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Carol Platt Liebau

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[8/31/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 4:45 am [link]
First Night: (1) Here's a handy lexicon for listening to the press coverage of the Republican Convention. Doesn't matter how right-wing any speaker might be on law and order or fiscal issues -- if he disagrees with the President on abortion and/or gay rights, he's a "moderate." (See, e.g., Giuliani, Rudy; Schwarzenegger, Arnold). In fact, if he disagrees with the President on ANYTHING, ANYTIME in the past or present, even if he DOES agree with the President on abortion and gay rights, he's also a "moderate." (See McCain, John). That's because, in the media's simplistic world, George W. Bush = bad =conservative; disagree with Bush = good and therefore = moderate.

(2) In one of the most entertaining speeches of this -- or any -- political convention, Rudy Giuliani told us why John Kerry needed John Edwards' "two Americas": So that there would be one each for the times when Kerry takes both sides of the same issue. Devastating. The worst thing that can happen to a candidate isn't to be attacked -- in a sense, that's an admission that his ideas are worth taking seriously, or that the candidacy poses a threat. No, the worst thing that can happen is for a candidate can be ridiculed. It's more difficult to overcome laughter than outright dislike. And it can be more persuasive to the unconvinced; the critic comes across as funny, rather than mean (See, e.g., Carter, Jimmy) and the criticism, couched in laughter, can slip past the viewer's defenses and hit the mark.

Rudy Giuliani is a great guy and a wonderful politician. He's got a bright future in my estimation, and it's for two reasons: First, he's got a sense of humor -- almost an indispensable quality for a successful politician, especially a Republican (who needs it to cut through the pervasive Old Media hostility). Second, he really loves and respects the people he has represented. This may sound incongruous, given that he seems like such a hard-bitten, tough guy. But tonight, when he talked about the construction workers of New York City, his affection and his respect were palpable. It's sincere, and so it's effective. Contrast it with the condescension of John Kerry and Al Gore.

And then let it remind you of President Reagan. He, too, spoke of Americans from all walks of life with respect and, yes, love. President George W. Bush does the same. People can feel it, they appreciate it, and above all, they deserve it. I don't agree with Rudy on ANY of the social issues, but I sure like his style. What a fantastic man and leader. He had to fight hard for almost his entire tenure as Mayor, and he knows a thing or to about sticking to principles in the face of constant political attack.

John McCain also made clear his endorsement of President Bush. He was careful to continue to burnish his "non-partisan" credentials with the press by calling for mutual respect and civility between Democratic and Republican partisans. It's just that it occurred to me that he was lecturing to the wrong crowd -- I haven't heard of anyone calling John Kerry a coward, or someone who deliberately let Americans die, etc. etc. etc.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
Send Hillary right over: Yesterday morning, on Rush Limbaugh, Rush reported that Hillary Clinton had NOT been asked to be a member of the Kerry truth squad -- that she was there at Terry McAuliffe's insistence. That would make sense, as McAuliffe is a close ally of the Clintons -- and the party belongs to them as long as he is DNC chairman. But Fred Dicker, a respected political reporter for the New York Post, reported the opposite last week. Wonder what's going on?

[8/30/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
Eve of the RNC: Several thoughts as the country prepares to turn to the Republican Convention in Madison Square Garden.

(1) Hillary Clinton was all over the news shows Sunday morning, trying out the role the Kerry campaign has asked her to assume: That of chief of his "truth squad" responding to the Republican Convention. What am I missing? To me, it seems like a poor decision to ask Hillary to take this role. She is such a polarizing figure that any swing voter who sees her is as likely as not to despise her -- and even if not, she is so strongly defined as a partisan that most of what she says is discounted as the typical party spin. Why not choose someone likable like Evan Bayh, for example? Seems like he'd do a better job in convincing the undecided. Even so, the fact is that the Kerry campaign did Hillary no favors by asking her to take this role. Rightly or wrongly, women have a harder time criticizing others without sounding petty or overly personal -- and she's no exception. It would seem hard to drive her likability down further, but this kind of job could help her do it. Maybe that's why the Kerry team asked her?

By the way, Wolf Blitzer (unlike Tim Russert) challenged her when she asserted that members high in the Bush Administration had worked with the Swift Boat vets. She revised immediately to asserting that it was a member, not of the Bush Administration, but of his campaign (counsel Ben Ginsburg, in a completely legal and ethical undertaking, incidentally). Good for Wolf; not-so-good for Tim.

(2) Things just keep getting uglier for John Kerry vis a vis the Swift Boat vets. Sunday night, Fox News was reporting that John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, has denied seeing, signing, or drafting the citation with his signature that accompanied Kerry's Silver Star citation in 1986 (this was his third citation -- according to his campaign, he had "lost" the other two; truly believable -- it's easy to get a Silver Star citation mixed in with the old newspaper). There may be an innocent explanation, but as usual, the Kerry camp isn't providing one.

On all the morning news shows, the Democrats spinning kept insisting that the Swift Boat vets' account had been largely discredited. NO. It can't be repeated often enough -- the Swift Boat vets have caught Kerry in at least two lies. First, it' s been shown that there is no way he could have been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968, despite his statement on the Senate floor that the memory was "seared, seared" into him. And just last week, Kerry's campaign conceded that it was indeed possible that he received his first Purple Heart for a wound that was unintentionally self-inflicted. These are huge admissions, so don't buy the line that the vets haven't proved anything.

(3) Rudy Giuliani made a great point on "Meet the Press" yesterday morning. He noted out that John Kerry has seemed to lose his focus as a result of the attacks on him -- in contrast with President Bush. Again, it goes back to the girlie-man thing: Do we want such a tender, thin-skinned creature squaring off on our behalf against the terrorists?

(4) Finally, flip to C-Span this week and check out the protestors. Just remember -- those are the Kerry and Nader voters. And tell your friends.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
Kerry is Michael Moore Bill Kristol with Brit Hume on Fox last night commenting on John Kerry's statements and testimony in 1971...

"There are many people who are opposed to the war in Iraq, and then there is Michael Moore. There were many people who were against the Vietnam War, and then there was John Kerry."

So...a fair comparison wouldn't you say? John Kerry was to the Vietnam War, as Michael Moore is to the war in Iraq!

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
Chronicle Hints at My Assertion on Shelley I'm saying it again - Sect of State Kevin Shelley's abusive and vulgar behavior has been common knowledge in the Capitol for years!

Shelley's dirty campaign cash and theft of tax dollars is a new discovery. Yet, most of the 'laundering' and 'trickery' started in the late 90's and early campaign seasons of 2000 and 2001.

My question is not whether Shelley is guilty of this behavior or dirty question is why now? This was known, why did the 'Dam Wall' break August 8th in the San Fran Chronicle? Who offered the 'smoking gun' for the FBI and FEC investigations, releasing former/current co-workers to their freedom to speak openly?

A column in yesterday's San Fran Chronicle refers to Shelley's 'work during the recall'. I find this peculiar. Are we beginning to put two-and-two together here? Is this revenge?

As Shelley is removed from office and future political campaigns, we'll have to stand back and watch for the next 'Dam Wall'. Will it Phil Angelides, or Bill Lockyer? I think there is only one person who can answer that question right now...Richie Ross!

[8/28/04 Saturday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 12:02 am [link]
Shadow Falls On Cinderella Story: The Islamofascist terrorists in Iraq knew exactly what they were doing when they murdered Italian Journalist Enzo Baldoni just before Iraq played Italy for Olympic bronze in men’s soccer. In a somber game that served as an unintended metaphor for the war and the matters at stake, Italy defeated Iraq 1-0 for what could have been Iraq’s first Olympic medal in 44 years. Iraq had made an improbable run all the way to the semifinals, in essence, coming in 4th.

Just before kickoff, the teams exchanged condolences. They then played a game without much heart.

Baldoni’s killers sought to force Italy to withdraw its 3,000 troops – instead, they contributed to Iraq’s loss in the Olympics. Murdering the Italian journalist just before the big game with Italy was yet another new low. For this, they will most assuredly pay dearly in a land where young boys learn to play soccer before they even have shoes. Iraqis are losing patience with foreign and domestic terrorists and are now shunning those whom many once embraced as liberators.

Chuck DeVore is the Republican nominee in California's 70th Assembly District.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
Election 2006 Rumblings The election season never ends in Sacramento. As the "Belly of the Beast" churns out nearly 1,000 new pieces of legislation for the end of session, numerous Republican politicians are preparing for the future...the very distant future of March (June?) and November of 2006.

Here is the 'latest' view from my studio broadcast chair:

Seems that Sect of State Kevin Shelley will NOT make it to the end of his term. If so, who will Governor Schwarzenegger nominate to finish Shelley's term? I've heard the name of Assemblyman John Campbell tossed around. He's currently running for State Senate, but if the governor called, would Campbell offer up the assured Republican Senate seat? You bet!

Today on my show, the "Dean of the Assembly", Tim Leslie, (18 years of service in Sacramento, Assembly District 4) made a statement of interest. He strongly represented the removal of Kevin Shelley and laid claim to the remaining term of Sect of State in Shelley's absence.

Leslie has been rumored as a Lt. Governor candidate, but quickly turned to the Sect of State's situation as an opportunity for the "Dean to clean things up" if the governor was so inclined.

As far as the "Capitol's Fictional Second Chair" (Lt. Governor) for the Republicans come 2006...looks like we might have an interesting primary between State Senator Tom McClintock and Congressman Darryl Issa. Two recall participants with HUGE name recognition.

Where would Governor Schwarzenegger's loyalty rest in a primary between McClintock and Issa? A thought for the day here; 'better to entertain an ambassador versus an antagonist'. Advantage Issa.

[8/27/04 Friday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:02 am [link]
Kerry's 'Flip-Flopping' History John Kerry has backed off of three stories now; (1) Cambodia, (2) his first Purple Heart and (3) his testimony in DC to Congress in 1971. Seems to me that John Kerry's historical references are beginning to 'flip-flop' just like the master himself. Here is the latest from WND front page!

[8/26/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 2:01 pm [link]
Kerry '71 Here is a link to the complete statement of John Kerry before the Fulbright Committee on April 22, 1971. Click here: C-SPAN: Vote 2004 It's being reported in the Washington Times' "Inside Politics" column today that C-SPAN will broadcast the complete testimony at 8 p.m. Eastern time today. It's worth encouraging everyone to tune in -- it's a real education about who John Kerry was during his "glory days."

Kerry won't want you to see this. But does anyone have any doubt that, if radical chic were "in," he'd be broadcasting this all over the place, rather than hiding from it? He won't even apologize for what he said . . . and that's a shame. If we've learned anything from the Swift Boat ads and the reaction to them, it's that America is still wounded by the internal national debate over Vietnam -- a fiery, self-destructive debate that John Kerry did much to stoke. It's amazing that he can't even bring himself to regret any pain his words caused to the innocent, or for any misimpression that he might have created. David Broder reported this week that Kerry had told him 2 years ago that he (Kerry) thought being a vet and a war protestor was going to help him. It could have -- if he had stepped up to the plate for the mistakes of the over-the-top, America-hating hippies he joined up with. But he missed his chance, and won't disclaim anything he said, aside from conceding that maybe, perhaps, it was "a bit over the top."

Tune in and hear his wanna-be Kennedy accent for yourself.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:25 am [link]
New Soldier: This site and this site have the entire text of John Kerry's anti-war, Vietnam era book, "The New Soldier." I'm not a copyright lawyer, but if I were the Kerry campaign, I'd try to get it taken off, so I don't know how long it will be there. As it is, along with the complete text, it also has some very unpleasant accompanying pictures of hairy, Vietnam-era hippie men -- which make me grateful to have been born in 1967, and thus not in the dating pool until some time later.

[8/25/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 1:25 pm [link]
If you can't take the heat: John Kerry has now sent a delegation to Crawford, Texas to beg the President to denounce the ads that are damaging Kerry's presidential bid. It's for sure -- he's a girlie man of the first order. It's time for the President to put an end to this silliness once and for all by saying:

"I have no more power to stop the Swift Boat Vets than Senator Kerry has to stop, America Coming Together, Michael Moore and all the other individuals and groups that have made a practice over the last year of accusing me of the most horrible and outrageous acts. Just like the people behind these groups, the Swift Boat vets are Americans, and -- just like Senator Kerry -- these vets too fought in Vietnam and are entitled to be proud of their record there. For both these reasons, as long as America has a First Amendment, they have every right to have their say. I have said, and will say again, that the vehicle all these groups are using -- the 527 groups -- have the potential to be very destructive to the civility of our democracy, and so I call on all members of these groups to exercise their First Amendment rights with great care and concern. But it's not the place of the President -- or any other elected official -- to tell Americans who are acting within the bounds of the law as it currently exists, to 'shut up' simply because we don't like the substance of their message."

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:25 am [link]
Fit for duty? It's hard to figure out what John Kerry can be thinking. He hasn't made himself available to the press in two weeks or more, either because he can't or doesn't want to answer the snowballing questions about his Vietnam grandiosity. Instead, he heads over to "The Daily Show" -- whose host, John Stewart, makes Larry King look like Mike Wallace by comparison (at one point, Stewart asks Kerry if he's really the most liberal Senator; Kerry says, simply, "No." Stewart takes it at face value, and asks nothing more about it.) In short, the "interview" Stewart gave Kerry made Jay Leno's post-Divine Brown interview with Hugh Grant ("WHAT were you thinking?!") look like a trip to "Meet the Press" on one of Tim Russert's mean days.

To me, it was almost shocking to see the way that Kerry laughed off the whole issue of his Vietnam service. Here's what happened. As Kerry is going through his mantra of the ruin and destruction George W. Bush has allegedly wreaked on America, Stewart interrupts in a mocking parody of a real interview, asking: "Sir, were you or were you not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve? They said -- you said five miles, they said three." With that, Stewart, laughing, peers over the desk toward Kerry, who leans over himself, and both break into chummy chuckles.

Now, John Stewart can be an idiot -- he's not running for President (thank Heaven). But we tend to expect a little bit more from our major party nominees. And Kerry has been caught in at least one lie about his service . . . the tale that John Stewart happened to allude to. Does he really think the whole thing is just a big joke?

Kerry's just weird. And whatever he thinks of the "band of brothers" accusing him (all 254 of them), it certainly is disrespectful toward all the Vietnam vets and Americans generally who have well-founded suspicions about his truthfulness to treat these real questions as nothing more than a laughing matter.

It's impossible to believe that this appearance did Kerry any good -- and it may have done him real harm (to the extent that anyone sees "The Daily Show" anyway). It made him look arrogant and contemptuous of those who have had the nerve to expose his falsehoods (and whom he has tried to bully with the threat of lawsuits). Quite a sight, to see him sitting rich and comfortable, laughing at people -- many of whom served longer and at a greater cost than he -- who have revealed at least one certain lie that he repeated for years for his own selfish political gain.

Above all, the callow, silly appearance showed Kerry to be completely oblivious and insensitive to the real division that the Vietnam War caused in America and the real emotions elicited thereby -- not least because of his own grandstanding and showboating as an anti-war activist back in an earlier time. Is he unaware of all this, or does he simply not care?

Maybe Clinton could have pulled this kind of thing off. But Kerry can't. He has all Clinton's deceptiveness and none of Clinton's charm. He is a thoroughly dislikable man who lacks the temperament needed to be President. I'd find it difficult to vote for him given his patently soulless ambition, arrogance and sense of entitlement even if he were a Republican who shared all of Ronald Reagan's political views -- and that's saying something.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:11 am [link]
Is it Vietnam Yet? Watching the Kerry campaign melt down over his Vietnam war stories (see my previous CRO Blog for definition of a war story) is a bit of poetic justice. After ineffectively trashing Bush for cowardice (something that worked in the campaign against Bush 41) the Kerry people are facing the possibility that the entire campaign premise of the heroic warrior reluctantly taking up his spear and shield once more may be constructed on sand. In politics impressions count as much as reality (Marie Antionette did not say 'let them eat cake' but the rumor cost her head). The more Kerry denies the credibility of these Vietnam vets - particularly in view of his devastating 1971 testimony - the worse he appears to those who once respected him. One wonders if the campaign strategy of using Vietnam was a Bill Clinton suggestion.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:08 am [link]
Kevin Shelley's Collapse Some call me 'crazy', but I'm still wondering (investigating) - "how has the career of Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, exploded in little more than two weeks?"

Kevin Shelley was on course to become a major player for the Democrat Party in the next gubernatorial campaign. After a 'leak' to the San Fran Chronicle on Sunday, August 8th, Shelley is now facing a deep investigation from the FBI and may not finish his term in Sacramento.

Over the past month, Shelley is the target of illegal campaign contributions and practices, a charge of abuse behavior in his office and with co-workers...and today in the Sacramento Bee a charge that he is down right vulgar, if not perverted.

There are also reports of Shelley leaving his office for hours only to return looking tattered, carrying a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash.

I have also stumbled upon a story that has Kevin Shelley hiding under his desk during a pressure packed recall campaign as Shelley made decisions allowing the recall election to proceed in July of 2003.

Seems to me that Kevin Shelley has disintegrated in just two weeks time. How does this happen? Most of these reports are 'years' old, as well as the grant money returning illegally to Shelley and the illegal practices...these are not NEW allegations.

When the dam broke on August 8th, WHO let if fall and why? I find it weird that Shelley's fortunes have come crashing down and not one person has run to his defense.

Is Kevin Shelley really the 'crazed person' that we are now learning about...or am I crazy to consider this a 'leak' to destroy him. Remember, revenge is hell, especially if you are seen as a person who stood by and did nothing to slow the recall process down.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:05 am [link]
Do it yourself heroism: The Kerry campaign and Democrats generally seem to find themselves in a state of near-frenzy over the allegations of the Swift Boat vets -- and it's no wonder. Now it looks like yet another of their charges may be proved true, much to Kerry's detriment.

It's being reported that Kerry's camp now concedes that his first Purple Heart may have been awarded for an unintentional self-inflicted wound. Obviously, this isn't an admission that the campaign would make lightly . . . it's necessary only because in his own journal -- nine days later -- he wrote that he hadn't been shot at yet. Well, in order to win a Purple Heart, one need not be seriously injured -- but the injury has to have been inflicted by the enemy. If Kerry hadn't been shot at by his own admission, but accepted a Purple Heart anyway, then his "three Purple Hearts and out of Vietnam" feat was accomplished under false pretenses, and he knowingly accepted a medal he didn't deserve. Not a pretty picture.

The internet has been buzzing for days about how -- knowing of the vulnerabilities in his record -- Kerry could nonetheless have made it the centerpiece of his campaign. Yes, as some have speculated, he is obviously an out-of-touch, arrogant man -- who, due to his wife's money, has been surrounded by yes-men and handlers to the point where reality only rarely intrudes. But it's more than that.

He has been distorting his Vietnam record, it now appears (given the Christmas in Cambodia falsehood) for more than 25 years. There's a saying that if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth. And for Kerry, that may be an element of what has happened. He has become so used to thinking of himself in heroic terms -- and to being treated as such -- that he simply "forgot" what the truth was, as almost a psychological shield against recalling what now seems to be emerging as some fairly unsavory conduct (along with some conduct that was genuinely heroic).

This fits with his constant harping and bragging about his Vietnam service -- a stark contrast to most genuine war heroes, where the less said's the better. Braggarts are generally insecure people with something to prove. And in his own mind, given what he did after the war (and maybe even during), Kerry certainly may have had something to prove. Hence, over time, the desire not only to reap the rewards of heroism, but also to gain the comfort of the psychological salve such a narrative would provide to an ego scraped by some less-than-glorious behavior known only to himself, and/or a select few others.

[8/24/04 Tuesday]

[Sharon Hughes - radio talk show host, columnist] 5:15 am [link]
Truth, truth, where art thou? John Kerry's Personal War Diary Evidently there seems to be a contradiction between John Kerry's personal war diary and his approved war biography by Douglas Brinkley, as reported recently by Art Moore in Nine days after Kerry claims to have received his Purple Heart as a result of enemy fire, he wrote in his diary that he had not "been shot at yet."

Brinkley's book, "Tour of Duty", which includes information from Kerry's diary, validates the date contradiction. This also seems to confirm claims made by the Swift Boat Vets for Truth in "Unfit for Command", a book written by John O'Neill who took over the command of Kerry's boat, that the wound was caused by Kerry firing a grenade launcher too close versus from enemy fire.

So, is this a big deal? Are conservatives and the Swift Boat Vets for Truth making a mountain out of a mole hill? Do we care? If we do, then how do we sort through all the claims to find the truth? Original records.

Sure, we can be gracious and say anyone can forget exact dates, but beyond the dates, are the records of what happened. That's how we (should) judge all candidates. Not by what they say, but by what they do. Voting records, House and Senate floor speeches, what is put in writing, etc, - original records.

Last winter in a speech I gave at a California Eagle Forum education conference I spoke about the nature of propaganda. The word itself is pretty powerful, but so is the definition. In the broadest sense propaganda is information that serves a particular agenda, which could be true or false. If true, it may be one-sided and fail to paint a complete picture.

In Latin, propaganda means "propagating." In the narrower and more common use, the term refers to deliberately false or misleading deceptive information that supports a political cause or the interests of those in power in any institution.

A propagandist seeks to change the way people understand an issue or a situation for the purpose of changing their actions and expectations in ways that are desirable to the propagandist. It includes censorship in which the same purpose is achieved, not by filling people's minds with false information, but by preventing people from knowing true information.

What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people's understanding through deception and confusion, rather than persuasion and understanding.

We have to be discerning, and original records help us see through the power of emotional persuasion.

John Adams said it best “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
More Reasons to Oppose Prop. 66
Prop. 66 sells itself as improving our Three Strikes law, but in actuality, it will let criminals back on the streets and repeal the Three Strikes concept strongly embraced by California voters. If you are among those who are sympathetic toward Third Strikers who are in prison “just” for “petty” crimes like theft or burglary or drug use, consider this evidence compiled by John J. DiIulio, Jr. of the Brookings Institute:

Two Brookings Institution studies, in 1991 and 1995, found that prisoners in New Jersey and Wisconsin committed an average of 12 crimes a year when free (not including drug crimes).

Steven D. Levitt at the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that “incarcerating one additional prisoner reduces the number of crimes by approximately 13 per year.”

Economists Thomas Marvell and Carlisle Moody of William and Mary College say, “a better estimate may be 21 crimes averted per additional prisoner.” Patrick A. Langan, senior statistician at the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, calculated that tripling the prison population from 1975 to 1989 may have reduced “violent crime by 10 to 15 percent below what it would have been,” thereby preventing a “conservatively estimated 390,000 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults in 1989 alone.”

Mr. DiIulio concludes, and I concur, “prisons pay big dividends even if all they deliver is relief from the murder and mayhem that incarcerated felons would be committing if free.” If you agree, vote against Prop. 66. [Leonard Letter 8/24]

[8/23/04 Monday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 5:02 am [link]
Twice as nice: Would you vote twice? 68% of Democrats say "yes"... The New York Daily News just completed a study showing that about 46,000 people are registered to vote in both Florida and New York, of whom 68% are Democrats and 16% are not affiliated.

We know that dead Democrats have an amazing ability to vote (that doesn't bother me as much as dead Democrats voting more than once), and that vacant lots in Santa Ana have an incredible ability to turn out 21 Democrat voters come election time, but live people registering in two states -- COME ON! (although, that might explain the chad problem in 2000 -- it must have been dead New Yorkers that had the great difficulty punching out the chads).

I suppose the New York snow birds feel they must have some representation in Florida since they pay taxes there.

The newspaper also found out that up to 1,000 registered voters voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The duel registrations aren't detected because state election officials don't check voter registrations in other states.

Now we know why the Democrats are so pissed off about losing Florida in 2000 -- they stole the election fair and square, by golly, and they'll be damned if they let the Republicans win it again by playing by the rules!!!

As Hugh Hewitt's new book says, If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat

Chuck DeVore is the Republican nominee in California's 70th Assembly District.

[8/20/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:02 am [link]
Whine factor: It occurs to me that there's something that Republicans ought to be pointing out when Kerry complains and asks President Bush to intervene with the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, and that's this: If he can't take the heat of a presidential campaign without whining, how is he going to stand up to Osama bin Laden and the rest of the terrorists? What's he planning to do, cry and ask France to stage an intervention with them? What this episode should be showing America is that Senator Kerry is a girlie man, a crybaby, a wimp -- take your pick. President Bush has taken $62 million in negative ads, overwhelmingly hostile press coverage, every idiot in Hollywood inveighing against him -- and you don't hear him crying. I betcha Osama bin Laden is PRAYING that he gets Kerry.

[Charles Kopp CRO columnist] 5:01 am [link]
Swifting: The Washington Post has pdf's available on it's political news page, with two documents apparently obtained under FOIA procedures. One is an Award recommendation. The name typed into the "Name:" is Thurlows', but the person who signed the report is Elliott. Kerry and Lambert are recommended for Bronze Stars. The recommendation is concurred in by C.F. Horne III. The other document is a Veterans Citation, informing Thurlow of his being awarded a Bronze Star. The signer of the document is Vice Admiral Zumwalt; it is not indicated who wrote the text on either document, and Thurlow did not sign either document. [see Did Kerry Himself Write Report On Which Medals Were Based? at Human Events]

[8/19/04 Thursday]

[Charles Kopp CRO columnist] 11:40 am [link]
Coincidence? Hmm… It may not be entirely coincidental (I'm being generous, honest) that MoveOn this week has put out an anti-Bush ad aimed at Bush's National Guard service, making it necessary for candidate Kerry to call upon them to cease airing this ad, which he takes high moral exception to... It may be quite convenient for Kerry, who cannot seem to reply to the Swift Boat Veterans except by attacking these veterans personally. How nice to have this MoveOn ad, creating a reason for Kerry to repudiate the ad, and since he just happens to be on the subject, naturally he can also call upon Bush to repudiate the Swift Boat Veterans. How high-minded he could appear, and generous. Could it be that Kerry hopes to use George W. Bush to get at these annoying Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? No, no, I remember now, MoveOn is a 527 and mustn't collaborate to help Kerry's candidacy... And if unable to extract this repudiation from the President, Kerry would be left to attempt to discuss the facts presented by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, something he must be eager to do.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 10:35 am [link]
Of course there’s no liberal media bias: Today, the invaluable Media Research Center is reporting that by 8 to 1, reporters covered unsubstantiated charges that President Bush was "AWOL" more heavily than they have covered Senator Kerry's misstatements, evasions, and repeated reworkings of his alleged Cambodian adventure(s). Imagine the firestorm that would have erupted if President Bush had had to change his account of his service in the National Guard! That's exactly what Kerry has done -- repeatedly -- and if anyone is AWOL, it's his historian/lapdog Douglas Brinkley, who won't appear anywhere to explain the discrepancies and inaccuracies in the various accounts.

It's long been clear to anyone who was impartial that the press tilts heavily to the left. Now, it's evident even to those partial to one side or the other.

The press ought to wake up. A group of agenda journalists masquerading as objective reporters make a mockery of the First Amendment -- one of the cornerstones of a free society. Too bad they can't see they're destroying their own "profession" through their partisan behavior.

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
Illinois: What Happened to the Big Tent?
I remember back in the day when conservatives like myself would regularly come to the defense of Republican nominees who supported abortion rights. I recognize that many issues determine what it means to be a Republican. Most of these issues are fiscal and law-and-order oriented. While I am a supporter of pro-life issues, my vote does not turn on that one issue alone. This is my idea of a big tent that includes a variety of opinions within the party’s umbrella.

Now it seems in Illinois that a high-profile Republican wants to collapse the tent entirely. In a Chicago Sun Times column I read last week, the former Governor of Illinois, James Thompson, said he will not endorse the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Alan Keyes, against the popular Democrat Barack Obama. Thompson was quoted as saying, “His [Keyes’] views are very conservative. Some of his positions would make me uncomfortable as a voter.” Keyes’ position on abortion is that current law renders the relationship between a mother and her unborn child to be virtually the same as that of a slave owner to a slave, and this state of the law undermines all other Constitutional protections. Keyes is a black American. I agree that Keyes’ principled stand makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but does it render him unfit for office?

The article went on to describe Thompson as a hero to the moderate wing of the Republican Party for his past support for abortion rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. My question to Thompson would be: Since you are withholding your support for a candidate in your party because of the abortion issue, do you recommend that the national party follow your lead and withhold support for any Republican that is not staunchly pro-abortion? I would assume not, but maybe Thompson has not thought this through completely. [Leonard Letter 8/17]

[8/18/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 10:25 am [link]
Swinging both ways: Along with his multiple fabrications about his "magic hat," gun-running and CIA-agent ferrying into Cambodia, John Kerry's presidential campaign has another big problem -- he must hold together two diametrically opposed constituencies in order to win the election.

One consists of the swing voters in swing states -- and for them, Kerry has been moderating, distorting and hiding his left-liberal record on defense matters and all else. He knows these sensible people won't trust him if they know him -- if, for example, they are aware that he voted for massive intelligence cuts the year after the first bombing of the World Trade Center (that's the year he didn't attend ANY public Intelligence Committee hearings). And he knows they don't like "nuanced" flip-floppers.

His other constituency is the liberal elite -- the Hollywood/Hamptons/Nantucket/ Upper West Side axis. These are the "sophisticates" and their proxies are the national press. And these people are becoming very unhappy -- disillusioned, even -- with John Kerry. Yesterday, Joan Venocchi of The Boston Globe condemned Kerry's "unseemly effort to side-step the label that best describes his voting record: liberal" (she also, inaccurately, asserts that President Bush said the danger from Iraq was "imminent," but no matter. Good enough for dinosaur press work). Helen Thomas, likewise, condemned Kerry for supposedly taking President Bush's "bait" by admitting that, if he knew then what he knows now, he still would have voted to invade Iraq. Today, on Scripps-Howard News Service, Martin Schram makes a similar point and notes that Democrats are beginning to despair over Kerry's ineptness -- too much "nuance."

For a while, it seemed that Kerry's left flank was going to give him the room that it gave Bill Clinton in 1992. The problem is that the Party and the Kerry campaign is finding it increasingly difficult to keep the crazy Bush-haters locked in the attic. The only way he can keep these people ginned up and enthusiastic about him is by attacking the President, but if he attacks the President the way the Bush-haters want him to, he loses whatever section of sensible swing-voters he would otherwise have gotten.

No sympathy for the Dems or Kerry here. They created a Bush-hating monster, stoked the anger, and now they've got to figure out how to deal with it.

[Ken Masugi - Director Center for Local Government Claremont Institute] 5:13 am [link]
Kerri Dunn Update: Why We Don't Trust the LALA Times:
Alleged hate-crime hoaxer Dunn found someone to testify on her behalf, but it still doesn't look good for her. The LALA Times summarizes the trial through Friday. But its account is misleading: "Michael Martinez and Dominique Zepeda testified Friday that they saw Dunn pull her car into the campus parking lot about 8 the night of the incident. But under cross-examination, both conceded that they did not actually see her cause any of the damage." The Pasadena Star-News has a more accurate account:

'Martinez and Zepeda drove to the Claremont McKenna College campus to see a friend that attends Pomona College, Rosa Jimenez, but did not tell her they were going to visit her.

'Martinez said when they got to the parking lot between 7:30 and 8 p.m. they sat there for a few minutes while they finished their cigarettes.

'While sitting there both said they saw Dunn pull up in her gold Honda Civic hatchback.

'Zepeda was in the front passenger seat and said she saw writing already on the car when it pulled into the space next to them.

'Both said they saw Dunn bend over by each of the driver's side tires and heard a sound that sounded like air being let out of the tires.

'Martinez said she went first to the rear driver's side tire and then the front. Zepeda said she did the opposite.

'Both said they were confused about what they saw and wanted to leave as quickly as possible.

'"We thought she was weird and we did not know what was going on," Zepeda said. "At first we thought it was a prank. We also thought that it might be research on how people react to certain situations."

'After Martinez and Zepeda heard the second tire pop they pulled out to leave and Dunn motioned for them to stop and came up to the passenger window.

'"She told us she was a psychology professor and asked us if we had seen who did this to her car," Zepeda said. "We said no."

'They explained that they lied to Dunn because they were confused about what happened and did not want to get involved. Martinez and Zepeda came forward and spoke to police and college officials the next day after seeing the incident covered by TV news and at the urging of friends.'

If this report is accurate, the LALA Times account is certainly bizarre. The Pasadena paper also reported that the police officer at the scene testified that the paint on Dunn's car was dry and no spray cans were found at the scene. [Go to a previous Masugi post at The Remedy.]

[8/17/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:15 am [link]
Kerry's Times: The Los Angeles Times piece on John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is as interesting in what it omits as what it discusses. The Times "reports" that Kerry has "given giving subtly varying accounts" of his record over the years ("subtly"!?), but can't bring itself to note that he lied repeatedly about being in Cambodia over Christmas of 1968? It also conveniently omits Kerry's tales about his "magic hat" and ferrying a CIA officer over the border.

There are many ways to deconstruct this piece, but one thing is clear: It reeks of laziness and partisanship. Instead of actually trying to get to the truth, it simply tries to turn the matter into a kind of "he said/they said . . . no one can ever be sure" type of story. It neglects to mention that Kerry's campaign and biographer(!) have had to amend their accounts because of the charges raised by the vets.

The Times reminds me of a grade-school teacher who's too lazy to figure out which students are being disruptive -- and so simply chides everyone without making any effort to figure out what's really gone on. Except in this case, the laziness is motivated by the fact that Kerry is clearly the "teacher's pet" and they are making every effort to protect him.

Notably, the paper refers to the military records posted on Kerry's site, without revealing that they are incomplete and that there are many more records that haven't been released. The lack of curiosity is notable, given their feverish concern with President Bush's records. And I think President Bush should denounce the swift boat vet ads -- as soon as Kerry denounces the rhetoric of, Howard Dean, Teddy Kennedy and so many others, including Michael Moore (whose baseless charges in Fahrenheit 9/11 now form the basis for Kerry's own talking points).

Even so, the fact that the story is breaking into the LA Times must be seen as a positive sign for the blogosphere, Kerry's opponents, and anyone, frankly, who cares about the cause of truth.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:45 am [link]
Free John Kerry's records! It's beginning to look like a pattern . . . First, John Kerry refused to release all his military records, as President Bush has done. Now that one of his key claims has been proved false -- the memory that was "seared, seared" into him of spending Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia -- by rights the burden of proof shifts to Kerry to clarify what his military records do (and don't) include. It might clear up, once and for all, the contours of the CIA "magic hat" story -- which, as presented by the campaign and historian-on-call Douglas Brinkley, has had more variations than a Hillary Clinton hairdo.

Now there's another question that Kerry (and Edwards) can clear up by authorizing release of other records -- and that has to do with their attendance at Intelligence Committee hearings. Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts will release attendance records if they authorize him to do so. If they have been fulfilling their responsibilities, rather than simply intoning ponderously about the President's perceived failures, what is there to fear? And how hypocritical does it make all the lefties who have deplored the "secretiveness" of the Bush administration?

Please release them, set them free. If Kerry continues to hide the records, it becomes legitimate to ask: What do they contain that he doesn't want the American people to see?

[8/16/04 Monday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:02 am [link]
What they really think. When I lived in Seoul, South Korea Stateside friends were always amazed at how I could live in such a riot-torn location. Watching news back home it appeared that every Korean was carrying a rock, placard or fire bomb. The comments caught me by surprise for other than an occasional choreographed fracas on some college campus the city was for the most part quite orderly. Such is the power of news, especially visual media.

We are receiving a similar erroneous message in regard to Iraq today for the same reason, overemphasis on bad news, in this case encouraged by those who are anti-war and anti-Bush. The willingness to endorse or at least condone an avalanche of bad news has created a mood of failure and weakened support here in the States. But where does the truth lie?

In his excellent book, Dawn over Baghdad, Karl Zinsmeister shows us the real picture. Amazingly compared to the dismal portrait painted by major media it is a very bright picture indeed. Zinsmeister who had his boots on the ground during the war and now during the post-war reconstruction shows us what iraq is like and more importantly, how the Iraqi people really view their state of affairs.

This book ought to be required reading for every American. For those who have grown distant from the incredibly talented and capable American military it shows why these men and women are doing us proud. Abu Ghraib be damned. It was an aberration; get past it and realize how blessed we are to have soldiers like this. Moreover, we learn what the Iraqis - Sunni, Shia and Kurd - really want out of life and how they see America and Americans. You will be pleasantly surprised at the answer. Grab a copy of Dawn over Baghdad today, and order one for your best friend.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
Bush's Florida Post-Charlie Compassion President Bush facing questions from the media in Florida Sunday...

Reporter: "Some people are saying that your quick visit to Florida is politically related...

President Bush: (interrupting)"...and if I didn't come they would say that I was delaying too long.

Then a follow-up media question, "back in 1992 there was a...

President Bush (interrupts again): "This is not 1992, this is is now and I'm here to do what is right for the people...we are moving aid and relief as fast as we can. FEMA was on the ground hours after the storm moved through. These people will get the support they deserve from the government."

In 1992, President Bush (41) was delayed and he spoke to the need of having insurance. President Bush (41) was right, but it offered the Clinton Campaign an huge advantage to hammer him over his lack of compassion, something that his son has been running from since 2000!

Nevertheless, the simple facts still ring true; 'people who live and build near the ocean, rivers, streams, inside of tropical climates, within tornado alley, active fault lines and California's dry brush MUST be responsible to obtain disaster insurance for themselves - or don't build/live there!'

This is self responsibility through common sense. It should not be the governments responsibility to re-build vacation homes without insurance!

But...this is NOT the message to send hours after a tragedy like Hurricane Charlie. Smart to place the education of such an 'act of God', (as they call it), to a later date. Reach with compassion today, educate tomorrow for the future.

[8/13/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:45 am [link]
The Media Fix is in: The double standard propagated by the Democrats and most in the media -- which consistently advantages Kerry -- somehow encourages people to accept the following idea: That it's A-OK for Kerry to air made-for-distribution home movies of his "adventures" in Vietnam as part of his advertising, but it's somehow illegitimate for President Bush to show his response to 9/11 for the same purpose. I would ask what's the distinction? Both men are showing their respective responses to a national crisis. Yes, of course, 9/11 was a searing national experience -- but so was Vietnam. The only difference is that President Bush's proffered example of leadership was in 2001; Kerry's was in 1969.

No, Bush can't seem to win. I remember appearing on Fox News around May 20 of last year, and the issue was whether it was "legitimate" for President Bush to use footage of landing on the aircraft carrier to welcome the troops home. Of course it's "legitimate," and I expressed the hope that he could and would use the pictures as he runs for reelection. That's out now, because of the "Mission Accomplished" banner (suggested, we have told been told by General Tommy Franks, not by Karl Rove but by him) -- and ironically, the footage is being used by the DEMOCRATS in some of their ads. No one has asked if THAT's legitimate! So when Bush uses favorable footage, it's questionable; when Kerry or his campaign does, that's no problem. So much for fair coverage.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
Dreaming of a Cambodian Christmas. The latest Camp Kerry spin seems to be that 1) he was in Cambodia, or really, really close to it, (like within 50 miles!) and it was Christmas, or 2) he was in Cambodia but just confused the date. Sorry, Sportsfans, but those won't do, try another. Kerry's comments about the episode were that it was 'seared in his memory' so it is unlikely that we can chalk this up to that ever-so-common early-20s dementia. Christmas in Vietnam - like most US holidays - was an occasion when the military tried very hard to give the troops a celebration. A truce was in place and other than necessary patrolling units were kept as quiet as possible. Kerry explained the fact that South Vietnamese were shooting at him because they were on a Christmas drunk which pins down the date. He also said he was stewing about Nixon's orders to go to Cambodia which were interesting in that Nixon had not yet taken the oath of office.

Truth is supposed to be the first casualty of war and Senator Kerry is doing everything possible to give credibility to that old saying. Facts in the matter are simple: Swifties did not go on combat ops alone and did not go into Cambodia. There was no Kerry Christmas mission to Cambodia. The entire thing is a product of the Senator's fertile imagination and apparently bottomless talent for embellishment. We used to say that the difference between a war story and a fairy tale is that a fairy tale starts 'once upon a time' and a war story starts 'you won't believe this but...' Kerry's should begin, 'you won't believe this but I spent Christmas eve in Cambodia.' At least the listeners would know that a fairy tale was forthcoming.

If pressed on this - and I doubt he will be pushed too hard by a sycophantic press - Kerry's muddle as Hugh Hewitt says is that if he comes clean about the exaggeration it taints his other self-aggrandizing war stories. If he continues to stonewall it feeds the fire. Goes to prove what Granddad always said, 'if you stick to the truth you don't have to remember what story you told which people.' The Senator is such a loser. If the man wasn't running for president you'd almost feel sorry for him having to invent all these cheap heroics to feel important.

[8/12/04 Thursday]

[Found in the ebag-Bob Burns] 12:07 am [link]
Reader Note - Kerry:
re J.F. Kelly's Tuesday column "Kerry's Qualifications for the Presidency" - Speaking as a former Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and the son of career Army veteran, I have nothing but respect for your comments and your perspective. And I am sure that my input will be redundant to you, as well. But I feel that a point was overlooked in your response to the hype concerning Senator Kerry's war record claims.

You stated, "Thirty-five years later is no time to be questioning them. And besides, what does all of this have to do with his qualifications for president?" And to this I would agree except that it is Mr. Kerry and the DNC that made these claims a cardinal issue at their convention, and they seem to want to paint the Senator as first and foremost a war hero. I would submit that given this showcasing and emphasis the Democrats are making the Senator's war record a qualification for the Presidency.

What I believe is the real issue is the undeniable fact of his anti-military words and stance after his time in Vietnam, his technically traitorous acts that gave aid and comfort to our enemy at the time, and - most importantly - that fact that he has never publicly apologized or retracted anything he said or did. This, coupled with his liberal and anti-military voting record, cause me to concur with you concerning his unfitness to be our next Commander-in-Chief.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:05 am [link]
Get out the Vote. I remember scenes from El Salvador in 1983-84 when people waited for hours to cast a ballot, often face down in the dirt under a broiling sun while communist rebels fired on polling sites, attempting to disrupt the electoral process. When asked by international election monitors - some of whom had more sympathy with the rebels than with the voters - why they did it, the simple peasants spoke in emotional tones of how much this privilege meant to them.

Today in Afghanistan more than 9 million Afghans - 40% women - have registered to vote in the next election. This in a country that has never known democracy or freedom of women. Despite efforts of the Taliban holdouts, al Qaeda remnants, and anachronistic warlords the election will be held and slowly but inexorably democracy will shine its light in previously dark areas.

Just two among many instances where Americans - inheritors of the flowering of democracy - can learn lessons from its latest beneficiaries. You want to make a difference? Vote.

[8/11/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
What about Cambodia, eh? Over the past decades, The talk radio circuit and the blogosphere, both led in many particulars by Hugh Hewitt, have pretty well fleshed out the John "Christmas in Cambodia" Kerry story, and it looks more and more like a shameless, outright lie has been told for two decades by the Democratic nominee. The problem, now, is how to ensure that the "elite" news media investigates the charges.

As the big media is approached and urged to cover the story, it's important that it be done by the right people and in the right way. Everyone can agree that no one wants John Kerry to be unfairly smeared -- in the incredibly unlikely event that he actually was somehow (counter to all known facts, and even reason itself) ferrying a CIA agent across the Cambodian border on Christmas Eve. After all, when the integrity and honor of any presidential nominee -- much less a war hero -- is so thoroughly undermined, we are all the poorer for it. America needs heroes, both Democrat and Republican.

But even more, they need truthful leaders -- who are not willing to lie about their backgrounds in order to score political points or justify political positions (e.g. Kerry and the Contras). It's fair for the bloggers, talk radio show hosts and all of us regular people to say to the media: The facts as they are currently presented have created a rebuttable presumption that Kerry is lying. Do you want to know the truth? And for the publications who have published the Cambodian Christmas stories over the years, do you want to know if you inadvertently offered false information to your readers? Do you care if it turns out that you were used by a truth-challenged politician to further his own career?

The advantage of this approach is as follows: The media may well not care what John Kerry did or didn't do in Vietnam (especially if it hurts his chances of beating Bush) -- but it's at least more likely that they will care very much about whether he lied to them. And it's always worth a shot to appeal to reporters' curiosity -- a trait that presumably led them into their line of work.

But in the end, the most effective way to help the story reach the major media is for Republican elected officials to raise the issue with the national networks and newspapers. Radio talk show hosts and bloggers are really handicapped in this effort because they are actually the networks'/papers' competitors in the information-purveying field, and they therefore will never be needed for interviews or leaks.

No, it's the Republican officials who need to raise the Kerry issue whenever they themselves talk to the press, both on air and off. Admittedly, Republican officials have been leery about discussing Kerry and Vietnam -- no one wants to attack a war hero, and rightly so. But no one's saying they should accuse Kerry of wrongdoing -- far from it.

No, rather, on behalf of their constituents -- who want answers! -- they should simply observe that Senator Kerry himself can put the entire sordid matter to rest, and shame all those who have allegedly slandered him, by doing two things: (1) answering all press questions and (2) releasing all his military and health records (as President Bush did when credible questions were raised about HIS military service).

Republican officials need not take one side or another about the facts of the case -- they should simply call for full disclosure, so that the chips can fall where they may. It's not too much to point out that serious, credible charges have been raised about important matters, and that the American people deserve an answer. After all, we're electing a president, not a king.

[8/10/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 6:45 pm [link]
What about Cambodia, eh?Over the past decades, The talk radio circuit and the blogosphere, both led in many particulars by Hugh Hewitt, have pretty well fleshed out the John "Christmas in Cambodia" Kerry story, and it looks more and more like a shameless, outright lie has been told for two decades by the Democratic nominee. The problem, now, is how to ensure that the "elite" news media investigates the charges.

As the big media is approached and urged to cover the story, it's important that it be done by the right people and in the right way. Everyone can agree that no one wants John Kerry to be unfairly smeared -- in the incredibly unlikely event that he actually was somehow (counter to all known facts, and even reason itself) ferrying a CIA agent across the Cambodian border on Christmas Eve. After all, when the integrity and honor of any presidential nominee -- much less a war hero -- is so thoroughly undermined, we are all the poorer for it. America needs heroes, both Democrat and Republican.

But even more, they need truthful leaders -- who are not willing to lie about their backgrounds in order to score political points or justify political positions (e.g. Kerry and the Contras). It's fair for the bloggers, talk radio show hosts and all of us regular people to say to the media: The facts as they are currently presented have created a rebuttable presumption that Kerry is lying. Do you want to know the truth? And for the publications who have published the Cambodian Christmas stories over the years, do you want to know if you inadvertently offered false information to your readers? Do you care if it turns out that you were used by a truth-challenged politician to further his own career?

The advantage of this approach is as follows: The media may well not care what John Kerry did or didn't do in Vietnam (especially if it hurts his chances of beating Bush) -- but it's at least more likely that they will care very much about whether he lied to them. And it's always worth a shot to appeal to reporters' curiosity -- a trait that presumably led them into their line of work.

But in the end, the most effective way to help the story reach the major media is for Republican elected officials to raise the issue with the national networks and newspapers. Radio talk show hosts and bloggers are really handicapped in this effort because they are actually the networks'/papers' competitors in the information-purveying field, and they therefore will never be needed for interviews or leaks.

No, it's the Republican officials who need to raise the Kerry issue whenever they themselves talk to the press, both on air and off. Admittedly, Republican officials have been leery about discussing Kerry and Vietnam -- no one wants to attack a war hero, and rightly so. But no one's saying they should accuse Kerry of wrongdoing -- far from it.

No, rather, on behalf of their constituents -- who want answers! -- they should simply observe that Senator Kerry himself can put the entire sordid matter to rest, and shame all those who have allegedly slandered him, by doing two things: (1) answering all press questions and (2) releasing all his military and health records (as President Bush did when credible questions were raised about HIS military service).

Republican officials need not take one side or another about the facts of the case -- they should simply call for full disclosure, so that the chips can fall where they may. It's not too much to point out that serious, credible charges have been raised about important matters, and that the American people deserve an answer. After all, we're electing a president, not a king.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:02 am [link]
Kerry de la guerre: Hugh Hewitt has been among those leading the way in flagging an important story for the "elite" media. Over the past decades, John Kerry has repeatedly claimed that he was in Cambodia on Christmas of 1968, in contravention of stated U.S. policy. Perhaps everyone should have been suspicious when he noted that "President Nixon" was denying at the time that any troops were in Cambodia -- as Nixon wasn't inaugurated until January of 1969. Kerry has repeated the story with varying specifics multiple times -- in the late '70's in the Boston Herald, in 1986 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and most recently, in a 1992 story by the Associated Press.

Now, however, upon being asked about the claims by Fox News' Carl Cameron, the campaign first tried to deny that Kerry had ever made them; confronted with evidence, it has now refused to comment further, at least in the meantime. Doesn't look too good for Monsieur "Rapporte pour le devoir" (reporting for duty, that is). Hope the press reminds him that he can put a lot of questions to rest by releasing ALL the records of his military service -- something he's declined so far to do.

If it turns out that Kerry's lied, he's in some trouble. Some people might have been willing to overlook his history of shameful lies about war crimes when he returned from the war, given the passage of time. But if it appears that he's lied repeatedly about salient aspects of his service, that could be just as bad (although, in fairness, it doesn't detract from the heroism of any reliably corroborated feats of bravery).

This entire episode certainly suggests Kerry is willing to exploit his "band of brothers" and his entire wartime experience all for political gain. And the worst part for him is that his lie -- if that's what it turns out to be -- will reinforce a creeping impression that his entire Vietnam tour was simply a cynical precursor to a politica career where it would be used repeatedly to his advantage.

It's worth remembering that Kerry was, in fact, against the Vietnam War before he was for it. But either way, he's never let anyone forget he's a hero -- although he did his utmost to hold other Vietnam soldiers up to ridicule and disrespect from their fellow Americans through his 1971 congressional testimony. And note that Kerry's constant preening is really unusual for a genuine war hero. Most are distinguished by their modesty.

If it turns out that Kerry's report of his Vietnam experiences are riddled with lies, it's pathetic in a truly cold-blooded kind of way . . . almost like demonstrating contempt for the sacrifices that he must have witnessed during his tour. For some reason, it reminds me of an able-bodied person parking in a handicapped parking place, but worse.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
Shut Up, Boys. I'm having a very difficult time trying to make sense of John McCain's attack on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group. If McCain, a poster child for POW abuse, has decided to forgive John Kerry's detestable actions in slandering all Vietnam War veterans that is certainly his right. Under other circumstances it might even be considered inappropriate for the angry vets to raise issues associated with Kerry's behavior during the war. Just as it seemed to me inappropriate to dig out and trash George W. Bush's National Guard record. But unlike Bush who made not particular point of his service, this tangential issue - not raised by the vets - is the central focal point of Kerry's campaign. Kerry uses his Vietnam service as the very keystone of his qualification for the presidency. That makes talking about it fair game. What grounds then for McCain to object so harshly to the vets expressing their First Amendment rights? The only answer seems to me that John McCain has trouble acting as a team player and is cooking a private agenda during this election.

[8/9/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:58 am [link]
Heartening news for the President or just a fluke? Last Saturday, as I was leaving the state Republican Convention in San Diego, a group of men demonstrated increasingly-hard-to-find courtesy by allowing me to enter an elevator first. As I did so, assuming that all the men were attending the convention, I complimented the good manner of Republican men. As the last man was getting off the elevator, he said quietly to me, "Actually, I'm not a Republican. But I am voting for George W." Curious, I asked him why, and he answered, "You know, I think the Democrats nominated a dud this time." Who could disagree with such a cogent analysis?

[Shawn Steel - past chairman California GOP] 5:55 am [link]
Clubbed:Steve Moore does it again. This is one of the funniest ads this political year.

Club's Latest TV Ad on Fox News Channel - We have secured national airtime for our hard-hitting "Weather Vane" ad on cable's Fox News Channel. If you haven't already seen it, the ad talks about John Kerry's voting record in the Senate. This is the same ad that the DNC is demanding TV stations to pull from their programming. Their actions confirm what we already knew: the Democrats don't want voters to know about Kerry's ridiculous flip-flopping!

[Brian Janiskee -Cal. State, San Bernardino & Claremont Institute] 5:52 am [link]
Kerry on Iraq: This video is devastating. The Bush folks have the goods on Kerry. I thought Kerry was vulnerable on this before, but I had no idea how vulnerable he was until I saw this video. It is smartly done and highly entertaining. Highest recommendation.

[8/6/04 Friday]

[Nick Winter-administrative editor] 5:11 am [link]
The new “I had an abortion.” t-shirt: On Wednesday I had the unpleasant experience of hearing Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation on a talk radio show. Of course, Ms. Feldt went on about the backward thinking and sexual repression that pervades the U.S. Not like progressive Europe with its enlightened view of sexual freedom... And, naturally, we all need an enlightened view of aborting the “fetus”... And Ms. Feldt explained that PPF’s new “I had an abortion.” t-shirt is really a sign of pride... A sign of pride... It’s really breathtaking that we have come so far in the devaluing of human life that scraping a baby out of a womb can be proudly emblazoned on a t-shirt. We put our take on the shirt up in Dubious Sources, and if you go there you can click through to the ordering page for the actual shirt... More’s the pity...

[Nick Winter-found in the ebag] 5:07 am [link]
From Reader Greg Oliver: Politics and culture?? I was not too successful when looking around your site to find much "culture". I did find many lies, and much propaganda though. The animosity of your whole movement towards any who disagree with you is disgusting. However, the leftists in this country are going to wake up soon and stop playing this softball while you guys play hard. - [Hmm... I oughta get the catcher’s mitt... Ed.]

[8/5/04 Thursday]

[Sharon Hughes - radio talk show host, columnist] 5:04 am [link]
America Looks at the Wives Did you catch Bill O'Reilly's interview with Laura Bush Tuesday night? How about Teresa Heintz-Kerry's response to Bush supporters chanting "4 more years"? Her response - "4 more years of hell!" Quite a contrast between the two.

America is evaluating the choices, not just for President, or Vice President, but for First Lady also. One democrat interviewed on the news said, "Can we have John Kerry for President and Laura Bush for First Lady?" That says alot. Laura has class and was very gracious about Teresa's remarks. I'm afraid John Kerry will continue to have to make excuses for his wife's responses. You can only say "she's just outspoken" so many times.

Now, I know it's not easy being the wife of someone running for office. When my husband, Duane, ran for Congress in 1994 and 1996 in California's sixth district against Lynn Woolsey (the incumbent "welfare mom" affectionately acknowledged by Bill Clinton in one of his State of the Union addresses, and part of the Barbara Boxer think-alike club) sometimes I couldn't wait for a day to just stay at home in my jeans, curl up in my favorite chair and read a good book. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week, especially the last three months of a campaign, meeting and talking to the people, can be tough. I can only imagine what it must be like when it's a race for the Presidency.

[8/4/04 Wednesday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 7:20 am [link]
Willful Ignorance. Everyone with a modicum of exposure to the intelligence analysis process understands that it is a long-term, complex process. Pieces of the puzzle derived early in the process are as necessary to understand the puzzle as are the last few pieces. It is irresponsible, reprehensible and compromises their integrity for the NY Times, Washington Post, Howard Dean and others who know better to state or imply that because some of the information used to make the call for the latest terror alert against US financial centers may be years old that somehow that minimizes or negates the threat. For them to say such things means that they are intentionally manipulating news, deliberatly deceiving and would risk safety of their readers to score cheap political points. All concerned deserve censure.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
Opening a Door. Remember the heat that George W. Bush took from the Democrats when he used a flicker of a shot of the burning World Trade Center Towers in a campaign ad? He was castigated at the time for 'exploitation' and 'heartlessness.' The small, vocal, radicalized group of relatives of the victims who have turned their grief into a cottage industry, piled on the president for 'using our loved ones for political motives.' But suddenly, somewhat out of the blue, last week Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement that may be one of the many shots we ought to anticipate from the Clintons subtly designed to undermine the Kerry campaign. Senator Rodham Clinton said that as commander in chief President Bush is 'entitled to bring up and talk about the 9/11 terror attacks,' but that 'it has to be done in a careful way or people will think he's exploiting it.'

Basically what the stealth 2008 presidential candidate, Senator Clinton, is doing is giving the GOP a green light to use 9/11 images again in its campaign. Recall that the Bush campaign had pulled the original ad in the face of hysterical criticism by the Democrats. The Dems hated it for the plain reason that the images remind Americans of what a great, strong leader Bush has been in the War on Terror. Now, within 90 days of the election, for one of the major figures in the Democrat Party to open the door for the Republicans to reprise the ads could be her way of kicking the underpinnings out from an already unsteady Kerry campaign. She is very subtle because she disguises her approval as a warning to Bush not to overuse the images.

Hillary already has taken two overt actions that we've seen to undermine Kerry. She told wealthy Democratic supporters that after a Kerry victory the government was going to 'take more of their money away from them' to use on social projects. Red light: we're going to bump your taxes. The second was the way she bullied her way into a speaking role at the Democratic convention. And of course release of Bill Clinton's book was designed as primo Clinton analyst Dick Morris says 'to suck all of Kerry's oxygen out of the air.' Watch for more of this as the Clinton's internal campaign to sink the good ship John F. Kerry continues unabated.

[8/3/04 Tuesday]

[Jill Stewart - Columnist] 12:02 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention:As one of the 8 percent of Americans who remain undecided and unimpressed with both John Kerry and George W. Bush, I observed the Democratic Convention with great interest. I'm dismayed at the rampant spending in Washington, and the inability of Congress or the President to explain why vast pork spending (outside of the obvious military spending needed for the war) is wise. I'm dismayed at how inarticulately the President or Congress explains "No Child Left Behind," a courageous and long-overdue reform aimed at upending the practices of an incompetent and belligerent education establishment that has run our schools into the ground for 30 years. I'm baffled by how little effort the President or Congress makes to wean us off foreign oil by funding alternate energy sources and true conservation in which homes/buildings/machines are built to better insulate or use less energy. John Kerry, who as a senator achieved nothing in fiscal reform, education, energy, or virtually any other key domestic area, utterly failed to seriously address such gaping problems. Who convinced Kerry that we swing voters are interested solely in Iraq and things he did when he was young? Swing voters have many issues with both the Republicans and the Democrats. And watching Kerry, I was deeply, deeply unimpressed. I'll wager most swing voters remain unmoved.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 12:01 am [link]
I've Got a Secret. Breaking: sources close to the Kerry campaign have disclosed that Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry has lost his only copy of the oxymoronically well-publicized 'secret plan' he has developed for winning the Iraq war, capturing Bin Laden, turning US policy over to a UN-French consortium of the 'willing,' and re-installing the ever-popular 98% marginal tax rate. Reporters on the scene noted that a disheveled person - clearly sloppy but exceedingly well-intentioned - who bore a striking resemblance to the exiled Sandy Berger was seen earlier today leaving Kerry HQ with unusually thick socks. Film at 11!

[8/2/04 Monday]

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:06 am [link]
The Difference between CAIR and MPAC:
I am sometimes asked to characterize the difference between the two leading American Islamist organizations, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. While they agree on many issues ˆ impeding counterterrorism efforts and forwarding an Islamist vision of America in particular ˆ they also differ in some ways.

  • General outlook: MPAC portrays itself as "moderate," a self-definition that presumably has never crossed CAIR's collective mind;
  • Aggressiveness: CAIR is the attack-dog, MPAC follows.
  • Funding: CAIR takes large amounts of money from at least one foreign state, something that MPAC disavows in its boilerplate fundraising appeal ("As a matter of policy, MPAC DOES NOT accept any funding from foreign governments").
  • Geography: CAIR, being headquartered on New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., is more relentlessly political than MPAC, headquartered on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

But the current crisis in Darfur brings out what is perhaps the key difference. Unlike the many cases around the world of Muslim violence against non-Muslims ˆ what Samuel Huntington has so evocatively dubbed "the bloody borders of Islam" ˆ this one involves Muslims only (or, to complete Huntington's quote, "and so are its innards"). That is to say, both the aggressor (the "Janjaweed" militia sponsored by the government of Sudan) and the victims (the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa of Darfur) adhere to the Islamic religion.

MPAC responded yesterday by issuing a press release, "Humanitarian Crisis in the Sudan," that decries that "the perpetrator of this crime is indirectly the Sudanese government" and calls on the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference "publicly and loudly" to condemn the violence in Darfur and call for a war-crimes tribunal. It also asks Americans "to write to the Embassy of Sudan, expressing concern about this terrible humanitarian catastrophe."

In contrast, CAIR has stayed mum about the whole Darfur matter. When buttonholed by a reporter, its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, tersely replied "We don't have enough knowledge of the situation to make judgments."

In brief, MPAC takes a public stance of wishing to protect ordinary Muslims from the Islamist furies; CAIR does not. As ever, CAIR is consistently more radical.

[Sharon Hughes - radio talk show host, columnist] 5:04 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Democratic Convention: Lights, Camera, Action! The democrats have gone into the movie making business, and I don't mean Moore's Fahrenheit 911. It's interesting to note that Kerry started filming for Thursday night 35 years ago during his 4 months in Vietnam with his 8 mm movie camera, re-enacting ambushes and play acting like he was an infantryman (see Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry - Not Happy with doctored military picture). The evening, dare I say the whole week, was a definite extreme make-over. Actually, it was remarkable to watch how they pulled off turning this anti-war activist disliked by the real majority of his "band of brothers" into a war-hero. I'm sure the Swifties were unimpressed.


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