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Digital Brownshirt Alliance
Legion of Kerry Haters
Kerry Haters Recommends
KerryHaters was first to blog on the Christmas-in-Cambodia lie, way back on May 21. Too bad the elite media hadn't cast their net widely enough. They'd have had a scoop long ago.--Hugh Hewitt
Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.--Crush Kerry
He went fight wars for his country and his king
of his honor and his glory, all the people would sing
Oooo, a lucky man, he was!
Oooo, a lucky man, he was!
A bullet had found him, his blood ran as he cried
Tho 'twas just a nick, for a purple heart, he applied.
Oooo, a lucky man, he was!
Oooo, a lucky man, he was!
NRA Takes Aim at Kerry
Lest we forget:
Before thousands of National Rifle Association members, Vice President Dick Cheney asserted on Saturday that Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic nominee for president, would sharply restrict gun ownership and undermine the war on terrorism.
"Don't you just love being able to say the word `president' and not be ashamed by what comes after that?" Kayne B. Robinson, president of the association, told members earlier in the day.
Kerry the Flasher?
Yahoo seems to think so. Or do they mean something else with the headline: Kerry Aims to Reveal Himself to Voters?
Scrappleface indicates that some of the voters are looking forward to it. Be sure to read the comments--some funny song parodies in there.
Waffles Google Bomb Makes USA Today
Internet pranskters (sic) have set their Web sites on Sen. John Kerry. Some jokers who don't like the Democratic presidential candidate are trying to make his campaign Web site, johnkerry.com, the first answer to a search of the word "waffles" on Google, the No. 1 Internet search engine.
Botox Boy's Panties Get Twisted
Deborah Orin reports that the Lord of Louisville Square got a little hot under the collar:
An angry John Kerry yesterday raged that the White House has a "twisted sense of ethics and morality" as he faced new TV ads that accuse him of voting against U.S. troops in Iraq.
Accuse? Oh, sorry, I forgot: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there under, under the sea!
Kerry Courts the College Crowd
The AP reports on Kerry's effort to capture the youth vote.
You gotta wonder about his choices though:
...famed Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris and Bon Jovi joined Kerry on Friday.
Now Franco Harris was a great player, but he played his last game in 1984. Assuming nobody under the age of 5 at that time can remember seeing him play, that means that the youngest anybody could be who remembers him as a player is 25.
And while Bon Jovi has been making a bit of a comeback lately, he's really kind of an oldies act. His big hit albums were in the 1980s. I went to college in the 1970s and would not have been very impressed if, say, Jimmy Carter had showed up with Elvis Presley in tow.
Fashion Tips for the Campaign Trail
Cindy Adams meets with Tehrayza and gets the scoop:
She was wearing a brown Armani pantsuit that didn't wrinkle or show dirt ("I call it my Mao suit") and suede boots with medium heels. ("They're comfortable. They're rubber. I have them in tan and black. I wear them always.") It was natural nail polish, super-natural size diamond solitaire and natural-looking foundation. She looked terrific. "I don't photograph well," says Teresa.
A Mao suit? Well, as long as Kerry's poll numbers don't make the Great Leap Forward!
Hat Tip: Kitty Litter.
A Reason to Vote For Kerry?
Scrappleface has the goods on Osama's latest offer.
Republicans for Kerry?
I have commented on several occasions that I know quite a few lifelong Democrats who plan on voting for Bush this November. For example, this guy, and this one. But I haven't run across many Republicans for Kerry before I found this site.
Revolutionary Drug Brothers Handshake II
Hunter Thompson talked about this in the classic book "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail". I'll admit that back in those days, I used the same thumb handshake, but I got over it. And what is going on with the blond-haired guy?
Deborah Orin reports on the pressure for Kerry to release his wife's tax returns.
The Kerrys file separate returns and Mrs. Kerry says she won't disclose hers - which would make her the only spouse in memory to balk.
In 1984, Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, who also filed separately, ultimately released five years of her husband's returns.
Kerry's Sister Souljah Moment?
Kerry comes out against reparations for slavery.
He also talked about his travels to the South in the 1960s as a student participating in the Mississippi voter-registration drive.
Hmmm, this is a new one on me. Anybody heard anything about this before?
He does fluff a bit later though:
"The South, in fact, has done quite well and deserves credit for transitioning in many ways that the North hasn't," he said. "The North has been reluctant in some ways, and no one gives them credit for that."
Save the Country!
Play Tax Invaders!
Kerry Nickname Roundup
A regular feature of Kerry Haters is the compilation of his nicknames, now up to 16 and counting!
Lord of Louisville Square, the Boston Fog Machine, Nuancy Boy, Botoxicated Brahmin, Lurch, Herman Munster, International Man of Mystery, the Pandescenderer, Flipper, Mr Ed, Ol' Horseface, Flapjack, John Facade Kerry, John F'ing Kerry, John F Skerry (Scarey), Live Shot... that's all I can come up with right now. Any others?
Update: Later Addition, courtesy of Catherine, a poster at Roger L. Simon's blog: The Againster. Isn't that perfect?
Update II: Per suggestions, Botox Boy and Ol' Sourpuss are added to the list. And I can't believe I forgot DYKWIA! That makes an even score of nicknames and we haven't hit summer yet!
This is Funny
Mithras worries that a Kerry ad may be turning off voters:
Kerry Ad Calls American Voters "Stupid"
I think this is probably not the way to go about getting votes:
Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said Monday "It's time to redirect the cheap name-calling away from Bush and toward those Americans who might be idiotic enough to vote for him."
A controversial 30-second TV spot for Kerry that aired throughout the Midwest Monday blamed the country's ills not on Bush's policies, but on the "sheer stupidity" of America's voters.
"In the past four years, America's national debt has reached an all-time high," the ad's narrator said. "And who's responsible? You are. You're sitting there eating a big bowl of Fritos, watching TV, and getting fatter as the country goes to hell. You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
I think that's unfair. I don't like Fritos.
What's so funny? He's responding to this.
A Reason to Like April 15th
More at my other blog.
More on the Pete Seeger Book
Apparently this Abiyoyo book was a little controversial among the lefties--aren't we supposed to coexist peacefully with evil giants rather than use a magic wand to make them disappear? Fortunately, Seeger came out with a sequel that remedies this problem. From the Amazon description of Abiyoyo Returns:
This time, the townspeople are cutting down all the trees to build houses, and flooding results when the rains come. When they try to build a dam and run into a boulder nobody can move, the granddaughter of the magician responsible for Abiyoyo's previous disappearance convinces him to magic the big guy back. When the giant reappears in all his slobbery, stinking wonder, roaring for food, the townspeople rush to feed him. The little girl, in a ploy to get him to move the boulder, asks him if he is strong enough to do it, and he hurls it several hundred feet away. The villagers rejoice and everyone sings the now-famous song, faster and faster until, exhausted, the giant falls asleep. But they soon discover that Abiyoyo's feat has crushed the magic wand that would zap him away again, and the local folks must find a way to coexist peacefully with him. Seeger teaches several lessons in this clever if somewhat forced tale: the value of the environment, of sharing, and of the need to live with whatever "giants" are in one's life. Hays's colorful illustrations are just as wonderful as in the original tale, with the jagged-edged, overpowering monster oozing attitude from every pore. For those who felt it unfair of the town to zap away what they feared in the original book, this second installment will be a just and happy ending.
Yeah, They're Bonding Alright
More snarkiness from the Times (not that I object mind you) about Nuancy Boy. This time the story is about Kerry reading to kids in Hillary's presence (I promise, no more photos to ruin your morning).
He folded his lanky frame, sat on the floor and opened "Abiyoyo" by Pete Seeger, a book about a giant tamed by an African boy and his father, whose magic wand makes the giant disappear. Mr. Kerry, whose daughters are long since grown, kept neglecting to show the children the pictures.
Luckily, he was sitting at the feet of a former first lady.
"John, make sure he can see that," Mrs. Clinton prompted at one point.
"John, turn it around one more time," she said later, asking the children, "Can you see?"
Don't you just love that? And can you believe that Kerry managed to make it a Pete Seeger book?
They'll Still Endorse Him
But the New York Times is really carrying a lot of snarky John Kerry stories. What are we to make of this article by David Halbfinger, entitled "Sleeping in His Own Bed(s)?
But the campaign swing has another noteworthy aspect: Mr. Kerry, who like other primary contenders endured some of the nation's least plush accommodations until capturing the Democratic nomination, is managing to avoid sleeping in a hotel room for quite a decent stretch.
That he and his wife own five homes, admittedly makes this kind of streak easier to extend. Between a vacation at their retreat in Ketchum, Idaho, and Mr. Kerry's recuperation from shoulder surgery, they have been relative homebodies, by political standards, for much of the past month.
Robert Kuttner, longtime loony lefty, points out three potential perils for Kerry's honeymoon with the Democrats. As noted in the last post, the honeymoon seems long over, but here are his points:
1. Kerry is focusing too hard on deficit reduction, not social investment.
2. Kerry shouldn't stay the course in Iraq, he should cut and run.
3. Kerry shoudn't nominate McCain as his Veep candidate.
Lefty Criticism of Kerry's WaPo Column
(Via Just One Minute)
The Whiskey Bar is apparently a far left site. Here are some comments from his readers about Nuancy Boy's WaPo column from yesterday (Fair warning, lots of profanity here):
I like Kerry better when he doesn't say anything.
Posted by: Night Owl at April 13, 2004 01:38 PM
I'll still PROBABLY vote for him, but the more I learn the less I like.
Posted by: della Rovere at April 13, 2004 01:44 PM
This asshole obviously knows the Bush haters like myself will of course vote for Kerry no matter he says or does. He's obivously pitching for moderates and independents.
It's already perfectly clear, but I have say it: for democratic populists who have been scremaing about the stolen election from Day One, you make me sick, you dumbass stiff shithead. How a reknowned Vietnam protestor ever voted for this war will be forever beyond me in a moral and intellectual sense. Politically I get it, but I still think you're a callous, manipulative, craven, weak asshole for letting our men and women get slaughtered for lies. Fuck you, John Kerry
Posted by: anon at April 13, 2004 01:49 PM
This is just depressing.
My SO refuses to vote for Kerry, saying that incremental change in leadership isn't going to make any difference in what actions the government actually takes. I've been arguing that *some* things will change if Kerry is elected, and that it's better to change a few things than none at all. Kerry seems determined to prove me wrong.
Posted by: Thel at April 13, 2004 01:50 PM
Kerry's on thin ice with me. If he is going to spout the same line of crap that Bush does, there aren't going to be many crossover votes from the Republicans/Libertarians/Paleoconservatives. Kerry is going to have to get away from his pro-war stance if he is going to attract voters on this issue.
Posted by: CJW at April 13, 2004 01:55 PM
While we may have differed on how we went to war, Americans of all political persuasions are united in our determination to succeed.
We are? no one asked me. And what defines success anyway? In my opinion Iraqis should be able to determine their own destiny, whether we like the result or not.
Oh well. I guess that's why I'm outside the mainstream.
Posted by: four legs good at April 13, 2004 01:57 PM
Note that these are very typical comments; it's not like I had to search high and low for them. They all appeared in the first dozen responses to the bartender's post, which simply read, "If You Can't Say Anything Nice ...
... don't say anything at all. For once I think I'm going to follow my mother's advice."
Update: I went to the Truth Laid Bear and checked this Blog out on the ecosystem. It's the #37 blog in their list of over 9,000 blogs!
Hint: The Conservative Senator from Massachusetts is to the Right
Note the "Revolutionary Drug Brothers" handshake.
Why Kerry Is Bound to Lose
I've written about this several times on Usenet. In the recent past there have been four extremely close elections. In 1960, John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon. In 1968, Nixon barely topped Hubert Humphrey. In 1976, Jimmy Carter narrowly beat Gerald Ford. And of course, in 2000, George W. Bush bested Al Gore in the electoral college tally, despite losing the popular vote.
What is interesting is what the losing party did in each case in the following election cycle. In 1964, the Republicans nominated a candidate from the conservative wing of their party, Barry Goldwater. In 1972, the Democrats nominated a candidate from the liberal wing of their party, George McGovern. In 1980, the Republicans nominated a candidate from the conservative wing of their party, Ronald Reagan. And now, in 2004, the Democrats have (apparently) nominated a candidate from the liberal wing of their party, John Kerry.
Seeing a pattern there? After losing narrowly, neither party has been inclined to do what might seem natural, and nominate a centrist who would attract more votes in the middle. On the contrary, they have gone with a candidate from their respective wings. Why do they do this? Because the political wisdom is that tight races are won by the party that manages to motivate their base. This is reasonably true before the fact. That is, if you know you are in a tight race, you need to do everything you can to get your voters riled up and ready to vote.
However, it is not necessarily true after the fact, that the reason the loser lost in a tight race was because he failed to motivate his base. Look at 1960, for example. In 1956, Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson 35 million to 26 million. The combined vote for the two major parties was 61 million. In 1960, when JFK defeated Nixon, both candidates got roughly 34 million votes and the two parties drew 68 million between them. It is very hard to argue that the Republican base did not come out for Nixon. He got only 1 million fewer votes than Eisenhower, an enormously popular war hero, who probably attracted plenty of crossover voting from Democrats. Thus, when the Republicans nominated Goldwater, they lost more votes in the center than they gained from activating their wing.
Now, all of these elections can be seen as special cases, so it is hard to continue this type of analysis. The 1964 election was a special case in that Johnson won less than a year after the Kennedy assassination. The 1968 election was a special case in that there was a third party candidate (Wallace) who siphoned a large number of votes. The 1972 election was a special case in that McGovern was wildly out of touch with the country. The 1976 election was a special case because of the hangover from Watergate, and the 1980 election simply reflected the extraordinarily high interest rates of the time.
So let's skip to 2000, which does not seem to me to be a very extraordinary case. In 1996, Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole by 47 million to 39 million. Al Gore, who is widely considered to have run an awful campaign by the pundits, especially on the left, won the popular vote in 2000 with 51 million votes to George W. Bush's 50.6 million. Gore and Bush managed to attract almost 15 million more voters to the two major parties in 2000 than Clinton and Dole the prior election cycle. See the problem with the notion that the base was not activated?
Gorelick Built the Wall!
Pardon me for this non-Kerry post, but you may recall that in her testimony before the 9-11 Commission Condoleezza Rice mentioned that one of the problems with coordinating information between the CIA and the FBI was that there was a wall between the two. AG John Ashcroft disclosed in his testimony today that a major brick in that wall was a memo prepared by a Deputy AG in the Clinton Administration, none other than commission member Jamie Gorelick!
Here's the relevant part of Ashcroft's testimony:
At that time, a frustrated FBI investigator wrote Headquarters, quote, "Whatever has happened to this — someday someone will die — and wall or not — the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain 'problems'. Let's hope the National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decision then, especially since the biggest threat to us, UBL, is getting the most protection."
FBI Headquarters responded, quote: "We are all frustrated with this issue ... These are the rules. NSLU does not make them up."
But somebody did make these rules. Someone built this wall.
The basic architecture for the wall in the 1995 Guidelines was contained in a classified memorandum entitled "Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations." The memorandum ordered FBI Director Louis Freeh and others, quote: "We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation."
This memorandum established a wall separating the criminal and intelligence investigations following the 1993 World Trade Center attack, the largest international terrorism attack on American soil prior to September 11. Although you understand the debilitating impact of the wall, I cannot imagine that the Commission knew about this memorandum, so I have declassified it for you and the public to review. Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of this Commission.
This is a BIG deal. Gorelick should promptly recuse herself from the commission; clearly she cannot be objective in reporting on a matter for which she may bear at least some responsibility.
Update (Via Sharkstooth at Lucianne): Landmark Legal Foundation has called upon Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton to pressure Gorelick to step down from the commission. This story isn't going away, even if the media are trying to spin it as Ashcroft passing the buck.
Update II: (Via Instapundit): Here's the backgrounder that clinches the case:
Fighting back tears, an agent from the FBI's New York office told Congress how his Washington bosses had ordered him not to track suspected terrorist Khalid al-Midhar. Precisely because the CIA had told the FBI that Midhar was an al-Qaeda operative, the FBI could do nothing: Data obtained through intelligence channels could not be used to launch a criminal investigation. Midhar was let be. Thirteen days later, he helped hijack the plane that struck the Pentagon.
(From Drudge via Kitty Litter)
The St. Petersburg Democratic Club put an advertisement in The Gabber, a local shopper-type paper calling for the assassination of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The relevant part reads as follows:
"And then there's Rumsfeld, who said of Iraq, 'We have our good days and our bad days'. We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say, "This is one of our bad days," and pull the trigger."
According to Drudge,
When asked if the ad was a challenge to inflict violence on Rumsfeld, McCall explained: "'Pull the trigger' means let Rumsfeld know where we stand, not to shoot him!"
"We are getting raped, and they are planning to steal the election again."
McCall said her club is in direct contact with John Kerry campaign.
"We're all working together."
We'll see how long it takes Kerry to disavow this statement.
Welcome Kitty Litter Readers!
The next best thing to being linked by Lucianne is being linked by somebody who was linked by Lucianne. Thanks, Kitty!
A Miserable Index, Part Trois
The first chart is the day Tax Freedom Day arrived in the US each year:
The second is Kerry's Misery Index:
Notice a certain similarity between the two? Now remember, Kerry's Index is inverted, so that the higher the number, the less miserable the Middle Class is supposed to be. Comparing the two, it appears that Kerry thinks the middle class is happier the later in the year that Tax Freedom Day arrives.
Hat tip to Michael King at Rambling's Journal for the link to the Tax Freedom Graph.
Update: Fact Check has some good analysis on the Misery Index. (Via ACE)
Update II: Gregg Easterbrook has more. I love the headline: Torture Statistics Long Enough and They Will Confess to Anything. He also points out something that I hadn't caught, that the high point of the index before 1999 was during the Carter Administration. Oh, yeah, those were the days, my friend! (Via Instapundit).
Update III: The Kerry campaign has a flash animation on the Miserable Index at their website. It shows a thermometer labeled "Misery Index" on the bottom left and makes accusations about the Bush performance on a ranch sign (note: no mention of the homeownership rate here). At the end, the thermometer bursts from rising too much. Of course, the problem with this is that the Miserable Index is inverted, so the thermometer should not burst at all. Lame indeed.
KILL THIS BLOG
My weekly request, delayed a bit because of the holiday. Please do your part between now and election day to make sure that I have to switch over to my other blog effective November 3rd!
That Sound You Hear
Is Bill Clinton sucking all the air out of the room. Kerry's campaign is nervous that the Big He's memoirs will steal the spotlight from Nuancy Boy.
But Mr. Clinton is still hard at work, writing longhand at his home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
!!!! Longhand! He hasn't got a secretary to take, um, dictation?
John Kerry on the Issues: Iraq, Part Trois
The WaPo donates some space to the Kerry Campaign to lay out its proposal on Iraq.
To be successful in Iraq, and in any war for that matter, our use of force must be tied to a political objective more complete than the ouster of a regime. To date, that has not happened in Iraq. It is time it did.
Question: What political objective did we have in fighting the Germans in World War II? Was it more complete than the ouster of Hitler and the Nazis?
In the past week the situation in Iraq has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. While we may have differed on how we went to war, Americans of all political persuasions are united in our determination to succeed.
Well, except for these Americans.
We should urge NATO to create a new out-of-area operation for Iraq under the lead of a U.S. commander. This would help us obtain more troops from major powers. The events of the past week will make foreign governments extremely reluctant to put their citizens at risk.
Uh, doesn't the third sentence negate the first two?
That is why international acceptance of responsibility for stabilizing Iraq must be matched by international authority for managing the remainder of the Iraqi transition. The United Nations, not the United States, should be the primary civilian partner in working with Iraqi leaders to hold elections, restore government services, rebuild the economy, and re-create a sense of hope and optimism among the Iraqi people. The primary responsibility for security must remain with the U.S. military, preferably helped by NATO until we have an Iraqi security force fully prepared to take responsibility.
Oh, of course we'll put our citizens at risk, provided the UN is in charge.
Finally, we must level with our citizens. Increasingly, the American people are confused about our goals in Iraq, particularly why we are going it almost alone.
Alone, except for 30 other countries.
Yay! I'm a Slimy Mollusc!
Registered my blog the other day in the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem. I'm already several eons up the evolutionary scale, which goes as follows (from bottom to top):
Apparently you move up the more people link to you. I smell fish in my near future, thanks to a link today from Danegerus.
Fox News Doing a Little Subliminable Work for Bush?
This is pretty funny. Go to the Fox News site. Click on any news item that you think might contain some criticism of the President. For example, this coverage of a Kerry speech.
Did you catch the quick image of the White House against a red, white & blue background? If you switch to another window, then switch back again, it shows very quickly again before showing the article. Most of the time, it's very quick; this might be a case where a dialup connection gives you a better view. It does not show up when you click on articles that seem pro-Bush, or completely unrelated news articles.
Kudos to Rick Horowitz for pointing this one out. Can't recommend the rest of his site, but this was pretty cool and he deserves credit.
My suspicion is that it's a Fox HTML programmer with a sense of humor.
Kerry On the Issues: Terrorism
What does John Kerry plan to do about terrorism? To get answers to this important question, I went to Kerry's website's issues page. Let's see, Small Business, Technology, Trade... wait a minute, nothing on Terrorism?
Okay, he's got Homeland Security, close enough, let's check it out.
There are six different points on there. First up is "A National Defend America Initiative".
Enlisting the National Guard in Homeland Security. Homeland security should be a central mission of the National Guard. Guard members should be trained to serve as personnel in the event of an attack, helping evacuate or quarantine people, assisting in medical units; and helping communities set up and execute plans.
Doesn't sound like a bad idea, but it's pretty much reactive; once the dirty bomb goes off, we'll use the National Guard to help out.
Expanding Americorps to Make Homeland Security a Core Mission. Since 9/11, applications to Americorps have increased by 50 percent and applications to Teach for America have tripled. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration promised to double Americorps and then stood by as Congressional Republicans cut it in half. John Kerry believes that Americorps should be doubled and its mission expanded to include homeland security. Americorps members could be trained to help in emergency medical response, community planning, and other homeland security activities.
Once again, Kerry's approach is reactive; we'll use Americorps volunteers to carry the stretchers when the trains are bombed.
Creating a New Community Defense Service. This service would be comprised of hundreds of thousands of Americans in neighborhoods all over the country. Volunteer Service Captains would receive training and education to assist their communities in the event of an attack Like the Civil Defense Program that existed during World War II, service captains would act as a 21st century Neighborhood Watch. They would be trained to help identify local health professionals and experts in the area, provide information on local evacuation or quarantine plans, and stand ready to be of assistance to first defenders in the hours after an attack -- providing needed manpower to deal with the aftermath.
Are we beginning to see a pattern here? Once again, Kerry's got ideas for what to do in the "aftermath".
Calling on the Private Sector to Help Bring Technological Innovations to the War on Terrorism. During World War II, the U.S. government brought together our greatest thinkers, scientists, academics and policymakers through the Manhattan Project to design new tools for warfare. John Kerry believes we need a similar effort to bring the advances of the 21st century to the War on Terrorism. This should include: gathering the nation’s greatest scientists to develop needed vaccines and antidotes to the biological and chemical scourges (similar to the work that is already being done to protect troops on the battlefield from biological and chemical agents); partnering with the technology community to improve detection technologies and developing and implementing new security systems to prevent tampering with goods in transit.
Again, not necessarily a bad idea, and at least this is proactive rather than reactive. But isn't all this stuff being done already by the private sector in pursuit of (gasp!) profit?
To be continued....
A Miserable Index, Part Deux
Okay, Kerry's Misery Index is out, and as discussed below, it's quite a chuckle from the chucklehead.
The Middle-class Misery Index is based on median family income, college tuition, health costs, gasoline cost, bankruptcies, the homeownership rate, and private-sector job growth. All seven of these series enter the index with equal weights. (Note, unlike the original Misery Index, a higher index indicates that people are better off.
The above is the chart accompanying the press release. As you can see, the Misery Index is at its lowest, errr, highest point (the problem with naming this a Misery Index should be obvious) since the dark days of 1998. You remember how awful the economy was back then, right?
Update: Scrappleface has more.
John Kerry on the Issues: Iraq
Well, Kerry has finally updated his webpage on Iraq to include a speech he gave April 8th. Here's the section that dealt with Iraq:
Last September, at the Brookings Institution, I made a speech where I laid out precisely what I thought we ought to do in Iraq and with Iraq and about Iraq.
Again in December of last year, at the Council on Foreign Relations, I repeated the steps we ought to take precisely in order to deal with Iraq.
I believe it is the role of the president of the United States to maximize the ability to be successful and to minimize the cost to the American people, both financially and in lives.
That's common sense. And here, today, once again we are asking the question: Why is the United States of America almost alone in carrying this burden and the risks which the world has a stake in?
There's no Arab country that is advanced by a failed Iraq. No European country is made safer by a failed Iraq. And yet those countries are distinctly absent from the risk-bearing of this effort.
Why? I think Americans have a right to ask why. And the answer to that question lies in both those speeches I made and in the steps which are staring us in the face. This is essentially -- essentially, not exclusively, but essentially -- an American occupation.
If you were to ask any student in college, first year of foreign policy, do you think it's a good idea for the United States of America almost alone to occupy a Middle Eastern nation, what do you think the answer would be?
But that's precisely what we're doing. So once again, I say that we ought to be engaged in a bold, clear, startlingly honest appeal to the world to see the interest. And we should be engaged in the diplomacy that is prepared to share, with all of those other countries that we need to come to the table, the decision-making and the responsibility, and that is how we will resolve this issue.
Anybody see any substantive points in there? All I hear is "we need more countries involved". Fine, but how exactly do you accomplish that. "A bold, clear, startlingly honest appeal", heh? I'm sure the French will respond favorably to that, aren't you?
Okay, so Kerry says, I laid this out in two speeches last year, one to the Brooking's Institution, and one to the Council on Foreign Relations. Let's go to those speeches and see what he had to say.
Brookings Institution Speech highlights:
We cannot walk away from Iraq but we must demand the internationalizing of military and civilian operations. This does not mean removing the United States from the process. It does mean inviting others into the rebuilding of Iraq and building of its new government; it does mean giving the United Nations a clearly defined role consistent with its capacity and experience.
Nothing new there.
First, we need a new Security Council resolution to give the United Nations authority in the rebuilding of Iraq and the development of its new Constitution and government – including the absorbing of the Coalition Provisional Authority. This shift of authority from the United States to the United Nations is indispensable to securing both troops and financial commitments from other countries.
The usual faith in the United Nations.
Second, we need a new UN Security Council resolution authorizing a multi-national force under US command – a command that properly should be ours because we are the largest troop presence. We will not put 130,000 American troops under foreign command. But internationalizing the force and placing it under a UN umbrella will spread the burden globally, reduce the risks to our soldiers, and remove the specter of American occupation.
Again, nothing different from the "let them kill French soldiers, not Americans". I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, just doubtful that the French will agree.
Third, the resolution must include a reasonable plan and a specific timetable for self-government – for transferring political power and the responsibility for reconstruction to the people of Iraq. Their participation in rebuilding their country and shaping their new institutions is fundamental to the cause of a stable, peaceful, and independent Iraq that contributes to the world instead of threatening it.
Done already by Bush; the timetable is in place. Of course, NOW, Kerry thinks the timetable is silly, a mistake. Could there be clearer evidence that Kerry is just reflexively opposing anything Bush does?
Fourth, the Administration must accelerate efforts to train and equip Iraqi security forces –border, police, military, and civil defense– so that Iraq will have the capacity to provide for its own security over time. To do this we will need assistance from our allies and others to train and equip the forces as quickly as possible, to monitor their progress as they take to the field, and to serve as interim security personnel while the process is ongoing.
That's it. So essentially what Kerry would do differently, is get other countries involved (good luck!).
Here's the entire part of Kerry's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations:
“I believe if the UN role is absolutely clear and substantively real, the Secretary General and members of the Security Council will support this course of action. But one thing is beyond doubt: we will continue to have difficulty persuading other countries, particularly those with meaningful military capabilities, to contribute troops and funds for reconstruction unless and until we vest real responsibility in the hands of the United Nations and the international community. I have said before – and I repeat today -- that the Bush Administration should swallow its pride and reverse course. But the evidence is strong that it lacks the wisdom or will to do so.
In fact, I fear that in the run up to the 2004 election the Administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut and run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal without adequate stability is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election. I have called for the Administration to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. This could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Baathists. Security and political stability cannot be divorced. Security must come first and that is why it is so imperative to succeed in building a genuine coalition on the ground in Iraq..
An international effort in Iraq is indispensable, but only the start of the new era of alliances in which the United States must lead and re-engage the world….
Those Three Purple Hearts
Insight Magazine has some more details.
But Kerry met with his immediate superior officer, Lt.Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, the next morning and requested a Purple Heart for his wound. Hibbard recalls that Kerry had a "minor scratch" on his arm and was holding in his hand what appeared to be a fragment of a U.S. M-79 grenade, the shrapnel that had caused the wound. "They didn't receive enemy fire," Hibbard tells Insight. Since this was an essential requirement for the award, the commander rejected Kerry's request. Hibbard does not remember that Kerry received medical attention of any kind and confirms that no one else on the mission suffered any injuries.
Shortly thereafter, Kerry was transferred to Coastal Division 11 at An Thoi. Apparently, Kerry petitioned to have his Purple Heart request reconsidered. Hibbard remembers getting correspondence from Kerry's new division, asking for his approval. In the hurried process of moving to a new command himself, Hibbard thinks he might have signed off on the award. If so, "it was to my chagrin," Hibbard remembers. Kerry's second commander, Lt.Cmdr. G.M. Elliott, says he has no recollection of such an event ever occurring.
Insight: contacted many men who served in Coastal Division at the same time Kerry did to ask if any of them had heard of anyone leaving the combat zone by invoking three minor wounds. Of the 12 who replied, none had heard of anyone doing so but John Kerry."
As Willie Loman Would Say...
Kerry's not well-liked. That's the point of this article in the St. Petersburg Times.
There are two basic concerns Democrats have about Kerry. Can the Boston Brahmin with a reputation for aloofness and a windy speaking style widely connect with Americans? And can Kerry define himself and his agenda before the Bush-Cheney campaign does it for him?
The campaign insists it will, starting soon with a new round of biographical ads.
"A lot of Americans don't know me yet," Kerry told reporters last week. "That's what we're about to get into."
Considering how few people who know Kerry like him, this may not be the greatest idea.
Thanks to KerryWaffles for providing the conclusive evidence.
John Kerry on the Issues
Believe it or not, this comes under Restoring Fiscal Discipline:
"I’ll say it again because George Bush’s ad-makers seem to have a hard time hearing it: under my plan, 98% of all Americans and 99% of all companies will get a tax cut." - John Kerry
It's hard to square that with this:
The report showed 61 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1996 through 2000. The study was based on an IRS sampling of more than 2 million tax returns, most from smaller companies.
John Brummett of the Ely Times (Serving White Pine County since 1920) has some Veep suggestions for John Kerry--Hillary (please!) or Ed Rendell (might make sense).
A Miserable Index
John Kerry seems to think he's Ronald Reagan. Reagan in 1980 came up with a statistic that he called the "Misery Index". It was pretty easy to calculate; just add the unemployment rate to the inflation rate, and bada-bing, you've got the "Misery Index".
Of course, this particular Misery Index would not work very well for John Kerry, since unemployment is fairly low, and inflation virtually non-existent. Indeed, since inflation is lower than during the Clinton years and unemployment not much higher, it would probably show less misery than, say, 2000.
So he came up with his own Misery Index, and it's really quite hilarious:
John Kerry is broadening his economic assault on President Bush with a "misery index" that suggests a combination of soaring college and health care costs and stagnant incomes have battered working families during Bush's term, campaign documents obtained Sunday showed.
Beginning to see the problem? Reagan's Misery Index relied on two fairly common statistics; the unemployment rate, and the inflation rate. Kerry's index relies on the increase in college costs over the inflation rate, the increase in health care costs over the inflation rate, and the increase in incomes over the inflation rate. You can already see this is not quite as easy as computing Reagan's Misery Index.
Between 2000 and 2003, the study says, inflation-adjusted figures show wages dropped 0.2 percent while tuition at public colleges and universities increased by 13 percent. The campaign says the tuition increase is the largest on record for a comparable time span. At the same time, health insurance premiums grew by 11 percent and gasoline prices were up by 15 percent, according to the study.
Well, now we've got a fourth factor; gasoline price increases over the inflation rate. Right now it sounds harder to calculate than the slugging average of Barry Bonds in night games against left-handed pitchers whose last names contain an "R". But it gets even sillier:
The index stood at 112 in 2000, but had dipped to 99 by 2003. A higher score means families are better off.
So it's not a Misery Index, it's a Happiness Index. Higher numbers in Reagan's Misery Index were bad. Honestly, I can't wait to hear Kerry trying to explain this whole thing to people. What a loser!
(Later Note: Some sites say that Jimmy Carter came up with the Misery Index in his run against Gerald Ford, and that Reagan then used it against him in 1980).
The Wit of John Kerry
The Washington Times has an article on the role of humor in the campaign.
"I've been having problems with the right wing lately," the Massachusetts senator deadpanned after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder last week.
"I really like that one," said Kerry spokeswoman Kathy Roeder.
Considering some of Kerry's other jokes, that's a real knee slapper:
Noting my physical discomfort beside him in the backseat, Wade asks Kerry, "Sir, have you ever considered getting a bigger car?" Kerry shoots back, "No, but I have thought about cutting all your fucking legs off at the knees."
Note that Kerry's campaign has solved its problems with searches turning up matches for swear words. Although that article is on the Kerry website, it does not pop up in a search for the "f" word. In fact, all I got were references to "tucking", "bucking" and "sucking".
A Tough Name to Spell?
Peter Weeks, a Kerry fan, made a little mistake.
Drafting perfectly formed block letters with red, white and blue inks, Peter Weeks is supporting presidential candidate John Kerry. His poster slogan, in 3-inch letters, is "CATS for Keery."
The Wooden Woodworker
A rather odd article in the Times about Kerry's experience with manual labor. He once made a coffee table, and worked one summer in shipping and receiving. Plus he opened a cookie shop.
"Anybody who's worked with wood knows that there's just a feel to it," he said. "There's a smell, a feel, a texture, and it's a wonderful thing to be able to start building something. I still have a coffee table that I built when I was about 12 years old, which I'm obviously very proud of."
I don't know about Norm Abram from the New Yankee Workshop, but I'm impressed.
Here's my thought on the possibility that Bush is a one-term president: Ain't gonna happen.
Okay, that's not very convincing, right? So let's go through some of the logic. Yesterday I read an article that noted that the only other father/son presidents (John and John Q. Adams) were one-termers. But of course, one comp does not an appraisal make.
Let's take a look at the other one-term presidents in recent history. In the 20th century, they were (in inverse order) George Bush, Sr., Jimmy Carter, Herbert Hoover, and William Taft. I'm not including JFK and Harding because they died in office. LBJ dropped out voluntarily, as did Teddy Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge.
Taft, Carter and Bush, Sr., were all contested for their party's nomination for a second term. Taft had to face down Teddy Roosevelt, the president who had stepped aside for him in 1908. Carter was challenged by Teddy Roosevelt, while Bush, Sr., faced the insurgent campaign of Pat Buchanan. In addition, all three faced strong third party candidacies that stole disproportionately from their campaign. Taft had Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose party, Carter suffered John Anderson's attempt (Anderson, a nominal Republican, drew heavily from the Democrat left), and Bush, Sr., had Ross Perot to kick him around.
Neither of those conditions apply in 2004. Bush has not faced any competition within his own party. The main third-party candidate, Ralph Nader, seems unlikely to draw disproportionately from the president's base.
That, of course, leaves Herbert Hoover, the president that the Democrats would most like to compare to Bush. How good a comparable is Hoover? If you read sites like Democratic Underground, he might seem perfect. However, a historical look should dispell any notion that Bush is Hoover.
Consider the unemployment rate, for example. In Hoover's years, the unemployment rate went from 3.2% in 1929, to 8.7% in 1930, to 15.9% in 1931 and an incredible 23.6% in 1932. In Bush's case, the unemployment rate has gone from 4.2% in January 2001, to 5.7% as of March 2004.
Or consider the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was about 320 when Hoover took office, and climbing, eventually reaching a peak of 381. When Hoover left office, the DJIA was at about 60, a decline of over 80%. The current DJIA is 10,442; when Bush took office the Dow was at 10,582, a decline of 1.3%. In addition, the Dow was already declining from its peak of 11,310 in August of 2000.
Came across a very talented cartoonist yesterday afternoon. J.J. McCullough is right up there with Chris Muir of Day By Day. He's Canadian, so the subjects may not always be familiar to an American audience, but he really hits the issues of the day. Here's a good one on Nuancy Boy's foreign supporters. Here's one on a domestic fan. Here's one that recalls Kerry's 1970s phase. My two favorites don't have to do with Ol' Horseface, but they're solid and timely.