national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]
















a running commentary by our trusted contributors...

CRO Blog archive index

being Tom McClintock
aCRO weblog

21/25/40: California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

Gubernatorial Leadership

Advice for the Governor's State of the State..
[Tom McClintock]

Shadow Governor Home

Fellow Travelers
Hugh Hewitt
Belly of the Beast
Professor Bainbridge
The Remedy

California Insider
Priorites & Frivolities

The Bear Flag

Aaron's Rantblog
Absinthe & Cookies
Accidental Jedi
Angry Clam

Below Street Level
Boi From Troy
California Republic
Citizen Smash
Daily Pundit
Dale Franks
Feste . . . A Fool's Blog
Fladen Experience
Fresh Potatoes
Howard Owens
Infinite Monkeys
Irish Lass
Left Coast Conservative
Lex Communis
Lopsided Poopdeck
Master of None
Miller's Time
Molly's Musings
Mulatto Boy
Pathetic Earthlings
Patio Pundit
Patrick Prescott
Patterico's Pontifications
Right Coast
Right on the Left Beach
Shark Blog

Slings and Arrows
Southern California Law Blog
Tone Cluster
Window Manager

[7/30/04 Friday]

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 2:22 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: The Democratic National Convention previewed a Kerry/Edwards campaign that can be summed up in five words: Hype is on the way.

[Ken Masugi - Director Center for Local Government Claremont Institute] 2:15 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: I reiterate some points from my take on The Remedy last evening: The most revealing line in Kerry's speech comes toward the end: "Never has there been a more urgent moment for Americans to step up and define ourselves." This is preposterous. Americans defined themselves on July 4, 1776 and have at their best moments striven to live up to those expectations ever since. It is Kerry who has had to keep redefining himself throughout his public career, and it is the Democrats who manfully struggled to redefine themselves as Republican Lite throughout the convention. That shows that Republicans-- I owe this point to Dennis Teti-- have won the war of ideas and policy. They should act as victors and prevent usurpers—the Dems as the party of pirates?-- from plundering and taking charge. Republicans should heed the words of the man who originally defined their party-- Abraham Lincoln. His words are more appropriate coming from Republicans than from Teresa Heinz Kerry.

[Shawn Steel - past chairman California GOP] 2:11 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: I have a different take. This is the last gasp of the well-worn 60's radicals. Their hair is shorter, they bodies are heavier but their passion against America is unrelenting. Sure, they tried to look normal, but Kennedy, "Rev" Sharpton and Hillary betrayed their instincts. I sensed a foreboding from the democrats as the clear realization becomes apparent that Bush will have another 4 years. The folks in flyover country are repelled with the Michael Moore's who command the democrats.

[Tony Quinn political analyst] 2:03 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: Here are my thoughts: this was Karl Rove's convention. By pushing the Bush Admin so far to the right he has united the Demos to do and say anything that will work. Who would have believed a convention made up Howard Dean types would have cheered all those admiral and generals. But there is an importnast message here: the last successful Massachusetts Democrat was named John Kennedy and he ran against the Missile Gap and Republican military weakness. Monkey see monkey do.

[Brian Janiskee -Cal. State, San Bernardino & Claremont Institute] 2:02 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: The Democrats are pursuing a risky strategy. With Kerry running to the center, he risks alienating his base. The Dems must figure that their side is so energized that there is no risk of losing them.

As for Kerry's speech, I am certain that there were many in the convention audience who have buyer's remorse. It was a poorly-delivered speech. If Kerry gets a big bounce out of this convention, it will only prove that all one has to do to get a bounce is to simply show up. The "reporting for duty" salute was comical.

Lastly, Bush should not take the optimism bait laid out by Kerry. Bush should hit Kerry early and often on Kerry's Senate record. To the Dems and their allies in the mainstream media, to be optimistic is to agree with the liberal agenda.

[Ralph Peters - author and former Army intelligence officer] 7:45 am [link]
Q&A - Democrat Convention: Like the Soviet Union's splendid constitution, Senator Kerry said all the right things. And one suspects that he is every bit as sincere as were the Bolsheviks.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:44 am [link]
The Nominee: Call me frivolous -- but did you hear the Boston Pops playing the French National Anthem as Kerry arrived at the post-convention concert? It's art imitating life . . .

As for Kerry's speech, I wasn't overwhelmed. Yes, he stepped on his applause lines and hurried through, as many of the pundits pointed out. But more importantly, it seemed to me that Kerry's native arrogance shown through, as he spoke contemptuously of President Bush (e.g. we need a President who "believes in science"). The line that he was "reporting for duty" got big thumbs-ups from the television pundits, but to me, it seemed too clever by half . . . and an effort to act like he was being "drafted" by the country, when in reality he has spent all his time (and a fair portion of his wife's money) on getting to precisely this place.

Kerry staked out some pretty tough positions on foreign affairs . . . too bad that he's going to look like a major-league hypocrite when the Bush team gets done with him. What's this about condemning the administration because soldiers' parents have to buy them body armor after he refused to support an $87 billion supplemental appropriation to equip the troops? And how about his veering off into the fever swamps as he attacks the Saudi royal family (so much for his vaunted diplomatic skills)?

Finally, he accuses the President of having "misled." What exactly was his whole convention, up to and including his acceptance speech, designed to do? To convince America that the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate -- who has voted against nearly every weapons system and who tried to gut intelligence even after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing -- is a hawk. If that isn't misleading, I don't know what is.

P.S. But then again, who can resist a candidate who once gave CPR to a hamster? Any more details from daughter Alexandra, and it was going to get creepy. She denies he offered the rodent mouth-to-mouth.

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 12:23 am [link]
Surprise! Kerry Accepts: John Kerry needed to save more than a hamster in his big night at the Democratic Convention, and he probably did.

Although I didn't think Kerry's speech was as good as most of the TV talking heads, and his record will bump up against his rhetoric as the campaign unfolds, it was good enough to light a fire under a campaign that seemed to be faltering going into the convention. The key will be whether or not Kerry and Edwards can quickly build on the momentum in their upcoming "planes, trains, and automobiles (and bus) tour" as Clinton and Gore did after their convention in 1992. If so, Bush has a real fight on his hands. Although he'll be back on the campaign trail immediately, it will be a month until the Republicans hold their convention and can present their case to the voters in the same spotlighted way. That's a month during which crowds and enthusiasm for Kerry and Edwards could build.

But Kerry has a history of letting energy give way to lethargy and the campaign has a long way to go.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:09 am [link]
Uprising. If you missed
Hugh Hewitt's piece yesterday, please stop now and go and read it. Hewitt nails what in my opinion are the two most dramatic, unreported trends in the country: 1) the Dems are so far left that they are feeding on their own propaganda, deceiving themselves that their enthusiasm mirrors the party and the country, and 2) much of the rest of the people in the country - particularly those in the middle - are beginning to recognize this and are distancing themselves from it. The more hate speech, the more hysteria, the more irrational accusations and ridiculous charges against the president the better it will be for him (and the country) in November.

One of the things that ultimately got Bill Clinton reelected I'm convinced was the supportive nature of Americans for those - including domestic sources - who are too harsh in their criticism of the president. They respect the office more than teh accusers do, and they like to help the underdog. GWB seems in effect to be an incumbent underdog. IF he comes out strong and frank - something both the president and the vice excell at - as Hewitt recommends I think it will unnerve both Kerry and Edwards in the debates. They are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts. And no two people know the issues better than GWB and Dick Cheney.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:08 am [link]
Under the Radar. With all the preoccupation in America about Democratic conventions and celebrity trials we may have missed a significant event in Northeast Asia. In a series of secret flights from an 'unnamed Southeast Asian nation' more than 450 North Korean defectors and refugees have been flown to South Korea. Apparently they escaped from North Korea through China then crossed the Chinese border into a neutral refuge (my guess: Vietnam). It is an amazing story that deserves to be told but will probably be shrouded in secrecy. At one level, we need to keep the ways and means classified so that they will not compromise possible on going refugee escape programs. But on the other the South Korean government is very antsy about accepting these people and hopes to low-profile the event. That they took in so many speaks well of them, however, and may portent a shifting policy toward refugees.

Plagued in the past by policies that favored accommodation with North Korea at the expense of the poor souls who had escaped, the South Korean record was checkered at best. If they are now willing to accept willingly the predictable hysterical threats from an enraged North Korea it may mean a rediscovery of moral backbone in the South Korean government and a more hopeful future for North Korean escapees. We will continue to watch.

[7/29/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:48 am [link]
Bounce? Judging from the focus group results on MSNBC, audience reaction for the Edwards speech is falling far short of what the Kerry team had to have been hoping for. Words like "insincere" and "too young" and "naive" and "impractical" were being thrown around -- in fact, out of the box, none of the people consulted had a positive word to describe the Edwards speech.

Why? It seems puzzling -- as they gave the speech high marks for content and high marks for delivery . . . it's just the overall impression that seems lacking. Here's my theory: Edwards spoke just a little bit too fast -- and that, combined (fairly or not) with his Southern accent, unconsciously made people think of a small-town huckster . . . someone just a little too glib and just a little less than honest. Looks again like the big Edwards bounce isn' t materializing.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:07 am [link]
Wednesday Nite: Predictably, John Edwards' speech is drawing raves. Personally, I think Barack Obama last night was far superior. But no one can deny that the Democrats are ambitious. They're going to "give [us]" tax breaks for health care (love that terminology -- when it's our money, after all) and otherwise make the world better. Apparently, most our problems abroad can be solved by regaining "respect" in the world. No one seems able to explain how that will make recalcitrant counties decide to send soldiers to Iraq or otherwise change their behavior. Maybe we're relying on Senator Kerry's charm???

One more thought -- Senator Edwards of course works hard to create a sense of optimism. This is effective, as far as it goes -- Ronald Reagan was a consistent optimist. But what comes across as optimism in an older, seasoned candidate can run the risk of looking like naivete, when it's voiced by a guy who looks as young as Senator Edwards. And underlying his so-called hopeful vision seems to be a firm conviction that most of America is barely scraping by, and desperately in need of government help. How did he succeed then? Is he just that much better than the ordinary person?

Gotta love Al Sharpton! He threw out his vetted speech and his 6-minuted time limit, to rant for 20 minutes. The enthusiastic response (notably lacking when Edwards voiced support for the Iraq mission) shows where the Democratic rank and file's heart truly lies.

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 12:05 am [link]
Top 10 Quotes Overheard at the Democratic Convention:

10: "Make sure Howard Dean's speech doesn't go long. I promised we'd get him back to the asylum in an hour." - Bill Richardson

9: "Would someone phone Jack Ryan in Illinois and find out where those sex clubs are." - Bill Clinton

8: "Point me to the foreign press. I can say 'shove it' in five languages." - Teresa Heinz Kerry

7: "Of course I'm not jealous of Teresa, just because I suggested that Ted Kennedy drive her home." - Hillary Clinton

6: "I'm going to sue whoever took my teething ring." - John Edwards

5: "I just spotted Sandy Berger stuffing an 8 X 10 glossy of Jennifer Granholm down his pants." - A Security Guard

4: "Before I go out to the podium, are you sure it was checked for killer rabbits?" - Jimmy Carter

3: "Maybe they'll like me more if I get switched to an earthtone straightjacket." - Al Gore

2: "What's a toxic waste dump doing in the Fleet Center? Oh I'm, sorry, it's just Michael Moore." - A Fire Inspector

1: "...and this latest Purple Heart is for living with Teresa." - John Kerry

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:03 am [link]
He Doesn't Get It. Finally on with O'Reilly, consumate propagandist Michael Moore kept repeating the question 'Would you want someone's son to die for Fallujah?' as if the only conceivable answer - 'no' - would cement his indictment against the war. Step back historically and ask 'would you want someone's son to die for Normandy? For Pork Chop Hill? For Gettysburg?' Of course not.

His tangential query ignores the real question and the real issue: would we be willing to sacrifice for the freedom and security of America? The way to do that is not by dying for a place but for an ideal. No soldier marched forward to die for geography but most understand the larger issues involved: a free, budding democracy in Iraq makes America more secure than having in place a vengeful, power-hungry dictator who supports terrorists and is a major human rights violator. The people of Iraq, allowed to select their own leaders will act as a role model for other countries in the Middle East. The spread of democracy over time is the best safety insurance we can have. The troops get it.

Demonstrating further disconnect Moore sneered at the idea of promoting democracy through military action, seemingly making the odd claim that only if 'the people rise up' is it a real democracy. Perhaps Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and a long line of others aren't 'real' democracies in Moore's book. More's the pity.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
In memory of PFC Scott Vallely... PFC Scott Vallely was killed in special forces training. His father, Major General (Ret) Paul E. Vallely, is a commentator on Fox and a friend. Click here to visit the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund Web Site to learn more.

[7/28/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:02 am [link]
Hear me now, believe me later. It's been clear for a while that Barack Obama was going to be important -- very important -- for the Democratic Party, and he came through with a speech and delivery that can only be characterized as impressive. He is VERY far left, and always has been. But it would be unfair to give him less than his due. His ideas are wrong, but the way he expressed them and the evident thought and preparation that went into them is characteristic, and does command respect. Who knows? Perhaps having a worthy adversary like Barack is good for the Republican Party -- it forces us to articulate our ideas without having a serial fabricator like Bill Clinton or nutjobs like Al Gore or Howard Dean to play off. Barack is already referring jokingly to himself as "the guy with the funny name." You'll hear that lighthearted formulation again -- when he's on a national ticket, that is.

One doesn't have to be a fan of Teresa Heinz Kerry to have felt a real twinge of poignancy at the end of her speech, as she stood with two of her sons. For a moment, as the three of them stood together on the platform, one could almost see a look of palpable sadness cross their faces. It had to be truly bittersweet for them to be standing as the family of a presidential nominee -- just not the one they had always hoped for. And yes, it was sad. One does wonder if any of them ever consider how ironic it is that a center-right Republican's money is being used to subsidize the ambitions of a far-left Democrat. It somehow doesn't seem quite true to the memory of the deceased -- a little bit like a dead President's son exploiting his famous name to ingratiate himself with a bunch of people who trashed his father in the most unkind and dishonest way.

Yes, sometimes the apple apparently falls far -- very far -- from the tree. Ronald P. Reagan couldn't even be honest . . . he claimed his speech was non-political. Then why give it at a political convention -- thereby politicizing an issue that he characterizes as non-political? There's certainly some "prioritizing" been done: Ron Reagan's career first, stem cells second, loyalty to his father dead last. How terribly contemptible. . . one doesn't have to be in agreement with him on the stem cell issue to recognize that he's set his purported "cause" back light years by his selfishness and lack of family pride.

As for Teddy K, what is there to say? Somehow he managed to bellow his way through the speech, even if he had a little trouble with the word "suburb." More tomorrow -- if we can survive it.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
Bottom of the Cage. Fighting hard to reinforce its long-held title as 'Best Newspaper with which to Line a Birdcage' USA Today banned Ann Coulter from its pages while cheerfully accepting Michael Moore. The two were originally to be juxtaposed, commenting on the Dem Convention. To say 'odd couple' is not to begin to capture the dimensions of the pairing. Nevertheless, readers of USA Today (if any) will be deprived of the rapier wit, biting sarcasm and x-ray analysis of Coulter while being bludgeoned by the heavy-handed (and bodied) Moore. More's the loss. (Sorry 'bout that.)

This rather cowardly editorial decision will only bolster Coulter's already stellar reputation among her fans, among whom I count myself a member. USA Today's base of traveling businessmen, hapless tourists and other unfortunates to whom the USA Cage Liner is distributed without charge in hotels, motels and houses of ill repute, will probably not notice, they being properly fixated on the! weather page that will show them where the longest flight delays will occur.

[7/27/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:02 am [link]
Here's a handy rundown of last night's speeches: What is there to say about a party that embraces Jimmy Carter's ponderous ponderings on foreign policy -- after his disastrous imbroglios during his term with the hostages, the failed rescue attempt, the repudiation of friends and his embrace of America's foes? And there he is, posing as an expert!

Time has not been kind to President Carter. He is an old, embittered man, whose slurs and charges directed at President Bush are unworthy of his position. He charged President Bush without any evidence of being AWOL (after looking the other way at Bill Clinton). He accuses President Bush of misleading the country -- after no fewer than four different reports have cleared the President of any wrongdoing (2 English, 2 American). And he thinks that a bipartisan emphasis on human rights is what won the Cold War. Note to Pres. C: It was the SDI and President Reagan, sir. He deserves to be where he's ending up -- on the lower tier of failed presidents.

Hillary Clinton's speech was forgettable -- though she did look nice in yellow. She's biding her time, and was smart enough not to alienate Democrats by showing off. It's called keeping your powder dry.

Then there was Bill. He's a slick one -- but again, what can anyone say about the values of a party that embraces a President who lied under oath, was impeached, lied to his Cabinet and his country, got a blowjob from an intern while discussing foreign affairs (no pun intended) on the phone, etc. etc. etc.? It's image over substance, baby. And Clinton has the nerve to assert that he led America through days of "peace, prosperity and promise." Well, the peace was paid for with the blood spilled at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and a Pennsylvania field; the prosperity was a bubble from which the economy is still recovering; and the "promise" was nothing more than the offer of an irresponsible holiday from history -- that President Bush has had to clean up. And I think the American people know it.

I'm with Zell Miller, writing yesterday in the Wall Street Journal -- "Y'All Wait for New York."

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
Watch the Edges: No matter what you think about Dick Morris personally he is a consummate Clinton political analyst. No one in the business today knows the Clintons as well as he does. I would take his analysis to the bank that despite outward smiley faces there is zero motivation for the Clintons to see a Kerry victory. If Kerry wins they lose control of the party, the DNC, funding and visibility. Hillary sinks to number 3 or lower in party hierarchy. Ouch. If Hillary is going to run in front in '08 it has to be as a white knight saving a sinking Democrat party, not against an incumbent. How better to do that than to tank Kerry now? And, by the way, include Edwards. That relieves them of having a viable competitor to HRC in '08. It can't be overt. Not that the sycophantic press would comment even if HRC emasculated Kerry on stage (although that metaphor may not work: Theresa seems to have beaten her to it). The axe job needs to be at sufficient arm's length that! Clinton fingerprints won't be lifted but efficient enough to guarantee a Bush re-election. This is no easy goal even for consummate politicians like the Clintons with a pocket full of press. Could the Berger thing be a precursor? There are wheels within wheels in something like this. Call me paranoid but sometimes even paranoid people are being followed. It is enough to make one a conspiracy theorist. But if we define political power as a limited, valuable commodity who better to play the commodities market than Hillary? They've got about 100 days to drop the refrigerator on John Kerry's head. Will they pull it off? Will we recognize it when it happens?

[7/26/04 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:08 am [link]
Creating a Minority Candidate: Who was missing from the John Kerry search for Vice Presidential candidate? If you guessed 'minorities', your a winner! There were no blacks considered, no latinos, no latinas, no women or any other minority. The end result for John Kerry and the 'McCauliffe Democrats'...a rich, white guy from the south!

So what's next? How do you spin this at the convention? I got 'create a minority' on the ticket. Look at Sunday's SF Chronicle piece, here she is, Elizabeth Edwards...the new minority candidate for the Democrat ticket.

Not only are the Dems willing to play the 'create a minority card', but they want to attack the Republicans on 'who picks the better political wives' issue.

Kerry advisor, Garry South said, "A guy who marries a woman that's tough and smart, it says something about their confidence," said South, (also the former senior adviser to Democratic Gov. Gray Davis), "Kerry and Edwards didn't have to marry a frumpy librarian from Midland, Texas, to feel like somebody."

Get ready for the Dems to make an issue about Elizabeth Edwards being the 'Hillary Clinton of the John-John ticket'.

The reason for the stretch:

(1) This covers up the ignoring of Hillary as the VP choice, and as a convention speaker - yeah right!

(2) This offers a woman other than Teresa, who is out of the realm of normal for any campaign for any Democrat ticket.

(3) This attack's Laura Bush's 'domestic image' with a career, professional like Elizabeth Edwards...the next best thing to Hillary.

(4) With the death of their 16 year-old son, the party can USE (they have made this an issue, not me!) Elizabeth's life struggles, the same way they used Tipper Gore's 'mental illness' as a heart wrenching crutch for emotional votes and support.

(5)And get ready, (again the Democrats have brought it up first), Elizabeth's weight will be an issue too. She can relate to the average woman in America. She is married to a gorgeous man in John, (so says Teresa), and she is just so average. Every woman can create a fantasy here...and John can play this to his favor...look, he could have had anyone, but he chose to 'settle' for Elizabeth...what a couple and what a man he is!

[7/23/04 Friday]

[Streetsweeper] 5:18 am [link]
The New York Times is going to pink slip all reviewers! That’s right, all film, book, music, and art critics are getting the axe! At least that’s what the editorial page must be calling for based on their "Deperadoes" Op-Ed re: the Ronstadt episode in Vegas. The Times is quite upset at the reaction of the casino audience...

"This behavior assumes that Ms. Ronstadt had no right to express a political opinion from the stage. It implies - for some members of the audience at least - that there is a philosophical contract that says an artist must entertain an audience only in the ways that audience sees fit. It argues, in fact, that an artist like Ms. Ronstadt does not have the same rights as everyone else."

Hmm... It seems to me that the Times is saying is that the artist has a right to speak without consequence. The artist must not suffer for challenging “only the ways that audience sees fit.” Clearly this means that there is no place for criticizing artists. The Times should be cleaning house and throwing out all their nasty staff critics who pass judgment on artist. The critic must keep opinions to himself/herself because surely the performer is not obligated to perform “only in the ways critics see fit” and should be free of criticism. Right?

[7/21/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:03 am [link]
Bergerized: So Bill Clinton and his cohorts have been "all laughing about" the investigation into Sandy Berger's taking classified terrorism documents from the National Archives. Admittedly, it's somewhat amusing to think of a former National Security Advisor talking about how he "inadvertently" removed classified documents -- when he had to shove them down his pants and into his socks in an effort to evade detection. But Clinton's remark just illustrates the cavalier attitude of Democrats toward national security matters in general. Clinton goes on to assure one and all "how much he [Berger] cared about this ... terrorism business." This terrorism "business"??? What's next? Talking about that "Osama bin Laden person," or "that 9/11 thingie"?

Berger isn't the first to find it hard to hold on to secret material. Remember how it came out that ex-Clinton CIA Chief John Deutsch had held onto CIA computers packed to the gills with classified information? Or Patrick Leahy having to resign from the Senate Intelligence Committee after it came out that he had leaked a confidential report to an NBC reporter back in the days of Iran-Contra?

Why is it that Dems have such disrespect for classified materials? Seems to indicate that they just don't take the underlying national security issues seriously.

Here's the message, and it can't be repeated often enough: Democrats just can't be trusted with America's national security.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:01 am [link]
Safeguarding Classified Material. Regardless of how this affair with former-NSA Berger is being spun by his defenders it is not simply 'sloppy,' 'careless,' or 'something everyone does.' Nor can it be fatuously dismissed as a 'matter of timing' as David Gergen tried to characterize it, nor is it some 'vast right wing conspiracy' designed to get Berger or the Democrats, to revive an old favorite excuse of Hillary Clinton. This action cannot be swept under the rug as if Berger were an absent-minded professor handling an overdue manscript or last year's exam papers. In government circles this could easily be determined to fall into the 'high crimes' category.

I have had colleagues in the Pentagon whose careers have been severely damaged because they failed to lock up a single classified document securely. Not that they removed them then lost them - that would have resulted in a career-fatal efficiency report at best and quite likely a court-martial or administrative punishment. Nixon aide Chuck Colson was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison because of pilfering a single document. We may be talking about many here. This affair needs to be fully investigated in an open manner - something highly unlikely in this charged election atmosphere unfortunately. It also must be pointed out that regardless of party or position one simply does not play fast and loose with highly classified material, particularly material that may have a direct effect on national security.

All CRO readers need to keep their collective eyes on the doughnut here and not the hole. Berger defenders will try to change the focus but we have on our hands a very, very serious security violation that may in fact be of a felony level. First we need to see what was done and how, then discover if possible what documents if any were 'discarded.' But we must not let ourselves be lulled into thinking that this is a routine occurrence or minor infraction. This is not party specific: it is tampering with classified documents in time of war. Watch this space for more to come.

[7/20/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:04 am [link]
I dunno, they must've jumped in my pocket: Just as the newspapers had almost succeeded in distracting our attention from Kerry advisor Joe Wilson's manifold lies, new details emerge about Kerry advisor Sandy Berger, Clinton's head of the NSC. It appears that, in the course of reviewing classified materials before appearing for the 9/11 commission, Mr. Berger "inadvertently" thrust some handwritten notes down his pants -- and some classified documents into his briefcase.

Whoops! Now the documents are missing.Moral of the story: Democrats simply can't be trusted with national security. They don't take it seriously -- and for them, it's just a means to an end, i.e. domestic political power. Because they don't have confidence in America's ultimate goodness, they have no conviction that it's important to pursue U.S. interests in the world -- even when those interests first and foremost include keeping Americans alive.

The next time anyone calls President Bush "reckless" -- let's remind them: Lying about Iraq's interest and ability to obtain uranium to make nuclear weaponry is reckless. Sneaking classified documents out of secured locations -- and then "losing" them? That's reckless, too. 'Nuf said.

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
Kennedy on Taxes: Bill Federer, a candidate for Congress in St. Louis, Missouri, has taken the time to compile a list of quotes worth considering. They are all statements by President John F. Kennedy about taxes. Reading them reminds me just how far this country has shifted in the last 40 years. JFK was a Democrat, but looking at these statements, I am forced to wonder if he would fit into the Democrat party of 2004. Consider these two: “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced Federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education, and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the Federal Government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” - John F. Kennedy, September 18, 1963, Radio & Television Address to the Nation on the Tax Reduction Bill "The present tax codes... inhibit the mobility and formation of capital, add complexities and inequities which undermine the morale of the taxpayer, and make tax avoidance rather than market factors a prime consideration in too many economic decisions." - John F. Kennedy, January 23, 1963, Special Message to Congress on Tax Reduction and Reform. Visit this link to see all the quotes. [Leonard Letter 7/20]

[7/19/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 9:45 am [link]
No Cheaters:Congratulations to Hugh Hewitt -- whose book "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat" hit #1 on Amazon's Non-fiction list last Saturday (that's the day I bought some -- but not THAT many!). Today it's at #6 -- so you know what to do. It will be interesting to see if the spectacular Amazon sales numbers encourage the big bookstores to stock it where we can find it!

[Streetsweeper] 5:18 am [link]
Panties in a Twist: Oh, dear. The Democrats in the Legislature are outraged! Outraged! How dare the Governor say, "If they don't have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, 'I don't want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers, and I want them to make the millions of dollars - if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men...” He’s sexist! He’s anti-gay! He’s anti-transsexual! He’s anti-bisexual!... And he nailed them. They are not the party of the people, they are the party of their own elitist lust for power. - The kitchen light went on and the cockroaches are scattering... Well, at least the girlie-cockroaches...

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:15 am [link]
Never Forget This: Chants of 'we'll never forget!' have dominated recent Hate Bush rallies starring leading Democrats and their Hollywood and entertainment industry groupies. They continue to perpetuate the myth of having the 2000 election stolen in Florida. Some urban legends never die. This one casts Democrats as victims and is therefore especially appealing and useful to their purpose. But there are things that we must remember and others we need to let go. Certainly urban legends such as the Florida election ought to be debunked and properly forgotten. Others like the September 11, 2001 attack on America need to be remembered in all their vivid horror. We need to refresh our sense of anger and focus of purpose by scenes of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon pouring smoke. We need to recall the utter despair that made our fellow citizens choose between burning to death or jumping from a window one hundred stories in the air. Can any of us really imagine what must go through people's minds as they are forced to make that terrible decision? It is important to remember who forced those kinds of choices on Americans: the Islamic, fascist terrorists.

Neither can we confuse forgiving with forgetting. Forgiveness is important to us as human beings. But Christian forgiveness does not mean dismissal, abrogation of responsibility or arbitrary forgetfulness. Actions have consequences and people must be held accountable for their actions. Our citizens and our nation must be protected. Those are givens. And in order to protect ourselves it is critical that we recognize what is false and what is real in our lives. Tying our fate to an already debunked myth is silly. Denying the existence of a deadly threat is suicidal. This is the choice we must make in Election 2004.

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
Hypocrisy on Display: There are certain issues that distinguish political parties from one another and help detail the political spectrum. For example, Democrats are typically viewed as "pro-labor." One need look no farther than their recent advocacy for an increase in California’s minimum wage. So, ask yourself which party in Sacramento is making a big stink about the contracts negotiated with the state’s Correctional workers. In a fit of hypocrisy, the Senate Democrats have signed a letter saying they will not pay the Correctional workers what their contract spells out. If the Republicans were to object to a particular labor contract and refuse to support a legal, valid, negotiated labor contract, Democrats would be spitting bullets, but not this contract and not this time. If the Senate Democrats wanted to be intellectually honest about this exercise, they would say that the state’s fiscal crisis requires the state to re-examine the contracts for all employee unions. However, singling out one union and unilaterally disallowing their contract reeks of a political agenda beyond a labor issue. [Leonard Letter 7/16]

[7/16/04 Friday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:08 am [link]
Close Election Loss Equals Stolen Election! I've been saying for over a year now..."touch screen voting" will be the death to our 'valued voting process' in America. And this is exactly what the liberals want...they have created this 'voting disenfranchisement debate since 2000, screaming over 'votes not counted'. Then DC went into high gear trying to re-invent the process so we can vote without a single over or under vote ballot - get real!

This is all an organized strategy to convince America that a close election does NOT produce a real every Democrat loss - that is close in the final count - is really a stolen election by the Republican Party!

[7/15/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:45 am [link]
The Kerry Sleep Aid: John Kerry just finished declaiming to the NAACP, and the response, though warm, was hardly overwhelming. Donna Brazile had said that Kerry needed to hit this speech out of the park, and it's hard to argue that it happened. Even the people on the podium looked like they were about to catch the Dreamland Express.

What's interesting is the extent to which Kerry was willing to take the low road, remarking on the President's absence -- an absence that was clearly justified, giving the outrageous aspersions that have been cast on him by NAACP leader Julian Bond. Kerry insists that the President should be willing to speak to anyone -- so okay. Is he willing to go address a major right-to-life convention? How about the Christian Coalition? Let's someone ask him and see.

[Streetsweeper] 7:02 am [link]
Clarity: In a post this morning Carol Liebau wonders if the energy behind the marriage amendment was to help make it clear to the voting public just how NOT conservative John Kerry is... I agree... Every Senator had to make a commitment as to where they stood. Who clearly on what side of the spectrum and who’s in the squishy middle... Oh... And two Progressive guys who are desperately trying to portray themselves as “mainstream” weasled out of the vote. Hmm... Although, I think that the debate behind FMA was certainly to sort out the forces – the most strategic use of the vote will probably be as a hammer against the notion of “activist judges” and that if America is to be ruled not by the law, but by judges, then vote Democratic...

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 6:14 am [link]
Shrinking base: Barack Obama, Senate candidate in Illinois, is slated to deliver a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. Obama, who was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, represents a huge step up from the tired old model of black leadership exemplified by Jesse Jackson, who delivered the same old tired pile of platitudes at the 2000 convention. And he is much smarter than Teddy Kennedy, who is also speaking that evening.

And yes, Obama was clearly singled out and chosen in part to model the Democrats supposed commitment to diversity (racial, not ideological, of course). But his appearance is also designed to galvanize the African American community, which is by no means delighted by the Kerry candidacy. Polls last month showed support for Kerry at about 79% among blacks; overwhelming, yes, but nothing near the 90% that Gore got in 2000. Doubtless southerner John Edwards was perceived to add a southern touch to the ticket that party insiders thought might appeal to African Americans, but the ticket's "dead cat bounce" couldn't have been reassuring.

Kerry simply doesn't have the appeal that Clinton, and even Gore, had in the African American electorate. His "stature" there is reminiscent of yet another Massachusetts liberal (though one with, at least, some executive experience) -- Michael Dukakis. And whatever the downside of debating the marriage amendment, it does serve to raise serious doubts about the Democratic nominee in the socially conservative, religious segment of the black community. So there may be some method in the Republican "madness" in raising the amendment this week.

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:02 am [link]
Iraq's Leader Asserts Strongman Powers
Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, just ten days after the coalition transferred sovereignty to his government, yesterday announced new emergency powers. The laws permit him to detain those deemed security risks, impose curfews, and order house-to-house searches. But he can do so only with the approval of the president and both vice presidents and for only limited periods of time.

Comments: (1) This is another indication of what the Washington Post calls Allawi's "single-minded focus on issues of security."

At his first cabinet meeting, Allawi kept the discussion centered on ways to combat a tenacious insurgency that has wracked this nation. His first public appearance after his appointment was at a military recruiting center. His first out-of-town trip was to an Iraqi army base. And his first official order, announced Wednesday, was a new national security decree allowing him to exercise broad powers of martial rule in rebel strongholds.

Allawi seems to understand that he needs to take control of the country before anything else can happen, including democratization, economic development, and cultural revival, and that is welcome news.

(2) This step is in keeping with the wishes of the Iraqi body politic, as expressed in poll results from Oxford Research International:

Democracy vs. the Strong Man

  • Iraqis remain committed to democracy but as security worsens many are asking for the strong man for now
  • Democracy is the most popular political option for the long-term (5 years). Iraqis say democracy will bring freedom, equality and justice
  • In the short-term, however, Iraqis want a strong man to sort out security, take control of the country and keep the nation together

I am gratified by these polling results, which show that the Iraqi public wants democracy but understands it is not immediately attainable.

[7/14/04 Wednesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:02 am [link]
The Democrats Fear Factor What is it about the "local government funding" that has the Democrats sideways in Sacramento? Of course, it has to do with future taxes for entitlement spending!

Simply put, the liberals want to keep their 'fear factor' in place for future budget and tax battles with Governor Schwarzenegger. If the Dems agree to let the local governments keep their own tax dollars, without the 'theft from the left', then where do the liberals go to scare people into supporting tax increases?

Follow me here, when Democrats spend too much money, they call that a 'state budget emergency'. The next time we have an 'emergency' the liberal Democrats want to be able to pull money (steal) it from local cities and counties in California. This will cut funding for police and fire protection...and who wants that, right?

By supporting this budget and allowing the local governments to keep and be protected from the Democrat's 'emergencies', the liberals will have shortened themselves leverage to scare senior citizens and uninformed citizens by using the 'fear factor'. Lock your city coffers and local wallets people of California and support the Governor's budget proposal immediately!

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:01 am
Riordan's Righteous Results? The entire state (as well as the nation on The Drudge Report) has been force fed the gaffe of Educational Secretary, Richard Riordan's "Isis Moment" this week.

Yes, Riordan was wrong for 'jokingly' offering his, "dirty, little, stupid girl" comment in Santa Barbara.

He displayed a poor lack of judgment and another sign of 'diminishing skills'. But Riordan has been true to the heat. He quickly offered a personal apology to the little girl and her mother, as well as statewide apology for his inappropriate insult.

But the real fun (gaffe) comes from California's NAACP President Alice Huffman.

The NAACP was brought into the 'incident' when Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally (D-Los Angeles) thought the little girl was black and attacked by Riordan because of her race. After finding out that his premise was in error (and that Isis is white), Dymally pulled out of his protest an embraced Riordan's apology, forgiving him...I guess you can't defend a white little girl from rude comments!

So the NAACP had to save face and they decided to stay in the hunt and make a demand that Riordan be removed for his eternal sin.

But isn't it funny how things in life - and politics - come around? The NAACP had a similar situation over the "n-word" about two years back, and in that case they defended the speaker and hugged his emotional apology.

Yesterday, the California Chair of the NAACP, Alice Huffman, was contacted by a listener to my show (1380 KTKZ) and reminded of her (and the NAACP) defense of Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante's dropping of the "n-word" at an African-American gathering two years ago in the Bay Area. Huffman replied, "Cruz never admitted or believed he used that word and I believed him."

Notice the nice dance by the NAACP President here, 'Cruz never admitted nor believed he used the n-word.' Nice stuff these liberal Democrats. Relative thinking for relative ethics...and this from the party of John Kerry and 'values'?

In the end, I'm hearing that this recent gaffe will cost Riordan his standing as Educational Secretary for California. He has NOT been asked to step down by the Governor, but there is increasing pressure within the administration to seek a different direction and run from these reoccurring 'diminishing skills'...might be a good idea, sorry to say!

[7/13/04 Tuesday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 11:55 am [link]
Postpone This. Who fabricated this straw man about postponing a US election in case of terrorist attack? Stuff and nonsense. It will soon be an LA/NY Times article of faith, I suspect. Even some characteristically balanced and reasonable commentators are speaking seriously about 'contingency planning' for a delay in case of attack. In several cases they refer to a New York City election that was delayed due to the September 11 attack. It was not a mayoral contest but a second-tier election of considerably less profile. An attack that would precipitate a postponement or delay of a US presidential election is an entirely different matter. The cause and effect would be touted by the terrorists a victory and would in fact be a psychological win. Even on a contingency basis the president would be acting properly to reject the notion of a postponement out of hand. To do so demonstrates not only American resolve but the reality of the situation: we are not going to allow any outsiders to influence out elections. These terrorists receive enough encouragement from vacillating wimps like the Socialist government of Spain and the usual gang of appeasers. We need to slam the door on such talk and more importantly on any mindset that infers or implies that these scum are going to intimidate us in any way.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:04 am [link]
Leverage FMA: The United States Senate has been debating the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Reportedly, it does not yet have the votes needed to pass in its present form. Even so, the debate will at least force wafflers like the Johns (Edwards and Kerry) onto the record. Once that's done, there's another, related issue that the Senate should address, perhaps through the vehicle of a Sense of the Senate resolution: The fact that gay marriage is an issue that should be addressed by the legislature -- not the courts. Forcing a vote on this question would smoke out all the liberals who are justifying their vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment on the grounds that the gay marriage matter should be left to the states. Let's see how many of these newly-minted, left-wing federalists come down on the side of the people's representatives -- rather than unelected judges -- to pass the laws governing society's most important relationship.

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:02 am [link]
A Surreal U.K. Debate over "Stop and Searches"
In an article titled "Muslims decry rise in police searches," the Guardian reports that British Muslim groups

accused the police of harassment after Home Office figures showed a 300% rise [in 2002-03] in the number of Asians subjected to stop and search techniques under anti-terror laws. … Muslim leaders immediately decried the figures as proof of "Islamophobia" in the wake of the September 11 2001 attacks. The government admitted the figures were "frustrating" as they suggested that changes in procedures had not addressed racial imbalances.

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said that the government was launching an action group to look at the way stop and search powers were used by police, and that from next April forces would be required to record the reason for all stop and searches. "We do think that the disproportionality is too high and we need to make sure that our police forces are using these powers properly."

An independent member of the Metropolitan police authority, Abdal Ullah, commented: "The Muslim community have become a scapegoat. … What this is doing is alienating the Muslim youth."

Not to belabor the obvious, but is it irate Anglicans, extremist Buddhists, and frustrated Catholics who are engaged in a worldwide jihad? Or is it Muslims of a radical disposition? And if it is the latter, is it not right and necessary that this element of society should have to endure more "stop and searches" than the rest of the population?

Incidentally, the same Home Office figures find that 13 percent of stop and searches in 2002-03 resulted in an arrest, the same level as in 2001-02, when just one third the number of apprehensions were made. So, clearly, law enforcement has some idea of what it's doing.

[7/12/04 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:03 am [link]
Hugh Hewitt's New Book - Buy It Today!
Hugh Hewitt's new release has hit the shelves in Sacramento...just buy it, before the Democrat's get us all killed!

Hugh is one of the 'brightest political commentators' in America. Take it from someone who knows him on and off the air, he's the real deal and the book is a must read! He has been positioned for a time such as this.

In Hewitt's new work, "If It's Not Close They Can't CHEAT", He offers the simple truth to why Republicans must win every election to save this country from the enemies that hate us. I'm already 'half the distance' through the bright red book that should remind all readers of the alarm that lies ahead if we grow apathetic in the 'war on terrorism' and the cause of defending liberty in this country from those who would rather 'play politics' than 'lead by them'.

I can't encourage you enough, by the book - it is the game plan for the next three elections periods!

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 5:02 am [link]
No Spain Scenario: I'd love to get my hands around the neck of the idiot who floated the trial balloon about postponing the presidential election in the event of a terrorist attack. It not only sends a message to terrorists that our democracy can be subverted by such an assault, it almost invites one.

Rather than making sniveling sounds about how we would bow to terrorism vis a vis the election, the United States should make it clear that it will be held on November 2nd as scheduled, no matter what. If there's a nuclear holocaust and only Bush, Cheney, Kerry, Edwards and three voters are left alive, those three voters must be given the opportunity to cast their ballots on the appointed day. This is either America or it isn't. We either live by the Constitution or we don't.

It was bad enough that the last presidential election was decided by the Supreme Court, a terrible precedent. If the deadlocked election had followed its natural Constitutional course it would have been decided in the House of Representatives, where Bush would have won. Elected representatives would have and should have determined it. The Court should never have been involved. Now we're told that, for the second presidential election in a row, democracy may be derailed.

As if the country isn't divided enough now, with hatred and distrust sapping our energy, imagine the reaction of Democrats to a postponed election. It should be easy for Republicans to imagine -- many of us expected Bill Clinton to pull some trick to postpone the voting in 2000, and we reacted in horror to the possibility.

A postponed election should be out of the question. Living in what would be at the very least a temporary dictatorship with an un-reelected president must not happen if we are not to betray everything this country has stood for and fought for over the last 228 years. A postponed presidential election would make Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" look like a schoolyard noogie.

If terrorists are so stupid as to believe the U.S. will react the way Spain did to an attack, by ousting the ruling party, they're in for a huge surprise. In similar circumstances, U.S. voters will rally around the president to such an extent, Bush would probably win all 50 states. But it must happen on November 2nd, not later.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
Stahlling Kerry/Edwards: The new "it" couple of John Kerry and John Edwards offered their maiden national news interview to Leslie Stahl of "60 Minutes." It will be interesting to see how the relationship between the two men progresses . . .What was remarkable was how often and how consistently John Edwards would either interrupt or talk over John Kerry. Some of this doubtless is due to Edwards' excitement over his new place on the Democratic ticket, but one suspects that it may not play well over time with a candidate like Kerry, who has an ego as fat as his left-wing voting record.

And "60 Minutes" actually cut out one of the most revealing moments of the interview. "Face the Nation" this morning touted the "60 Minutes" interview, with a clip that included John Kerry interjecting at the end of John Edwards' response to a question: "May I answer that? I'M THE ONE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT" before going on to respond. By deleting the second quoted sentence, CBS helped lower John Kerry's impressively high score on the pomposity meter.

Predictably, neither Edwards nor Kerry would come out with a forthright answer when asked if, given the intelligence flaws documented by the Senate Intelligence Committee, they now regretted their vote for the war. Kerry tried to hedge, as usual, about how his vote wasn't a vote for war, it was merely a vote to authorize war in the right circumstances. (What??). Edwards tried to sum up by saying, "On the information we had, it was the right vote" -- something the President can quote, even as he adds all the ancillary benefits that the United States will reap.

Finally, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards were brought out at the end of the interview for a "double date" shot. What was remarkable is that John Kerry didn't even speak up until the last 30 seconds of the four-shot -- at least not the way the interview was edited. In an unintentionally hilarious (and honest) moment, John Edwards pointed at Teresa Heinz Kerry and said "This is the one we have to worry about telling everything." Wonder how the Kerrys felt about that.

[7/9/04 Friday]

[Jill Stewart - Columnist] 5:45 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Let's cut to the chase here, and that's how women will vote in November. If the big gender gap the Republicans have been suffering in elections continues, the womens' vote could be the single biggest reason why Kerry gets elected. Americans do not follow politics all that closely, even with the war in Iraq. A significant minority of very vaguely informed women still vote, in the 21st Century, for the "cute" politician for mayor, Congress or president. The Kennedy/Clinton Phenomenon could replay in November, with women, who overwhelmingly see John Edwards as "cute"--the topic of many radio show call-ins this week--voting for Kerry because he comes with a babe veep with a Crest smile who seems downright lovable. Even better, Edwards is a hunk who is married to a heavyset woman who dresses poorly in ill-fitting pantsuits with tight spandex tops ala the 1980's. This means Edwards is an instant hero to frumpy women voters who feel far too much pressure to be slim and fashionable, and last time I looked 30 percent or so of American women were overweight. Does any of my "cute factor" analysis have anything to do with political views, policy issues, or running the country? Of course not. Nevertheless, a small slice of the womens' vote now goes to John Edwards, and thus to Kerry. Can these female voters swing the election? If they make up more than 2 or 3 percent of voters, it's possible. Chalk one up for Kerry, because even though he would never admit the cute factor is part of his strategy, he knows full well that he has just put it into play.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 7:42 am [link]
The Flip Factor. Not the flip-flop factor - that's a topic for the future. This concerns the flip attitude that many in the DNC machine seem to have about an upcoming Edwards-Cheney debate. They are cracking their knuckles in eager anticipation for what they hope will be a slicing and dicing of the Haliburton-laden, personality-challenged VP by a razor-sharp, bubbling-over trial lawyer (with really great hair!). Even now the word is out in the DNC: Let the gloating begin.

Not smart based on two factors: one form, the other substance. On form the VP debates are, except for policy wonks, mostly a 'who cares' affair. In what had to be the most celebrated VP debate ever Lloyd Bensen caught Dan Quayle flatfooted with his 'I knew John Kennedy, and, sir, you are no John Kennedy," remark. Conventional wisdom chalked that one up to the devastating column. But it had no bearing on the election. So even if Edwards dances the light fantastic with trial lawyer tricks around Cheney including some notable-quotables, don't expect that to influence swing voters.

On the substance side Edwards could be waltzing into a chain saw. One problem many lefty Democrats have is that they believe their own propaganda. It is a liberal article of faith that Cheney is either a) incredibly stupid and corrupt, or b) malictiously Machiavellian, or, c) all of the above. It takes a real true believer to swallow C but if you say it often enough some will gulp it down. Cheney is of the mold of Caspar Weinberger, George Schultz and Don Rumsfeld. He is extremely bright, intensely focused and completely involved in core issues. He is articulate and communicative in a business-like, down to earth manner that people identify with, unlike the glib flippery of Edwards that makes attractive meringue soundbites but says nothing. Don't be surprised if Cheney blows Edwards away on fact and substance.

But it probably still won't change anyone's mind in November.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:52am [link]
Illegals: Yesterday, the John and Ken Show"on 640 KFI AM played clips of an interview with Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security – Department of Homeland Security (it was during the 6:00 hour -- you can switch over, after listening to Hugh Hewitt from 3-5 on 870 KRLA).

John Kobylt was giving Hutchinson a pretty tough time for the Department's failure to control illegal immigration in California. Perhaps the most important point that was brought up concerned the implications for homeland security, given that tens of thousands are entering the country without any kind of documentation whatsoever. Hutchinson's appearance on the show was apparently driven by the avalanche of angry emails he was receiving from Californians.

The entire episode is enough to make one wonder: What would the implications for Bill Jones' Senate campaign be -- if he were willing to make it clear, on the one hand, that he welcomes LEGAL Mexican immigrants, but opposes the current system that could potentially allow terrorists into the US and rewards line-jumpers at the expense of Mexicans who are trying to follow the law in coming here? He could ask Barbara Boxer what she thinks, too, particularly in light of John Kerry's most recent offer of amnesty to illegals.

Obviously, immigration issues have to be addressed with sensitivity to the millions of good, hardworking immigrants in California -- but it's time for someone to start talking about the tough issues.

[Brian Janiskee -Cal. State, San Bernardino & Claremont Institute] 5:51 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Kerry picked Edwards because the Democratic base has buyer's remorse. The base demanded that Kerry pick Edwards. Edwards is probably the most untested vice-presidential candidate in modern history. He was never the top candidate during the primary season and, therefore, did not have to endure much scrutiny on the hustings. Furthermore, Kerry made a classic blunder by picking someone who could potentially outshine him. Note that George W. Bush--not the most electric personality--picked someone with even less natural charisma. This was a smart move. (This is not to say that a polity should live on charisma alone. Leadership is far more complex than this.) At the end of the day, this election is about the President. It will be a referendum on the Bush presidency more than a contest between Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards. With that in mind, Kerry made a mistake. By selecting someone who has relatively little political experience, Kerry opened himself up to potential problems down the road that could make the contest something more than a referendum on Bush. The smart pick would have been Gephardt or a Bayh. The GOP should be thankful for their quality, or lack thereof, of their opponents.
Brian Janiskee, Associate Professor, Cal State, San Bernardino and Research Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

[7/8/04 Thursday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 7:35 am [link]
WMD: the OJ Effect. Geraldo Rivera commented recently that even a videotape of OJ committing the murders would probably not have convinced that criminal court jury to convict. Similarly it is unlikely that a videotape of Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Laden smoking cigars while making poison gas, toxins or nuclear weapons would be enough to stop the 'Bush lied about WMD' hysteria. Nevertheless, we need to be aware that evidence of these weapons abounds. In addition to David Kay's testimony that the R&D programs were much further advanced than we feared, we now have scores of sarin, mustard and other poison gas artillery shells uncovered and vials of deadly biological toxins. And, remember, a couple of little envelopes of anthrax almost shut us down for awhile. You don't need truckloads of this stuff. On top of everything else a startling but virtually ignored report released yesterday disclosed that 'tons' of radioactive material has been evacuated from Saddam's nuclear research facilities over the past weeks by US military scientists. While not a nuclear weapon per se, this material is ample to make an unlimited number of infamous 'dirty bombs' that would kill, maim and contaminate our people and cities.

At some point we need to recognize the fact that while national politics may be fun, national survival is essential. We've got to have the moral courage to separate the two and face facts as they are and not as we might like them to be so that we can deal with situational realities in a meaningful manner. Forget about John Edwards, the War on Terror is the single most critical issue in election 2004.

[Streetsweeper] 5:02 am [link]
Lawyerin' Terror: It makes perfect sense to me that John Edwards is the running mate pick for John Kerry... Why? Because this is the lawyerin' dream team for battling terrorism.

Remember back in the primary debates?... South Carolina... Here’s how Kerry laid out his vision for taking on the terrorists... He called the Bush strategy “..clear exaggeration...” And Kerry’s clear-eyed insight for combating terror? “'s primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation...” Hey! Law enforcement... That’s the Clinton strategy!!! He had Janet Reno in charge of the “law enforcement against terror.” He wants to bring back those heady times... Hooray!

And John Edwards? He's the perfect partner for lawyerin’ the terrorists to death. What better one-two punch could there be? A former prosecutor and a former trial lawyer leading the world in the Subpoena on Terror...

Civilization can rest easy knowing the rule of lawyers will defeat terror. Who needs an army when a simple arrest warrant will do?

[Joe Armendariz - columnist ] 5:01 am [link]
Memo to: Jude Wanniski
From: Joe Armendariz
Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen

"Congratulations on being selected by Senator Kerry as his vice-presidential running mate. I'd frankly hoped he would choose others on the list being circulated, but I do hope you will be a help to his candidacy, as I am actively considering voting for the Democratic ticket this year for the first time since 1964." [Jude Wanniski - 6/7/04]

So, let's get this straight...

I know you are a former Democrat, but you are also the inventor of supply-side economics. How is it, then, that you are actively considering supporting a presidential ticket where both candidates oppose lowering marginal tax-rates, both believe deficits cause recessions, both believe inflation is caused by too many people working, both are opposed to any kind of meaningful tort reform and at least one of them boasts about his consistent, across the board, opposition to any and all free-trade agreements?

Oh yeah, of course, I almost forgot; it's because GWB had the audacity to invade Iraq. Something President Clinton talked a lot about, but didn't have the time to do in between all of his depositions for alleged sexual misconduct. But wait, didn't Kerry and Edwards vote for the war in Iraq and then vote against funding it? Wow, that's what I call leadership.

You're also a lifelong Catholic. You've written so eloquently about your father and the guidance he provided you in learning about your faith. And yet, you're actively considering supporting a ticket that is not only pro-abortion but is also opposed to banning a hideous procedure called partial-birth abortion? Something the late, great Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) called infanticide?

Moreover, you are an expert on the economics of oil and the Democrat boogeyman known as global-warming. Indeed, your articles, on both subjects, have been inspiring in their ability to both inform and expose the ignorance and hypocrisy of the Democrat-left. And yet, you are actively considering supporting a presidential ticket where both candidates have a voting record demonstrating knee-jerk sympathies for environmental extremism? This is just another ism that does nothing but promote public policies that are de-facto anti-oil, industrial-sector job-creation, affordable housing and, therefore, defacto anti-minority-family.

IN fact, the environmentalism John Kerry and John Edwards subscribe too belongs on the trash heap of history, right along with communism, socialism, fascism and apartheidism.

This Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis presidential ticket is a disgrace and indicative of the decay and moral bankruptcy of the modern Democrat Party. And this is the year you are actively considering coming home? Oh, Jude, how the mighty have fallen. Please say it ain't so.

[7/7/04 Wednesday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:04 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Don't Mean Nuthin' Since John F. Kerry is fond of recalling Vietnam (did you know, by the way, that he commanded a small river boat in that war?) it may be appropriate to recall a vintage Vietnam expression when analyzing his selection of candidate for vice president. Whether it was a short round, lost comrade or a hot beer the universal GI comment in Vietnam about any news - good or bad - was 'don't mean nuthin'.' Considering that the media is breathless about what amounts to a hair dressers' competition at the top of the Democratic ticket it seems completely in character to question a possible Edwards contribution. The economy is booming, there may be 'two Americas' but not anything to resonate on a major scale with the tired class warfare Edwards brings to the table. One issue alone is going to trump in November: who do you feel safer having guard the country, GWB or JFK? VP? Don't mean nuthin'.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:03 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: A Young, Good Looking, Rich Guy from the South! The best statement surrounding US Senator John Kerry's selection of North Carolina US Senator John Edwards is found in 'who was NOT selected, or considered' in the 'Veep' search for the Democrat Party.
Here we have the party that prides itself in stating that it represents the 'American Minority'; women, Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos (Latinas)...yet, no consideration from the Democrat Party for such representation in the Kerry Campaign and ticket.

The final conclusion is a young, good looking, rich, white guy...who is a trial lawyer from the South! What would the media be saying about the 'lily white, upper class candidate' named John Edwards if he were a Republican VP candidate?

Currently in the Bush Administration you can find Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Karen Hughes, Christine Todd-Whitman (formerly)... as well as the attempts to nominate Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown for the judiciary vacancies, held up by liberal Democrats and the party core.

What party is offering a TRUE representation of minorities in America?

[7/6/04 Tuesday]

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 12:07 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: By selecting John Edwards as his running mate instead of Dick Gephardt, Senator John Kerry is opting for excitement over substance. But it's Republicans who should be excited at Kerry's miscalculation.

Whereas Gephardt might at least have helped Kerry in Missouri and other Midwest states, Edwards -- now part of the most liberal Democratic ticket since McGovern-Shriver -- will not be able to carry North Carolina for the Democrats.

Dick Cheney must be licking his chops in anticipation of the vice presidential debate. At times in the 2000 debate he made even the seasoned Senator Joe Lieberman look too junior for the job, so imagine what he'll do to Edwards.

I've long believed that vice presidential choices don't make much difference to the outcome of a race, and perhaps that will be the result this time. But it's hard to imagine Americans concerned about the country's security wanting to face the possibility of entrusting the war on terrorism to a foreign policy neophyte whose first instinct in confronting terrorists would be to sue them.

[Bruce Thornton - professor of classics, CRO columnist] 12:06 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Whether Kerry's choice of Edwards for VP is good or bad will depend on the Republicans. At one level, Edwards is a good choice, certainly much better than the alternatives. He is telegenic, youthful, Southern, good on the stump. He balances out Kerry's lugubrious aloofness. In addition, he's made his own money instead of marrying into it, and so can also balance Kerry's aura of snooty privilege.

On the other hand, he's a trial lawyer, a group most Americans either ambivalent or negative feelings about. He has a track record of cases he's litigated that could become albatrosses if the Republicans research and publicize them. And he has virtually no experience-- he could be subject to the Quayle effect. It's up to the Republicans to take advantage of these drawbacks and make Edwards a bad choice.

[Ken Masugi - Director Center for Local Government Claremont Institute] 12:05 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Carol and I think alike-- I would have bet a dollar on Bayh--

Two lawyers on the same ticket can win-- e.g., Nixon-Agnew. The question is, prompted by an email from my politically astute friend, Dennis Teti, can two senators win? This is no Kennedy-Johnson ticket-- one which won narrowly; it reminds me rather of Dukakis-Bentsen. And speaking of Hoosiers, Edwards (nicely degreed as he is) will make Dan Quayle look like Aristotle. Among his favorite reading is I.F. Stone's Trial of Socrates and The DaVinci Code.

[Melanie Morgan - radio talk show host, columnist] 12:04 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: I'm sure I'll be in the minority here, but choosing John Edwards may have been a smart choice.

It's the 'purdy boy' factor that so many Democratic women find so appealing. Clearly John Kerry doesn't have it, never did, and never will. So a 'John-John' ticket may shave off a few of those 'single' women voters that the activists are seeking.

Geographic considerations aren't in play--Edwards has no solid base of support in the South. Experience? Even the Dem's think he's young and unseasoned.

But face-time on television with Edwards might be the magic elixer for Kerry's struggling campaign.

[Matt Klink - political consultant, CRO columnist] 12:03 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: John Kerry's selection of Senator John Edwards is neither a good choice nor a bad choice...but it is the Democratic candidate's second choice. For a glimmering minute, the Kerry campaign held out hope that John McCain (R-AZ) would "go to the dance" with the Massachusetts Senator. All for not. McCain is a conservative Republican and, thankfully, will remain one and will back George W. Bush.

True, Edwards does bring a personality to an otherwise drab and cold Democratic ticket. But, it is highly unlikely that Edwards will help Kerry carry even one additional state -- he certainly won't help in North Carolina. And, it is also unrealistic to think that the multi-million dollar trial lawyer Edwards and the super wealthy John Forbes (excuse, me, do you have any Grey Poupon?) Kerry can put up a legitimate populist front -- what the Democrats will desperately true this fall.

In short, Edwards' selection will be trumpeted far and wide by the elite media, but his "second place" selection will add little more to an already under-whelming Democrat 2004 presidential ticket.

[Sharon Hughes - radio talk show host, columnist] 12:02 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Probably the only choice Kerry could make because of Edward's popularity in democrat circles. I think he will be an asset because of his charisma...our postmodern generation tends to vote on image. However, will he be able to "overcome" Kerry's flip-flopping, former Vietnam activist activities? Not if republicans/conservatives keep this and his ultra liberal record before the my humble opinion – Oh, what about the "rumor" of Kerry saying he believes life starts at conception?

[Joe Armendariz - columnist] 12:01 pm [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Edwards: Kerry/Moore in 2004...not! So, the French looking [thank you Rush] John Kerry has picked Johnny-come-lately Edwards as his Vice-Presidential running mate.

I must admit some surprise on my part. In spite of the fact that Edwards has been campaigning for Vice-President since September of last year, I figured Kerry would at least think a little bit outside the box in making his first Presidential level decision. This wasn't a decision by Kerry, it was the political equivalent of a rubber stamp.

What was my politically astute prediction? Based on each man’s paranoid delusions and anti-American rhetoric, I was expecting a John Kerry/Michael Moore ticket. Think about it, it fits like a glove. Michael Moore is on the record saying he thinks Americans are the dumbest people on the planet, so, unlike Edwards, Moore wouldn't have been asked about the numerous inconsistencies in his and Kerry's respective positions nor would he have be drilled on his rationale for joining what would have been the first international ticket for the U.S. Presidency.

Now, it isn't that John Edwards is a bad selection. It's just that, well, he's Dan Quayle without the maturity or the experience. Although in many ways he does come across as a better candidate than Kerry. Actually, who am I kidding? In every way imaginable he comes across as a better candidate than John Kerry. And also, unlike the amorous Kerry, who made his fortune by romancing it right out from under one gullible woman after the other, Edwards made his fortune the old fashioned way; he stole it.

In fact, during the Democrat primary, while campaigning as someone's, anyone's, running mate; Edwards talked about how his dad worked in a mill. He then went on to lament the fact that he was the first person in his family to go to college. It was apparently at that college where Edwards learned how to sue the type of mills where people like his dad worked. What a country!

And look at Johnny now. A few hundred personal injury cases and a couple hundred million dollars later, Edwards owns a $10 million dollar mansion in a tony section of Georgetown where he can walk his briefcase over to the floor of United States Senate and help sue American mills writ-large. Can you imagine what he could accomplish from his maple desk in the Old Executive Office Building. Fuggetaboutit.

I must admit I expected Kerry to show more independence from the big-money interests who bankroll his Party-of-the-people. It was the big check writers, after all, who were relentless in their insistence that he needed someone who looked like an American on his ticket. And Edwards is certainly that. He's all-American. And in what can only be described as a classic American trait, Edwards is not only tenacious, he's also ambitious.
Without wasting time serving in the state legislature or on some obscure city council, Edwards runs and wins a term to the United States Senate. Within a few months after that, he's out running for Vice-President. John Edwards is the Danny Partridge of American politics. He's bright-eyed and bushy tailed and is like the kid who thinks he can run the company after spending a week taking out the trash.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 7:15 am [link]
Bayh, Bayh, Dem Sheep: Kerry's choice is already in the bag – John Edwards, but a smart -- though underdiscussed -- choice is (or should have been) Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana. He would haved provided a Midwestern flavor to the ticket; has served as both a governor and a senator; might well bring Indiana (generally a reliably Republican state) into the Democratic column and -- above all -- would have given the Kerry ticket a real leg up in the vital neighboring state of Ohio. Evan Bayh comes across as moderate, young, articulate, attractive and experienced. From a partisan perspective, I can hardly think of a worse choice for Republicans. So, thank you so much Senator Kerry for picking John Edwards...

[7/5/04 Monday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 9:55 am [link]
Recalling the Big Day. We are celebrating our Independence Day while the Iraqis and Afghans are still getting accustomed to that condition thanks to the US military and our wonderful country's sterling leadership. Enjoy the day and take a moment to bow your head in prayer for our soldiers, our president and for continued Divine guidance. There is a reason that the United States of America is here in this world at this time with these missions. Think about it between the BBQ and fireworks.

[7/3/04 Saturday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 11:16 am [link]
Redefining the word. Was there other news Thursday and Friday save that of Saddam Hussein and his trial? How he had a makeover, was it going to be a fair trial, who would judge him, his lawyers, the world court, the blather was interminable. As the ever-astute Ann Coulter read the buzz, still only in the pre-trial warming up phase, you understand, she called it dead on: 'This is boring. The audience is switching to the Yankee game.' Be warned: If we thought OJ, Scott, Michael, Kobe, Jihad Johnny, Zacharias and the rest of the pack were horrid, this Saddam thing is going to be a real trial. If not on him then certainly upon the rest of us. The endless repetition of the mundane; the ceaseless, brainless speculation; the savoring of hypotheticals like Godiva chocolates; the cyclic running of file film and file experts; the focus on the irrelevant; the transfer of guilt: taken as an entirety the upcoming process ought to absolve most of us from Purgatory time.

[7/2/04 Friday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:09 am [link]
Nunez Says "No July 4th Celebration in Assembly" Assembly Speaker and Democrat, Fabian Nunez refused to allow an American Hero to speak to the Assembly Monday, June 28th. Speaker Nunez became intolerant with the speaker and forced the former POW to return to 'solitary confinement' in the governor's conference room down the hall and away from the green carpet of the assembly. Seems to me that Fabian Nunez has a problem with a patriotic, war hero - why?

Republicans wanted to have a "July 4th Celebration" inside of the State Assembly, but Democrat Speaker Fabian Nunez was concerned about the 'content' of an the invited guest speaker (Navy Adm. Jeremiah Denton and former US Senator) to the assembly to talk about the foundation of our country, our military, the Vietnam War Vet, his tenure as a former POW and an 'American Hero'.

Denton is a former POW, held captive for seven years in Vietnam. He was in solitary confinement for four of those seven years, tortured for the duration. He is know as a hero for his defiance to his captors in blinking the word 'torture' in Morse Code to a French camera crew, signaling to the nation and the world that the American POW's were being treated brutally tortured in the prison camp. He is also a former US Senator!

According to Nunez and the Democrats, a former POW and recognized military hero CANNOT speak in the Assembly to celebrate our Independence because of his religious beliefs and possible expression. Denton believes in the Judeo-Christian principles as our countries foundational driving force. He quotes former Presidents and American leaders, sharing his love for God and country.

Who is intolerant now?

What are they afraid of on the 'left side of the isle'?

When we have current US Military personnel being held captive in a war on terrorism, Speaker Nunez and the Democrats scream 'separation of church and state' to cancel the celebration.

Here is the email from Speaker Fabian Nunez's office:

"Problems have arisen both with regards to the spirit, content and participation of various individuals with regard to the ceremony on June 28th. More importantly this celebration was intended to celebrate the Fourth of July. The celebration was represented as one resolution, a couple of speakers on each side of the resolution and a song. It has now turned into a ceremony more in line with Veterans Day and with ideological overtones that were not presented or agreed to. We are hoping these issues can be resolved - if not I doubt the Speaker will ok the proceedings."

Let's see if I understand this...

The Democrats accuse President Bush of trying to stifle, silence, free speech with 'his' anti-terrorism efforts, while at the same time oppressing the free speech of a Vietnam War former POW because they're afraid he might mention God and country.

Bush is trying to stop terrorism. What are the Democrats trying to stop?

Democrats accuse the Republicans of dogmatic thinking because they include religious considerations in their political thinking, but Senator John Kerry says - as a matter of personal policy - he won't 'cross any union picket line'.

So who is REALLY displaying hard-headed thinking?

Who is REALLY inflexible?

And I say again...Republicans are blasted when they include God in their thinking. Do we really want a President who chooses 'Unions' over God when it comes to taking a stand. | [for more see John Campbell’s Op-Ed Liberal Assembly Ignores Independence Day - Ed.]

[7/1/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:52am [link]
Saddam in the dock: The former Iraqi dictator was immediately defiant, attacking the court hearing as "theatre" and claiming that the "real criminal is Bush".

Not much daylight between Saddam and Moore/Dean/Soros/McAuliffe, is there? The return of sovereignty to the Iraqis doesn't "count" and President Bush is the real bad guy. Why don't they just pipe in the video for the Democratic National Convention?

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:02am [link]
Al Qaeda gets it: As reported by AFP in Paris, a document authenticated as the work of Al Qaeda has been found. It states that the U.S. plan in Iraq is:

"to build an Iraqi state as conceived by the United States...and enslave Saudi Arabia politically, fight against Islamic proselytism as a salafist and jihadic movement." It adds, "This would be (for the US) the first step toward the eradication of hardline Islam in the entire world."

Setting aside the discussion of Saudi Arabia, it's clear that Al Qaeda "gets it." Iraq is the biggest and most important front upon which Islamofascism can be defeated. How is it that the terrorists themselves can have a more intelligent and cogent analysis of what the U.S. is doing in Iraq than, say, Michael Moore and his friends at the New York and Los Angeles Times newspapers?


Go to CRO Blog June 2004

Go to CRO Blog archive index


Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005