« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 1, 2004

Which Of These Things Doesn't Belong?

Ann Gerhart provides Washington Post readers with an analysis of a term tossed around the Fleet Center in Boston with wild abandon last week, and in the ultimate paragraph, acidly notes one person who avoided it: Today's phrase: ROCK STAR Definition: A label affixed, often with wild abandon, on any Democrat capable of raising the pulse of delegates assembled inside Boston's FleetCenter. Especially popular with the punditocracy, which used it more than 200 times last week. Examples: David Gergen on CNN says Bill Clinton is a rock star. Jake Tapper on ABC and Rudy Giuliani, talking to reporters, both tag Michael Moore with it. Hannah Storm on CBS manages to declare Bill Clinton and Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama rock stars in the same paragraph. Says Greta Van Susteren on Fox News: "I hate to overuse the term" -- oh, go ahead -- "but 'rock star' is the term everyone...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Did The Minutemen Bomb Churches?

Car bombs in Baghdad exploded outside two churches, one Catholic and one Armenian, causing dozens of injuries and pointing towards a widening of targets in Iraq by Islamofascist terrorists: Two car bombs exploded just minutes apart outside two nearby churches in central Baghdad during Sunday evening services, injuring at least 20 people, witnesses said. The attacks appeared to be the first targeting churches during the 15-month violent insurgency. U.S. military officials said at least one and possible both of the blasts appeared to have been booby-trapped cars in the city's Karada neighborhood. More news will be forthcoming; as I'm posting this, it's been announced that two people have died in the attacks. However, the deliberate targeting of churches announces a new low for the Islamofascists, and perhaps a true revelation of their aims. These are not freedom fighters -- these are people determined to wipe out all non-Muslims, or at...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Milli Vanilli Chili - The Wendy's Dodge

Those of us who covered John Kerry's stumble with the Marines at Wendy's on Friday missed a more significant story, one which highlights the phoniness behind the Kerry/Edwards "men of the people" act. Alert CQ reader James O'Toole sends this Midhudson News report today that the Wendy's visit was a mere photo op, while a decidedly more upscale meal waited for them on the bus: While Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, and their families were having a lite lunch at Wendys in the Town of Newburgh Friday, drumming up local support right after the national convention in Boston, their real lunches were waiting on their bus. A member of the Kerry advance team called Nikolas Restaurant at the Newburgh Yacht Club the night before and ordered 19 five-star lunches to go that would be picked up at noon Friday. Management at the restaurant, which...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Captain's Caption Contest #21: The Right Stiff Edition!

It's Friday, so it must be time for another edition of the Captain's Caption Contests! This week's theme is Politicians In Space, and here we have the official Democratic nominee for the presidency being surprised by having a photograph taken on a campaign event. Too bad his friends John Glenn, Bill Nelson, and Bob Graham couldn't have told him what cameras do. Those Democratic Republican rascals! Guest judging this week will be Pat from Dr. Santy, a fine blog and a loyal reader. As always, leave your comments on the comments page, and as always, put your best caption entries in the comments section -- NO e-mail, please! (E-mailed entries will be specially marked by CQ Archives security personnel and shoved down Sandy Berger's pants.) The contest will remain open until 8 pm Sunday, August 1st, at which point the comments will be closed and Pat will pick the winners....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Gallup: Kerry Lost Ground During Convention

Gallup announced the results of its USA Today/CNN poll taken after the Democratic national convention. Instead of polling "adults", as Newsweek did, Gallup focused on likely voters, a much more reliable indicator of voter behavior. Their polling shows that Kerry went from a marginal tie -- one point up -- to four points down over the convention, which puts him behind at the edge of the margin of error: In the survey, taken Friday and Saturday, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and John Edwards trailed the Republican ticket of Bush and Dick Cheney 50% to 46% among likely voters, with independent candidate Ralph Nader at 2%. Before the convention, the two were essentially tied, with Kerry at 47%, Bush at 46%. The change in support was within the poll's margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points in the sample of 763 likely voters. But it was nonetheless a stunning...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

St. Paul Democrat Endorses Bush For President

While I was driving home from work on Friday, local radio buzzed about St. Paul mayor Randy Kelly and his silence so far on the presidential race. Kelly, a DFL member (Democrat-Farmer-Labor, the state Democratic party), had hinted that he might remain neutral, declining to endorse John Kerry, a stance which worried Democrats in this traditionally liberal capitol city. Kelly announced today that he will not remain neutral, and Democrats will be sorry they pressed the issue: St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly broke Democratic Party ranks on Sunday to announce his support for President Bush's re-election. "George Bush and I do not agree on a lot of issues," Kelly said in a statement. "But in turbulent times, what the American people need more than anything is continuity of government, even with some imperfect policies." Kelly, who said he's remaining a Democrat, said the economy is going in the right direction....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Meanwhile, Europeans Vote Kerry

John Kerry may not have received a post-convention bounce from American voters, but the news isn't all bad for the Democratic nominee. Today he received his first newspaper endorsement; unfortunately, the newspaper is the European and far-left Observer: Kerry insists he will be a different President. Under him the US would achieve its foreign policy ambitions through leadership of the international alliance system, accepting the compromises that that implies. Kerry would restore the treaty system covering the spread and testing of nuclear and chemical weapon systems, that Bush has jettisoned. He would cooperate in relieving Third World debt; he would be sympathetic to the Kyoto accords. He would not prevent sex education and the use of condoms in the campaign to fight Aids. He would back science and stem cell research. He would encourage alternative energy technologies. The Observer pushed the envelope when it comes to political bias. Instead of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 2, 2004

The Slow-Burn Civil War

Palestinian forces fired on Fatah reformers in the West Bank yesterday, injuring no one but sending the message that any challenge to Yasser Arafat's grip on power would result in a bloody civil war. Meanwhile, Arafat's Palestinian critics grew more bold in calling for an end to corruption: Gunmen claiming allegiance to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat fired warning shots outside a meeting hall in the West Bank city of Nablus where members of his Fatah movement gathered Sunday to discuss internal reforms, witnesses said. No one was injured when about 15 masked members of the Al Awda Brigade fired their weapons to express displeasure over what they said was a move against the Palestinian leader. About 60 Fatah activists from rural areas outside Nablus were meeting to discuss the recent political turmoil in the Palestinian Authority and draft a protest statement to Arafat, said one of the activists, Ghassan...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Kerry Secret Cut-And-Run Plan

John Kerry has a plan to increase foreign participation in Iraq and retreat forthwith, but he's not going to share it with anyone until he's elected, the Washington Post reports. Kerry did announce that he will pull the vast majority of American troops out of Iraq before the end of his first term in office: John F. Kerry pledged Sunday he would substantially reduce U.S. troop strength in Iraq by the end of his first term in office but declined to offer any details of what he said is his plan to attract significantly more allied military and financial support there. In interviews on television talk shows, the Democratic presidential nominee said that he saw no reason to send more troops to Iraq and that he would seek allied support to draw down U.S. forces there. "I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops," he said on...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Sistani: All Iraqis Must Collaborate Against Islamofascist Terrorists

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani again emphasized his moderating influence on Iraq by strongly condemning the wave of Islamofascist bombings targeting Christian churches in Iraq this weekend, killing eleven in five coordinated attacks. Sistani urged all Iraqis to "collaborate" with the interim Iraqi government in order to end the terror, and he was not only Muslim cleric to do so: Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani said in a statement that Sunday's assaults on Christian churches "targeted Iraq's unity, stability and independence." ... The more senior al-Sistani said: "We condemn and reproach these hideous crimes and deem necessary the collaboration of everyone the government and the people in putting an end to aggression on Iraqis," said the cleric, who is based in the southern city of Najaf. "We assert the importance of respecting the rights of Christian civilians and other religious minorities and reaffirm their right to live in their...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Caption Contest Winners!

What a great weekend! CQ readers entered what I think was a record number of captions for the weekend contest, and Pat at Dr. Sanity had quite a job trying to pick the few, the proud, and the very clean winners. Even John Kerry had to plumb the depths of CQ in order to get through all the entries: Pat's winners are as follows: Captain's Award (Man On A Mission?) - Mike G: "I am John Kerry, reporting for duty!" You Have The Conn #1 (The Populist Award) - Jim S: Okay, I'm ready to meet with the common folk now. You Have The Conn #2 (Politics Begins At Conception) - Rightwingduck: This sperm has a one in million chance of becoming a human being. You Have The Conn #3 (Nuance And Courage Twin Award) - Charles Austin: (both are by charles austin, so I counted them as one) I...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Commissar Live-Blogs From Alert Center

My good friend, the Commissar at the Politburo Diktat, will live-blog all day today from the Citigroup building, one of the threat targets identified this weekend by the Department of Homeland Security. Keep checking back all day today on the status of security. In fact, keep checking back at PD as a regular habit -- it's a great blog, one of the best satirical sites as well as featuring straightforward insightful commentary. UPDATE: The AP reports on security measures being taken on the ground and notes that workers in the area are "defiant" to Islamofascists: Financial institutions identified as targets of a terrorist plot in three cities opened for business Monday under stepped-up security and defiant words from people who said they won't be cowed by the extraordinary intelligence pointing to a potential attack. Police sealed off some streets in New York, put international-finance employees in Washington through extra security...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush Adopts The Expanded Bureaucracy Approach

George Bush announced today that he will implement the key recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, creating a new national intelligence "czar" and layering two levels of management onto existing intelligence agencies. However, Bush plans to avoid having the new position placed in the White House in order to maintain more independence for the new organization: President Bush said Monday he is asking Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director, to serve as the president's principal intelligence adviser. ... The national director of intelligence will report to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Bush said. The president also revealed plans to create a national counter-terrorism center. "This new center will ... become our government's knowledge bank for known and suspected terrorists," Bush said. The reporting structure reverses that recommended by the 9/11 Commission if CNN has its information correct, which I suspect they do not. The commission's...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 3, 2004

NoKo Suspends Talks Due To Sudden Population Drop

North Korea suspended its participation in inter-Korean negotiations across a broad front of issues due to the defections of several hundred Northerners to the South, enraging the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il, and his communist government. Despite its pleas to North Korea to rejoin talks, Seoul refuses to budge on its position of granting refuge to North Korean refugees abroad: North Korea has boycotted scheduled cabinet-level talks with South Korea, angry over the defection of hundreds of North Koreans to the South last week. Pyongyang described the mass defection as an act of "kidnapping and terrorism committed by South Korean authorities in broad daylight." ... The two Koreas have been at odds over the defection and Seoul's earlier refusal to let pro-unification activists visit Pyongyang for the 10th anniversary of the death of the North's founding leader, Kim Il-Sung on July 8. North Korea also scrapped maritime and military talks with...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Pakistan Rolling Up AQ Network?

Pakistan has suddenly hit a hot streak in capturing al-Qaeda suspects, arresting two more to bring their total to four over the past month. Either their intelligence has improved or someone's singing: In the latest arrests, one of the men was apprehended at a bus stop in the Hafizabad town in Punjab province but the officials were unsure of his nationality. "He first said he was from Yemen but later changed his statement to say he was Egyptian," one of the officials who asked not to be named told Reuters. "We are still checking his nationality. He does not have a passport." In another swoop, authorities arrested a foreign al Qaeda suspect along with two Pakistanis who were traveling to the eastern city of Lahore, also in Punjab, from the nearby town of Sheikupura Monday night. The key capture, the one that made headlines last week, was Pakistan's arrest of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The AP Practices Real Journalism On Kerry

In a sign that John Kerry may lose his last bastion of defense -- a sympathetic mass media -- the AP rips Kerry in an analysis of his "secret plan" to increase foreign troops and reduce American presence in Iraq. Ron Fournier writes that Kerry's plan is not only reminiscent of Nixon, but that it's ultimately irrelevant: John Kerry (news - web sites) says he can "put a deal together" as president to drastically reduce U.S. troop strength in Iraq (news - web sites), a pledge reminiscent of Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War and Dwight D. Eisenhower's promise to stop fighting in Korea. Like those Republican presidential candidates, the Democrat's blueprint for peace lacks detail and has critics squawking. ... But when asked for hard evidence that his victory would produce a troops-reducing deal for America, neither Kerry nor his fellow senators cite anything other than...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Campaign Message Getting Out: "Shove It!"

Jennifer Harper at the Washington Times takes a look at how the themes sounded by the Democrats at their nominating convention have resonated with the American public. So far, Harper finds that the Democrats have been mostly unsuccessful in creating any buzz from their slogans, with one notable exception (via Drudge): Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" phrase to a Pittsburgh editor was the most cited Kerry campaign message in the press last week mentioned 381 times in American publications, according to Factiva, a Dow Jones/Reuters company that tracks daily press mentions. ... Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign mottos did not resonate with the press, according to Factiva. "One America" got 57 mentions, "Hope is on the way," 50 mentions and "America can do better" just 21 by week's end. So much for the entire convention! The only lasting impression was made by the candidate's wife, in an attack on...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 4, 2004

Not Just A Computer Nerd

Senior security officials told AFP that the al-Qaeda computer expert captured three weeks ago played a much more important role for AQ than simply technical support, and that the data captured along with him revealed much of AQ's communications infrastructure: Naeem Noor Khan, 25, alias Abu Talha, arrested in the eastern city of Lahore on July 12, "is in the top hierarchy of Al-Qaeda's external operations wing," a security official closely associated with the latest Al-Qaeda swoop told AFP Wednesday. Khan had not only been creating websites and secret email codes for Al-Qaeda operatives to communicate with each other, he had also actively plotted terror attacks, the official said on condition of anonymity. "He was involved in planning for attacks at Heathrow airport London some time ago and was wanted by the US government," the official said, but was unable to say exactly when the Heathrow attack was planned. Capturing...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Timing Of Alert Rather Obvious -- But Not How You Think

The AP's Ron Fournier analyzes reaction to the orange alerts issued this week by the Department of Homeland Security and deconstructs the politics rather adeptly. However, Fournier and many others missed a key issue in the debate over using the so-called "old" material for a fresh alert: The politics of terrorism has Democrats tied in knots. Each time President Bush raises fears of a possible attack, the political debate shifts from his most troublesome issue to one of his strongest (the war on terrorism) while Democrats fight their impulse to question the president's motives. ... Campaign officials said Kerry would like to believe that Bush is acting in the nation's interest. Even if he didn't give Bush the benefit of the doubt, there are enormous political risks to Kerry questioning the president's motives, the officials said, because a subsequent terrorist strike would make him look politically craven and shortsighted. Criticizing...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Recent Captures Related To British Heathrow Alert In 2003?

An alert reader who wishes to remain anonymous sends over this tip regarding British security alerts in February 2003 at Heathrow. As reported in the London Guardian, British security went on high alert that month as the Islamic festival of Eid came to a close: Heathrow was last night being patrolled by 1,500 anti-terrorist police and troops after intelligence warnings identified it as a likely target for an imminent attack by al-Qaida-linked militants armed with anti-aircraft missiles. The move was sanctioned late on Monday after high level meetings at Scotland Yard headed by Assistant Commissioner David Veness, who requested immediate army back-up and support from Heathrow's neighbouring forces, Surrey and Thames Valley. The prime minister was told of the threat and rubber stamped the deployment of 450 soldiers from the Ist Battalion the Grenadier Guards and the Household Cavalry. Those warnings turned up nothing significant, and eventually Tony Blair faced...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Promises More News Conferences If President

John Kerry took steps yesterday to shore up weakening support in akey constituency -- the media -- by promising more news conferences if elected to the White House: Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said Tuesday he would hold news conferences at least once a month if elected in November. "I don't have anything to hide," he declared. ... President Bush, the man Kerry hopes to unseat in November, has held 12 formal news conferences since taking office, though he routinely has short question-and-answer sessions at White House photo opportunities. Of course, it's easy for Kerry to hold press conferences, given the broad range of responses he routinely gives on any issue. One could ask the Senator why he hasn't held many press conferences during his campaign, given this new commitment. After all, the media up to the convention had been his best friend, even if he kept shooting himself in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Experts To Congress: Not So Fast On 9/11 Recommendations

With John Kerry constantly harping on the theme that George Bush hasn't yet implemented all of the recommendations in the weeks-old 9/11 Commission report, and with Bush himself promising to use executive orders to push them through quickly, one gets the impression of a broad consensus that these results are beyond question. However, at a public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, several former national-security officers advised Congress to go slow and rethink the commission's conclusions: Former government officials told Congress on Wednesday not to rush to adopt all of the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. They expressed reservations about a key recommendation creating a national director of intelligence and questioned whether focusing on issues related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks might worsen other problems that became apparent after the war in Iraq. The people urging caution aren't just Congressional staffers and low-level functionaries looking...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Face Of Evil?

While so many of us are focused on elections and Islamofascist terrorists, many of our younger citizens await the next cinematic installment of the wildly popular fiction series that focuses on a battle between good and evil. Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire has been filming all summer without any indication who would portray the corporeal evil that haunts Harry and his friends, Lord Voldemort. At one point, practically every British actor who hadn't yet appeared in the series was rumored to have been cast in the role, including -- laughably -- Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean. Now Warner Bros. has finally announced who will fill the robe of the character so evil that witches and wizards avoid speaking his name, a man whose very face inspires fear and dread. Ralph Fiennes? He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has been named. Ralph Fiennes, who played memorable evil guys in "Red Dragon" and...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 5, 2004

Al-Qaeda Takes Body Blows, Shifting Direction?

Pakistan's capture of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan continues to roll up both terrorists and their operational plans, as the AP reports this morning. Using the data recovered from Khan and Ahmed Ghailani, the UK has arrested a number of suspected Islamofascists based in part on surveillance data of Heathrow airport and other recovered data: Pakistan gave British authorities images of London's Heathrow Airport and other sites that were found on the computers of two arrested al-Qaida fugitives, intelligence officials said Thursday. ... Several news reports in Britain said that one of the suspects arrested in a sweep against militants late Tuesday, variously identified as Abu Eisa al-Hindi or Abu Musa al-Hindi, was believed to be a senior member of al-Qaida, and had been plotting an attack on Heathrow. Britain's Metropolitan Police refused to say whether al-Hindi was among those arrested, and Pakistani officials contacted by The Associated Press had no...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Gray Lady Undone By Itself, Howard Dean

Today's editorial from the New York Times sets new lows for intellectual bankruptcy and is made largely irrelevant by Howard Dean going off his meds last night. The Times castigates the Bush administration for botching security alerts in a self-contradictory morass of insinuation and innuendo. It starts out by acknowledging the warnings this week were justified by the data at hand, but quickly goes downhill from there: The administration was obviously right to warn the country that Al Qaeda had apparently studied financial institutions in three cities with the idea of a possible attack. But the delivery of the message was confusing. The color-coded threat chart doesn't serve the purpose for which it was invented, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is hopeless as a public spokesman on this issue. The Bush administration needs to come up with a method of communication that informs the public in a calm, clear...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

UN: Terrorism Overrated

CQ reader and blogger Athena pointed out a report from Reuters which demomstrates the futility of relying on the United Nations as a genuine partner in the struggle against Islamofascist terrorism. A UN investigator has submitted a report claiming that terror fears are exaggerated in order to erode human rights: A United Nations investigator has called on governments to stop whipping up exaggerated fears of terrorism among their populations, in an apparent reference to the United States and Britain. And in implicit criticism of Russia and China, Greek Lawyer Kalliopi K. Koufa said in a report that the world community should be more alert to a growing trend to label as terrorists groups seeking to exercise the right of self-determination. Fear of terrorism "out of proportion to its actual risk and generated by states themselves or other actors" can be exploited to make people accept "counter-terrorism measures that unduly curtail...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 6, 2004

Economy Inspiring Higher Consumer Confidence

In another significant development for the upcoming presidential campaign, the AP-Ipsos consumer-confidence survey returned its highest numbers of the year as more Americans trust that the economy has really rebounded and will continue its upward trajectory: Consumer confidence surged during the past month to its highest level since the beginning of the year, with Americans feeling better about their own finances and more optimistic about the future despite renewed terror threats and rising oil prices. Consumer confidence has been rising for the past four months as the economy has been on a solid path to recovery. The AP-Ipsos consumer confidence index climbed to 104.8 in August, up from 92.0 in July, led by consumers' perceptions of their own finances and optimism about the future. It's yet another sign that the Kerry/Edwards campaign of class warfare and economic pessimism has failed to capture the imagination of the electorate, which is experiencing...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Moqtada al-Sadr, The John Kerry Of Iraq

Radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr executed a flip-flop on his part-time insurgency again, this time within 24 hours, which has to be a record of some sort. The New York Times reports that less than a day after initiating armed insurrection -- again -- and getting the worst of the battle -- again -- Sadr appealed for a truce with Iraqi and American security forces ... again: The radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called for a national uprising against American and allied troops Thursday morning, then backed off near midnight after a day of fighting between his guerrillas and American and Iraqi forces. ... One American marine and several insurgents were killed in Najaf, where marines fought alongside Iraqi policemen and National Guard troops. At least a dozen more soldiers and dozens of insurgents were wounded in both Baghdad and Najaf, though exact casualty counts were unavailable late Thursday night....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Naval Intelligence On The Market?

The BBC reports this morning that an al-Qaeda suspect arrested by the British last year but released until this week carried detailed plans of US Navy battle group formations, allowing him to advise other terrorists how to evade American pickets at sea: Lawyers trying to extradite a British man to the US on terrorism charges have told a court he was found in possession of US naval intelligence. ... Details of US battleship formations in the Gulf had also been found during an earlier arrest, the court heard. British police had arrested Mr Ahmad, but released him without charge, in December 2003. Bow Street Magistrates' Court was told documents containing details of battleship formations and vulnerabilities were found near him during that arrest. Not only could that information aid AQ operations avoid detection by the American Navy, but also could have helped develop plans to attack the ships themselves. Many...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Upping The Ante

After the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth ad and book came out this week, the Kerry campaign (as well as the ever-helpful John McCain) demanded that the Bush/Cheney campaign "denounce" the hundreds of veterans who spoke their minds in "Unfit For Command". Instead, the Bush campaign has upped the ante, and the Kerry campaign can't afford to meet the bid: The White House yesterday distanced itself from a political ad that questions John Kerry's Vietnam service and called on the Democratic presidential nominee to join President Bush in demanding an "immediate cessation" of all advertisements by outside groups. "We have not and will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One. "The president is calling for an immediate cessation to all the unregulated soft money activity." In one quick shot, the Democrats have their hypocrisy exposed. No one denounced...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

No Honor Amongst Terrorists

Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan's friends and colleagues at al-Qaeda headquarters will be irate when they read that Khan decided to assist infidels in a sting operation after he was captured, leading to the string of AQ arrests worldwide: A high alert for U.S. financial institutions against a possible al Qaeda attack was also prompted by information gathered from the Pakistani computer engineer, according to intelligence and government sources. "After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," the source said. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz," he added. So much for honor amongst thieves! Computer hackers may be a different breed anyway, and AQ leadership may well decide to avoid using them in the future after getting burned in such a trite fashion. It...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Secret Plan Improved Over The Past Week

John Kerry must have made major improvements in the past week in his secret plan to end the war. This morning, he told NPR that the Kerry/Edwards plan would "significantly reduce" American forces in Iraq within one year, rather than the four years he claimed as late as last weekend: On Iraq, Kerry lays out his plan to ease U.S. military involvement by increasing international involvement and appointing a high commissioner to act as a liaison with Iraq. "I believe that within a year from now we can significantly reduce American forces in Iraq," Kerry tells Inskeep. Edwards adds that Kerry's proposal to create a "fresh start" has the capacity "to convert this from an American occupation to an international presence helping the Iraqis provide for their own security." The NPR report does not report if Kerry provided any additional details on this plan, nor does it explain how he...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush Approval Numbers Trending Upwards: Rasmussen

Rasmussen reports in its daily tracking poll that George Bush's approval numbers have risen to their highest point since before the Democratic convention, showing a remarkable resiliency and the ineffectiveness of the rehashed attacks on display at Fleet Center last week: Fifty-three percent (53%) of American voters say they approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Another 46% disapprove. The past three days represent the President's highest ratings since the Democratic National Convention began. In fact, today's reading is the highest in over a month. Bush has reached the 53% Approval level just three times since mid-May. Among those who work in the private sector, 58% give the President their Approval. Just 49% of government employees do the same. Among those who are retired, Bush earns a 51% Approval rating. As one might expect, Bush's approval rating dropped for a period of time after...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 7, 2004

Beheading Video A Hoax From Wannabe Frisco Pol

The AP reports on a piece of human effluvia that produced a video of himself being beheaded in order to deliberately hoax the world into thinking that Islamofascists has brutally murdered another hostage. Why? To protest Islamofascism? No. To protest the war? No. Surely it couldn't be just to get himself some world attention? BINGO! And guess where he lives: The American, Benjamin Vanderford, reached by The Associated Press in San Francisco, said he videotaped the staged beheading at his friend's house using fake blood. Vanderford, 22, said he began distributing the video on the Internet months ago in hopes of drawing attention to his one-time campaign for city supervisor. When his political aspirations waned, he thought the video would serve as social commentary. "It was part of a stunt, but no one noticed it up until now," Vanderford said. "I did this for a couple of reasons. One is...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Democrats' Idea Of "Religious Outreach": Shut Up About God

The director of the Democratic Party's two-week-old effort at "religious outreach" resigned yesterday in an effort to quell mounting criticism at her selection after filing an amicus brief supporting the removal of the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance: The director of religious outreach for the Democratic Party says she resigned this week because of criticism over her support for removing the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. The Democratic National Committee is seeking a replacement for the Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, who resigned Wednesday after serving less than two weeks in the newly created position. DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera said the party had nothing more to add to her resignation statement. ... On Wednesday, Peterson resigned and cited "recent negative publicity" from the amicus brief in the pledge case that she and 31 other members of the clergy signed. Tone-deafness abounds at the DNC. Did...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush To Kerry: Make Up Your Mind On Terror Fight

George Bush struck all the right notes in his campaign appearance yesterday in New Hampshire, a state in which he and John Kerry remain deadlocked. In addressing the crowd about removing Saddam Hussein from power, Bush challenged Kerry to make up his mind about the fight against terrorism instead of trying to have it both ways: President Bush challenged Democratic rival John Kerry on Friday to give a yes-or-no answer about whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq "knowing what we know now" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. "I have given my answer," Bush told a cheering crowd. "We did the right thing and the world is better off for it." ... Bush also said Kerry's criticism of his Iraq policies merely shows the Democrat doesn't understand who America is up against. "My opponent said something the other day I strongly disagree with -...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Northern Alliance Streaming Again Today .... Only Better!

Our Northern Alliance Radio Network will be streaming again to the world this afternoon, noon to 3 PM CT, at this link (requires Microsoft IE). Last week's issues have been resolved -- we hope -- and we're back in the studio again for today's show. Be sure to tune us in at the link and let us know what you think!...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Mistake Continues

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have finally unveiled their campaign against John Kerry this week, first in a 30-second televised ad, and now in a new book that's vaulted to #1 on the Amazon hit parade, according to Matt Drudge. Where the TV spot talks in general terms about Kerry's record in Viet Nam (with the effective use of highly-decorated vets who were there), the book takes specific aim at Kerry's narrative: George Bates, an officer in Coastal Division 11, participated in numerous operations with Kerry. In UNFIT FOR COMMAND, Bates recalls a particular patrol with Kerry on the Song Bo De River. He is still "haunted" by the incident: With Kerry in the lead, the boats approached a small hamlet with three or four grass huts. Pigs and chickens were milling around peacefully. As the boats drew closer, the villagers fled. There were no political symbols or flags in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Swifties Fire Back

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have hired their own lawyers in response to the Kerry/Edwards campaign's threat of ruinous lawsuits for anyone who allows the independent 527 to purchase ad time at their media outlet. For some reason, the Democrats seem to have a problem with the actual practice of free speech, even after having their party chairman, Terry McAuliffe, call George Bush a deserter and John Kerry question the quality of his National Guard service. When the shoe moves to the other foot, suddenly the Democrats switch from "Bring It On" to "We'll Sue You Into Silence," quite a difference in tone. Does America need a President this pusillanimous? At least now we understand the reason Kerry selected John Edwards as his vice-president. I suppose that we can expect trial attorneys to attack anyone who dares criticize John Kerry during a Kerry administration, only those trial attorneys will...

Continue reading "The Swifties Fire Back" »

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia: Kerry's Intellectual Laziness On Parade

One more thing about the Swiftvets and John Kerry that certainly indicates that Kerry habitually either exaggerated or lied about his service in Viet Nam appears in the letter posted below. John Kerry has repeatedly insisted that he spent Christmas Eve 1968 in Cambodia, which would have been an illegal act as we were not at war with Cambodia at that time. Kerry said his disillusion with the US government and the war began on this night, as he spent his night in Cambodia listening to President Richard Nixon claim that no American troops were there. Here's the relevant section of John O'Neill's letter: If there is a consistent[1] repeated story by John Kerry about his Vietnam experience, it is his story about how he and his boat spent Christmas Eve and Christmas of 1968 illegally present in Cambodia and, listening to President Nixon's contrary assurances, developed "a deep mistrust...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 8, 2004

Scum-Sucking Spammer Of The Day

I was hoping to have posted something significant this morning, but unfortunately I have spent the first hour cleaning up after a scum-sucking spammer who has been leaving spam comments all over Captain's Quarters. The site referral redirects to www.rxsexualhealth.com, which is a Viagra reseller. If you would like to make your displeasure known to the fine folks at RxSexualHealth, please e-mail them at admin@rxsexualhealth.com. In fact, if you have any political views you'd like to share, send them to admin@rxsexualhealth.com. If you have pictures of your vacation that you think would interest the folks at RxSexualHealt, send them off to admin@rxsexualhealth.com. If you have a blog, feel free to link back to this post and encourage others to send lots of mail to the fine people at admin@rxsexualhealth.com. Just don't forget to use the subject line, "Quit Spamming Blog Sites!" on every piece of e-mail you send. Thank you,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

AQ Networks Rolling Up

Al-Qaeda leadership and their networks continue to roll up into hostile hands this summer, as now the United Arab Emirates announce the capture of a "senior" AQ leader and his extradition to Pakistan: A senior Pakistani al-Qaida operative who used to run one of the terror group's training camps in Afghanistan has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates and handed over to Pakistani officials, the information minister said Sunday. Qari Saifullah Akhtar is in Pakistani custody, the latest in a string of major breakthroughs against the al-Qaida network, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told The Associated Press. Akhtar ran an al-Qaida training camp in Rishkhor, Afghanistan, where terrorists learned kidnapping and assassination techniques, as well as traditional combat skills used by Taliban fighters in their war to win control of the country before they were ousted in late 2001. When President Bush announced that the US would go to...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Captain's Caption Contest #22: Cornapalooza!

It's Friday, so it must be time for another Captain's Caption Contest! As my good friend and colleague Rocket Man at Power Line reminded us earlier this week, politics can be a corny business. All of the sloganeering, all of the baby-kissing, the hand-shaking ... the pandering to local business: Of course, there's nothing more corny than a good caption contest! So lend us your ears (heh) and especially your wits and enter your best (and corniest) ideas. Guest-judging this week will be Right Wing Duck, a multiple-contest winner here at CQ and the host of a bitingly humorous blog you all should check out. As always, leave your comments on the comments page, and as always, put your best caption entries in the comments section -- NO e-mail, please! (E-mailed entries will be shucked by experts at the Heinz-Kerry compound and fed to the peasants at a local state...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

"Hellfighter" Goes On To Main Event

Paul "Red" Adair, the flamboyantly named oil-fire expert whose dash far outstripped his name, died last night of natural causes in a Houston hospital. Adair spent most of the 20th century fighting -- and beating -- the largest oil fires in the world, capping his career with an audacious and tremendously successful effort to avert the environmental and economic catastrophe that Saddm set off in Kuwait: Red Adair gained global fame in 1962, when he tackled a fire at a gas field in the Sahara - a feat later retold in the John Wayne film Hellfighters. He also grabbed headlines quenching blazing Kuwaiti oil wells in 1991. And in 1988 he fought the explosion of the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea which killed 167 men. ... [H]is expertise in 1991 putting out the blazing oil wells in Kuwait that had been set alight by retreating Iraqi forces was...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush Foreign Policy, Patience Pays Off In Saudi Arabia

The Bush administration's efforts in the war on terror gets a boost from an unlikely source today -- the Los Angeles Times. Albeit a silent endorsement, the Times' analysis of Saudi Arabia's evolution from tacit supporter of terror to a key ally of the war on al-Qaeda demonstrates that the Bush strategy of patience and diplomatic pressure have paid off with the Saudis, and has resulted in vital cooperation between intelligence services: After years of giving tacit support and back-channel financing to Islamic extremists, the Saudi government has joined forces with the United States in an intensive battle against Al Qaeda in the desert kingdom. For the last year, U.S. intelligence analysts have been sitting side by side with their Saudi counterparts at a secret location here in the capital, sharing raw intelligence and plotting counterattacks, said a former U.S. ambassador to the country, Robert Jordan, and a senior Saudi...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

NY Security Procedures Get Criticized For Displacing The Homeless

When securing an area for high-risk events, it is common practive to evict any loiterers, as terrorists or criminals can easily hide themselves among them. The Republican National Convention is no different, and since the venue itself sits on top of Penn Station -- a prime terrorist target at any time -- it makes sense that the FBI and other national-security agencies will clear the area of all but those who have a reason to be there. Unfortunately, since this is the Republican convention, the media reports this basic security concept as a heartless blow to the homeless: .W. Ballantine, a 77-year-old homeless man, already sleeps most nights in Penn Station and eats many of his meals in neighborhood soup kitchens. But Ballantine's life is about to get much harder now that the Republican National Convention is coming to Madison Square Garden, directly on top of the train station where...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part II: Not Without My Shipmates

Drudge reports that the Christmas in Cambodia story continues to fall apart. John O'Neill of Swiftboat Veterans for the Truth writes in his upcoming book at more length on the Cambodia story than his letter to the station managers I reprinted last night. Here's the key passage that points out the dangerous situation the Kerry campaign faces: All the living commanders in Kerrys chain of command . . . deny that Kerry was ever ordered to Cambodia. They indicate that Kerry would have been seriously disciplined or court-martialed had he gone there. At least three of the five crewmen on Kerrys boat, Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner, deny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia [emph mine -- CE]. ONeill observed that the Cambodia incursion story is not included in Tour of Duty (Kerrys recent biography). Instead, Kerry replaced the story with a report about a...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part III: Time Flies

Tom Maguire at the excellent blog Just One Minute points out this AP story from twelve years ago explaining Kerry's Cambodia experience. See if you can point out the inconsistencies in Kerry's story back in 1992: Navy Lt. John Kerry knew he had no business steering his Mekong River patrol boat across the border into Cambodia, but orders were orders. A quarter-century later, Sen. John Kerry says newly declassified documents have convinced him fellow servicemen captured on such trips were left behind at war's end. ... But for Kerry, who spent six violent months commanding a patrol boat on the Mekong River, there's always been a ring of truth to allegations of abandoned Americans. By Christmas 1968, part of Kerry's patrol extended across the border of South Vietnam into Cambodia. "We were told, `Just go up there and do your patrol. Everybody was over there (in Cambodia). Nobody thought twice...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 9, 2004

Christmas In Cambodia, Part IV: Patrol Or Tourist?

Longtime CQ reader Retired Military points out yet another article with yet another version of the Christmas in Cambodia story from John Kerry. Kerry had long insisted that he was ordered to patrol in Cambodian waters, and spoke of his disillusionment with the war and how it kindled when he heard the president deny that any servicemen were in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968, while he patrolled their waters. He claims that the moment was "seared into his memory," an embittered recollection that would cause him to protest the war and American actions in it on his return to the US. However, in June 2003, as part of a profile written by Michael Kranish (a name that keeps popping up in Kerry mythmaking), John Kerry tells the Boston Globe that his patrol area was within South Viet Nam -- and he only went into Cambodia to chase down attackers: The...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Najaf Governor Gives Green Light To Military Action

Moqtada al-Sadr lost important political cover overnight when the governor of Najaf agreed to allow joint Iraqi-American forces to begin military operations to eject Sadr from the Imam Ali mosque, one of the holiest Shi'a shrines and a site that the Americans had carefully avoided attacking: The governor of Najaf cleared the way Monday for military operations around the Iman Ali shrine, the most holy place in Shiite Islam, where fighters loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are holed up, said a commander for the U.S.-led multinational forces. ... At a briefing Monday afternoon, a senior multinational forces commander said the governor of Najaf had approved the operations in coordination with the Iraqi National Guard. The commander estimated that more than 360 of al-Sadr's fighters -- believed to number around 2,000 -- have been killed since the governor of Najaf requested assistance last week from the multinational forces to put...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Immigrants Want The Vote Without The Work

The New York Times runs a story today on efforts by immigration activists to allow non-citizens to vote in American elections -- local elections to start: For months, the would-be revolutionaries plotted strategy and lobbied local politicians here with the age-old plea, "No taxation without representation!" Last month, some of the unlikely insurgents - Ethiopian-born restaurateurs, travel agents and real estate developers in sober business suits - declared that victory finally seemed within reach. Five City Council members announced their support for a bill that would allow thousands of immigrants to vote in local elections here, placing the nation's capital among a handful of cities across the country in the forefront of efforts to offer voting rights to noncitizens. "It will happen,'' said Tamrat Medhin, a civic activist from Ethiopia who lives here. "Don't you believe that if people are working in the community and paying taxes, don't you agree...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Maybe This Is Why They Think They Should Vote

Fox News reports that several states have cracked down on a chain of schools that assists immigrants to America in getting a GED, the equivalent of a high-school diploma. That sounds like a worthy goal, no? Well, apparently they took the equivalency issue a bit too seriously, as their source materials are so riddled with errors that it almost sounds like a parody of American education: California has joined other states in acting against a private school that claimed to award high school diplomas while teaching its immigrant students a curriculum riddled with errors, including the wrong years for World War II and the wrong number of states. The California Alternative High School in Los Angeles targeted Hispanic immigrants, charging $450 to $1,450 for a 10-week course it said would lead to a valid diploma and help them get into college, find better jobs and get financial aid, California Attorney...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Blog Notes

My random collection of thoughts on a Monday afternoon ... * Again this week, I will be working evenings in order to take care of some work issues and take the First Mate to some doctor's appointments. My productivity may be lower than normal, but hopefully the quality will remain high. * I didn't mention it when it happened, but Captain's Quarters passed its 500,000th visit late last month, approximately 10 months after I launched the blog. I have a lot of people to thank for this -- notably Hugh Hewitt, the Lord High Commissioner for the Blogosphere and the father of the Northern Alliance. The guys at Power Line gave me a big lift right near the beginning, too, linking back to me several times and allowing my site to get great early exposure, and the rest of the Northern Alliance guys, too -- King at SCSU Scholars, the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part V: Close Enough For Government Work

Instapundit reports this evening that the Kerry campaign is now backing away from three decades of Kerry assertions that the young lieutenant took part in illegal military operations in Cambodia: Via the show, I heard a Carl Cameron story on the Kerry/Cambodia issue that ran last hour. It sounded devastating, and the Kerry campaign sounded disorganized and un-credible. They're now saying that Kerry was "near" Cambodia (58 miles away), but can't explain why he repeatedly said he was actually in Cambodia. If indeed the Kerry/Edwards campaign has retreated on this point -- and I don't have the Carl Cameron story on Fox to review -- then the effect will be staggering. The entire narrative of Kerry's transition from eager young lieutenant to disillusioned veteran supposedly began on that Cambodian Christmas Eve, when under fire in a country on which we had not declared war, he heard his President deny that...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Caption Contest Winners!

Your entries overwhelmed Right Wing Duck -- when I told him that we had a record number of entries in this week's Captain's Caption Contest, he couldn't believe his ears! And not just his, either ... Here's RWD on the contest: "Wow, Captain this was a lot harder than I thought. I didn't know which one to choose, so I asked the French Embassy for help. They suggested I surrender. Then I called the UN but they wouldn't return my calls. So I acted unilaterally - screw the French! If you guys were liberal I'd worry about hurting your feelings - but you're not so let me just say this - a lot of you should get professional help!" Here are the winners, with or without that vaunted French military alliance: Captain's Award (Roll Call Edition) - DANEgerus: All I see is 4 vegetables with 6 ears. You Have The...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 10, 2004

Mark Steyn: Kerry Doesn't Add Up

The priceless Mark Steyn, the prose laureate of the Right, deconstructs the Christmas in Cambodia mythology with the skill of a surgeon in today's column. Steyn also answers those courageous Democratic Underground commenters here at CQ who called us Nazis for questioning Kerry's war record, but left no name or e-mail address on their missives: For decades, John Kerry has told anyone who'd listen that at Christmas 1968 he was on an illegal mission inside Cambodia. On the floor of the Senate in 1986, while attacking President Reagan for turning Central America into another Vietnam quagmire (wrong as usual), Kerry said: "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Rassman Shoots Back, Readers Question His Presence

Jim Rassman, the Kerry campaign mainstay who reminds everyone that the young lieutenant saved his life under fire, attempts to return the favor in today's Wall Street Journal On Line. Rassman attempts to do this with a handy bit of misdirection and a few ad hominem attacks on the Swiftvets, in whose company he spent a few days back in 1969: While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath. When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Media Nibbling At The Edges Of The Swiftvet Story

There are finally some indications that the mainstream media may take a closer look at the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign on John Kerry's war record -- the main qualification that the Democrats have put forward for his candidacy. Last night, Nightline covered the story, although as Instapundit reports, not so much to cover the allegations as to cover the Swiftvets instead. Now John O'Sullivan takes up the cause in today's Chicago Sun-Times, and he's not Koppeling things over: When Sen. John Kerry saluted and announced that he was "reporting for duty" at last month's Democratic Convention, he made his military record a legitimate subject of political attack and journalistic investigation. That moment was the culmination of the powerful "Vietnam theme" that has distinguished the Kerry presidential campaign from almost all recent Democratic campaigns. He had turned around a failing primary season in Iowa with the filmed testimony of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Silencing The Swifties

Apparently unable to respond substantively to the charges outlines by the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, the Left has instead decided to run with the Kerry/Edwards strategy of suing them into silence. The AP reports that three so-called "watchdog" organizations have filed a complaint with the FEC, attempting to get an injunction against any further ad buys: Three campaign finance watchdog groups filed a complaint Tuesday accusing a group of Vietnam veterans of violating the campaign finance law by airing an ad that challenges Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military record. Democracy 21, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Campaign Legal Center argue that the ad by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth violates a federal ban on the use of unlimited donations, often referred to as "soft money," to influence federal elections. In the ad, the group accuses Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, of lying about his war...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Whither The Port Side Of The Blogosphere?

I was just on the Hugh Hewitt show, discussing the Christmas In Cambodia myth that just exploded in the Kerry/Edwards campaign's face. I joined Hugh and Roger Simon (hey, who says the blogosphere ain't cool?) in reviewing the latest developments in the story and trying to guess whether the mainstream media or the lefty bloggers would ever give this any play. We also discussed the moldy hat that Kerry toted around in his briefcase, informing anyone to whom he showed it that it was given to him by the CIA agent he took into Cambodia on his Swiftboat, as described by the Washington Post (via Power Line): A close associate hints: There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attach everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case. "Who told you?" he...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Bush Mythology

I've written rather extensively about the John Kerry/Christmas in Cambodia mythology, and that appears to be exactly what it is. Even by his own journal, he spent Christmas 1968 in Sa Dec, which was more than 50 miles from the Cambodian border. Three of his five crew members deny ever going into Cambodia (the other two won't comment), and one of them even explains that the boat Kerry commanded couldn't possibly have made it into Cambodia due to the anti-incursive obstacles planted in the area. Not only that, but even a Swiftboat could hardly cruise 60 miles out and 60 miles back, in hostile territory, in time for Kerry to have visions of sugarplums dancing in his head, as he put in his journal at the time. But as I've written about the efforts of the Swiftvets in attempting to correct the record, a number of commenters have insisted on...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Stephen Gardner Speaks

Stephen Gardner, a member of John Kerry's Swiftbaot crew, appeared with Hugh Hewitt on his show tonight after I had already been on. Although I missed Hugh's show -- I was taking a break at work when I went on -- Hugh has posted the transcript of the Gardner interview on his blog. Gardner specifically and categorically refuted Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia story ... and since he served on Kerry's boat in December 1968, he should know: HH: Now you served with him on Christmas Eve 1968, correct? SG: That is correct. HH: What did you do on Christmas Eve 1968? SG: Well, I damn sure wasn't in Cambodia, I'll tell you that. HH: (Laughter) Do you remember? SG: We were basically just down in the lower part of the Sa Dec. just patrolling. HH: All right. Were you looking for Bob Hope that night? SG: No, (laughter) this was...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 11, 2004

Iranian Chutzpah Reveals Their Intentions All Along

The Iranians have presented a list of demands to their European enablers that not only reveals the true intentions of the mullahcracy but the absolute uselessness of EU leadership. Britain and other EU nations were "stunned" to receive demands not just for dual-use nuclear technology, but for the delivery of weapons to the Iranian mullahs and a defense pact against Israel: Iran has issued an extraordinary list of demands to Britain and other European countries, telling them to provide advanced nuclear technology, conventional weapons and a security guarantee against nuclear attack by Israel. Teheran's request, said by British officials to have "gone down very badly", sharply raises the stakes in the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, which Britain and America believe is aimed at making an atomic bomb. Iran's move came during crisis talks in Paris this month with senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany. ... Iran said the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Intransigence Of The Lunatic Fringe

The Elder at Fraters Libertas has been on assignment overseas this past week or so, which appears to consist of touring Dutch museums and eating at fashionable cafes. However, he took time out from his grueling schedule to address a serious issue -- the continuing insistence among the lunatic Left in equating Bush with Naziism. And this time, they have absolutely no excuse: There's somethin' happenin' here. What it is became a bit clearer to me Sunday in Amsterdam. I toured a museum dedicated to the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. As I made my way through the exhibits, I noticed a few other Americans taking it in as well. I overheard one of them, a woman, make the comment "Now doesn't that sound familiar?" For a moment I paused, but then decided that her remark couldn't be about what I thought. It just could not be. But it...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Blogstamps: Buy Them Now At The Politburo Diktat

Time out for a bit of fun! Rusty, who's filling in for the Commissar over at the Politburo Diktat while the Commissar takes a bourgeois vacation, keeps up the spirit of the P.D. with a new series of blogstamps. Captain's Quarters is among those blogs honored with its own issue: Check them all out -- collect the entire set! And don't forget to visit Rusty's fine Munuvian blog, My Pet Jawa, while you're at it....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part VI: Silent Night (And Day)

Fox News updates the fallout from the collapse of the Christmas in Cambodia mythology (via Instapundit). After reviewing the story in a rather dispassionate manner, Fox includes this update to the Kerry camp's reaction: The Kerry campaign first asserted that the Massachusetts senator never said that he was in Cambodia, only that he was near the country. But when presented with a copy of the Congressional Record and asked about Kerry's letter in the Boston Herald, the campaign said it would come up with an explanation. After repeated phone calls, there was still no clarification. Can they still be trying to formulate a response? Or will they just remain silent on the issue as long as possible, while idiots like Atrios and Tom Tomorrow try to change the subject to George Bush's rugby career at Yale? (No, I'm not joking ... QandO has a great rundown on this.) Hugh Hewitt...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Plan Signals Enemy To Wait US Out: Bush

George Bush hammered John Kerry for his so-called "secret plan" to accomplish a significant reduction in American troop strength within six months of his inauguration. Bush rightly ridiculed the proposal as a signal that American resolve would be fatally weakened in a Kerry administration: Kerry said this week that he hoped to begin reducing U.S. troop strength in Iraq within six months of taking office, if elected, but that it would depend on broader international assistance, better stability in Iraq and other factors. Bush dismissed the plan as a politically driven one that would cut short the mission and aid the enemy. "The key is not to set artificial timelines," Bush said Tuesday while campaigning for re-election in Niceville, Fla. He said the Massachusetts senator's plan would signal the enemy that, "Gosh, all we've got to do is wait them out." Not only that, but as the LA Times reported...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Day Of Reckoning For Sadr?

Reuters reports that the US Marines are poised to deliver a final resolution to part-time insurrectionist Moqtada al-Sadr: U.S. marines said on Wednesday they were preparing a final assault on Iraqi Shi'ite militia in the holy city of Najaf, after a radical cleric ordered his men to keep fighting even if he was killed. ... "Iraqi and U.S. forces are making final preparations as we get ready to finish this fight that the Moqtada militia started," Colonel Anthony Haslam, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Najaf, said in a statement. Haslam gave few details, but his threats and Sadr's defiance have raised the stakes in a battle that is the toughest test yet for Allawi's six-week-old government. Most of Sadr's men and the young cleric himself are holed up around Najaf's ancient Shi'ite cemetery or the adjoining Imam Ali Shrine. Storming such holy symbols could touch off...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Surveillance Tapes Set Off New Worries: NYT

The New York Times reports today that the FBI has held a Pakistani and his videotapes, narrated in Arabic, of some unusual sightseeing activities -- building and transit systems in the South and a dam in Texas: The federal authorities, on heightened alert over the prospect of another Al Qaeda attack, are conducting a terrorism investigation into an illegal immigrant from Pakistan found with videotapes of downtown buildings and transit systems in four Southern states and of a dam in Texas, officials said on Tuesday. Officials acknowledged that they had no direct evidence linking the suspect, a former Queens resident named Kamran Shaikh, to terrorism. But they said they remained keenly interested in determining why he made the extensive videos, which included narratives in Arabic. "These were not your normal tourist videos," said a senior law enforcement official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

A Fitting And Moving Eulogy

A short while ago, my friend Haddayr Copley-Woods lost her beloved father Joe Woods at the far-too-young age of 59 to a sudden heart attack. Haddayr writes a regular column for the Minnesota Women's Press, and I knew eventually her grief would find its way into her writing. Today she writes an exceptional and moving tribute to her father: When I was a little girl, I sometimes stood next to my father at the basement sink, imitating the movement of his strong, calloused hands as he dipped them in Goop cleaner, carefully scrubbing to the elbows. He would rinse blackened oil and axle grease from his enormous forearms in precise movements and lather again with soap. Like him, I would carefully dry each finger, and we would head to dinner. I worshipped him then. Later, I merely loved and respected him. ... Although he was a hard worker (over his...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part VII: The Inevitable Flip-Flop

Unsurprisingly, the Swiftvets' attack on John Kerry's credibility scored its first direct hit even before their book Unfit For Command has been released to the general public, and the Kerry campaign has been forced into its usual strategy -- yet another flip-flop. Human Events Online notes the transcript from today's Fox and Friends, in which Kerry's advisor Jeh Johnson beats a hasty retreat from both Cambodia and the Swiftvets. First, here's what John Kerry told the Boston Herald in a letter dated October 14, 1979, and reproduced by the Swiftvets in their book: I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real. As discussed earlier, Nixon...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Now Kerry's Flip-Flops Are Bush's Fault!

John Kerry has a lot of problems these days, but instead of clearing them up, he just keeps adding to them. The New York Times reports on the flip-flop executed by Kerry this week on toppling Saddam when the Democrat decided that he still would have voted to authorize war even if he had known the WMD intelligence was faulty. He disappointed his fellow Democrats, who couldn't believe that Kerry could fall into that trap so easily -- and both the Kerry campaign and the Democrats now fault Bush for Kerry's flip-flop: For five days now, as the long-distance arguments between President Bush and Senator John Kerry have focused on the wisdom of invading Iraq, Mr. Kerry has struggled to convince his audiences that his vote to authorize the president to use military force was a far, far cry from voting for a declaration of war. So far, his aides...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 12, 2004

Washington Post Dances Around Swiftvet Charges

Today's editorial from the Washington Post denigrating the Swiftvets is a mastery of slicing just enough off the truth to retain the sheen of credibility without actually addressing the issues that the Swiftvets have raised. First, the editorial attempts to portray a fairness in its opening paragraphs that it quickly discards later on: . To the extent, then, that there are legitimate questions about Mr. Kerry's behavior -- either in Vietnam or back home as a prominent antiwar activist -- those are fair game. Mr. Kerry's four-plus months in Vietnam made for an unusually short tour. He used his third Purple Heart to go home early, and his wounds were relatively superficial. After that, it's Katy bar the door, as the Post goes into full damage control -- protecting its own lack of coverage on the Swiftvets as a subtext to attacking them: But a new assault on Mr. Kerry...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Does America's Media Outsource All Its Work To The UK?

The London Telegraph went where no American newspaper deigns to go this morning, taking a long and critical look at John Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia myth, doing the work that the American press claims it exists to do. The Telegraph's David Rennie takes apart even the newest claims from the Kerry campaign in its full retreat from this story: The Kerry campaign responded, initially, that Mr Kerry had always said he was "near" Cambodia. Then a campaign aide said Mr Kerry had been in the Mekong Delta "between" Vietnam and next-door Cambodia - a geographical zone not found on maps, which show the Mekong river running from Cambodia to Vietnam. ... In newspaper articles, interviews and at least one Senate speech, Mr Kerry has claimed that he spent Christmas 1968 inside Cambodia, at a time when even the US president was publicly denying that American forces were inside that country....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Buchanan Hit The Nail On The Head

Let me make one point before getting to the meat of this post: I dislike Pat Buchanan. Not personally -- he seems like an interesting character -- but politically, I find him to be a destructive force and I rarely pay attention to anything he does. However, last night he filled in for Joe Scarborough on MS-NBC and interviewed a number of people on the Swiftvet story. Buchanan scored a direct hit when dealing with Lanny Davis and really focused on the damage that Kerry's numerous lies have done to his credibility -- or should be doing, if they got the coverage they deserve. Here he speaks with Lanny Davis, who appeared on Kerry's behalf: BUCHANAN: But let me read you this. All right, hold it. Now, if John Kerry lied about being in Cambodia, if he lied about being on a secret mission like Martin Sheen, if he lied...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Christmas In Cambodia, Part VIII: Now It's Fete Du Roi?

With the Christmas in Cambodia myth collapsing all around him, Matt Drudge is flashing the news that John Kerry has turned to official biographer Douglas Brinkley -- whose previous work never mentioned Kerry's purported foray into Cambodia -- to recast his mission in January rather than December: TOUR OF DUTY author and John Kerry historian Doug Brinkley is rushing a piece for the NEW YORKER: to set-the-record-straight on Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia tale, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. Kerry has turned to author Brinkley for a "modification" after it was exposed that Kerry was not in Cambodia during Christmas of 1968, as he once claimed from the Senate floor. The Brinkley piece for the NEW YORKER will now say that Kerry was not in Cambodia during Christmas, but rather in January, publishing sources tell DRUDGE. Perhaps John Kerry meant the French celebration of Christmas, fete du roi, all along! The...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

New York Times Discovers UNSCAM .... Finally

The Gray Lady has finally cast her shaded eyes across town to Turtle Bay and discovered that the institution it has held up as the epitome of international justice allowed one of the worst dictators in recent history to stuff his pockets to the tune of $10 billion, with de facto approval from the highest levels of the UN. This is hardly news to those who read the Wall Street Journal and the indefatigable Claudia Rosett, but given the New York Times' editorial insistence on UN approval on all aspects of international relations, it represents a shocking reversal: Oil industry experts told Security Council members and Secretary General Kofi Annan's staff that Iraq was demanding under-the-table payoffs from its oil buyers. The British mission distributed a background paper to Council members outlining what it called "the systematic abuse of the program" and described how Iraq was shaking down its oil...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

NY Sun Tries To Break The Media Blockade

I don't know how I missed this, but while the New York Times has been busy plugging its ears over the Christmas in Cambodia myth, Ira Stoll has been trying to get through the media blockade in the Big Apple. On Wednesday, Stoll ran this editorial in the Sun gently urging Kerry to clear the record and tell the truth: Mr. Kerry seems to want voters to think he's fit to lead in the current war because he fought in Vietnam. He says the president lied to America about Vietnam, and, similarly, he has accused President Bush of misleading America into war in Iraq. He vowed Friday to "get our troops home where they belong." It is this connection between the past war and the present one that makes the issue worth pursuing.Mr. Kerry returned from Vietnam, after all, to join with an anti-war movement that made wildly exaggerated, shameful...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 13, 2004

Sadr Injured As Mahdis Reel From Blow

The BBC reports that radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been injured "in three places" in the heavy fighting in Najaf, and the joint Iraqi-American offensive against the Mahdi militia has resulted in stunning losses for the part-time rebel: The radical Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has been wounded in fighting in the holy city of Najaf, according to his spokesmen. There are no details as yet about Mr Sadr's condition, though he was said to have been wounded "in three places". ... Mr Sadr is said to be holed up in the sacred compound housing the shrine with his followers. He has urged supporters to keep up the fight even if he is killed or arrested. His aides had tears in their eyes as they spoke of his injuries. It's not their only reason to cry; according to the BBC, the battle has them almost at the point of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry: I Voted Against Yucca Flats After I Voted For It

USA Today (via Yahoo) points out yet another John Kerry flip-flop in a story that headlines the resurgence of George Bush's approval ratings above the 50% mark. Kerry had attacked Bush for moving nuclear waste to the federal dump at Yucca Flats in a rather obvious attempt to curry favor with Nevada voters. However, Bush pointed out that Kerry voted to make the site a nuclear waste dump in the Senate: On Thursday, Bush charged his rival with turning a contentious environmental issue here into "a political poker chip." In his 2000 campaign, Bush said "science, not politics," would determine whether he designated Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a depository for nuclear waste. As president, Bush approved the designation, recommended by the Energy Department, and Nevada opponents cried foul. Kerry, in Nevada on Tuesday, said Bush broke his 2000 campaign promise. Kerry has voted for legislation that included provisions to allow...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Gallup: Bush Maintaining Head-To-Head, 3-Way Leads

As I mentioned below, Gallup has released its latest polling, and it shows George Bush maintaining a thin lead over John Kerry among both likely voters and the wider, less-reliable registered voter sampling. Bush leads Kerry 50-47 (LV), almost unchanged from two weeks ago, when Gallup polled as the Democratic convention closed. Among registered voters, Bush leads 48-47, a statistical dead heat. David Moore writes this about the lack of movement: The changes from the last poll are within the polls' margins of error, suggesting the contest has been essentially steady over the past several weeks. Indeed, the average levels of support for the candidates in the past three polls are identical to the current results. "Essentially steady" sounds fine, until you realize that during this period, John Kerry selected John Edwards as his VP candidate and held his national convention. Even with all of that going on, Kerry could...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Even The Gray Lady Isn't Fooled By McGreevey's Martyr Complex

New Jersey Governor James McGreevey resigned yesterday, announcing that despite his marriage and two children, he is a "gay American" who had an affair with another man. Rather than withstand the notoriety, he claimed to resign in order to give his family some peace and allow New Jersey to move forward, even without him at the helm. Gay rights activists immediately proclaimed McGreevy a martyr, and bloggers like Kos felt free to insult the straights: This is a shame. F**k the people who force people like McGreevey to hide in a closet. It didn't take long for the larger story to come out and make Kos look like an idiot. Even the New York Times editorial page knew better, and today they explain that McGreevey's resignation had little to do with his sexual orientation: Yesterday, New Jersey's governor, James McGreevey, described his coming to grips with his sexual orientation with...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Did David Alston Ever Serve On Kerry's Swift Boat?

Decorated Vietnam veteran (Navy) and CQ reader Tom "River Rat" Mortensen sent me an article that he also sent to media outlets as part of the campaign to reveal the truth about Kerry's service in Viet Nam. Much has been made about the Swiftvets not having served on John Kerry's boat, except for Stephen Gardner, who has been a tireless advocate for SBVT. Kerry's campaign keeps pointing to the men who sailed with Kerry on PCF-44 and PCF-94. One of them, David Alston, spoke at the Democratic convention in support of Kerry and remarked constantly about their service together. But did Alston, who suffered real and serious wounds from battle, ever actually serve on Kerry's boat as he and Kerry claim? Here is the article written by SBVT member Bandit and that Mortensen helped research. Because of its length, most of it is on the extended entry (click the link...

Continue reading "Did David Alston Ever Serve On Kerry's Swift Boat?" »

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Cambodian Christmas Flops -- In San Francisco

With his campaign being pounded by the very "band of brothers" that John Kerry invoked time and again on the stump, his advisors have been working overtime on two tracks: discredit the veterans he once presumed would wholeheartedly support him and keep the story out of the mainstream press. While the Kerry/Edwards camp has had some limited success in smearing a couple of the Swiftvets, the dam is about to burst on the second front, and the latest leak springs from San Francisco -- normally as safe as any area in the country for Kerry. The San Francisco Examiner published an op-ed by Kathleen Antrim today that challenges Kerry to open the records or admit he's lied: John F. Kerry's campaign for president is imploding. And he knows it. The anti-war candidate went public as a pro-war candidate this week, and the members of his beloved "Band of Brothers" are...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Swift Vet Ad Makes Strong Inroads Among Independents: Study

An independent analysis of the reaction of independent voters from the Swiftvet television ads has been completed by Muhlenberg College and HCD Research and the results posted here. The study group consisted of 371 independent voters who self-described their political leanings thusly: Conservative: 4.31 % Somewhat conservative: 12.67% Moderate: 42.32% Somewhat liberal: 16.98% Liberal: 4.31% Unsure: 19.41% As people can see, the moderates in the middle plus the "unsure" dominate the mix, but the outliers seem tilted a bit towards liberals. More on that later. I won't get into the entire methodology -- after all, the report is on line -- but the analysis is pretty thorough. Analysis is given on interest and credibility on a moment-to-moment basis throughout the commercial, and both rise continuously as the Swiftvets speak. But the Kerry camp has to be concerned with the overall analysis of the commercial's impact on independents: According to AdverTest...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

More On Alston's Service With Kerry, From The Kerry Campaign

For those of you who may still be questioning Tom "River Rat" Mortensen's query about David Alston and his service with John Kerry, he dug up an interesting bit of information from the Kerry campaign web site itself. Here's the timeline that Kerry/Edwards provides on John Kerry's service in Viet Nam. Note that in December 1968, Kerry commanded PCF-44, while Alston served on PCF-94. Here's the critical timeline portion that makes little sense: January 22, 1969 Kerry and other Swift boat commanders travel to Saigon for meeting with Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV), and Gen. Creighton Abrams, Commander United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam (COMUSMACV) Late January, 1969 Kerry joined his 5 man crew on PCF-94 Why "Late January"? After all, Zumwalt's meeting date is specifically given, and that seems a lot less memorable than receiving your second command in two months. How long was the meeting...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 14, 2004

Auf Wiedersehen, Gerhardt

The Financial Times in London reports that the US plans on substantial reductions in its military deployments in Europe as part of a global repositioning of American military forces. 70,000 troops -- the bulk of the shift -- will leave Germany, in a move that will no doubt heavily impact the German economy just in time for Gerhardt Schroeder's re-election: The US is expected to announce on Monday that it is pulling 70,000 troops out of Europe and Asia in the largest restructuring of its global military presence since the second world war. People briefed on the plan say two-thirds of the reductions will come in Europe, most of them military personnel stationed in Germany who will be sent back to US bases. An additional 100,000 support staff and military families worldwide will be part of the realignment. Some of the forces being moved are coming out of Korea, but...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Alston Never Served Under Kerry

Thanks to reader Lori in Texas, I think we've just about pieced the record together on David Alston and his supposed service under John Kerry's command. Lori points out a sympathetic article on Del Sandusky, one of the few Swift boat veterans supporting Kerry and one that served on his boat, specifically gives the timing on Kerry's command of PCF-94: In January 1969, Sandusky's boat, PCF-94, came under attack during one such ambush. Lt. Ted Peck, the officer in charge, and another crewman were seriously wounded. Sandusky had to take command. The boat was sinking and on fire, but Sandusky steered it back to safety. They counted 155 bullet holes in the boat and found a live enemy rocket in the main cabin. It had come to rest in a sack of potatoes. For his actions, Sandusky would receive the Bronze Star. With their officer headed home, the crew of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Northern Alliance Radio Streaming Today!

Don't forget that the Northern Alliance Radio Network (including yours truly) will be live-streaming our radio show today from noon to 3 pm CT. The link to the stream is on the left sidebar of my blog as well as at the Northern Alliance link and at the website of our local Salem affiliate, AM 1280 The Patriot. The stream is sponsored by the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota, which also just became a CQ sponsor. TPM has its own show at 9 am CT on Saturdays, so be sure to get into the stream right now and listen for David Strom's excellent commentary. I have a lot of e-mail off of the Alston stories that I will be weeding through in order to move the story forward later on today, hopefully. Keep checking back -- we have lots more information flowing in. I'm certain that we'll be talking Alston and...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Rocky Mountain News: Media Bias In Cambodia Collapse

More cracks in the media-dam have appeared this morning regarding the John Kerry credibility "meltdown", this time in the Rocky Mountain News. Columnist Dave Kopel castigates his Colorado colleagues in today's edition for ignoring the Christmas in Cambodia implosion: According to Newsweek's assistant managing editor Evan Thomas, "There's one other base here, the media. Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win and I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards . . . as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there's going to be this glow about them . . ." (Inside Washington television show, July 10). Thomas' prediction is amply supported by the (non)coverage which the Denver dailies, like most of the rest of the media, have given to this week's meltdown of the Kerry campaign. ... As reported in The Congressional Record, on March 27, 1986, Sen. John...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Alston Inconsistency On Record For Silver Star Action

On June 24th of this year, ABC ran a story on the action that gained John Kerry a Silver Star. ABC's Jake Tapper spoke at length with Kerry's crew members, including David Alston, who is quoted at length in the narrative. Alston makes it clear that he participated in this action, which took place on February 28th, 1969: Since Kerry will not talk about the day he killed a man, four of Kerry's crewmates from the Navy Swift boat he commanded sat down with Nightline to try to explain what happened, though not one was eager to revisit the events of that day. ... Alston recalled: "I know when John Kerry told Del to beach that damn boat, this was a brand-new ball game. We wasn't running. We took it to Charlie." ... The article also quotes Fred Short as one of the crew on the boat that day, even...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 15, 2004

Captain's Caption Contest #23: The Balancing Act

It's Friday, and that means it's time for another installment of the Captain's Caption Contest! You know, running a blog is a delicate balancing act. You try to get stories out quickly but well-written and strongly sourced. You look at all angles to make sure you don't miss anything. But bloggers have nothing on politicians, who have to balance a lot of life narratives to make sure that they don't stumble on the campaign trail. Here's one politician who obviously needs more practice: Don't straddle the fence -- give us your best entries for guest judge Amy L (who designed our Northern Alliance logo)! As always, put your best caption entries in the comments section -- NO e-mail, please! (E-mailed entries will be typed as journal entries at Sa Dec and run across the Cambodian border in a magic hat.) The contest will remain open until 8 pm Sunday, August...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Media Blackout On Cambodian Christmas Begins To Lift

The utter media blackout on John Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia myth appears to be lifting, and in one of the least predictable markets. Scott Canon writes a Knight-Ridder wire article that at least covers the outlines of the story, and the Seattle Times -- serving one of the most liberal areas of the country -- becomes the second major newspaper to cover it as a news story (via NZ Bear): John Kerry's repeated claim that he spent Christmas Eve of 1968 upriver in Cambodia against official United States policy has drawn harsh criticism from anti-Kerry veterans. Roy Hoffmann, a retired admiral who was a Navy captain in command of Kerry's unit at the time, said the candidate's Cambodia statements can't be true. "I think he just outright lied," said Hoffman, a founder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "He never was there." Most of this will be...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

What Do You Do When The Priest No-Shows?

I took the day off from blogging, for the most part, after writing a couple of posts this morning and updating the Alston timeline. The First Mate and I took the Little Admiral to the Irish Fair, where we spent a couple of hours looking through the exhibits and eating typical fair food, and having a great time. And since we didn't go to Mass in the morning as we planned, since the Little Admiral uncharacteristically kept waking us up during the night, we decided to go to the 6 pm Mass instead. Now, I've been Catholic all my life, and for the past sixteen or seventeen years I've been a practicing Catholic. (I practice but I don't get much better. I need more practice, I guess.) I'm not the best about going every single week, but I go more often than I don't. I'd say in that period of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Troll Banned

The troll that has recently begun posting as both Anjin-San and Swifty has been banned and his comments -- all of them -- have been deleted. People who try to post non-sequiturs under multiple pseudonyms will be assumed to be trolls, especially when the brain surgeons in question all come from the same IP address. Really, really, really smart....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 16, 2004

The Alston Story Goes Back Farther Than First Thought

As early as May of 2002 the Rev. David Alston and Senator John F. Kerry commenced perpetrating a deliberate fraud on the American electorate a fraud to present Alston as an eyewitness to Kerrys self-reported heroics in battle. They lied about the action on 29 Jan 69 aboard PCF-94. Contemporaneous reporting from the Associated Press (Jim Davenport, 4 May 2002), The State (Columbia, S.C., John Huiett, 5 May 2002), and The Boston Herald reveals Kerry and Alston's untruthful representation of John Kerry's service in order to claim the record of an officer who was wounded in the very same action. We know from Spot Reports, the Command history of COSDIV 11, the Alston injury and evacuation report from 29 Jan 1969 taken from John Kerrys own website, Tour of Duty (pages 261-266), John F. Kerry, The Complete Biography by Michael Kranish (pages 93-95), and Ted Pecks press quotation in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Real World Intrudes Into The Olympic Respite

The Olympics have long been a venue where the stated goals are "tolerance, solidarity, peace and friendship," but at the same time, also have a long history of member nations playing politics with its athletes and athletes playing politics on their own. Even the IOC has hardly been blameless as an organization in this regard, combining grubby graft (uncovered in the Salt Lake games) with overarching and ostentatious snobbery (their refusal to allow professional athletes to compete for decades). In Athens, the Iranians took their turn at injecting politics into sport by having their star judo champion refuse to take a bout with an Israeli challenger: Iran's Arash Miresmaeili has been eliminated after failing to make the correct weight at the Athens Olympics. But there is confusion over the affair, following the judo star's reported threat to walk out in protest when he was drawn against an Israeli opponent. Iran...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Maybe The Windsors Should Take Up A New Hobby

The London Guardian reports today on what appears to be an ongoing albatross for the Royal Family -- their prized art collection. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure it's lovely, and they have every right to it, but it just seems to attract the worst luck these days: They have survived Cromwell, the Blitz and the close attentions of a Soviet spy. But now one of the Queen's prized paintings has fallen prey to an unexpected danger: a policeman determined to protect the Royal Collection. The unnamed officer was attempting to close a window in St James's Palace when he tumbled from a chair, pulling down curtains and tearing a sizable hole at the heart of a large oil painting. ... "To get leverage he stood on a chair, but it collapsed, sending him flying. He flung out his arm, grabbed the curtains and landed in a heap of drapes,"...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Novak Questions Kerry Credibility On War Record

Robert Novak writes about the Kerry counterattack on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in his Chicago Sun-Times column today, focusing on the contributions of Lanny Davis. Davis, as you may recall, served as one of Bill Clinton's legal team during the impeachment, and made a name for himself with his cool demeanor and analytical approach. Davis abandoned both when he met John O'Neill twice to debate O'Neill on SBVT allegations that Kerry lied about his service record: The campaign accepted, and he jumped in -- too early. Bill Clinton's calm advocate became a shouter for Kerry who accused critics of being liars. Davis was not ready last Monday when the Kerry campaign placed him on Fox's ''Hannity and Colmes'' program. He had not yet read O'Neill's book, and mixed up an attack on one target, Louis Letson, a former Navy doctor who is quoted in the book as saying...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

NRO Picks Up The Alston Story, Clarifies Time Line

Byron York at National Review Online has become the first major media correspondent to pick up on the David Alston story. Unfortunately, he failed to mention CQ, Tom Mortensen, or the Bandit for our work, but we'll forgive him, as he manages to both extend the story, correct some points in our posts, and emphasize that both Alston and Kerry lied about their joint service: In the last few days, there's been a new accusation floating around the Internet about John Kerry's Vietnam record. It involves speculation that David Alston, one of the "band of brothers" who served on board Kerry's Swift Boat, did not actually serve with Kerry at all. If such a story were true, it would be sensational news, given that Alston has made extensive public statements, including a speech at the Democratic National Convention, about his time with Kerry. The only problem is, it's not true....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Fred Short: Not Your Average Military Historian

Byron York of the National Review Online interviewed Fred Short in his investigation of the David Alston story, and Short gave his recollection that Alston returned to John Kerry's unit on or after 4 March. Earlier today, I gave Short the benefit of the doubt, because I didn't believe that Short had any particular axe to grind, except for his support for John Kerry. In the end, that testimony proves the specific points Tom "River Rat" Mortensen, The Bandit, and I (along with readers like Lori) have made about the lies built into the stories told by Alston and Kerry. Alston didn't take part in the action on 28 February and Kerry was not on PCF-94 on 29 January, as both had claimed since at least May 2002. However, an anonymous reader sent me a link to an AP story, still available at Fox News, which throws some doubt on...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 17, 2004

No Cheering In The Press Box?

CQ reader (and frequent e-mailer of late) Tamsey sent over a very interesting alternate view of the UNITY conference of minority journalists, at which both George Bush and John Kerry appeared. It gives an insight into the kind of coverage that the American electorate receives for the presidential election, including a pretty good indication why the Swiftvets' specific allegations have received almost no attention, except to call the group a bunch of Republican stooges. James T. Campbell, a member of the Houston Chronicle's editorial board, describes the vastly different receptions given to both men by what are supposed to be journalistic professionals: It was an affirming moment. Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry walks onto the stage and audience members jump to their feet and applaud with wild enthusiasm. A campaign pep rally in Boston? No, it was the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention, a gathering of African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Can't Dance, But He'll Steal Your Credit

John Fogerty appears to be a big fan of John Kerry, and the admiration surely is mutual. Kerry, in fact, seems to be an embodiment of Fogerty's song "Zaenz Can't Dance". In an unbelievable gaffe ten days ago, the Kerry campaign fired back at allegations made by the Bush campaign that Kerry was a no-show at Senate Intelligence Committee meetings a whopping 76% of the time by claiming, in part, that Kerry had been the Vice-Chairman of the committee: BUSH-CHENEY CREDIBILITY GAP Narrator: "And after the first attack on the World Trade Center Kerry proposed cutting intelligence by $7.5 billion and missed over 3/4 of the Senate Intelligence Committee public hearings. Just like clockwork." THE RECORD John Kerry is an Experienced Leader in the Intelligence Field - - John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 6 years and is the former Vice Chairman of the Committee....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Corn People Vs The Northeasterner

The Boston Globe has been working since June with a small focus group of undecided voters in Ohio, arguably one of the two most important swing states in the upcoming election (Florida being the other). At this point, one could expect that the group would be evenly split among the two candidates, much as recent polling shows Ohio to be at this moment. However, the Globe found that Kerry's message has not resonated with its focus group, and three of the five who express any preference lean Bush: Amy Locy's opinion of the president is not temperate. "I just can't stand George Bush," said the deputy clerk of council of nearby Munroe Falls. ... Score one for Democratic nominee John F. Kerry? Not quite. Locy, 39, is still undecided in the presidential race. You know it's getting bad when Kerry starts having trouble locking in the Bush-hater voters. The Globe...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Even Rabid Partisans Demand Answers From Kerry

More points of light are peeking out through the media blackout on the Christmas in Cambodia myth. In today's Boston Globe, rabid Kerry supporter Joan Vennochi insists that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are nothing more than Republican hacks ... and yet: Kerry offers the promise of a credible voice speaking truth to Americans and the world. Therefore, Bush's one hope for reelection rests in changing that perception about Kerry. The incumbent must somehow turn this election into a choice between liars. That's what the Bush campaign is doing via the book, "Unfit for Command," written by the Vietnam veterans who question Kerry's actions in the war, and via a Willie Horton-like television commercial by those same vets that has been denounced by Democrats and Republicans alike. However, having surrogates denounce an ad and question the motives of the attackers does not necessarily diminish their effectiveness. You really have...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Houston Chronicle Shines Light On Kerry

It appears that John Kerry's strategy of lying low in order to avoid the Cambodian Christmas fable has not worked. Today. Lee Cearnal of the Houston Chronicle excoriates his media colleagues for their silence, especially given their rabid pursuit of AWOL allegations against George Bush earlier this year. Cearnal manages to hit all of the salient points, and even includes the "magic hat": The same news media that demanded George W. Bush release his National Guard records and went over them with a microscope have shown an appalling lack of interest in John Kerry's military service. And as it turns out, there are far more legitimate questions about the latter than the former. Kerry has made his four months and 11 days in Vietnam the central theme of his presidential campaign. This is entirely understandable given his 20 years as the Senate's leading dove. He needs the cover...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Alston Timeline (Updated)

Several of you have written to ask that the Alston/Kerry issue be put into some sort of timeline, and I think one would be helpful. Below is the timeline I can re-create using the information and links supplied to me by Tom "River Rat" Mortensen, The Bandit, Lori, and several others. I'll update this timeline as more information becomes available. The Bandit, whose work with River Rat formed the basis of this thread, has updated his original article, so be sure to check back there for more information. UPDATE: More background information from River Rat and a bump to the top of the blog. 06 December 1968 PCF-44 under the command Lt (jg) John Kerry (with Gardner, Hatch, Wasser, Whitlow, and Zaldonis) and PCF-57 under the command of Lt. Ted Peck (with Alston, Belodeau, Medeiros, Sandusky, and Thorsen) depart Cam Rahn Bay for an extended 4 day coastal passage (including...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

And At The End, They Shot Spider Again For Old Times

How would you feel if these guys all got together at an Italian restaurant while you were the waiter? As long as Joe Pesci wasn't around, at least you wouldn't worry about getting a bottle upside the head as a tip: The theme of the night was "breaking bread, not legs" when some of the cast and filmmakers of "Goodfellas" reunited for a traditional sit-down dinner Monday night. Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino and real-life mob informant Henry Hill whose gangland experiences inspired the story showed up to gobble baked ziti, swap stories, sing some Italian opera and recall director Martin Scorsese's acclaimed mob movie. If you haven't seen it, Goodfellas is really one of the best Mafia pictures ever made -- less artistic than the Godfather series, but more realistic in its depiction of organized crime. Rather than indulge in a false romance about gangsters and codes of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Sitzpinkler: Your CQ Word Of The Day

Just when you thought that the Japanese had the market cornered on weird inventions, the Germans have asserted their industrial might to push ahead. Well, German women have pushed ahead, anyway: German men are being shamed into urinating while sitting down by a gadget which is saving millions of women from cleaning up in the bathroom after them. The WC ghost, a 6 voice-alarm, reprimands men for standing at the lavatory pan. It is triggered when the seat is lifted. The battery-operated devices are attached to the seats and deliver stern warnings to those who attempt to stand and urinate (known as "Stehpinkeln"). Lest you think that Anglo-American men have nothing to worry about, the Brunhilde women plan on making English-language versions available. English-speaking men may soon be interrupted in the lavatory by the sound of the quintessential American male role model insisting that the guys take it like a...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Big Day Tomorrow

I will be lightly posting tomorrow morning and then off for the bulk of the day, as I will be attending a speech by George Bush at the nearby Xcel Energy Center, along with most of my Northern Alliance comrades and my family. I even got a VIP ticket, so I plan to bring my digital camera and my digital recorder so I can come back and blog about the appearance. Laura Ingraham opens up for the President, so we can expect a lively afternoon/evening. Unfortunately, I have to get up at 3:30 tomorrow so I can put a full day in at the office before leaving for the speech. I'm looking forward to the event. Xcel holds about 15,000 people, and I'll bet you there won't be a sitzpinkler in the whole arena......

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 18, 2004

Chris Matthews: 9/11 Dick Cheney's Fault

Has anyone ever seen a media hack self-implode the way Chris Matthews has over the past week? First he comes unglued all over John O'Neill and can't keep from interrupting him every time O'Neill says something Matthews can't refute. Next he shouts down Matthew Dowd for supporting George Bush. Last Friday he put on his tinfoil hat and blamed 9/11 not on the terrorists, not on foreign-policy and intelligence failures, but on one man -- the left's favorite example of eeeeeeeevil Republicanism, Vice President Dick Cheney: MATTHEWS: MSNBCs Felix Schein is on the campaign trail with John Kerry up in Portland, Oregon. And MSNBCs Priya David has been on the campaign trail with Vice President Dick Cheney. Let me go to Priya, sitting with me right now. Priya, what is this argument over the word sensitive? Whats wrong with that? PRIYA DAVID, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, according to John Kerry,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Did Kerry Admit To Falsifying His First Purple-Heart Report?

CQ Reader Amelia picked up this intriguing report on World Net Daily, which may not be the most reliable resource on the Internet. However, this should be rather easily cross-checked, and would be if the mainstream media would ever get off its duff and started doing its job. According to Art Moore, Kerry's account of taking incoming fire as the reason for his first Purple Heart injury is disputed by his own journal: A previously unnoticed passage in John Kerry's approved war biography, citing his own journals, appears to contradict the senator's claim he won his first Purple Heart as a result of an injury sustained under enemy fire. Kerry, who served as commander of a Navy swift boat, has insisted he was wounded by enemy fire Dec. 2, 1968, when he and two other men took a smaller vessel, a Boston Whaler, on a patrol north of his base...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Straight Into The Heart Of Darkness

Fellow Northern Alliance members Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson and John "Rocket Man" Hinderaker of Power Line perform a public service for Twin Cities residents in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Since the Strib has decided not to cover questions regarding John Kerry's credibility in its news section, the Power-houses of the local blog scene have invaded their op-ed section instead: The story of his 1968 Christmas in Cambodia is one that Kerry has told on many occasions over the years. He invoked the story in 1979 in the course of his review of the movie "Apocalypse Now" for the Boston Herald. Most recently, Kerry told the story -- with remarkable embellishments involving a CIA man who gave him his favorite hat -- last year on separate occasions to reporters Laura Blumenfeld of the Washington Post and Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe. ... Over the past few weeks, the Christmas in Cambodia...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush Ignites St. Paul, Norm Coleman Provides The Match

In my entire life, I have never attended a political rally of any large scope. The closest I got was the election-night party at the Orange County Performing Arts Center when my uncle ran (and won) his first term as California State Assemblyman, and a friend's house when he ran for the Cerritos school board (he lost, unfortunately). When my fellow members of the Northern Alliance received an invitation to attend today's George Bush rally, the opportunity was too good to pass up. And I'm glad I didn't. Quite a few members of our family out here decided to come along, incluing Sean from Everything I Know Is Wrong and the First Mate. However, I got the option of using a VIP ticket to stand in front of the stage, or what I called the Mosh Pit, along with Mitch Berg, and Brian "St. Paul" Ward and the Elder of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 19, 2004

Captain's Quarters Inspires Washington Times Editorial

Reader and fellow blogger Pat Curley and also William Millan note that today's lead editorial in the Washington Times regarding John Kerry's conflicting claims for his first Purple Heart explicitly credits Captain's Quarters for raising the question: One of the criteria for awarding a Purple Heart is that the person in question was involved in action against the enemy. A wound resulting from friendly fire still qualifies for a Purple Heart as long as it was incurred while engaged with the enemy. We relate this information because the writers over at Captainsquartersblog.com have raised an interesting question surrounding John Kerry's first Purple Heart. By golly, they even get the domain name right! And that's not all -- they review the relevant facts without delving at all into motivations and point out that between his journal, his authorized biography, and his website, Kerry impeaches himself: According to Mr. Kerry's account of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Loves A Crowd

The Washington Post reports today on a kerfuffle between the Kerry campaign and the national-security bureaucracy on setting up security briefings for John Kerry. Dana Milbank reports that Kerry's insistence on having a larger team handle the briefings outside of Washington has provided the largest stumbling block: Aides to President Bush and John F. Kerry are sparring over the terms for intelligence briefings for the Democratic presidential nominee, delaying the post-convention overview typically given to the challenger. Those on Bush's side say the Kerry campaign is insisting on having briefings outside of Washington -- a hardship for top CIA officials during a time of heightened threats -- and is demanding that an unusually large number of Kerry advisers be permitted to participate in the highly classified sessions. Those on Kerry's side say it is the Bush administration that has been slow to deal with the logistics, including security clearances, needed...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Democrats Use Intimidation Tactics In Oregon

Members of the SEIU, a labor union supporting John Kerry for president, have decided to help their Democratic colleagues by targeting Ralph Nader petition gatherers for intimidation, posing as investigators and attempting to scare them off the job: The Service Employees International Union, which supports Kerry, said in an election complaint filed with the state that it has heard from more than 30 people who say their names were falsified on Nader's petitions. The union also has warned nearly 60 of Nader's signature-gatherers that they could face a felony conviction and prison time for knowingly submitting fraudulent signatures. ... Nader's Oregon coordinator, Greg Kafoury, said one petition-gatherer was "badly shaken and intimidated" by two union members who knocked on her door and told her she was under investigation. "We have been sabotaged and smeared, and now we have had our people bullied by people who knock on doors at night,"...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Brinkley Must Answer For Incompetence

Hugh Hewitt writes another of his must-read columns in today's Weekly Standard challenging historian/Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley to come out of hiding and explain his incompetent work on Tour of Duty: Drudge announced last week that Brinkley was rushing a New Yorker piece into print that would defend Kerry's magic hat account, but does Brinkley really want to bet his reputation on Kerry's journals at this point? Or does he want to step back and ask himself whether a senator who invented "searing" memories might have had a creative pen along with his movie camera during his tour of duty? It remains possible that Kerry's magic hat and his gun-running are true accounts that neither his campaign nor Admiral Hoffman know of, and which have somehow eluded the historians' accounts of the "Salem House" operations of the Studies and Observations Group that was running the covert insertions into Cambodia in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

On The Subject Of Trolls -- Who And What Are They? (Updated)

Okay, now that I have a full-scale battle going on in the varoius comment sections, along with hints of mutiny ("Mr. Christian!"), it's time that we had a discussion about the bounds of propriety on Captain's Quarters. I had wanted to write a post about the fantastic time I had at the George Bush rally first, but I think I need to address this issue immediately, and I'd like to keep the Bush review on top. Here's what I wrote in the CQ Comments Policy on May 15 of this year: When I began my blog, I was advised to disable comments as some blogs have experienced many problems with "trolls", but I think that the comments are in some ways the best part of CQ. In my definition, a troll is a commenter whose comments are off-topic and designed to insult other readers or us or to start silly...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bye-Bye-atollah

Moqtada al-Sadr, trying to burnish his credentials as an American-style politician, flip-flopped yet again on his burning desire to foment revolution by giving into his burning desire to remain alive and out of the hands of the Iraqi government tonight. The AP reports that Sadr has ordered his Mahdi militia to abandon the Imam Ali mosque: Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his fighters Thursday to hand control of a revered Najaf shrine to top Shiite religious authorities, hours after U.S. forces bombed militant positions and Iraq's prime minister made a "final call" for the cleric's militia to surrender. ... In a speech, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi had warned the radical cleric to disarm his forces and withdraw from the shrine after his government threatened to send a massive Iraqi force to root them out. Defying that ultimatum, al-Sadr sent a telephone text message vowing to seek "martyrdom or victory,"...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Ted Kennedy -- A Danger In The Air?

Drudge caught this Agence France-Presse report about Ted Kennedy making the high-risk list for the Transportation Security Agency, and he's not happy about it: At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee (news - web sites) Thursday, the Massachusetts Democratic senator described having endured weeks of inconvenience after his name ended up on a watch list barring persons deemed to pose a threat to civil aviation or national security from air travel. Kennedy said that on several occasions last March, he was nearly denied permission to board a US Airways shuttle from Washington to Boston because his name landed on a no-fly list in error. ... But the misunderstanding persisted for weeks -- even after US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge personally intervened. "It happened even after he called to apologize," Kennedy said at the hearing "because my name was on the list at the airports and with the airlines....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

CBS Poll: Kerry Losing Ground In August

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« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Gray Lady Hides Kerry Behind Her Skirts

The expected broadside to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came this evening, as the New York Times advances the campaign strategy John Kerry launched this afternoon -- ad hominem attacks and screeching about funding sources while paying little factual attention to the well-documented allegations from the Swiftvets. Trying to paint the 250 decorated Viet Nam vets as stooges for eeeeevil Republican-machine leaders, the Paper of Record manages to counter a story it ignored with copious silence over the past two weeks: Mr. Kerry called them "a front for the Bush campaign" - a charge the campaign denied. A series of interviews and a review of documents show a web of connections to the Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove. Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 20, 2004

It Wasn't Tet, Either

CQ reader Ed Jordan, in another thread, pointed me to Virginia Postrel's Dynamist blog, where a reader asks if John Kerry's Cambodian Christmas myth could have happened at Tet instead, when Vietnamese would have been more likely to be celebrating: Kerry's biographer Doug Brinkley says that Kerry wasn't in Cambodia, or even close, on Christmas Eve 1968, which has been widely reported as proving that the story is false. But -- ain't that the LEAST important part of the story? The WSJ scoffed at Kerry's 'visions of sugar plums', but if you read what he actually said -- every time, he's been very consistent -- what 'seared' him is #s 1, 3, 4 and 5. Number two just happens to be a handle for the story, it's not essential. And it is false. But the error tends to corrororate the rest of the story. Cuz -- again, according to Brinkley,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

NY Post: Blogosphere Now Leading Edge On Kerry Vetting

The New York Post's Deborah Orin writes a great piece on the failure of the mainstream media to do their jobs in vetting John Kerry's campaign claims, especially when it comes to the Viet Nam service he has long proclaimed as his central qualification for the Presidency. As CQ reader Amelia discovered when she read the piece, Orin credits Captain's Quarters for uncovering the Alston dodge, which Tom "River Rat" Mortensen and I spent a lot of time and effort outlining: THERE'S now some real angst in Democratic circles be cause of the growing evidence that Democrat John Kerry's claim to have a memory "seared in me" of spending Christmas 1968 in Cambodia was false and just didn't happen. But what worries some pro-Kerry Democrats is the fear that Kerry has, as one put it, "an Al Gore problem" that he's a serial exaggerator. (Remember how Gore claimed...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Malkin: My Evening In Hell With The Moron Twins

If readers would like to know why MS-NBC/CNBC has become a cesspool in both ratings and content, Michelle Malkin can explain it all to you in her blog today. Malkin describes what an evening on CNBC's featured political talkshow, Hardball, feels like when having having to deal with the increasingly emotionally unbalanced Chris Matthews: As I am seated at the table with Matthews, who I am meeting for the first time, he cracks a joke--and not in a well-meaning way--about how I look. (There are quite a few people who are hung up on this.) "Are you sure you are old enough to be on the show? What are you? 28?" I grit my teeth. He badgers me again with the same question. I politely answer his question and supply my age. (I wonder how Matthews' wife, the respected TV journalist Kathleen Matthews, who hosts a show about working women,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Last Week's Caption Contest Update ...

I hear you clamor for the results, and the truth is that we had a disconnect with the guest judge, to no one's fault. I will judge the entries myself and post the winners tomorrow before our radio show. I apologize for not having the time this week to catch up to it, but between working and blogging for content (and the Bush rally), I just ran out of resources. I will not be delaying this week's contest, of course ... as you will see! UPDATE: Well, perhaps a little delayed, but it will be up by evening. I elected to run with the new Magic PCF story instead and ran out of time....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Magic PCF?

The Bandit at Talking Issues points out yet another inconsistency in Kerry's Viet Nam narrative, this one more subtle but just as perplexing. In the Bronze Star story, Kerry's PCF-94 patrolled the waterway with four other PCFs om 13 March, including PCF-3, which hit a mine and sustained crippling damage, throwing Special Ops officer Jim Rassmann overboard. According to the Kerry story, he commanded 94 to retrieve Rassmann under enemy fire and then towed 3 out of harm's way. Kerry won a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart for this engagement. However, take a look at the official damage assessment for PCF-94, filed on 14 March: BRAVO: ... 2. PCF not capable of executing Market Time Patrol. ... DELTA: Two stbd and one port main cabin windows blown out. VRC-46 radio and all remote units pilot house inop. AC wiring shorted out. Onan generator inop. Steerage control after helm...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Hey, I Won!

I discovered when going through my e-mail ... belatedly ... that I won the Watchers Council contest for non-Council post of the week! The Watcher of Weasels was kind enough to let me know (it's been a busy week!) I was nominated for our continuing work on the Alston/Kerry story that showed their fabrications going back more than two years. Tom "River Rat" Mortensen shares this one with me. Also a winner was Alpha Patriot for his post on Swift Boats vs The Media. Be sure to read all of the nominees. While you're there, take a good tour of the Watcher of Weasels blog. You'll be glad you did....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Lurching From Disaster To Disaster

John Kerry has the worst tin ear for politics than anyone at least since his former Massachussetts boss, Michael Dukakis, and perhaps even worse than that. All Dukakis did was ride around in a tank wearing a helmet that made his obvious pandering look like a grade-school stunt, and he received well-deserved hoots for his effort. However, Kerry has usurped the role that his Hollywood handlers strove to hang on George Bush and John Ashcroft, attempting to intimidate combat veterans, publishers, and retailers into censoring the free political speech of dissenters: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry asked the Federal Election Commission on Friday to force Republican critics to withdraw ads challenging his military service, and accused the Bush campaign of illegally helping coordinate the attacks. The Kerry campaign said it filed the complaint against the group behind the ads, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, "for violating the law with inaccurate...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Swiftvets Take The Words Right Out Of John Kerry's Mouth

John Kerry will have a very difficult time casting the main testimonial of the new advertisement of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as a pack of lies. The new spokesman for Swiftvet anger at John Kerry is -- John Kerry. You can play the second advertisment at the SBVT site yourself ahead of any ad buys. Through their juxtaposition of John Kerry's April 1971 testimony to the Senate and the personal stories of veterans and the impact it had on them, the advertisement may be the 2,000-lb JDAM that finally busts the bunker of the Kerry/Edwards campaign. Kerry's own voice from 33 years ago, shorn of its seasoning but full of its current arrogance, almost casually accuses American veterans of atrocities while those same men explain why his testimony was not only false but a complete betrayal: John Kerry: They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

My Top Three Questions For A John Kerry Press Conference

I posted below that I would love to get the chance to be credentialed for a John Kerry press conference where he would face all questions regarding his Swiftboat service. A reader suggested that I share what questions I would prepare for such an event, assuming it ever happened, which I believe is now unlikely. The challenge is irresistable, though, and so here are the top three questions I would put to Kerry, given the opportunity. 1. For over two years, you and David Alston have spoken about your combat service together and used the engagements of 29 January and 28 February as examples of your combat bond. However, your campaign recently recanted both stories, as records show that you were not part of the 29 January engagement and Alston did not participate in your Silver Star mission. How could it be possible for you to mistake Ted Peck's mission...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 21, 2004

Captain's Caption Contest #24: Kerry Undercover

It's Friday (evening), so it must be (past) time for another edition of the Captain's Caption Contest! I had difficulty finding our usual subject this week, since he seemed to drop off the face of the earth, until he finally popped his head up like a prairie dog to call his fellow Viet Nam combat veterans a bunch of liars. I did find this rare picture of John Kerry, hiding out: Guest judging this week will be Marc from Cranial Cavity, or at least we hope he will! As always, put your best caption entries in the comments section -- NO e-mail, please! (E-mailed entries will be typed as journal entries at Sa Dec and run across the Cambodian border in a magic hat.) The contest will remain open until 8 pm Sunday, August 22nd, at which point the comments will be closed and Marc will pick the winners. In...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

CNN Tries To Run Interference For Kerry

After the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth released their latest advertisement, a devastating look at John Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony that branded Viet Nam veterans as war criminals, Kerry's mainstream media supporters have rallied to his side. CNN attempts to use a little misdirection on his behalf to turn Kerry into a reporter (scroll down to subheader "Selected Comments"): The latest ad selects quotes from Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971. In the ad, Kerry says, "They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads," "randomly shot at civilians," and "razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn." The ad does not include Kerry's preface, in which he said he is reporting what others said at a Vietnam veterans conference. Instead, a swift boat group member refers to the statements as "accusations" Kerry made against Vietnam veterans. An official transcript shows Kerry was referring...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Exaggerations Not Limited To His Swift Boat Experience

John Kerry undoubtedly has exaggerated or fabricated a number of his supposed experiences in his brief Swift-boat command, many of which I've covered on this blog. However, CQ reader Charles Moy points to a website for former crewmates of Kerry on board his first assignment, the USS Gridley, for their remembrances of his service -- and it turns out that Kerry's habitual self-aggrandisement extends there as well. Former E-5 radarman Phil Carter posts a long letter explaining his service and impressions of John Kerry. Carter actually contributed to one of Kerry's Senate campaigns and paid him a visit in 1996. His personal recollections of Kerry seem innocuous and even endearing. However, Carter took the time to read Douglas Brinkley's hagiography, Tour of Duty, and objects to a number of misstatements and outright lies regarding Kerry's service: When I read Tour of Duty, I became concerned because the material on Kerrys...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Meet Pam Wolf And Captain Ed!

Pam Wolf has been a CQ sponsor for the past few weeks, and she's running for the Minnesota State Legislature in November, in state district 51B. She faces a tough race in her district and needs the support of fellow Republicans across the state in order to bolster the Republican majority in the House. Pam's announced a great fundraiser for Sunday, September 12th -- a golf tournament at Brightwood Hills Golf Course in New Brighton, where Pam has made me the guest of honor! The entry fee is just $30 to support one of the Republican grassroots efforts to ensure the success of Governor Tim Pawlenty's program and to play golf with one of the worst duffers in Minnesota -- me. If you don't want to play golf but just want to hang out with us and have a hot dog, come on out! Pam has the option for those...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Michelle Malkin On The Northern Alliance Today!

The Northern Alliance will have Michelle Malkin as our special guest on today's edition. Michelle will be discussing her new best-selling book on the internment of the Japanese during World War II, In Defense Of Internment. Be sure to tune us in at AM 1280 The Patriot, or on our live Internet stream!...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Oliphant Rolls Into Ted Rall Territory

Pat Oliphant, the syndicated cartoonist whose work appears in numerous broadsheets across the US, published an editorial cartoon that attempts to paint the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as a bunch of drunk, wannabe sailors stooging it up for George Bush. Apart from the execrable Ted Rall, Oliphant may be the most disgusting example of left-wing character assassination in American politics today. Here's the cartoon, which the Minneapolis Star-Tribune saw fit to reprint in today's edition: In Oliphant's world, men like Paul Galanti -- who suffered torture for his country during his seven years as a POW in North Viet Nam -- are nothing more than drunkards indulging in resume-padding, in a gross reversal of reality. This is such a disgusting display that I find it difficult to describe it in polite terminology. Suffice it to say that Oliphant has aligned himself with the same quality of people who spat...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Rood Counters Swiftvets But Qualifies 250 Other Witnesses

As Mickey Kaus noted yesterday, Chicago Tribune editor William Rood broke 35 years of silence in order to counter one of the attacks in Unfit for Command, the Swiftvet book that has sold out seven printings around the country. Rood claims that the Swiftvet version of Kerry's Silver Star engagement is wrong, and Kerry's is correct: In February 1969, Rood was a lieutenant junior grade commanding PCF-23, one of the three 50-foot aluminum swift boats that carried troops up the Dong Cung, a tributary of the Bay Hap River. Kerry commanded another boat, PCF-94 and Lt. j.g. Donald Droz, who was killed in action six weeks later, commanded PCF-43. Ambushes from Viet Cong fighters were common because the noise from boats, powered by twin diesel engines, practically invited gunfire. Ambushes, Rood said, "were a virtual certainty." ... In the book, O'Neill and Corsi said Kerry chased down a "young Viet...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 22, 2004

Rood Story Doesn't Quite Add Up

As William Rood's testimony gets parsed more closely and the initial novelty of a factual refutation of a Swiftvet allegation wears off, certain elements of the story will begin to beg nagging questions. The Bandit, with whom I've worked on elements of Kerry's presentation of his Viet Nam service, may be the first to spot some inconsistencies in Rood's recollection: In his eyewitness account, Rood describes coming under rocket and automatic weapons fire from Viet Cong on the riverbank during two separate ambushes of his boat and Kerry's boat. Bill Rood goes on to say "What we did on Feb. 28, 1969, was well in line with the tone set by our top commanders." Perhaps Bill Rood would be kind enough to provide evidence that he and Kerry's standing order's were changed from DO NOT EVER BEACH OR LEAVE YOUR BOAT DURING AN AMBUSH, to 'it's fine to beach in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Newsweek: Kerry's Bronze Star Story Doesn't Hold Water

In the latest edition of Newsweek, reporters Evan Thomas and T. Trent Gegax take on the story of John Kerry's Bronze Star engagement of 13 March 1969 and write a fairly balanced article describing the controversy and the effect it has had on the Kerry campaign. In the middle of the article, Newsweek notes an interesting change of story from Del Sandusky, one of Kerry's crew (emph. mine): As sailors who weren't on Kerry's boat tell the story of what happened on March 13, 1969, Kerry did nothing very heroic. That day Kerry was leading five boats back from a mission up the Bay Hap River. Encountering a fishing net across the canal, the boats split. Kerry and one other boat went through a gap near the right bank, and the other three boats headed through an opening on the left. Suddenly, the lead boat on the left, some 25...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Squealing Like Schoolgirls

It seems like a far cry from "Bring It On!," but John Kerry and John Edwards are begging George Bush to violate election law and the First Amendment in order to force the Swiftvets into silence: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Saturday night urged President Bush to "stand up and stop" what he called personal attacks on him over his combat record in Vietnam. Personal attacks? He's done nothing but hold up his Viet Nam narrative as his single best qualification for the Presidency since the beginning of this year. Perhaps his staff should play the videotape of his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, or the speeches in support of him by the discredited David Alston and others, who couldn't talk about anything else. "That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that. The president...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Day Of Rest

And (for part of) the seventh day, I rested .... Today we had the Little Admiral with us, so I took the afternoon off from the computer and spent the day playing with the granddaughter and the First Mate. After ten days of Swiftvets, polls, and the like, it was refreshing to play with Weebles buses and go for a drive with the family. I'll close out the current Caption Contest, judge the previous one, and hit the sack -- and start fresh tomorrow....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Caption Contest #23 Winners!

Like I told you when this edition of the contest opened, blogging is like politics -- it's a tough balancing act. When something trips you up, like a guest-judging mixup, it's hard to keep your balance! One man who may understand that better than anyone this month may be this guy: One week late, here are the winners, this time chosen by myself: Captain's Award (Seared Edition) - Retired Military: "Back when I was a boy, I used to go where the railroad was being built near my home and bring water to the Chinese laborers. That memory is seared, seared, into me" "Pssst Pssst Senator Kerry, Chinese laborers havent worked on the railroad for 60 years before you were born" "I'm sorry, my speechwriteers handed me the wrong speech. Why back when I was a boy, I used to go where the railroad was being built near my home...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 23, 2004

Caption Contest #24 Winners!

I think that one of the oddest American holidays is Groundhog Day (although at least it inspired Bill Murray's best movie). How in the world did anyone come up with the notion that groundhogs come up to check for shadows and disappear in a hole for six weeks if they see one? It just doesn't make any sense ... unless you're a political candidate whose past may catch up with you on the trail: Marc from Cranial Cavity has checked out the multitude of outstanding photo captions from this weekend's Captain's Caption Contest and selected the winners! (Thank goodness.) Here are the winners: Captain's Award (Behind The Scenes Look) - Bear: 'Go mirrors, go smoke! Go smoke! I don't see anything happening. Go smoke! Go smoke! Go smoke! Standby lawyers. Keep coming, 527s. More attacks. Bring it- smoke, smoke, smoke! We want mirrors, tons of them. Bring them down. Let...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

New Intelligence Reorganization Proposal Not Much Better

Dan Eggen reports in today's Washington Post that Republican Senators have developed a new reorganization plan for American intelligence to compete with that drawn up by the 9/11 Commission. Senator Pat Roberts surprised Democrats and the White House alike by announcing this new proposal on Face The Nation yesterday and almost immediately, both reacted negatively towards it: The Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee unveiled a radical proposal yesterday to remove most of the nation's major intelligence-gathering operations from the CIA and Pentagon and place them directly under the control of a new national intelligence director. The plan, announced by Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) and endorsed by eight other committee Republicans, is more extensive than the reorganization proposed last month by the Sept. 11, 2001, commission and would result in the virtual dismantling of the CIA. It also would severely curb the power and influence of the Defense Department,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Still Lurching Towards Greater Disasters

The Kerry campaign has decided that frontal assault on an entrenched foe, despite 140 years of military experience to the contrary, is the best strategy they've got in dealing with the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. Adan Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg write in today's New York Times that Kerry's team plans an ad blitz labeling the Swiftvets as Republican stooges, even using John McCain footage to tie in the 2000 primary campaign attacks on the former POW to Kerry's current woes. However, in the first weekend of the counterattack, the Kerry campaign made the mistake of stirring a retired giant with a reputation for political infighting: Senator John Kerry released a television advertisement yesterday blaming President Bush for a campaign by a "front group" of veterans that Mr. Kerry said had smeared his Vietnam record, as he intensified his drive to gain control in a fight that some Democrats...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Business Week: Kerry Made His Bed By Lying In It

Roger Franklin at Business Week writes a clear-headed editorial in today's edition, which forms a partnership with an opposing piece in the same issue by Thane Peterson. Peterson makes the claim that despite John Kerry's promotion of his Viet Nam experience as his primary qualification for the presidency, Bush and his alleged front organization are behaving unethically for questioning that credential: No moral equivalency exists between Kerry and Bush on the issue of service in Vietnam. Kerry served in combat. He was shot at. Not Bush. ... Why the so-called called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- only one of whom served on the same vessel with Kerry -- have decided to attack their fellow vet is a bit hard to decipher, too. I suppose it could partly be an honest difference of opinion. Maybe the "fog of war" led vets to have different memories of the same events. Peterson...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Restore Irony?

A few weeks back, Jim Treacher noted in an e-mail to me (as Joe Wilson and his Restore Truth website was busy imploding) that the domain name restoreirony.com seemed to be out in the open. I snapped it up before anyone else managed to grab it and it points back to CQ now. Unfortunately, what with Swiftvets and other stories occupying my time, I not only forgot to give Jim credit for this, but I've also not come up with a good idea what to do with the domain. I'm thinking that a second blog would be one idea, but I'm so doggone busy with this one that the very thought of adding another makes my head pound with dread. What do you think would be a good use of the domain? Leave your suggestions in the Comments section, and maybe if Jim forgives me for the oversight, he can...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

More Sloppy Work From The Kerry Campaign

Steve Sturm from Thoughts Online notes another inconsistency in the official Kerry Viet Nam narrative and timeline. This error is nowhere near as egregious as the Cambodian Christmas myth, but still indicating a certain level of sloppiness and poor vetting that allowed John Kerry's campaign to get mired in a quagmire of his own making. In his official timeline and in one of the Michael Kranish biographies in the Boston Globe, Kerry makes certain that both note his arrival in Long Beach at the end of his tour on the USS Gridley came the day after Robert Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles: June 6, 1968 -- Kerry arrives in Long Beach the day after Senator Robert F. Kennedy is killed in Los Angeles... "I didn't have any real feel for what the heck was going on [in the war]," Kerry has recalled. His ship returned...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

I'll Call Your Bluff And Raise You

Poor John Kerry - no matter what he does, the President always seems to outfox him, and the press can't help but notice. After calling for days for Bush to denounce the Swiftvet advertisements that have bedeviled Kerry's campaign, Bush finally complied -- and then challenged Kerry to denounce all 527 advertising: Bush praised Kerry's military service in Vietnam. "I think Senator Kerry served admirably, and he ought to be proud of his record," he said. But, pressed several times by reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., about whether he would specifically condemn the ad, Bush would only say: "That means that ad and every other ad. I'm denouncing all the stuff." ... Questioned after Bush's remarks, White House press secretary Scott McClellan repeatedly declined to criticize the content of the Swift boat ads. "Senator Kerry wants to have it both ways," by selectively calling on Bush to condemn...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

What Kerry And Edwards Refuse To Denounce

John Kerry and John Edwards refused to take up George Bush's challenge to denounce all outside political advertising by 527s, continuing to complain bitterly about a $250,000 ad buy from one group in three states. However, as Howard Kurtz notes, that reluctance may spring from the upcoming ad blitz about to be launched by its own 527, MoveOn, which has lined up celebrities for its campaign against George Bush: Hip-hop impresario Benny Boom, who has directed videos for P. Diddy, Lil' Kim and LL Cool J, didn't need to have his arm twisted to join an anti-Bush advertising campaign. "I felt like Bush stole the last election and the whole country kind of got robbed and bamboozled, and I wanted to make sure I did my part besides voting," he says. When he was approached by the liberal MoveOn PAC, "I was like, yo, I want to do an ad...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Fact-Checking The Gray Lady

As a rule, media critics do better when they stick to media matters rather than insert themselves into political controversies. Here in the Twin Cities, we have ringside seats to the never-ending entertainment of Brian Lambert and his fact-free insertions of political commentary in his media reviews at the Pioneer Press. Well, never-ending until just recently, when the Pioneer Press announced that Lambert would no longer handle the media beat, anyway. The New York Times apparently has a similar problem with its media critic Alessandra Stanley. In covering the Swiftvet controversy (hey, at least she's covering it at the NYT!), she makes this whopper of a misstatement while attempting to tweak Fred Barnes: Fred Barnes, the executive editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular Fox commentator, ardently defended the Swift boat critics of Mr. Kerry, saying on Fox that a majority of the senator's Vietnam brethren believed that Mr....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 24, 2004

Kelly: Blogosphere Triumphs Over Traditional Media

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly reviews the devastating effect that the Swiftvets have had on John Kerry and his campaign during the short time that they've advertised their claims im his new column for Jewish World Review (which has an abundance of terrific commentary -- a great site). Kelly focuses on the Swiftvet victory on the Cambodian Christmas story which is now widely discredited: When John Kerry went postal last week, the major media's preferred strategy for dealing with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to ignore them went down the toilet. Kerry melted down because the Swifties' exposure of Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" fantasy has struck a nerve, and is gaining traction, despite the major media's refusal to report on it. Kerry has claimed on dozens of occasions most notably in a speech on the Senate floor in 1986 to have spent Christmas eve, 1968,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Has Kerry Backed Off Of First Purple Heart Claim?

A number of people have written to me overnight stating that a Kerry campaign spokesman has acknowledged on Brit Hume's Fox news show that John Kerry's wound on 2 December 1968 came from an unintentionally self-inflicted wound -- an accident, in other words. So far, I find nothing on this on the Fox web site, but they are notoriously poor at posting transcripts, or even summaries of their own programs. Can someone post the link in the comments section of this post if any confirmation can be made? UPDATE: Here's the link to the Fox News report from Major Garrett. It mostly covers the Chris Wallace interview with John Hurley and CNN's interview of Bob Dole. Towards the end, Garrett talks about the first Purple Heart: GARRETT: And questions keep coming. For example, Kerry received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered on December 2nd, 1968. But an entry in Kerry's...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bringing It On

In charging the Bush campaign with collusion between his staff and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and filing a complaint with the FEC, John Kerry and his campaign have opened up a can of worms that will be hard to close now. Readers have sent me a couple of examples of the Kerry campaign's interaction with MoveOn, a supposedly independent 527 that targets George Bush using tens of millions of dollars in donations from George Soros and Peter Lewis. Now, with many readers sending the same links and more to Newsmax, the right-wing news service provides hard documentary proof of collusion and coordination between the Kerry campaign, the Democratic Party, and MoveOn: From Democrats.org, a Web site of the Democratic National Committee, May 9, 2003: The Democratic Party is partnering with MoveOn.org, People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future, and dozens of other groups representing millions of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Post Runs A Stake Through The Heart Of Kerry's Cambodian Fable

Joshua Muravchik writes an article that may prove mortal to John Kerry's presidential aspirations in today's Washington Post. Muravchik's piece, entitled "Kerry's Cambodia Whopper," not only dissects the meaning of the collapse of this so-called epiphany, but it also moves the story forward, thanks to Kerry's hagiographer, Douglas Brinkley: Kerry argued that contra aid could put the United States on the path to deeper involvement despite denials by the Reagan administration of any such intent. Kerry began by reading out similar denials regarding Vietnam from presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Then he offered this devastating riposte: "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Vote Your Pocketbook

In catching up to Power Line on my lunch break, I noticed that Deacon posted a comment from one of their readers I found provocative. Stan Brown asks a very pertinent question: "Kerry and his attack dogs (which include the news media of course) state as if it were a proven fact that Bush orchestrated the Swift Vet attack. But where is all the money? If Bush is connected to so many rich Republican fat cats, why couldn't the Swift Vets raise any more money than they have? If Karl Rove really had been the evil master mind behind the whole Swift Vet campaign, he certainly should have been capable of raising millions of dollars from his fat cat donors. Or are Rove and Bush so brilliant that they knew they could cause Kerry to self-destruct while spending a mere pittance?" Obviously, Stan's argument rightly demonstrates the laughable idea that...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

CORE To Edwards: Stop Blocking Black Judges

The Congress on Racial Equality plans to run advertising in John Edwards' home state of North Carolina challenging him to stop blocking the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to the federal appellate bench: California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown is among a half dozen of Bush's nominees to the appeals court who've been blocked in the Senate by Democrats. The Senate confirms all judicial appointments. Her nomination is opposed by groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. But the more conservative Congress of Racial Equality says Brown is a role model who deserves the promotion, and is challenging Edwards, a senator from North Carolina, on his home turf. The ad also names Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a fellow Senate Judiciary Committee member who has helped block Bush's judicial nominees. Senator Edwards wanted to get back to the issues, but...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Little Admiral Has Strange Idea Of A Good Time

I should have been warned when I called the First Mate from the office this afternoon. The Little Admiral spent the day at our house as the FM has been feeling better this past week and wanted to start watching her again, and when I called she had just gone down for a nap. She filled me in on the day's events, and finished with a sinister chuckle, "The Little Admiral has something for you to do together when you get home." Now, having been married to the woman for several years, I have gotten to know this evil chuckle. I assumed that one of two possibilities existed: 1. She had fed the baby chili con carne for lunch and wanted me to change the diaper. 2. The LA wanted to play trampoline on my chest and finish up with a friendly game of Boot To The Head, pastimes she...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

McQ Figures Out The 13 March Engagement

McQ at QandO has figured out what the COSDIV 11 chronology for John Kerry's Bronze Star engagement means, and it casts a lot of doubt on Jim Rassmann's version of events -- and by definition, Kerry's as well. I must admit that I missed this, and hopefully McQ will be more forgiving to me than he is to the New York Times: Anyway to the point at hand which will demonstrate two things: A) The NYT deliberately left out some of the report. B) The NYT writers who used the report had no idea about the meaning of what they were reading. First the report (you'll find it on page 8 of the pdf): "March 13, 1969: PCF's 3, 51, 43, 93 and 94 with MSF RF/PF troops conducted SEA LORDS operations in Bay Hop river and Dong Cong canal. A mine detonated under PCF 3 and units were taken...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Thanks, INCITE!

I received a couple of tips from CQ readers as well as an e-mail from INCITE's blogmaster himself, Beck, who wrote an analysis of the new information market and used Captain's Quarters as an example: One of the single most important works ever in modern management literature is a paper titled "Marketing Myopia," by Theodore Levitt. He had an amazing revelation--revolutionary at the time. Put quite simply, most companies have no idea what business they're in. His classic example is the railroad industry. The railroads revolutionized the world when they began crisscrossing industrialized nations in the 19th century. Without them, the industrial revolution wouldn't have been possible. Today, railroads are an anachronism. They still exist, but it's mostly inertia that keeps them alive. You see, the railroad companies made the fatal mistake of thinking they were in the railroad business. The fools! They should have realized that they're in the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 25, 2004

Kerry Flips Again On Iraq (Or Is This One A Flop?)

The Kerry campaign yesterday issued what must be its seventh or eighth position on ousting Saddam Hussein from power. Jim VanderHei writes in today's Washington Post that the official word on Saddam from Kerry's advisors is that he'd still be running Iraq today had Kerry been president: A top national security adviser to John F. Kerry said yesterday that he made a mistake when he said the Democratic nominee probably would have launched a military invasion to oust Saddam Hussein if he had been president during the past four years. On Aug. 7, Jamie Rubin told The Washington Post that "in all probability" a Kerry administration would have waged war against Iraq by now if the Massachusetts Democrat were president. ... "To the extent that my own comments have contributed to misunderstanding on this issue. . . . I never should have said the phrase 'in all probability' because that's...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Too Many Coincidences

Just as on 9/11, the juxtaposition of multiple airline crashes generates a heavy suspicion of terrorism -- only this time the target is Russia and not the US: Two Russian passenger jets on domestic flights crashed nearly simultaneously after departing from the same terminal in Moscow on Tuesday night, officials said. At least 88 people were presumed dead. While precise details surrounding the crashes were unclear, the Russian news service Interfax, citing an anonymous official source, reported that minutes after the first plane went down, the second jet issued a distress signal indicating it had been hijacked. Then it, too, disappeared from radar. As airport security was tightened throughout Russia, President Vladimir V. Putin, who has been vacationing and working in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, ordered the F.S.B., one of the successor agencies to the K.G.B., to begin immediate investigations into the crashes, a spokesman for the president...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Sistani Returns To Iraq While Allawi Fiddles

The Allawi government continues to let the situation in Najaf drag on without taking action to eject the forces of Moqtada al-Sadr from the Imam Ali shrine, despite issuing several ultimata over the past few days. In the meantime, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has returned from his medical treatment in London and wants to lead a march into Najaf to quell the crisis: Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani arrived Wednesday in Basra, Iraq, from London, where he had been receiving medical treatment, according to a spokesman for al-Sistani in Baghdad. Before he arrived, al-Sistani -- one of Iraq's most influential Shia leaders -- asked all Iraqis to "march to Najaf in order to rescue the city," according to his spokesman in his Damascus, Syria, office. ... On Tuesday, Iraq's interim government again gave the militiamen an ultimatum to leave the mosque. Shortly afterward, an al-Sadr aide said the cleric was ready...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Hewitt: Why The Blogosphere Will Eat The Media's Lunch

Hugh Hewitt has his new column up at WorldNetDaily, and it's a must read for fans of the blogosphere and for members (and customers) of traditional media: I have been both a lawyer and law professor for two decades and a TV-radio-print journalist for 15 years of those 20. It takes a great deal more intelligence and discipline to be the former than to be the latter, which is why the former usually pays a lot more than the latter. It is no surprise to me, then, when lawyers and law professors like those at Powerline and Instapundit prove to be far more adept at exposing the "Christmas in Cambodia" lie and other Kerry absurdities than old-school journalists. The big advantage is in research skills, of course, and in an eye for inconsistencies which make or break cases and arguments. Lawyers turned amateur journalists are going to be much better...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Still Sacrificing The Freedom Of The South Vietnamese

John Kerry has taken to pleading for a return to debate on current issues and more relevant qualifications for the presidency in a bid to bury the debate on his Viet Nam record, which at one time was all Kerry would discuss on the stump. Speaking in New York, Kerry told a crowd that all the Bush campaign had was fear, while he wanted to talk about how he could outperform Bush in areas such as foreign policy. So let's talk foreign policy, as practiced right here at home, by Senator Kerry. Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bradley Clanton of the law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, in Jackson, MS and Washington, DC. Brad represents several Vietnamese-Americans who came to the US as refugees of the Communists in their native land. Some of his clients have names that students of the era...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Whose Smear Machine Is This Again?

The New York Daily News reports that "a group of Democratic loyalists" plan to target one of the less public figures from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by using humiliation to intimidate him into silence (2nd item): Sen. John Kerry called a member of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth over the weekend to try to reason with him over the group's attacks on his record. But fellow Democrats aren't hesitating to try far more aggressive tactics. A group of Democratic loyalists is compiling incriminating dossiers on the members of the veteran group - and they sent us a preview of what might be in store for Swift Boat activist James Zumwalt, son of illustrious Adm. Elmo Zumwalt - and it isn't pretty. Zumwalt "attempted to kill himself with an overdose of prescription drugs," after the murder of his ex-wife's fiance, John Kowalczyk, according to the dossier, which is...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Still More Inconsistencies Between Kerry's Viet Nam Narratives

Now that John Kerry's Viet Nam narrative, which once formed the center of his campaign, has come under a sort of peer review, major and minor inconsistencies keep popping up more often than VC the Wonder Dog. CQ reader Sam Conner notes another one, and in light of speculation about Kerry's Cambodian adventures, it bears investigation. Kerry's last combat mission has widely been considered his Bronze Star engagement of 13 March, the same mission where he rescued Jim Rassmann from the river and sustained an injury to his arm or shoulder. According to the timeline on the Kerry campaign site, this mission came four days before he put in his request to be reassigned based on his three Purple Hearts. No other combat missions are listed. In the Boston Globe article written by Michael Kranish on June 16, 2003, at the start of Kerry's campaign for president, Kranish confirms the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

FBI Files Show Kerry Took Laundered Money In 1996

In a skeleton that CQ noted back in February, the independent watchdog group Judicial Watch has released formerly classified FBI files showing that John Kerry took laundered money from Chinese frontman Johnny Chung for Kerry's 1996 re-election campaign: Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released recently declassified documents showing that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry accepted laundered contributions for his 1996 re-election campaign from the Communist Chinese government and that, in exchange, he may have arranged meetings between Chinese aerospace executives and U.S. government officials. Obtained from the FBI through Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests, the documents are related to the FBIs Chinagate investigation into the Clinton campaigns acceptance of contributions from Communist Chinese government sources. ... These disturbing FBI documents raise further questions about Sen. Kerrys involvement in what looks like a quid pro quo (cash for meetings)...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 26, 2004

More Evidence Of A Seismic Shift

Yesterday Hugh Hewitt linked to a small-sampled poll for Arizona showing a nine-point gain for George Bush in a state that the Kerry/Edwards campaign hoped to make competitive. Even worse for John Kerry, the polling showed that independents made up most of the movement to Bush. If Arizona was a bellwether for the nation, the Kerry campaign had big trouble in a month where the challenger should have had a soaring post-convention lead. The Los Angeles Times confirms the national shift towards George Bush and the striking erosion of support for John Kerry in August in today's edition. Ron Brownstein, the LAT's political analyst, reports that even their notoriously skewed polling shows a five-point change favoring Bush since the convention, and now has the President ahead for the first time ever: President Bush heads into next week's Republican national convention with voters moving slightly in his direction since July amid...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Campaign Inspiring All The Wrong People

Instapundit notes today that "You won't like Bob Dole when he's angry," and he's definitely not a happy man. Dole appeared on Scarborough Country last night and reminded everyone why the Kerry campaign had to be insane to poke this sleeping giant: So this time youve got a candidate named John Kerry who had a good record in Vietnam, came back from the service, denounced the war, in effect, trashed the Americans who were still fighting there. Went before a Senate committee in April of 1971, threw away his ribbons or his medals or whatever and now is standing before the American people and saying youve got to elect me because Im this Vietnam hero. ... John Kerrys a friend of mine. I sent a signal about two or three months ago on television, John, back off. You know, cool it. Dont make the Vietnam War the centerpiece of your...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

New Evidence Of Bush's Collusion With ... The Kerry Campaign?

In its zeal to indict the Swiftvets last weekend, the New York Times developed a ludicrous chart depicting the Six Degrees of Separation between all of the GOP and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. As I noted at the time, had the Times tried doing that with the Democrats, MoveOn, and America Coming Together, the bill for the ink might have equalled the budget deficit of California. Now we find out that even the Gray Lady's tunnel-vision focus on the GOP came up short, as Rich Lowry at NRO found a Bush administration connection to another political group -- the Kerry campaign itself: Max Cleland, who made a staged appearance at the Bush ranch Wednesday, was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank in 2003. The same Max Cleland who is spending nearly all of his time attacking President Bush is,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Campaign Undermines First Purple Heart Story -- Again

Alert CQ reader Martin points out that the "clarifications" continually being offered by the Kerry campaign are boxing John Kerry into more and more contradictions in his Viet Nam narrative. Yesterday, in response to the revelation of Kerry's 11 December journal entry in which he wrote that "we had not yet been shot at" despite later putting himself in for a Purple Heart for a wound suffered on 2 December, a campaign spokesperson attempted this explanation: A Kerry campaign official, speaking on background, told The Washington Times yesterday that the "we" in the passage from Mr. Kerry's journal refers to "the crew on Kerry's first swift boat, operating as a crew" rather than Mr. Kerry himself. "John Kerry didn't yet have his own boat or crew on December 2," according to the aide. "Other members of the crew had been in Vietnam for some time and had been shot at...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Captain Goes Mainstream ... And Other News

After posting the long article to Captain's Quarters last night regarding John Kerry's endorsement of UMass-Boston's hiring of Communist 'scholars' from Viet Nam to study the mass flight of Vietnamese to the West, I wondered how the article would be received. I'm pleased to let all of you know that the New York Sun called this afternoon and bought the article for tomorrow's edition (August 26th). It's my first outright sale as a writer, and I couldn't be more pleased with the work that got selected or the newspaper that bought it. I'm hoping to continue my collaboration with the Sun in the future, as they've encouraged. When the article posts, I'll be sure to update this message with the link. UPDATE: Here's the link, although I think you have to be a subscriber to get to this. If you're not a subscriber, though, you should be -- they've done...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Jib-Jab Song Parody Given Green Light

Good news for fans of political satire -- one of the funniest and most clever political animations this year will be back on the Internet, thanks to a settlement between JibJab Media and the publishers of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land": This song is my song, this song is your song. That's the agreement reached between the publishers of Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land is Your Land" and JibJab Media, creators of an animated Internet short that uses the tune in a comic sendup of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaigns. With nary a jab thrown, Ludlow Music, the song's publisher, agreed in a settlement Tuesday to allow the cartoon one of the biggest Internet draws of the summer to keep using the song. In return, JibJab dropped a lawsuit against Ludlow that sought an order saying its use of the song was protected...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

This Explains A Lot

CNS News reports on a piece of John Kerry's testimony that, judging from my e-mail, explains a lot about the limited records that the Kerry campaign has released regarding his medals and the combat from which they came. While testifying to the Fulbright Commission, Kerry himself claimed authorship for many of the after-action reports: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reveals that the then anti-war activist admitted to writing many of the battle reports during his four months of combat in Vietnam. Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission..." Kerry also said that many in the military had "a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see." Kerry's comments about the battle reports came in response to a question from...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 27, 2004

Getting The Green Bay Pickers Fan Vote

Thank goodness that we have John Kerry on the stump to distract us from ... John Kerry on the run from his Viet Nam narrative. In yet another cringe-inducing moment regarding sports, Kerry managed to goof up the name of one of the NFL's shrines in its home city (via Kerry Spot and a number of laughing fans at Keegan's last night): On Wednesday, Kerry made his third visit to Green Bay, Wis., this year and made it a point to focus on the main thing the city revolves around: football and the Green Bay Packers. ... Unfortunately, during the event, Kerry fumbled for a second time, though this one didn't involve a football. As he was taking questions from the audience, he referred to the legendary Packers stadium, Lambeau Field (which has been called that for 39 years) as "Lambert Field." If the voters catch wind of that gaffe,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Bush Overtaking Kerry In Key Battleground States: LA Times

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein reported yesterday on the state results from the Times' poll, whose national results showed George Bush ahead for the first time in their polling. Three key battleground state that both candidates have campaigned hard to win now have moved towards Bush, with the convention right around the corner: According to the surveys, Bush has opened leads within the margin of error in Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri states at the top of both campaigns' priority lists. In Missouri, Bush leads among registered voters 46% to 44%; in Wisconsin, he leads 48% to 44%; and in Ohio, the president holds a 49% to 44% advantage, the surveys found. ... In 2000, Al Gore carried Wisconsin by fewer than 6,000 votes; Bush won Missouri by almost 80,000 votes and Ohio by almost 167,000 votes. All three states have attracted enormous spending on television ads from the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Score One For Sistani

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani scored a huge political victory and put the Allawi government further in his debt today by accomplishing what they could not do alone -- force rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army to both abandon the Imam Ali shrine and disarm, according to this Reuters report: Shi'ite fighters left the holiest shrine in the Iraqi city of Najaf Friday and began turning in their weapons, after tens of thousands of pilgrims celebrated a peace agreement that ended a bloody rebellion. Religious authorities locked the doors of the Imam Ali mosque after the Mehdi Army militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr left. The fighters had defied U.S. military firepower and the interim Iraqi government for three weeks. ... Militants tossed AK-47 assault rifles and mortar launchers into wooden carts being pushed around near the shrine. Mosque loudspeaker announcements in Sadr's name gave the order. Al Arabiya...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Patterico Continues To Keep The LA Times Honest

One of my good blogfriends, Patterico from Patterico's Pontifications, has done remarkable work over a long period of time documenting the bias and carelessness that has become routine for the Los Angeles Times. When the paper asserted last week that none of the Swiftvets had ever served on Kerry's boat, Patterico complained to the paper about the inaccuracy on his blog and in a letter to the Times' readers rep, Jamie Gold: Dear Ms. Gold, A front-page story in today's L.A. Times titled "Kerry Starts Firing Back at Critics of War Record" (August 20) states: "None of the men in the Swift boat group behind the anti-Kerry ad, including [Larry] Thurlow, served on Kerry's patrol boat during the war." This is not true. As an article in your paper's August 17 edition acknowledges, Steven Gardner, a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, served on one of Kerry's patrol...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

McCain-Feingold Finance Reform An Abject Failure

The current presidential election provides the first real-time test of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms signed into law during this term of office. Its advocates lauded the bill's restrictions on so-called "soft money" -- a designation from previous and unsuccessful campaign finance reform efforts -- from flowing into political parties which used it to support their candidates indirectly through issue advertising. They promised it would keep floods of money from influencing voter choice. Its critics decried the potential for the law to be used as a club to curtail political speech. It's apparent that the critics were correct. Today's editorial in the Washington Post notes that despite the new McCain-Feingold laws, money has poured into this election like never before, both in soft money to outside interest groups and hard money donated directly to candidates. The numbers stagger the imagination; in just four years, both parties doubled their hard-money donations...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Why Can't Kossy Read?

After the Wall Street Journal published its profile of the accredited bloggers to the Republican National Convention, I expected a bit of blogosphere critique on the selections. After all, with so many excellent bloggers to be found, arguments can be made for inclusion at the expense of any of us who were fortunate enough to be chosen for the privilege. What I didn't expect was silly, superficial, and factually deficient crabbing like this found at the Daily Kos, this one from Kos himself. Here's Kos' idea of insightful commentary: Boy, did those conservative bloggers whine, whine, whine when the Big Bad DNC didn't accredit enough of them at our convention. Yet the Democratic Party did invite several conservatives, as well as non-political tech-focused bloggers. None of that at the RNC convention. Not that they should allow Dem bloggers in (I was always clear that only partisan bloggers should've been admitted...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Lo, How The Mighty Have Fallen (UPDATE!)

As many of you know, being fans of Hugh Hewitt as I am, that the Lord High Commissioner has paid us Minnesotans the honor of a visit and two remote shows from the biggest state fair in America. Hugh came into town this morning with Michael Medved (who brought his lovely family along with him), and both accepted a challenge by the gang at Fraters Libertas to joust at Keegan's Pub in their Thursday night trivia challenge. Hugh knew that he faced the buzzsaw that is the Fraters gang at trivia, since they win almost every week at Keegan's (also a new Northern Alliance sponsor). He prepared his team carefully -- he picked Michael Medved and his wife along with James Lileks, while the Elder, Brian "Saint Paul" Ward and the Atomizer picked up a ringer, Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000. When the dust settled, the two teams...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Thanks A Million

If you scroll down far enough, on the right sidebar, our Sitemeter hit counter just went over 1,000,000 visitors tonight. Captain's Quarters is also now in the Top 25 of the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem, at the Mortal Human level. I have too many people to thank, but here's a list to start: Hugh Hewitt Instapundit My Northern Alliance colleagues at Power Line, Fraters Libertas, Mitch, King, James Jon Henke The Commissar Sean ... and many, many other, such as all of the blogs on my blogrolls, especially the Northern Fleet, the locals in the Upper Midwest. It's been a blast, and better days are still ahead. Addendum: I got a nice note from The Anchoress, a new blogger who tells me she was inspired by CQ. Drop by and leave her a comment. Here's an example of the pithy writing I enjoy: Oh, and the anarchists plan to demonstrate...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Little Saigon Is Not Kerry Country

Being a Southern California native and having spent a good portion of my adult life in Orange County, I have more than a passing familiarity with an area known as Little Saigon in the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, and a small piece of Santa Ana. In fact, I used to live within a few blocks of the area when I was a single young Captain. (I categorically deny ever conducting clandestine missions down Brookhurst Avenue; however, I did get a lucky hat from a guy who claimed to be CIA ... as well as an extra-terrestrial.) Pete Peterson writes an excellent article in today's American Spectator on the thriving community of Vietnamese ex-patriates who came to the US on barely sea-worthy boats and built themselves a commercial empire in California's most conservative area. Peterson himself, according to the article, frequents coffee bars in the area. It comes as no...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Lipscomb: US Navy Disputes Kerry Combat Awards

An old friend of the Northern Alliance, reporter Thomas Lipscomb (who broke the stories of the Phoenix Project shortly after Kerry took control of the primaries), writes in today's Chicago Sun-Times that the US Navy disputes the records that John Kerry insists backs up his combat stories: In the midst of the controversy between the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth and Kerry campaign representatives about Kerry's service in Vietnam, new questions have arisen. The Kerry campaign has repeatedly stated that the official Naval records prove the truth of Kerry's assertions about his service. But the official Naval records on Kerry's website only add to the confusion. The DD214 form, an official Department of Defense document summarizing Kerry's military career, posted on johnkerry.com, includes a "Silver Star with Combat V." But according to a spokesman for the US Navy, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a "Combat V" to...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

NYT: Alleged Israeli Spy No Influence On American Policy

When CBS broke the news earlier this evening that the FBI had investigated a high-ranking assistant in the Defense Department on suspicion of espionage on behalf of Israel, the immediate suspicion was that Israel may have unduly influenced American security policy in the Middle East, especially Iraq. Later revelations that the suspect worked as a staffer with contacts to Paul Wolfowitz and other so-called neocons seemed to reinforce that notion. However, the New York Times now reports that the staffer was a desk officer working in Douglas Feith's office and had no influence on policy development: The espionage investigation has focused on an official who works in the office of Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, officials who have been briefed about the investigation said. The F.B.I. has gathered evidence that the official passed classified policy documents to officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 28, 2004

Niall Ferguson Misses The Point

Usually, OpinionJournal.com features well-written commentary from people serious about politics and the impact it has on the US. Once in a while, they toss in a piece that one suspects targets its readers just to gauge their reaction time. Saturday's edition appears to be more of the latter, as Niall Ferguson tries to argue that a Bush loss in November would actually benefit the GOP: It is doubtless not the most tactful question to ask on the eve of the Republican convention, but might it not be better for American conservatism if George W. Bush failed to win a second term? Yes, I know, the official GOP line is that nothing could possibly be as bad for the U.S. as a Kerry presidency. According to the Bush campaign, John Kerry's record of vacillation and inconsistency in the Senate would make him a disastrously indecisive POTUS--an IMPOTUS, as it were. By...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Media Breakthrough Has Begun In Earnest

After waiting weeks for the mainstream news media to cover the collapse of John Kerry's narrative on Viet Nam, and waiting out the media attack on the testimony of over 200 combat veterans, two bellwether media outlets have suddenly reversed themselves and reported on Kerry's lies and prevarications in their news sections, as pointed out by CQ reader Bill Millan. First, the Los Angeles Times publishes a profile of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organizer John O'Neill which, surprisingly, remains positive and balanced towards its subject. Scott Gold cuts through all of the hysterical Republican-shill charges thrown about by the Kerry campaign and its sympathizers and presents a much more interesting look at O'Neill and what motivates him: He portrayed himself as a political independent a Reagan Democrat, he said, if he had to have a label. Although he typically supports GOP candidates, he says, he voted for Democrat...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Northern Alliance Live At The State Fair!

If you haven't yet caught our Northern Alliance Radio Network show, today would be a great day to start! Not only will we be appearing live at the Minnesota State Fair, in front of throngs of our admirers (note: "throngs" = 7 or more, right?), but take a look at the guest list we have for today: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Nelson (MST3K fans, rejoice!), and James Lileks! You can listen on AM 1280 The Patriot if you're here in the Twin Cities, or on our live Internet stream sponsored by the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. (Make sure you enable pop-up windows in order to make the streaming software work.) What projects are on Mike Nelson's plate these days? What does James Lileks have to say about deep-fried sausages on a stick? Will Hugh Hewitt renege on his trivia-contest bet? Tune in from noon to 3 pm CT and find out!...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Lehman: I Never Signed Kerry's Modified Silver Star Citation

Thomas Lipscomb breaks another major development in the Chicago Sun-Times this morning, and the Kerry campaign may need to do more backpedaling as a result. Former Secretary of the Navy and 9/11 Commission member John Lehman denies ever signing the modified citation Kerry's site has prominently displayed for months, and states categorically that he didn't write the additional language describing the engagement: Former Navy Secretary John Lehman has no idea where a Silver Star citation displayed on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign Web site came from, he said Friday. The citation appears over Lehman's signature. "It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said. The additional language varied from the two previous citations, signed first by Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and then Adm. John Hyland, which themselves...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

A Man Of Honor, And A New Steeler Fan?

We had a great time at our live appearance at the State Fair this afternoon, and having Hugh Hewitt and Mike Nelson as our guests attracted a large number of fans to our booth. Hopefully, all who came had just as much fun as we did. Speaking of Hugh, he ended the suspense and took his medicine, as you can see here: Being a gentleman, he offered to wear the hat during the entire half-hour appearance, but I gave way so he could wear a hockey helmet in order to answer questions from the Fair audience in his role of Minnesota State Hockey Commissioner. Unfortunately, the helmet didn't help him out much. Since Hugh kept his end of the bargain like the true gent he is, the First Mate and I donated $100 to Young Life, Hugh's favorite charity. This is a great organization and Hugh does a lot of...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

This Makes Me Feel Better About My Trip

The AP reports that two men have been arrested in New York City on the eve of the Republican National Convention, for plotting explosive attacks on the subway system: A U.S. citizen and a Pakistani national were arrested in an alleged plot to bomb a subway station in midtown Manhattan and possibly other locations around the city, police said Saturday. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the men were not thought to be connected to al-Qaida or any other international terrorist organization, although he said they expressed hatred for America. The arrests come two days before the start of the Republican National Convention, which is drawing tens of thousands of visitors into the city. Though there was no clear tie to the convention, authorities moved to arrest the two men before it began, two law-enforcement sources told The Associated Press. The police report that the men were apprehended before getting their...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 29, 2004

The Vicious Circle Of The 21st Century

Normally on the day before I travel, I do my best to get to bed early, sometimes start to pack the night before, and get plenty of rest for the upcoming day. However, last night I had an opportunity to spend an evening with a group of tremendously intelligent and opinionated gentlemen at James Lileks' Jasperwood estate, with Hugh Hewitt as the honored guest. A dozen bloggers had a smoker and debated politics, blogs, pop culture, and just about every topic imaginable (including the ethics of trivia contests) under the cool skies of south Minneapolis with as much passion and humor as any round-table I've ever experienced. In fact, it's easy to feel outclassed when you're surrounded by this all-star lineup of bloggers and pundits: Hugh, James, Generalissimo Duane, Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Mitch Berg, King Banaian, The Elder and Saint Paul from Fraters Libertas, The One Big Swede, The...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Power Line Fights Back

Last week, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker of Power Line wrote an op-ed piece in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune detailing their frustration with the local and national coverage given to the deconstruction of John Kerry's Viet Nam narrative. They specifically focused on the Christmas In Cambodia fable, which even the Kerry campaign now has retracted, and factually refuted it point by point. The Strib's editorial board responded in an editorial written by Jim Boyd that called Scott and John "fraudulent" and spewed a lot of vitriol abut the two being part of the "Republican smear machine" -- but actually conceded their central point, calling it a "niggling criticism". If so, then they must be the first fraudulent smear machine that operated by spreading the truth. Scott and John respond in today's Strib after reaching an unusual agreement with the editorial board to be allowed to respond to Boyd's vicious personal attack...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Captain's Caption Contest #25: Watch Your Back Edition

It's Friday, so it must be time for another edition of the Captain's Caption Contest! We're about to come into the home stretch of the presidential campaign, where tempers get short and stress begins to show. And that's just among the talking heads at CNBC! Just imagine what it's like for the actual candidates. In fact, you don't need to imagine at all: Guest judging the contest this week will be Bear, a CQ reader and commenter who sent me a slew of pics this week and all of them could have worked. As always, put your best caption entries in the comments section -- NO e-mail, please! (E-mailed entries will be typed as journal entries at Sa Dec and run across the Cambodian border in a magic hat.) The contest will remain open until noon Sunday [my travel day to New York!], August 29th, at which point the comments...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Happy First Blogiversary To QandO

Before it was a triumvirate, the essential neolibertarian blog QandO started out as a Blogspot site with just a single blogger, Jon Henke. Today he celebrates his first blogiversary, having started just about five weeks before I did. Jon, and his partners Dale Franks and McQ, have spent that year building QandO into a tremendous voice for political and economic thought. It's on my list of daily must-reads (especially after they made it Mozilla-friendly). If you aren't reading QandO regularly, clear some time to do so. You won't be sorry. Happy blogiversary to three esteemed colleagues, one of whom has been a tremendous blog-friend and a source of support and inspiration for me. The best is yet to come, Jon!...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Dan Rather Reports The Non-News

Even before I get to the Republican convention -- I'm blogging from the Humphrey Terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport -- I'm discovering how useless the mainstream media will be at this convention. Drudge links back to what could be described as Dan Rather's blog, and he manages to make it even more content-free than his news broadcasts. As an example, here's the first entry for Rather today at his Convention Journal site: Not much of it, really. Only a few people besides workmen inside the hall. Among the few who were there, the most popular topic of conversation was whether President Bush might surprise and announce during the convention that Vice President Cheney would not be running with him this year. This rumor has swirled around a bit from time to time throughout the year, the chatter being that Mr. Bush would prefer to run with Sen. John McCain ...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Several Unfunny Things Happened To Me On The Way To The Forum

NEW YORK CITY, 10:56 PM ET: I have finally eaten dinner on what had to have been one of the longest and most frustrating travel days in my life. The fact that I'm blogging is in itself a minor miracle. Earlier today, while I was airport blogging about the vacuity of Dan Rather, I received a very kind and generous e-mail from two CQ readers (husband & wife) who wanted to make a large donation for the trip but had been stymied by the Amazon system. They wanted to pay for part of my hotel room instead, so I told them where I was staying. Fortunately I was on line when I got a reply. They had called the hotel and found out that they'd canceled my reservation -- and the airport had just announced preboarding for my flight. I got on my cell phone and called the Hotel Pennsylvania's...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 30, 2004

Takin' It To The Streets

The New York Times reports on what I missed with my late arrival yesterday, the day before the opening of the Republican National Convention, but the unnerving effects of having a half-million people in the street certainly accounts for the tension I felt on my arrival: A roaring two-mile river of demonstrators surged through the canyons of Manhattan yesterday in the city's largest political protest in decades, a raucous but peaceful spectacle that pilloried George W. Bush and demanded regime change in Washington. On a sweltering August Sunday, the huge throng of protesters marched past Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican National Convention opening today, and denounced President Bush as a misfit who had plunged America into war and runaway debt, undermined civil and constitutional rights, lied to the people, despoiled the environment and used the presidency to benefit corporations and millionaires. The protest organizer, United for Peace...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry's Voting Record Reflects The Prevailing Wind More Than Conviction

Today's National Journal daily (no web link) reports on its ratings becoming a talking point in this election cycle, due to the top rating that John Kerry received for his voting record last year. In an experience that NJ reporter Charles Green calls "disconcerting," Journal editors have heard George Bush and Dick Cheney use the rating on the campaign trail, without giving the context of how the ratings are compiled, although the context hardly casts glory on the Massachussetts senator: When the tabulations came in for 2003, John Kerry had the highest composite liberal score of any senator. But there was an asterisk. As with other lawmakers who were running for president, Kerry missed a lot of votes in 2003 -- 37 of the 62 that were being used in the vote ratings. He didn't vote often enough to merit scores in the social policy and foreign affairs categories. (Under...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Calm Before The Storm

I had an opportunity to get out on the street early this morning when I went downstairs to get a much-needed cup of coffee to bolster my blogging. I took a few pictures that were necessarily a bit fuzzy, as the light was still pretty faint and the flash resulted in poor illumination of the scenery. You can see the calm on the streets that likely will be absent during the day today, as more traffic and protests will jam the sidewalks around the convention site. The first picture is from the hotel looking down 33rd, and has the Empire State Building in the background. You can see that the street itself is completely barricaded: This picture is straight across from the Hotel Pennsylvania, where they're allowing vehicle traffic for the moment. I expect this to be barricaded later on today: In order to get in and out of the...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Inside Blogger's Corner

We're busy setting up our connections here on Blogger's Corner and having the normal IS issues experienced by anyone who uses LANs. The convention is making their best efforts to get the problems straightened out, but in the meantime I've found a wireless portal that works for the moment. Right now I'm sharing a table with some pretty impressive bloggers -- Kevin Aylward from Wizbang, Matt Margolis from Blogs For Bush, and Scott Sala from Slant Point. I already caught up with Generalissimo Duane and we're sitting directly across from the Salem booth. I've met Tony Snow from Fox, who immediately recognized my name -- which floored me. I'll report later on the breakfast with Matthew Dowd and the interesting speech and Q & A we had this morning....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Mayor Koch Visits Blogger's Corner

Former New York Mayor and "lifelong Democrat" Ed Koch paid a visit to Blogger's Corner and spoke about his support of George Bush. The mayor started off informally by asking us whether we would consider his weekly e-mail columns to be the equivalent of blogging, which we unanimously rejected. We think he'll be blogging in the next couple of months. The mayor took a few questions from the collected RNC bloggers, which I will do my best to transcribe in this noisy environment: Q: You came out for Bush early on in this race, Mayor. A: 2002. Q: Why so early? A: I believe I was the first to use the term "Bush Doctrine" in my commentary ... I don't agree with him on any domestic issues, taxes, Social Security, abortion, you name it ... Q: Education? A: Maybe education, although I think he's underfunded it. But I said, all...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Typekey Registration Now Required

Unfortunately, the spammers have discovered Captain's Quarters along with a bunch of great new readers looking for convention coverage. I have required Typekey registration for comments entry. This will be in effect for the week of the convention, and possibly longer than that. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I have to either do this or shut down comments altogether....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Ken Mehlman on John Kerry: The Rip Van Winkel Campaign

Ken Mehlman of the Bush campaign stopped off at Bloggers Corner for a quick chat with us. I dropped into the middle of the conversation, in time to catch this priceless description of Kerry's run from his Senate record: Here's the thing. If you spent the last 20 years raising taxes, voting 350 times for higher taxes, and you spent the last 20 years voting against the weapons systems that were the key to winning the cold war, that are key to winning the war on terror, you missed three out of four Intelligence Committee meetings, then voted to pull $5 billion out of intelligence, when you say that a girl in school need parental consent to get [unintellible] but not for an abortion -- if that's your record, you'd also run from it. From the beginning, their campaign has been the one where the last 20 years didn't happen,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Blog Conference: Ari Fleischer

The bloggers have been assisted by the RNC to bring newsmakers by Bloggers Corner in order to answer questions, and earlier in the day we spoke with former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. The bloggers here have defaulted to an understanding that the guests which all of us want to interview participate in a blogger press conference, where we all toss out questions and we transcribe the answers. This is why you're not seeing ID on the questions; at CQ, I'm treating everyone (including myself) as a generic interviewer. You can hear the audio of these interviews on Blogs For Bush, as Matt Margolis posts them. Q: Is it a relief to be out of the spokesman job? A: There are times I miss it. Times like this, when you get the big moments like when the president went to Baghdad, I would have really loved to go to that....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Our Visit With Miss America

You almost have to picture this as a moment of high irony, but the current Miss America, Erika Harold, paid a visit to Bloggers Corner. Why a beautiful and intelligent young woman (as we soon discovered Erika to be) would want to hang out with the computer geeks escapes me, but she gave us a delightful and insightful interview that completely negates any preconceptions about beauty-pageant contestants you ever held. Erika spoke at length about her battle to speak out about abstinence as a major part of her Miss America mission to reduce the spread of HIV and other diseases, especially in lower-income schools. Erika told us that individuals within the Miss America program became uncomfortable with her approach, taking care to avoid any hint of controversy. However, Erika stuck to her guns, showing the mettle she will need when she starts her first term next week at Harvard Law...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

August 31, 2004

Technical Problems Resolved, CQ Back 'On Air'

Talk about being a victim of your own success! If you tried accessing Captain's Quarters last night between midnight and 2 AM ET, you probably got a 509 error saying that I had exceeded my bandwidth allotment. Well, I had -- by an order of about six times. In the past month, CQ has far outgrown the particular plan that I have at Hosting Matters, one of the lower-traffic plans at that. Unfortunately, the system notices these kinds of things, and last night it did its job. Any other time, I'd take this as a sign from God that I've been working too hard and need a day off. However, I'm sure you can understand the raw panic that flowed through my veins when I tried posting from my hotel room last night and got the same error you saw. Frantic e-mails were sent in all directions to Hosting Matters,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Kerry Conundrum Squeezes North Carolina Governor

Last night before John McCain took the floor, I had an opportunity to spend a few minutes with Warren Cooksey, Vice Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party and an alternate to North Carolina's delegation. He noticed that I was a blogger, and after introducing myself, Warren proclaimed himself a new but devoted fan to Captain's Quarters. Naturally, this helped our conversation! I asked Warren about the selection of John Edwards as Kerry's running mate and whether that would have an impact on the state in the presidential race. Bush won North Carolina by 13 points in 2000, but that had narrowed considerably this year until just recently, due to the economic conditions in the state. Warren feels that Edwards would have no effect on the outcome in his home state, although it had seemed to give Kerry a little momentum earlier, if you read the polls. As analysts outside...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Keynote Speeches of 8/30: John McCain

I had the opportunity to make it to the floor to see the last three speeches of the day, as bloggers took turns going into the hall to make sure Bloggers Corner remained staffed. Tom Bevan, John Hinderaker, and I sat with the North Carolina delegation to see John McCain speak on behalf of President Bush, in a speech that has been highly anticipated ever since Kerry's abortive run at McCain for running mate boosted the Arizona Senator's credibility among both parties. McCain did not disappoint. I supported McCain in 2000, and while he's a bit stiff at the podium, his gentle voice played well in invoking the tragedy of 9/11 -- a subject that the Democrats avoided in their convention, and one which they will protest the Republicans using in New York. However, how can they avoid it? It would be akin to a failure to mention the elephant...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

The Keynote Speeches of 8/30: Rudy Giuliani

Perhaps even more than John McCain, Rudy Giuliani's appearance at the convention had been the subject of much conjecture beforehand. His prominence in the schedule indicated to analysts that the Republicans would not run away from 9/11, and Democrats warned the GOP against "exploiting" the terrorist attacks. Given that they went through their entire convention without mentioning it at all, they obviously wanted Americans to forget it ever happened. But Rudy was there when and where the buildings fell. Giuliani understands better than most what's at stake in this election. He knows what happens when people pretend that terrorism doesn't exist and when dangers are ignored. And he isn't planning on letting anyone forget about it. In one of the most effective and personal wide-audience speeches I've ever seen -- it even got grudging admiration from former Dean advisor and MS-NBC analyst Joe Trippi afterwards -- Giuliani described in stark...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Day 1: Final Thoughts

Our first day on the job provided challenges in droves to Bloggers Corner. For one, the IT connections had not all been established, and it took several hours before all of us were able to reliably get on line and post to our sites. Our strategic placement meant that we could get some good interviews, but that our access to the convention floor was quite limited. In fact, we have to traverse four flights, one down and three up, to get into the main hall, and then we can't get onto the floor itself. Add in the generally lost feeling of not knowing your surroundings and the overwhelming blitz of traffic coming around our area, add a dash of the tightest security I've ever seen, and you get the idea that we could be forgiven a bit of disorientation. On the whole, after reviewing our work as a group yesterday,...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Blogging Coverage: Open Thread

I received this e-mail from a reader last night when I returned to my hotel room: You, and all the rest of the bloggers at the convention, are making the same mistake as the bloggers in Boston. You are all sounding like, "whee, look at me! I'm a hick in the "Big Apple!" Do some professional reporting. Make us proud! Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts. Bear in mind, however, that conventions rarely generate "news" stories. The value, I think, is in the background we can provide on candidates, issues, and back-scenes machinery that most people rarely see. I'm anxious to get a sense of what you think, so fire away....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Kerry Losing Ground On Security: WaPo

Today's Washington Post reports that John Kerry has lost ground on security issues, falling behind George Bush on an issue in which he attempted to trump the Republican strongest point. The Post notes that Kerry has lost eighteen points on national-security issues since the end of the Democratic convention, and these numbers were taken before the start of the convention: President Bush holds clear advantages over John F. Kerry on national security issues and leadership in the war on terrorism, largely erasing the broad gains Kerry made at his party's Boston convention last month, but voters continue to give the president negative marks on the economy and his handling of Iraq, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. ... The new poll found that a slight majority of registered voters -- 53 percent -- say Bush is more qualified than Kerry to be commander in chief, while 43 percent...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

An Oasis In A Dry Garden

One of the challenges we faced yesterday was the lack of beverages available at the Garden, an unusual problem that I hadn't anticipated. I assumed that we would have all of the concession stands open, but they seem to be closed, presumably to simplify security for the convention. Stepping into the breach to soothe dry throats is Political Grounds, which describes itself as "America's Politically-Incorrect Coffee". They've set up a booth giving away free bottled water and very good cups of coffee to anyone who wants to stop by their booth. Julie also gave me a pound of their coffee, which comes in eight varieties. I selected Osama's Mama, which states that it's "dedicated to our fighting men and women searching those caves for the evil one who brought us the events of 9-11. Only a mother with a foot-long beard could love this guy. Osama, where's your mama?" How...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Speaking Of Dry Gardens ...

The ever-invaluable Memeorandum points its readers to a GQ interview with John Kerry conducted, in all places, at a sports bar. In their effort to toady up to the Democratic candidate for President, GQ manages to embarrass both themselves and their subject. For instance, Michael Hainey asks Kerry about the Bush family: GQ: You've got a great rsum, you're an internationalist, patrician. You're more the son of George Bush Senior than W. is. JK: I don't want to go anywhere near that. Except to say this: I like Junior, but I like the senior Bush enormously. A very decent, thoughtful guy. And I have great respect for him. GQ: W. seems like he came out of a laboratory. JK: I don't comment on him personally at all. But Kerry manages to make himself look foolish enough all on his own. When asked about Max Cleland, Kerry told GQ that Cleland's...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Being The Story

While we have not had to deal with the overwhelming media interest that bedeviled the Boston convention bloggers, we are getting our share of attention, especially given our proximity to Radio Row. Yesterday I made a last-minute appearance on Hugh Hewitt's show, along with John Hinderaker, and we may appear again there. Right now, both of us are being interviewed by our hometown paper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, by reporter Sharon Schmickle. Later today, I am also scheduled to appear on Kevin McCullough's show around 2:45 and I'll also call in to Cam Edwards show around 3:20 this afternoon, and supposedly I'm appearing on Right Talk, but that looks like it's falling through. The only danger in getting too caught up in this attention is that we lose focus on our own stories. I think as the convention heats up, everyone but Hugh and Kevin will lose most of their interest...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Rumble In The Blogger Jungle: Hannity Vs. McAuliffe

An interesting confrontation took place just in front of Bloggers Corner a few minutes ago. Sean Hannity has a booth just a few feet from our tables, and we've had front-row seating for his show yesterday, today, and the rest of this week, too. While on the air, Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe passed by the booth -- on his way to the Air America table, no doubt, which is located right around the corner from our booth. The two of them began yelling at each other, with Hannity demanding that Kerry apologize to the vets he smeared since 1971 as war criminals. McAuliffe finally walked off, laughing, but people stood and looked at each other, surprised at having seen real news (of a sort) occur at a political convention. Georgia Senator Zell Miller is on air with Hannity at the moment, and he looks sharp. I can't wait to...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

General Tommy Franks: I Support Bush For President

General Tommy Franks announced today that he will support George Bush for president at our blog conference at the Republican National Convention. Q: General, do you support George Bush for President? A: Yes. Q: With regards to consistency, did George Bush hurt himself with his remarks on Matt Lauer that maybe we can't win a war on terror? A: Absolutely not. We won a Cold War, didn't we? And we didn't do that in 15 minutes. Q: Did Ronald Reagan show that kind of doubt in his effort to win the Cold War? A: I don't know that there was any doubt shown at all. I think that we're talking about consistency, and persistency, and anybody who looks at this thing over the last three and a half years is going to have a heck of a hard time trying to point out when he was not consistent or persistent....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Hugh Hewitt: Terry McAuliffe On Hugh's Show

You can listen at this link. UPDATE: Hugh slaughtered McAuliffe. I don't have any of the audio, but I can tell you from being there and listening, that Hugh took him out. First off, he got McAuliffe to admit that his job is to tell everyone that Kerry's winning regardless of whether it's true. He also folded on Christmas in Cambodia. As always with Hugh, everyone parted friends ... but those of us who were nearby the interview knew it went badly for McAuliffe. What can he do? He's been dealt a loser hand. UPDATE II: More lefty meltdowns, this one from last night (at Wizbang). Apparently Al Franken wants to get elected to the Senate by garnering the bully vote....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Lynn Swann Supports Bush!

I grew up a rabid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, ever since I watched the Immaculate Reception in the playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. One of the best players on the team that won four Super Bowls was the incredibly acrobatic wide receiver, Lynn Swann. Despite having gone to USC, Swann had a grace and determination on the field that not only won him a spot in the Hall of Fame, but almost definitely made him one of the best slow-motion reply subjects ever in sports. We found out yesterday that Swann would be appearing at the convention, one of a number of celebrities that have made their way to New York to support the President's re-election bid. I've been careful about fan-boy posts, but in this case, I hope my readers will forgive me for ensuring that this moment gets archived for posterity....

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

Blogging From The Convention Floor - Michael Steele

I am in in the auditorium with the delegates (in the stands, not on the floor), and so far, I have a connection with which to blog. With any luck, I'll be able to live-blog the two keynote speakers for tonight's main event: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush. Right now, I'm watching the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele. This man impresses the heck out of me. He connects to the audience in personal terms, but he easily charged up the crowd with a wonderful crescendo as he discussed his values and the values of the GOP. Completely at ease at the podium, he seems to be a man with a future in the party. Steele works extensively in the media, both alternate and mainstream. He writes for such varied publications as the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Times, and more. He also appears on the radio in...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

8/31 Keynote Speaker: Arnold Schwarzenegger

10:03 Arnold is speaking now, talking about his immigrant experiences. He opened with a two jokes about himself and his acting, and one barb at the Democrats. 10:04 However, he now is speaking about the fear he felt as a young child, living in dread of the "Soviet boot" -- and he has fired up the crowd, reminding them that the Austrians are only free due to American determination and resolve, the first indication that he will emphasize the need for those qualities now... 10:06 He openly talked about Richard Nixon as a "breath of fresh air" for a young boy yearning for freedom. Interesting; the crowd has no qualms about evoking Richard Nixon. 10:09 Arnold continually refers to his immigrant status. It appears to be his theme, and he's tying it to a big-tent theme. Of course, Arnold represents the more liberal wing of the party. Now he's about...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »

8/31 Keynote Speaker: Laura Bush

10:25 An introduction for the First Lady by her twin daughters has started off very well, although they're clearly nervous. They've poked fun at themselves, their grandmother, their father, Dick Cheney, Sex And The City, Karl Rove, Condi Rice, and Karen Hughes. They're having fun doing a tag-team comedy routine ... 10:30 "We had a hamster, too. Let's just say it didn't make it." 10:32 A surprise -- George Bush is live on satellite to complete the introduction. I wonder has this happened before, where a candidate appeared before the nomination? At least during the modern, scripted era of conventions? 10:35 Laura is on now, thanking the Bush family. The former President and First Lady, George and Barbara, held up We Love Laura signs. ... 10:37 "Why do you think we should re-elect your husband as president?" An interesting way to frame her speech. It makes sense, as a First...

« July 2004 | September 2004 »