouldn't send out American troops without UN permission. That seems like seeking approval. Do you really think that Saddam would be in custody right now if Kerry was president? No, I don't either.

Never ducked a fight, gone missing in battle, left a buddy behind. Whatcha trying to say, Maddy?

"He will be ready on day one, John Kerry has always been a warrior for truth and right." I beg to differ.

Madeline is gunning for Rummy's job. That's all there is to it.

Now we hear her tale of immigrating. What on earth is that pin she's wearing? It looks like a small, gilded bat. I'm guessing it's an eagle, but man, it's ugly.

Here's the "Uniter, not a Divider" shtick again. Gag me.

"This November, we can alter the course of history by giving John Kerry and John Edwards a huge mandate to restore America to it's proper place as a beacon of truth and as the land we all love.
Go read Iraq the Model and get back to me.

Some Young Person says John Kerry will "Represent the United States as a place that will accept the ideals of all people."
Does that include terrorist people? French people who hate Americans? I don't want that.

Alfrie Woodard is up. I don't care. "John Kerry understands that being stronger at home means standing up for ordinary Americans."
Often standing up in front of them because he can't be bothered to stand in line.

A farmer from Kentukey is speaking. She supports John Kerry. Her voice needs WD-40. "He shares our values: hard work, faithfulness, and trust."
Hard work: Marrying Heiresses. Faithfulness: Divorcing/Annulling one. Trust: pick your own flip-flop.

Carol King's up, singing "You've Got a Friend."
Mom says, "And I used to love that song."
Carol: "We're here to honor a proven leader and a friend to all Americans."
Mom: "Oh don't spoil the song!"

The background music here SUCKS.

Kerry Bingo Reminder

If you haven't gotten your Kerry Bingo cards yet, be sure to get them before Thursday night so you can play along. Good luck!

(UPDATE 7/28) I just added a special new card. Go check it out.

(UPDATE 7/29) Kerry Bingo is TONIGHT! I'll be posting a comment thread which you can use to call Bingo there and linking it here and at the original post. Be there!

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 28, 2004

The Edwardses

First up, Cate Edwards. What's up with the hair and outfit? Not my favorite.

This is John Edward's daughter, who is slightly older than me. She is doing what Teresa should have done last night. She's doing the "Gee, my mom is swell" routine, and then the "my dad is the most magnificent human since Jesus" routine. She's human, she's personable, she seems like the sort of person I could be friends with as long as she didn't find out I was a Republican (which is, shockingly possible.)

Alright, the choreographed signs are kinda creepy. They all have Elizabeth signs now. She's speaking. Not the best dress for her either.

Now we're going to to end the injustice of Two Americas. See post re: Obama.

Elizabeth is taking about how John Kerry is like her father. It's almost Electra-ish.

John was Santa Claus to poor kids. He coached young people's teams. This qualifies him to be the President of the PTA, not one breath away from the Presidency of the United States. As Bush said when asked what the difference between Cheney and Edwards is, "Dick Cheney can be President."

Apparently John Edwards is optimistic. This is still much better than Teresa. The vertical, red Edwards signs are vaguely remenicent of Red China. Or a bed of anemones.

Now here comes John. It's like Vice President Ken Doll. John Edwards has a mole on his upper lip, marring his fabled beauty. Personally, I'd take Bush-in-a-flight-suit any day. This speech is brought to you by the word, "smarmy."

He asked "How great was Teresa Heinz Kerry last night?" Not at all.

John's parents are here. Even THEY don't look that old. There's an abnormally large adolescent sitting behing them. Not a big guy, the perspective's just wrong.

"I want to talk" (chanting) "about our next president. For those who want to know what kind of leader he'll be, let me take you back about 30 years ago. He graduated from college and volunteered for the military yadda yadda yadda."
Once again, we're getting into the piccolo/conductor problem. Or rather, piccolo/composer problem. Whole different kettle of fish. Did Edwards just say that "Your problems are [Kerry's] problems"? Right... Kerry doesn't have student loans and I'm not henpecked. We have different problems.

Aren't we sick of relentless negative attacks? As opposed to those positive attacks? "This is America, where everything is possible." No it's not, you ninny.

John Edwards loves his country. His father was a millworker. Other millworkers had lint in their hair. Now little Johnny is able to afford hair care products, but he still remembers the linty masses.

He has spent his life fighting for the linty masses. The fact that he became a millionaire using junk science and helped drive up insurance and health care costs is not mentioned.

Now he's riding the Two Americas bit. He's preaching that everyone can be a part of an equal America, essentially. George Orwell to the Farmhouse, George Orwell to the Farmhouse. Now he seems to be abolishing private schools, or at least saying that everyone's schools should be equally good. Do his kids go to private schools?

"Two different economies -- people who are set for life and people who live paycheck to paycheck."
So we just abolished the middle class.

"Gonna get rid of tax breaks for companies that outsource."
Teresa's gonna be pissed.

"We're going to reward work, not just wealth.: Then how about you actually reward work? Like by letting the people that work for the money KEEP the money.

"So now we're gonna pay for healthcare. And a tax break if your kid is the first in the family to go to college."

"How are we going to pay for this? He's going to pay for it by hiking takes on 2% of Americans and close corporate loopholes."
And somehow create high-paying jobs. Which corporate loopholes. And where are the companies going to get the money to pay these employees?

We have children going to bed hungry, without clothes, etc. There are not that many of those. I don't feel like finding them right now, but the standard of living for the American poor is much higher than the standard of living for average Americans 50 years ago, and is still better than for average people in most of Europe.

"Raise the minimum wage."
Or we could just print more money. Then everyone would be rich. My tunnels are carping.

"Say no forever to any American working full time and living in poverty."
You know, encouraging marriage would be a good start for that. Marriage almost automatically lifts people from poverty.

Why we need One America -- he saw segregation growing up. That doesn't explain why the money I earn should be redistributed. We should talk about race and civil rights everywhere. Would you talk about it in a box? Would you talk about it with a fox? He's talking about two different Two Americas.

Now we're at war, so we gotta be One America. "As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee..." (more on that later -- not tonight)

"When John is President, we will listen to the wisdom of the 9/11 commission." When George in, that definately won't happen.

Edwards did the "You cannot run, you cannot hide, we will destroy you" bit. I can't see Osama trembling in his boots over this.
We're back to harping on Vietnam. Bingo Card #13 is sounding like a good bet.

Veterans benefits -- I support those.

We're stretched thin. There are brave people fighting in Iraq. Did I mention the Kerry was brave?

"Restore respect in the world, bring allies to us. It's how we won the Cold war, it's how we won two World Wars."
No, dear, it isn't. We won the Cold War by arms-racing the USSR into bankrupcy and the only way in which our allies came to us in WWII was in that "Help, help, we're being blitzkreiged!" sort of way. We were isolationists then, John. We didn't build broad coalitions because we didn't need them.

We'll be safer if America's looked up to and respected. If we are respected in the world, apparently we can then bring the soldiers home. Interesting. I don't understand that causal relationship.

"Hope is on the way." Oh good grief, they have "Hope is on the way" signs. They're like a weird flag corps. I'd never seen Edwards in action before. He seems like someone who Hollywood cast to portray a young southern politician. He's a bit shifty. And he blinks a lot.

Praise God, he's done. His kids are cute.

(Song: "You can feel it all over." That would have been a good song for Clinton...
Man, I hope the GOP raids the Copeland catalog and acts like grownups. )

Switching to C-SPAN

Ed Rendall is currently railing on about energy independence.

"John Kerry will free us from the Tyrrany of Foreign Oil. And he has a plan. 1) To bring down fuel cost, he will do whatever it takes to bring natural gas in abundant supply and at low prices. His speeches seem to be the implicit source."

Ed says, "John wil roll up his sleeves and scrub coal," or something similar.
And then he will be the first into the line of fire. The Secret Service is gonna have fun with this guy.

Ed says, "we will become world leader in clean coal economy."
As Den Beste notes, that is a goal, it is not a plan.

Ed's listing states, trying to get applause, it's not working. When your big cheer delegation is West Virginia, it's not going well.

"Moving towards energy independance means creating more jobs. Lots of people are driving hybrids, and staying on waiting lists. They're being made in Japan. John Kerry will give tax incentives for Detroit to build them, and give us tax credits to buy it."

"He's going to boost demand for renewable, and make America leading producer of renewables."
Good luck.

"If I use less power, the bill will go down. That's how Kerry will cut the federal energy bill, and help everyone else do the same thing."
This doesn't make sense to me either. Magic must be involved.

"John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independance, John Kerry will declared energy independence."

Here's a nifty idea -- while we're doing the voodoo required to make those things happen, why don't we drill in ANWR and build some refineries. Then we can do what we need to do.

John Mellencamp is playing. Democrats do not seem to have an exceptional sense of rhythm. Singing about his Small Town. For reference, the number of small towns that vote Democratic is, well, small.

Bill's proud to be the first Hispanic to be the chair of the convention. He's speaking spanish, taking about how the latino community is proud and strong. He says with opportunity comes with responsibility. He's trying to get the vote out, and says, "Nuestro voto es nuestro voz." "Bill Clinton led our nation and the world to an era of unprecidented peace and prosperity."
NEWSFLASH: did you know that John Kerry enlisted in the Navy as a young man?

"Our strenght as measured by our standing in the world. We are on our own in a dangerous world. We pursue the enemies of civilization with few partners. It's time for John Kerry."

"Just four years algo, I was able to go anywhere in the world and get them to do things. Now I can't. I was able to unite the security council around American interests."
Did it ever occur to you that our interests and their interests happened to coincide at that point but they don't now?

Now we're into the "We're going it alone" garbage. Do you think we don't have Google, Bill? Good grief.

Granholm's up. She can't be president, she's Canadian. Just wanted to get that out of the way. I didn't vote for her, by the way.

"231 years ago, Boston was abuzz with the sound or rebellion."
This is about the Tea Party. Liberal use of tea puns: brewed, steeped, etc. The founding fathers must be spinning in their graves at the moment. "

Let us launch the rebellion to choose a new president: John Kerry."
Gag me. These guys don't have the cojones to launch a real rebellion. Those guys are a) in the White House and b) in Iraq.

"We are here to nominate John Kerry to be the next president of the United States."
OH! That explains it!
I know Granholm's aunt. She's loopy too.

"So-called recovery."
Bite me.

"Americans are being financially squeezed."
[Insert "Americans who are squeezed"/Clinton joke here.] Didja ever think that taxes might have something to do with it?

"Who will stand up for small business owners?"
It sure ain't you, babe. And it ain't Kerry either. When was the last time he stood up for anything. Go look, I'll wait here.

"I'm the governor of Michigan, a state of hard work and innovation."
As opposed to the rest of you slackers.

"Health care is part of John Kerry's plan to help small businesses and create 10 Million jobs"
(Mom says: "Do we need 10 million new jobs?) Like hell it will. Just like it does in Europe and Canada, where, Jenny, I note you don't live. Now we're back to that "Send Me" bit.

"Let us wake up our neighbors."
I'm grouchy when awakened, and liable to bite.

"Kerry our nation forward."
I like puns, but not on my governors. Yeesh.

Now they're recognizing Dukakis. And chanting. Somewhere, Karl Rove is doing the happy dance.

Now we have the John Kerry, loyal friend and brother. It's about firefighters, specifically some fire that went wrong. There is scary music. John Kerry comforted them. He attended a funeral. He was very human.

So there we have the qualifications:
1) he fought in Vietnam
2) He attended a funeral for some firefighters who were his constituants.

Some lady in New Hampshire says that she wants Kerry so "All of our children will find jobs for which they are highly qualified and which they enjoy."
The McDonalds Corporation is not going to be pleased. Since when is employment, let alone employment in your area of qualification and enjoyment a right? Lots of people don't enjoy their jobs. Deal. I've done a number of jobs for which I am over qualified and that I didn't enjoy. And that was okay.

A Colorado Vietnam vet says: "Combat experience and knowledge are the qualities that are required for a Commander-In-Chief."
Ding ding WRONG. That's like saying that excellent piccolo skills are the essential quality of a symphonic conductor. Not even slightly.

Oh God, it's "We Are Family" again. Overweight Dems boogying while wearing funny hats. Also Triumph the Insult Dog.

John Somethingunpronouncable is speaking. I'm taking a break till Cate Edwards.

Watching Al So You Don't Have To

Al is yelling. Apparently the our freedoms are at stake. Al is convinced that ...oh, I don't know what he's saying. A little dynamic range would do him good. Bring back Obama. Please...

UPDATE: samaBlog apparently does have something intelligent to say. Go read him.

A thought from last night: The Dems gave Ron Reagan, what, 20 minutes to go on about stem cells during primetime. There's a war going on and we're worried about stem cells? I mean, sure, they're a good thing, but people!

Dick Morris -- "Kerry was nuts to put his wife on Tuesday night. She can't handle that kind of scrutiny. "Kerry didn't have a choice, not within the Democratic party, but within the Kerry household. "

Does it bother anyone else that Kerry doesn't make the calls for his family? Because if he doesn't make the calls for his family, do you think he's going to get to actually run the country? And does Teresa seem qualified to run it? Not to me she doesn't.

"People don't want a leiutenant for their president, just like they don't want a firefighter. They respect that he was a good firefighter, they respect that he was a good leiutenant, but the American people want a general and a leader."

The Church of The Democrats

The Conventional Wisdom is that one of the main differences between the parties is religion (the GOP has it, the Dems don't). I would argue that the GOP has religion, but the Dems are one. Don't believe me? What's the first thing you need for a religion? You need a Messiah. Exhibit A:
As I've traveled America, I've seen that strength. I've seen it in the people I've met and their desire to take our country back for the American people. I saw it in a college student in Pennsylvania who sold her bicycle and sent us a check for $100 with a note that said, "I sold my bicycle for democracy." I saw it in a woman from Iowa who handed me $50-all in quarters. She saved it from her monthly disability check, because she wanted to make America well again. And I saw it in the 19-year-old from Alabama who had never been involved in politics before he got in his car and drove up to Vermont, because he didn't feel like he was being heard in Washington.
For reference, the Bible says:
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
(Mark 10:21)

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."
(Mark 12:40-44)

Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
(Matthew 16:24)

What else do you need? You need faith. And John has faith -- he believes:
"John believes that we can, and we will, give every family and every child access to affordable health care, a good education, and the tools to become self-reliant."

"With John Kerry as president, we can, and we will, protect our nation's security without sacrificing our civil liberties. In short, John believes we can, and we must, lead in the world - as America, unique among nations, always should - by showing the face, not of our fears, but of our hopes."

"John believes in a bright future. He believes we can, and we will, invent the technologies, new materials, and conservation methods of the future. He believes that alternative fuels will guarantee that not only will no American boy or girl go to war because of our dependence on foreign oil, but also that our economy will forever become independent of this need."

"He believes that our voices - yours and mine - must be the voices of freedom. And if we do not speak, neither does she."
-- Teresa
Jesus said, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."(Matthew 17:20)

And finally, you need miracles. John Kerry will give 'em to ya.
"With John Kerry as president, global climate change and other threats to the health of our planet will begin to be reversed."

"We can, and we will, create good, competitive, and sustainable jobs while still protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our children, because good environmental policy is good economics."

"Today, the better angels of our nature are just waiting to be summoned. We only require a leader who is willing to call on them, a leader willing to draw again on the mystic chords of our national memory and remind us of all that we, as a people, everyday leaders, can do; of all that we as a nation stand for and of all the immense possibility that still lies ahead."

"John Kerry will give us back our faith in America. He will restore our faith in ourselves and in the sense of limitless opportunity that has always been America's gift to the world."

Walking the Plank

Tasty Morsels in today's OpinionJournal -- They seem to have located at least one plank of the Democratic platform. OJ says:
Hold on right there. In the scavenger hunt for any substantive Democratic foreign policy, we have found the platform's main plank. President Bush has caused us to "walk away from our allies" (there are a few allies out there, such as our new pal, Moammar Gadhafi, where I'd suggest: Don't walk--run. But we'll get to that). And that, so far, has been pretty much the sum total of Democratic foreign policy offered up for this election. The rallying cry for Mr. Kerry is that the Bush administration has engaged in a crusade of ally-alienating, away-pushing, bridge-burning pre-emptive war on two of the world's worst terrorist-sponsoring tyrannies, and only John Kerry can now re-unite us, in fluent French, no less, with the likes of Jacques Chirac.
Previously it was surmised that the Dems were rocking along to the Oldies on their Air Platform, but apparently, it has a plank! Let us rush to the polls! (I was awakened abnormally early this morning for inadequate reasons. I'm a bit punchy.) They then go through many of the major countries of the world and examine how we've "burned bridges" with them. It's a good read, so go read it. What it comes down to:
Let's get to the real point. George Bush has deeply irritated France. That would be more distressing were it not for the memory that the last time the French resented America this much was in the mid-1980s. That was when President Ronald Reagan was more intent on winning the Cold War than pleasing the Elysee. And you know what? We won.
No thanks to you, Mr. Carter.
The real point is that the world is in fact too big and complicated a place to be simply all about America, and whether we're hated or loved. There are at least 190 other governments out there, dozens of them dictatorships we probably shouldn't try to please, and some of them democracies in which politicians, believe it or not, have agendas that may well differ from Washington's. It's an interesting notion, that we can make friends, influence nations and win the war on terror by relying on John Kerry's social skills. But it would be lot more comforting to hear the Democrats touting the virtues of principle.
The Democrats have become the Party of Popularity, which would explain their support in Hollywood and possibly New York, to some extent. You know that "if the world were only 100 people" thing that goes around on email and dorm bulliten boards? Not all those 100 people would like each other. They wouldn't all have the same agenda. They wouldn't always agree. Anyone who has ever tried to get 5 people to agree on a restaurant can tell you that. It's asinine to demand that we get all the nations of the world to sing in perfect harmony before we take action. There's just not enough Coke for that.

Children, Go Where I Send Thee

I think the point at which the Moore/O'Reilly slugfest jumped the shark (aside from when Michael Moore walked in with a State hat on and started talking) was when Moore tried to get Bill O'Reilly to offer to sacrifice his son (does he have one? I don't think so...) to secure Fallujah or something. This is an idiotic line of questioning for so many reasons, but I'll only flog two.

First off, parents send their children to elementary school. They do not send their children to secure Fallujah. Brave young men and women enlist themselves in the Army once they reach the age of 18, which is the legal age of consent/adulthood/majority, after which time the parent doesn't have authority to send the child anywhere. When they enlist, they give control of their own destinies, as it were, to their branch of the military, which then sends them where they need them. I have a friend who up and joined the Marines over much opposition from his parents. He's in Iraq right now, sent there by a) the USMC and b) his choice to join USMC. Bill O'Reilly answered the question as best he could, saying that he's sacrifice himself to secure Iraq. Moore pointed out that he's too old, but besides being too old, Bill was simply speaking for the only person for whom he has the right to enlist. George Bush (or any Commander-in-Chief) has the power to order men into battle and likely-death situations, which is why we are very careful about who we pick as President. Parents cannot order soldiers into battle and which is why it's okayish that parenting has a much lower threshold of qualification.
The only acceptable instance of a father sending his son into battle to die was Jesus, and even that was consentual.

Second. It may be an emotionally powerful argument, but making decisions by the "send your kids to die" method is asinine. If you asked 400,000 WWII era families "Would you send your children to die to liberate Jews and Poles and the French," you'd probably get a lot of "no" votes, and Hitler would've lived to a ripe old age. The better question is, "With the knowledge that soldiers will lose their lives, should the Jews/Poles/French/Afghans/Iraqis be liberated?"

But Michael Moore has lost all touch with reality and reason, so really, why bother?

Τρίτη, Ιουλίου 27, 2004

Fun with Photoshop

Llamabutchers has a great new Kerry-Edwards campaign poster, based on Jimmy Carter's speech.

Also, Aaron has a Teresa/Evita picture up. Go look at both.

I've been offered one of the open spots on the Watcher's Council! Yay!

This week's posts are up here.

Teddy Keddy Sez:

"How could any President have possibly squandered the enormous goodwill that flowed to America from across the world after September 11th?
Most of the world still knows what we can be -- what only we can be -- and they want us to be that nation again."

Oh right. The rest of the world has our best interest in mind. If you buy that, I have a bridge to sell you.

The Panel Speaks

Sam Donaldson says: I didn't understand why they gave Teresa Heinz Kerry the featured speech on one of the four precious nights, and after her speech, I still don't get it. She was supposed to give a window into John Kerry's soul, but it was mostly a window into Teresa. [...] By the end, I expected her to burst into "Don't Cry For Me Argentina."

One of the other FoxGuys says something to the effect of "If she says in a time of war that the best face of America is a Peace Corps volunteer seems a little off kilter and seems to belittle the contributions of the fighting people." He also noted that she said nothing about John Kerry, the man.

Fred Barnes describes it as eccentric, bizarre, and self-indulgent. He notes that it is the first time a candidate's wife has gotten the primetime and will probably be the last.

Blogging Teresa

Ooh, she's gonna speak in five languages. That makes me want to vote for her husband. Maybe I'll blog in four languages, although I don't have Greek and Japanese fonts, and I don't feel like transliterating. Su hijo Chris habla ahora. No creo que el es muy guapo. "Mama, te amo," dijo. Es muy raro que la familia Heinz habla sobre el muerto padre como el esta viviendo.

Here she is. Invoking that father again. Creepy. I think she's on valium. Now she's speaking to the spanish, french, italians, brazilians and the continental africans. What about the Greeks? Stous ellinikous tis Amerikis?

Shocker! She's not from this country. Man, she may be a real livewire, but she's putting me to sleep. (Mom thinks she's had plastic surgery.) She looks like she's falling asleep.

She's going on about having grown up under a dictatorship. Ma'am, if you had grown up under the Iraqi dictatorship and John was president, you'd still be.

OH! She started this section well, saying that she's labeled opinionated and that she hopes that the women of the world will be called smart and informed instead of opinionated. How about "I hope women won't be beaten, killed, and mutilated by the psycho Islamist men in their lives." The other is cosmetic. She wants to free the women of the world, but doesn't mention the women of Afghanistan or who liberated them.

Now she's bashing Americans? Or not? It sounded like she was knocking us for a minute, apparently not. She just said we'd do something from Iowa to California, presumably representing coastal boundaries. (Mom says: "This is hard to follow -- she's jumping around."

She says John believes in a bright future, and believes that technologies will be invented. I refer you to Den Beste on that one. John can believe it all day long, but without, say, a plan and feasibility, the magic ain't gonna happen.

"John believes we will give everyone affordable healthcare." Well then. And they say the Republicans are the faith-based party. "Working to give parents more opportunities with their children." What the heck does that mean? "John Kerry will protect our nation's security without sacrificing our civil liberties." Once again, apparently some voodoo happens somewhere in there. "John earned his medals the old fashioned way, by putting his life on the line for the country." Is she insinuating that the current soldiers are earning theirs through backgammon? "He will always be first in the line for fire." Well that's dumb. I don't think the Secret Service will stand for that.

"When John Kerry is president, global climate change will begin to be reversed." And the lion will lay down with the lamb and we will beat our swords into plowshares, whatever those are. "John Kerry will return the nation to its moral bearings." (Mom: "Oh for God's sake!" She's holding her face in her hands.)

Now she's quoting Lincoln and talking about our mutual affection and the better angels of our nature, which are waiting to be summoned, we only require a leader who is willing to call on them, a leader willing to summon the mystical cords of our national memory." Once again, I find Bush's faith less creepy than a guy who's summoning better angels and mystical cords. (Music choice: "Shout" -- I'm glad they didn't play "We are Family" again, although it would have been appropriate for Teresa, not Howie." I predict that the Democrats-with-signs Boogie will not be the next national dance craze.)

It's Not About You

Rich Lowry, in response to Clinton's speech last night:
Mr. President, you said Bush cut your taxes. Have you paused to think that maybe the tax cuts, like at least a few other things in life, aren't about you personally?
That goes for you too, Mr. Affleck. Just because you make millions a year and got a tax cut doesn't mean that everyone does. Lots of people who got the tax cuts are just normal people who use it for normal things building porches.

The whole letter is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Scamper on over.

(via Physics Geek, who goes on my blogroll tonight)

My mother's comments on Ron Reagan's speech

Regarding his exhortation that we "vote for embryonic stem cell research," my mother replied, "I wasn't aware stem cell research was running..."

She also noted the Reagan spoke as though he had the cure in his back pocket, what does he need research money for? He made it sound like "Vote, and we'll cure it by Christmas" instead of being in the beginning stages.

My thought: We all know, even if he doesn't, that he's only there to put the Reagan stamp on the DNC. They'd let him give recipes for quiche from the dias if that would get him up there.

Paging Mr. Rove

Via Instapundit: David Hines writes:
Suggested TV commercial:

FADE IN: on Ted Kennedy, on the podium, partway through his garbled
convention speech, as he delivers the line, "The only thing we have to
fear is four more years of George W. Bush!"

CUT TO: New York City skyline. The old one. With the World Trade

Exactly. FDR Teddy ain't.

N.Z. Bear has a beautiful anti-Teddy snark. It reminds me of two precious Ann Coulter comments in regards to Teddy. First:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said: "The administration had a plan to fight the war, but it had no plan to win the peace." Kennedy's idea of "a plan" consists of choosing a designated driver before heading out for the evening.
And second:
Among Bush's "many unworthy judicial nominees," the Times said, Brown is "among the very worst" – more "out of the mainstream" than all the rest! Even Teddy Kennedy, who might be well advised to withhold comment on a woman's position relative to a moving body of water, has described Brown as "out of the mainstream," adding, "Let's just hope this one can swim."

Watching the Convention II

Obama (who the heck is that? he's doing well though...) is talking about how we aren't red states and blue states, Republicans and Democrats, etc, we are one United States of America. John Edwards must be backstage, swearing prettily.

UPDATE: Whoever he is, I hope he overthows Jesse and Al's claim to leadership of the fabled black community. He's good. He's misguided, but good. Kinda like Ben Affleck. The cheesy black-gospel music with lyrics "we are one country" (I think) is wretched.

Watching the Convention

7:03 Did Ben Affleck just describe himself as middle-class on the Factor? He comes off as moderate and intellegent though. Not as much of a lefty-ditz as you'd think. He's a gun supporter, amazingly. And doesn't hate Bush. And managed to have a good, friendly conversation with O'Reilly. He says he respects the president, even if he doesn't agree. Alright, I can respect that. His facts are a little funny, but he'll do.

7:11 Oh Lord -- coming up: O'Reilly vs. Michael Moore. I cannot handle that. I will have to go away.

7:24 Just saw the excerpt from Kennedy. He says something to the effect of "the Bush Administration has bred nothing but fear. Fear of cuts to social security, fear of additional pollution, fear of greater unemployment, fear of rising health care costs, and most of all, fear of another four years of George W Bush."
Conspicuously absent is...oh, I don't know...terrorism? That's what scares me...

(UPDATE: What he actually said was:
John is a war hero who understands that America's strength comes from many sources -- especially the power of our ideas. He knows that a true leader inspires hope and vanquishes fear.

This administration does neither. Instead it brings fear. Fear of rising costs for health care and for college -- fear of higher unemployment and lesser pay -- fear for the future of Social Security and Medicare -- fear of greater bigotry -- fear of pollution's stain on our magnificent natural heritage -- fear of four more years of dreams denied and promises unfulfilled and progressed rolled back.

In the depths of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt inspired the nation when he said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Today, we say the only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush.

...And being assigned to your carpool, Teddy.)

7:38 Michael Moore is a) a moron and b) wearing a Michigan State hat. I hate him already. O'Reilly is trying to get him to grasp the concept of being wrong versus lying. Now he says that Bush is pathological, because Bush thought it was true. Good God, people I respect think this man is a genius? This kills me. O'Reilly asked him what he would do if he was President and recieved overwhelming information that Saddam had WMDs. Michael Moore said that he would have known that the information was false. Michael Moore seems to only have hindsight capacities, which is a nice way of saying he's looking out his ass.

"Over 900 of our brave soldiers are dead, what do you say to their parents?" Michael Moore is trying to get Bill O'Reilly to sacrifice his children. He seems to have a belief that we're still in the 1500s and that parents can actually enlist their children. Which they can't. I'm going to restrain my language, as this is a family blog, but it's hard.

O'Reilly: "You wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan?"
Moore: "I would have gone after the man who killed 3000 of our citizens"
...who was in Afghanistan, you baboon.

Michael Moore says he wouldn't have let Hitler come to power. Impressive. Hindsight is a handy thing.

Howard Dean is going to speak soon. This should be...precious.

8:00 Newt Gingrich says "If those three guys [Clinton, Gore, Carter] are describing strength, you know you don't want to be anywhere near it." "How can you put strength and Kerry in the same language? I don't get it." Good Ol' Newt...

8:07 Dean is up, thanking states individually. He still reminds me of a weasel. The delegates LOOOOVE Dean. They're wetting their natural-fiber elastic-free undershorts. This is at least a 2 minute ovation. He's going to help the Johns take America back "for the people who built it." What do the people who built America care? They're dead and decomposed.

Invocation of "Brave Soldiers" Count:
Michael Moore --II+
Howard Dean -- I

It's a good thing that I have low blood pressure. These people are changing it.

His stories of people who had no money giving money to his campaign are not inspirational. They are creepy. It works when Jesus does it. Dean is not the Messiah, shockingly.

Dean just called described Bush with the expression "false patriotism."

He's listing states, the states in which they are going to be proud to be called Democrats. Apparently some people simply have no shame. "We're going to claim the American Dream." HOW? Did having jobs and making money and saving it and being self-reliant ever occur to you? NO! My mother is offering me sedatives. I need a massage. They're playing "We Are Family." Hillary is sitting with Jesse Jackson; she boogies in that "white Senator" sort of way.

The Boston Globe chick says "there are a variety of views here," and then cites two different abortion views held by John Kerry. There's a great slogan in that somewhere: "Dems 2004: Our Tent Is Big Enough For John Kerry's Opinions."

UPDATE: SamaBlog has something similar, but more insightful. On Kennedy here, on Daschle/Gephardt here.

A Tribute to the Victims of Ted Kennedy

Mary Jo Kopechne
July 26, 1940 - July 18, 1969

She would have celebrated her 64th birthday yesterday.
While the Democrats pay tribute to Ted Kennedy, remember her.

Surreal Moments from Monday Night

Rob Sama articulates the difference between the parties on national security:
Now I think that the fundamental difference between the two parties this election is that one believes in building a Maginot line using homeland security and first responders like police and fire, while the other party believes in creating a world in which first responders to chemical or nuclear attacks aren't necessary. It's a real difference between the two parties, and I wish they'd discuss it.
And we all remember how effective the Maginot line was.
He also notes one of the more surreal moments of Hillary's speech, saying:
Hillary spoke at length about rising health care costs, just moments before lauding John Edwards.
Edwards was a medical malpractice lawyer. They're a HUGE part of the problem. For example, today, 70% of OB/GYN's wind up in court. And this reduces health care costs how?
I still feel the champion surreal moments were either Clinton referring to Gore as an example of "grace under pressure" or describing Jimmy Carter as someone "who has inspired the world with his work for peace, democracy, and human rights." Now, I wasn't alive under Carter's presidency (I'm a Reagan baby) but my general impression is that it wasn't a really inspirational time to be an American. As for peace, democracy, and human rights, let us remember that he suggested we just live with communism and that Islamofacism got started on his watch. And that he got thoroughly hoodwinked by Kim "No, of course I won't continue building nukes because you asked so nicely" Jong-Il. And that he goes around engaging in unauthorized acts of diplomacy. Using these two descriptions as a key to interpreting Clinton's (admittedly excellent, though unbearable) speech, well, draw your own conclusions.

Other surreal moments: Just minutes before Clinton was to speak, Jimmy Carter says, "Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth -- without trust -- America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between the president and the people."
And then he says, "Let us not forget that the Soviets lost the Cold War because the American people combined the exercise of power with adherence to basic principles, based on sustained bipartisan support."
No thanks to you, Jimmy.

I may fisk the whole thing later, but just go read it. It's pretty much self-fisking.

(Rob Sama via Accidental Verbosity)

Axis Mikey

Dean is hopping mad about what F9/11 has done to morale in the troops overseas. He writes:
Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" is being distributed informally via the Internet among troops in the field, and its effects on morale are devastating.

Which, as Sully puts it, is exactly what it was intended to do. For it was more than a critique of the Bush administration. Far more. It swept under the carpet all the horrors of Saddam's regime, and portrayed our efforts there as immorally destructive and murderous, and ignored the good. Which makes it by any rational measure a fascist-apologist movie. Indeed, Michael Moore now stands alongside such luminaries as Axis Sally, William Joyce, and Lord Haw-Haw (but not, we should say, Tokyo Rose, who had no choice in what she did and was rightly pardoned by President Ford).
This post is excellent, read the whole thing. He also refers to Fifty-Nine Deceits in F-911, which is something you should put in your bookmarks folder to have on hand whenever you're talking to a friend who should know better but doesn't.

Great Stuff from CQ

Cap'n Ed's on a roll today. Just keep scrolling. Some highlights:

Apparently Democrats in tight races are avoiding being seen with Kerry and the Conventionettes (great name for a Celtic rock band, eh) for fear that he will scuttle them. Ed says:
Out of eight Senate candidates facing tough elections in November, only one of them has the courage to stand up with John Kerry. In the House, only one out of five candidates from Texas in contested districts will bother to attend their party's convention. Jim Jordan, the Kerry campaign manager fired three weeks into Kerry's candidacy, points out that the convention is not merely a pep rally to the presidential nominee, but also a fund-raising effort for lower-ticket races. After all, all of the donors will be in Boston this week. Having people locked in tight races skipping out on fundraising opportunities demonstrates palpable fear.

So why do Democrats fear the Kerry juggernaut? Could it be that they know their candidate will tank their own campaigns? If that is the case -- and sources tell the Post's Charles Babington they fear linkage to John Kerry and Ted Kennedy most of all -- it shows that despite the polling from the liberal media, the Democrats have huge problems in the swing states. Most Senate and House candidates count on coattails during presidential elections. Running away from the top of the ticket equates to rats abandoning a sinking ship. That should tell you all you need to know about the enthusiasm for the Kerry/Edwards ticket among the electorate.
Incidentally, who on earth decided that spending a whole evening on "A Tribute to Ted Kennedy" was a good idea? Karl Rove seems like the obvious answer. I think maybe this evening I'll do "A Tribute to the Victims of Ted Kennedy."

Moving on... The current rumor (in the Asia Times) is that GWB has managed to convince Putin to send 40,000 (count 'em) troops to pacify the Sunni triangle (especially Fallujah), presumably in ways that are less electorally palatable when used by American troops. This is a huge victory for GWB and a huge loss for the Church of Dubya Is an Isolationist Poo-Poo Head. Ed says:
What does George Bush gain? Two big and obvious wins. First, Russia's addition of 40,000 troops to Fallujah will make them the second-largest contingent in Iraq, taking pressure off of the US to extend deployments and cycling Americans out of the zone with the most danger. Second, the alliance with Russia will, as Spengler notes, make hash out of the argument that Bush cannot attract allies. A third, more subtle win for Bush is the pacification of Fallujah, which will immeasureably strengthen the new Iraqi government, set Shi'ite minds at ease about the upcoming elections, and devastate the emotional momentum for Islamofascists worldwide.
He's got some really good analysis, especially as it pertains to the Balkans, that's less quotable, so make sure you read the whole article (especially you, Susan).

And finally, Ed discusses the story that the head of the AFL-CIO union representing government workers, which is the largest in the nation, has publically stated that labor and the Dems might be better off if Kerry loses.
If Stern had wanted to deliberately stick a knife in Kerry's back, he could hardly have chosen a better time. Nor did Stern stop there. He accused Kerry of aiming to use unions solely to bolster his own political ambitions, comparing him to Clinton in this regard. Stern also claimed that the Democrats were nothing more than a "hollow party" and that despite sticking $65 million in its coffers this cycle, he is pessimistic about Kerry helping to energize and modernize the labor movement.
So it's settled then. It's better for Republicans if Bush wins, it's better for Democrats if Bush wins -- why even bother with the election?

So if you've been keeping score, the head of one of the biggest Democratic supporters says the Dems are out of fresh ideas and any Democrat who has to compete for re-election is avoiding the nominee like the plague. That's appealing -- sign me up!

Incidentally, Ed has been invited by the RNC to blog the convention. I myself am hoping to be there as a volunteer. Are any of you planning to be there?

More Jen-y Goodness

Jen (you all do read her regularly, right? Good, good) has also posted The Latest Numbers from the polls, which show Kerry slipping somewhat. Go look at them. Mmmm...tasty statistics..

Good Advice

Jen has a must-read open letter to the RNC, begging them to be classy and take the high road.
I would add:
PS -- New York will be full of loopy protesters, and you have to keep them at a distance for security reasons. However, make your "free speech zone" as inviting as possible. No barbed wire, etc. Maybe have coffee and donuts for the protesters. "We welcome dissent and free speech," you say. If you're going to intern the protesters, do it nicely. You're not going to win their vote (not this year at least...maybe when the drugs wear off and the money runs out and they have to become functional members of society, they'll remember that the GOP treated them much better than the Dems did) but it would be great PR.
(via Accidental Verbosity)

Makes Sense To Me

Virginia Postrel attempts to explain rabid Bush-hatred. Her general point is that people would prefer to project their fears of someone they cannot control (Bin Laden) onto someone they can control (Bush, through elections). This seems reasonable to me, and also possibly answers why it is that people who live in high risk areas (ie New York City) seem to be sillier about national security than people who live in low risk areas like southern Missouri.

(via Dean Esmay)

Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 26, 2004

Tuppence a Blog

Andrew Sullivan is having a pledge drive, ostensibly to pay for bandwidth and an assistant. He says:
: The good news is that our traffic keeps going up. The bad news is that our bandwidth costs have also risen, and although I was hoping to go a full year without asking for more support, the site needs some extra cash to keep going at least until the election. If you read this site regularly and have never contributed, please take a moment to send $20 or more our way. If you have contributed in the past, please help us again with another donation. We've deliberately kept this site reader-supported, because the community of readers it now sustains is, to my mind, its greatest asset.
Wunderkinder figures that Sullivan makes about $80k-$120k per pledge drive, and bandwidth/upkeep expenses should cost him no more than $5000 a year. His analysis is here and it's good. He goes on to say here:
Look, if Andrew Sullivan wants to hold twice-yearly fundraisers to put money in his pocket, that's fine with me. But why does he have to lie about his motives? I can only assume Andrew thinks less people will pay if they don't think the money will go into upkeep and instead will go to him. But isn't that all the more reason an honest man would be candid about his motives?

In the spirit of transparency, I'd really like to see Andrew at least generalize what his bandwidth costs actually are for his site. I know he won't, since they're nowhere near the tens of thousands of dollars he rakes in twice a year, but it would be interesting.
Various other bloggers weigh in:
Michelle Malkin
James Joyner
This Blog Is Full of Crap presents the Give your Money to Anyone but Andrew Sullivan Project

Interesting. If you're giving money to non-Andrew blogs, feel free to throw some my way...

Great Moments from Clinton's Speech

"And with Al Gore, my friend and partner for eight years, who played such a large role in building the prosperity and progress that brought America into the 21st century, who showed incredible grace and patriotism under pressure, and who is the living embodiment that every vote counts -- and must be counted in every state in America.
" -- Bill Clinton


I got tickets to go see George W. Bush speak on Friday! We have to be there ungodly early (doors open at 6:30 AM) but I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping that a Powerbook can get through security -- I'd like to blog it. Anyone have any strings to pull to let me do that? If I can't, I'll try to take pictures, and if I can't do that, I'll just blog about it once I get home and take a nap. If anyone in the Southwest Missouri area wants tickets, I may have one or two spare.

Just Cuz We're Conservatives Don't Make Us Dumb

David M. reports that 92% of the donations from Ivy League professors go to the Democrats. That's not surprising in the least.
A week or so ago, a friend asked me why I thought it was that the majority of highly intelligent people are liberals. My answer was basically that I don't think that's the case at all. The reason it looks it is that the liberals dominate academia, which makes sense. Academics are more concerned with the supremacy of ideas and ideals than with pragmatic matters. Furthermore, the structure of the university is quasi-socialist in nature, with tenure and other benefits, such as university-supplied faculty housing, etc. So most academics are highly intellegent and most academics are liberals, so most highly intellegent people are liberals, right? Wrong. In academia, this liberalism is especially obvious in the humanities and soft sciences, but engineers and scientists tend to be spared to a degree, although I did have a physics professor who managed to relate the physics of music and socialism on a bi-weekly basis. Saying that most highly intellegent people are liberals, based on the sampling of academia, is like saying that most athletic people are black, based on the NFL, NBA, and Kenyan distance-runners. Hockey players, speed skaters, and college golfers are all also highly athletic, yet they are for the most part caucasian. What gives? The reason it's easy to mistake academics for the majority of clever people is that the people who are at the top of their fields in, say, business, tend to have less letters after their names. A CEO may only have a bachelor's or MBA (or in Bill Gates case, a high school diploma) but that doesn't make them any dumber than someone who has written a thesis on Czechoslovakian bonding rituals of the 17th century. In fact, if I had a major problem to solve, I'd go for the CEO's advice. Business people tend to be conservatives, largely because they are forced to be pragmatists. They're not dumb though.

The Madness of Mr. Sullivan

Stephen Green and James at Outside the Beltway both have interesting things to say about Andrew Sullivan's descent into madness. I totally agree with James when he says:
First, Andrew is being disengenous about his primary motivation, which he hardly mentions: Bush's lukewarm endorsement of a constitutional amendment to maintain the traditional definition of "marriage." My strong guess is that, had Bush not done that, the other things Andrew cites would not be enough to make Andrew endorse a liberal Democrat.
My general impression of Sullivan's current position is that he would endorse Kim Jong-Il if the latter endorsed gay marriage. I support gay marriage, but a) I think it will come about naturally and b) I am not willing to sacrifice on life-or-death issues that affect a majority of, if not all, Americans to bring a mostly cosmetic benefit to a small minority. In other words, given the choice between not getting blown up on the subway and you gettting hitched, you lose. The fact that he seems to be leaning towards the opposite bothers me.

Scott at Confessions of a Jesus Phreak says:
I used to read Andrew Sullivan faithfully - his posts were always erudite and well-thought-out, even when I didn't agree with him. Unfortunately, the President's endorsement of the FMA seems to have transformed him into the Antichrist in Andrew's eyes.

From that time forward, he started heading toward the cliff of Loony-Land. I sadly gave up on him quite a while ago. Having said that, Vodkapundit demonstrates exactly why I don't read Mr. Sullivan anymore.
Exactly. I've just kinda stopped reading.

Ed Driscoll has a roundup of Sullivan's posts on Kerry.

Charles Johnson says, brilliantly:
t’s a disappointment to see Sullivan get all sloppy drunk on the Abu Ghraib torture-flavored Koolaid, not to mention the almost stereotypical leftist accusation of an American intelligence debacle—when the intelligence services of every major Western power came to the same conclusions about Saddam’s weapons.
UPDATE: PhysicsGeek says:
Apparently this is what single issue justifying can do to a brain. In Sullivan's case, of course, it's gay marriage. For some reason, he didn't believe candidate Bush when he stated repeatedly in 2000 that he thought marriage was only between a man and a woman. In any case, when President Bush stated the exact same view, Andrew melted down completely and has yet to recover. It's too bad because he's a smart guy who USED to be reasonable. Anyway, I've long said that many opposed to the FMA on "federalist" grounds were, in reality, waiting for the judiciary to impose gay marriage by fiat.
Jonathan Hawkins goes through Sullivan's varying stances on federalism, based on how expedient they are for gay marriage. He says:
Many advocates of gay marriage, Sullivan included, don't want to play that game. They want gay marriage now and they'd rather try to appeal to "enlightened" judges out there who are willing to legislate from the bench rather than wait for the "unwashed masses" to come around to their way of thinking. And if they have deceive people about what they're doing, well...they figure it's OK to be dishonest if it's for a good cause.
UPDATE UPDATE: Powerline writes:
The Islamofascists have bet that the U.S. is too unserious and decadent to sustain an effective war against terrorism. To the extent that Americans reject strong war leadership due to parochial concerns -- for example, because the war leader doesn't want a handful of state courts imposing gay marriage on the rest of the country -- the Islamofascist wager doesn't look like a bad one.
Melanie Phillips has some excellent insight on the matter as well, but it's not really snippable, so go read the whole thing.

EVEN UPDATIER: Alan Sullivan says:
Two years ago Sullivan understood the political environment that constrains and compels this president, like any other. Now my namesake pretends to be a disillusioned centrist. Why? He seethes over the Marriage Amendment, that sop Bush threw to the social conservatives, knowing it would never pass. Sullivan has become a single-issue voter--the bane of political life. And he ties himself in Kerryesque knots, trying to explain away the truth.
(via Random Jottings)

Legal XXX says that Andrew Sullivan has jumped the shark. Yes.

Ace of Spades says:
As Donald Luskin first noted (and I have repeated consistently since then), Sullivan is an intensely personal, emotional, and ad hominem analyst. Part of this tendency was unseen by many conservatives for a while, because his intensely personal, emotional, and ad hominem style of hyperventilating hackery often was in praise of Bush or Reagan ("A Mash-Note to Reagan"... ewwww) or directed at conservatives' opponents (Howell Raines, the Stalinist gay left), and people have a tendency to miss unfairness when that unfairness inures to their own benefit.
The Frozen Toaster says:
I don't support gays OR Sullivan.  I don't disparage gays either, but I may start disparaging Sullivan if he doesn't wake up and understand that his gay issues are hugely subordinate to protecting this country, and that Kerry is not now and never was the man to entrust with national security.

Political Musings writes:
Sullivan knows full well that Kerry would never have taken on the “theocrats” in the Middle East. He apparently feels that certain of the Bush policies cannot be unwound by Kerry, like liberating 50 million people to date. Likewise, he sees Kerry as the man who will give him “marriage”, or as the person least likely to do anything to intervene to halt or slow judicial activists’ imposition on society of a new institution without so much as a debate, let alone a vote.
He predicted the endorsement too. Lots of people did, actually.

Caerdroia writes about the just reasons for invading another country and suggests the Sullivan consider them instead of emotional "Where did the WMDs go" whining. This isn't an easy article to excerpt, but it's very well thought out. Read the whole thing.

Kaisercrack thinks we're all over reacting.

Peaktalk questions the timing of the endorsement and writes:
If anything, if you would extrapolate Andrew’s thinking then a vote for Bush – no matter how much you dislike him for abandoning real conservative positions – would be crucial in cementing support for the pro-active approach the president has taken in the War on Terror. That war is the core challenge of our time and a point reiterated almost daily on, yes, the Daily Dish. To take Andrew’s advice and throw our weight behind Kerry because of the (failed) FMA, Abu Ghraib and the budget would send the wrong signal to the outside world as it would imply that the American voter clearly repudiates the efforts in especially Afghanistan and Iraq. By supporting Bush, voters this year will support the War on Terror, which with all its flaws and problems, is in far better hands of the diligent, committed, experienced and focused Bush team. That has been Sullivan’s argument until very recently, and now he shifted his support in an uninformed way (we still have to see what comes out of this week’s DNC in terms of policy positions) to a man whom he despised only a number of months ago.
Chris Lawrence writes:
Andrew Sullivan’s virtual endorsement of John Kerry, apparently motivated by the elephant in the room that James Joyner points out—the president’s position on same-sex marriage, something that Sullivan doesn’t bother mentioning in the column, but looms over the whole discussion for anyone familiar with Sullivan’s tireless crusading on the issue. Whatever one’s feelings on Bush’s handling of the issue (and, there, I’m largely in agreement with Sullivan, though I do lack the personal self-interest angle), wishing John Kerry were conservative isn’t going to make him conservative, as Stephen Green points out, and it’s disingenuous for Sullivan (or anyone else who genuinely considers themselves conservative) to believe otherwise.

Andrew has a rebuttal to all this up right now, but I still don't buy it. And speaking of not buying it, a Pledge Week roundup is next out of the dock.

That's all the damage I can do on this issue for now. If I've missed your post, comment me a link.

Conservatives Behaving Badly?

Jay responds to Dean's question to conservatives, which is basically, "Can you behave yourselves if Kerry gets elected?" He says:
I'd like to think I will try my damndest. Certainly if I disagree with my President's handling of foreign policy, I would not consider it my place to go somewhere like, say, France and criticize or make fun of him there. Which is not to say I would not express disapproval when he caves to the terrorists, allows Iraq to become a failed state, allows afghanistan to revert to dictatorial rule, allows Iran to develop nukes, and that sort of thing. I'd just like to think I will do so without mentally hyperventilating or resorting to fiction.

I find it nearly inconceivable to imagine Kerry as President. I lived through Carter. No need to do it again. It scares me that much to imagine Kerry as President. I would as soon have Kennedy. Yet most people who get into office somehow step up and do mostly the right thing. It's remarkable, really.
Now is not the time, however, to go experimenting with the outlier theory. In a time of peace, you can muck about with people who might at some point prove competent. In a time of war, that's misguided at best and suicidal at worst.
As far as Kerry being toast, well, that is my general expectation, yet I have come to the conclusion that it may not be so.
I am almost certain Kerry is toast, I simply hope he is toast before the election, rather than after it. If the majority of Americans discover that Kerry's a dud after they've voted for him, we're not gonna have a fun four years. Oh well... Bush-Rice in 2008!

UPDATE: Dean's post raises a few other interesting points. For one, he says:
tend to hold to a rather odd doctrine myself, which is that partisanship is supposed to stop at the water's edges: we can argue as loudly as we want about domestic policy, but we do our best to speak with one voice once we get past the nation's shores. Old-fashioned and crazy I know, but it's just how I see the world. There was a time in America when if you'd spoken of the Democrat Franklin Roosevelt as a liar, a traitor, and a warmonger during World War II, accused him of engineering the Pearl Harbor attacks, referred to our war over there as "Roosevelt's war" (as a few dipshit Republicans did back then) you might well have gotten yourself a bloody nose even in the most Republican counties in America.

Because debate all you want but, once a decision is made, partisanship should stop at the water's edges. At least so far as I'm concerned.
I agree with that, which is why it enrages me when individuals (ie Jimmy Carter, various and sundry Congressional Democrats, Jesse Jackson, etc) go around having their own individual foreign policies on behalf of the US. Thanks, guys, but the State Department, Pentagon and White House pretty much have that covered. Now go sit quietly in the Midwest where you can't hurt anyone.

However, I think that we also need to watch ourselves, to a degree, before we leave our shores. Information in global, and consequently, people all over the world get to watch our internal discussion, and they do. People in countries that hate us enjoy watching Michael Moore hate America, whether he's on his turf or ours.

I'm in on Dean's pledge. "I respectfully disagree with the President's directions, but I will do my best to express my dissent respectfully and hope that I am mistaken and that he has made the proper decisions after all."I will blog. I will critique. I will fact-check. I will educate myself. I will vote. I may at times use witty analogies, scathing analysis and withering sarcasm. I will avoid loopy conspiracy theories. I will not call him a liar without a legally adequate standard of proof. I will not compare him to Lurch or Herman Munster. I will resist the urge to Photoshop. I will not say that he is the Anti-Christ, worse than Saddam or Osama or Kim Jong-Il. I will not insinuate that he eats babies. I will not use derogatory terms to describe his wife. I will not burn him in effigy. I will hope that he is right and I am wrong, even when I do not believe this to be the case. This is my pledge.