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[9/29/04 Wednesday]

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist, CRO contributor] 12:01 am [link]
More Reasons for Brandon Mayfield's Incarceration
Brandon Mayfield is the Portland, Oregon lawyer and Muslim convert who spent two weeks in jail as a result of a mis-identified fingerprint seeming to link him to the Madrid bombings on March 11, 2004. I attempted to show in "If You Are Muslim, You Are Suspect," that his "many connections to militant Islam and the global jihad" made it sensible to focus on him as a suspect.

Now, four months after he was released from custody, the U.S. Attorney in Oregon, Karin Immergut, has publicly presented further evidence to explain her office's suspicions about Mayfield. Her 4,700-word "Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Amend Order Requiring Destruction of Seized Items," dated Sept. 13, 2004 (and not online), explains how, pursuant to court-authorized searches, the government obtained a variety of evidence (and, the memo argues, that it needs to keep a copy of the evidence to respond to possible future litigation by Mayfield). The memo classifies the evidence against Mayfield into several categories (which I preserve as presented, with the exception of adjusting some faulty numbering):A computer in Mayfield's residence had:

1. been used to research airline schedules for travel from Portland, Oregon to Madrid, Spain, in September and October 2003;
2. accessed websites marketing rental housing in Spain in the fall of 2003;
3. accessed a number of websites based in Spain, including a website apparently sponsored by the Spanish national passenger rail system – the target of the March 11, 2004 bombings;
4. been used to perform a "Google search" regarding the phrase "target practice at home;" and
5. been used to specifically access a FAQ ("frequently-asked question") contained on "" relating to the use of a "credit card with a billing address outside the U.S." for payment for travel services.

In addition, during the search of Mayfield's home, agents discovered, among other items:

6. a handwritten notation of a telephone number in Spain;
7. virulently anti-Semitic articles printed from the internet which appeared to blame Jewish people for various world problems;
8. pilot training logs showing Mayfield's experience as a small aircraft pilot in the 1980s; [a footnote here adds that "Al-Qaida has in recent years sought to recruit individuals with piloting skills."]
9. a book chronicling the development of the Al Qaida network;
10. 2 firearms; and
11. classified national defense documents relating to a U.S. weapons system.

In the court-authorized search of Mayfield's office, agents found:

12. a post-September 11, 2001 letter, apparently written by Mayfield, expressing support for the Taliban. [DP addition: It stated, "Who is America to bomb the Taliban because they don't like Afghanistan's law? All I say that Americans should think twice about the example you are setting on the rest of the countries"]

In the court-authorized search of Mayfield's safe deposit box, agents found:13. $10,000 in cash, all in one-hundred dollar denominations, strapped in five two-thousand dollar increments with straps dated November, 2002. This large quantity of cash seemed inconsistent with the apparently limited income generated by Mayfield's law practice (which appeared to be under $25,000 per year adjusted gross income.) Also found in the safe deposit box were current passports for Mayfield's children and an expired passport for his wife.

While "there may be innocent explanations for all of these facts," Immergut concluded in the court filing, "this evidence demonstrates that the government and its agents were acting in good faith when they continued the material witness investigation and sought Mayfield's continued detention after his initial arrest." That makes good sense to me.

[9/28/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:06 pm [link]
Oopa Loopa: Hugh Hewitt is talking about the "Oopa Loopa" factor -- John Kerry's face has turned orange in the midst of debate prep. How 'bout this:

Oopa Loopa doopy dee doo
Listen to this – you’ll swear it’s not true
Oopa loopa doompydah dee
If you are vain, you’re like John Kerry

What do you get when you’re losing the race?
Clinton’s old team – and orange paint on your face.
Why don’t you just put the makeup jar down?
You’ll never win looking like a clown!

People scorn a weathervane . . .

Oopa Loopa Doopydah Dar
With no convictions you’ll not get far
If you win, America’s “screwed”
Orange-faced, botoxed, weak-kneed, silly and rude!

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
First Dershowitz, then Ogletree, now Tribe. Three Harvard law professors who basically admit to plagiarizing others' work.

In today's Crimson, here's Dershowitz's defense of Tribe (notwithstanding that they weren't the best of buddies when I was there):

"He [Dershowitz] said that judges frequently rely on lawyers’ briefs and clerks’ memoranda in drafting opinions. This results in a 'cultural difference' between sourcing in the legal profession and other academic disciplines, Dershowitz said."

I like Dershowitz (he defended the First Amendment rights of some of my friends when the liberal establishment was on a rampage), but he sure didn't get Claus von Bulow off with arguments like this. Gimme a break. Anyone who was a member of any law review can tell of the countless hours spent subciting, techciting, proofreading, rereading, rechecking etc etc etc -- by large numbers of law journal members, all to make sure that every single source was attributed and quoted correctly. If you don't believe me, take a look at any law review. Whatever's missing, it's NOT citations. Dershowitz can try to argue about the "culture" of the legal profession as a whole, but in truth, the "culture" of legal academia is tedious cite checking to -- no, past -- the point of exhaustion. So save it for Michael Jackson's appeal

Like all third year law students at Harvard, I had to write a third-year paper to graduate. You can bet some silly excuse about "legal culture" wouldn't have cut the mustard if I had lifted some of, say, Tribe's work without attribution. I would have heard about the ethical responsibilities of lawyers -- before, during and after the times they practiced -- and then I would have been out on my ear. And I would have deserved it.

Stuff like this happens, John Edwards is nominated for Vice President -- and they wonder why the legal profession is held in such low regard???

[9/27/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:52 am am [link]
Over at The American Thinker, there is an excellent article about the fact that John Kerry's older sister, Peggy, is actually campaigning against the Bush Administration while serving as a middle-level member of it (she received the job as a political appointee of the Clinton Administration; it "became permanent" shortly after Bush was inaugurated. How convenient).

What caught my eye is that this gal is apparently a pretty radical feminist. One of the things she's promising that her baby brother will do, if elected, is restore the $34 million to the UN Population Fund that the Bush Administration has been withholding (in the honorable tradition of the Reagan and Bush I Administrations).

Two weeks ago, this little detail wouldn't have meant anything to me. But for my appearance on the PBS show "To the Contrary" a week ago (air date 9/17), one of the originally scheduled topics had been the decision to withhold $34 million from the UN Population Fund, (i.e. is the decision motivated by the President's Evangelical Christianity? Discuss.)

Overcoming the temptation to avert my eyes from the sewer that is the UN, I researched the Fund, and came up with some pretty appalling information. Contrary to its name and what people like the Kerrys would have you believe, it's not an entity that just gives out birth control to struggling families in the Third World -- few, after all, could object to a mission like that (although some could for justifiable religious reasons).

As it turns out, this little outfit, the U.N. Population Fund, is complicit with the Chinese policy of forced abortions and involuntary sterilization. Looks wacko on paper, but it's true. In some Chinese counties, it even shares an office with the Chinese "Office of Family Planning," which is tasked with enforcing China's one-child policy.

So here's how it goes: the UN Population Fund gives China money for things like portable ultrasound machines. Sounds okay . . . but then it turns out that the Chinese government is ultrasounding women without their consent, and if they are carrying an "unauthorized" baby, i.e. they already have a child, they get an abortion -- whether they want one or not. And they are often sterilized without their consent. Kind of turns the euphemism for abortion "Choice" on its head, doesn't it?

According to congressional testimony from entities like Amnesty International, journalists, even Chinese women themselves, babies may be delivered, then their skulls injected with poison, and the bodies thrown in trash cans. Congressman Chris Smith, who convened some of these hearings, has written on their substance. See: The United Nations Population Fund Helps China Persecute Women and Kill Children Any wonder that China has the highest female suicide rate in the world (56% of women's suicide take place there)?

People of good faith can certainly differ on the abortion issue -- but who can condone this kind of brutality, or be willing to subsidize a UN fund which, although it doesn't participate, is certainly complicit? Peggy and her brother John Kerry.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:02 am [link]
Lefty Blog: What do you expect from the New York Times, or its Sunday Magazine? The long article Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail touts only the left-wing bloggers (with one passing reference to "conservative" InstaPundit) while ignoring the big conservative blogs that actually succeeded in facing Dan Rather --blogs like, LittleGreenFootballs and There's nothing more to be said when the author reveals that he offered Joshua Micah Marshall a place to sleep for one night of the Democratic Convention. The author's a liberal, and he's desperately trying to prop up some of the liberal blogs. But aside from organizing a jihad against Trent Lott, what in the way of important or original contributions have the left-wing blogs provided? In their defense, it's hard when you've got the national media already dominating all the turf west of the line.

[Cliff Kincaid columnist & Don Irvine] 12:01 am [link]
Hewitt, Rather and Congress: Writing in the Weekly Standard, Hugh Hewitt has urged congressional investigations and hearings into the Rathergate memo scandal. While the subject of “sources” would be a touchy one, he says, an official federal investigation “could provide some information on the workings of a major broadcast network confronted with a juicy story that has been discovered to have been cooked.” Fortunately, Rep. Joe Barton of the House Commerce Committee has rejected such a probe.

A congressional investigation would play into the hands of Dan Rather and CBS News. Rather would be able to change the subject from his own malicious behavior to the propriety of Congress targeting an American news organization. The ACLU and other news organizations would immediately rally to the side of CBS.

One pleasant outcome of the current controversy is that media organizations have subjected CBS News to scrutiny. News organizations that have investigated the conduct of CBS News include the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News and ABC News. That’s something that was rarely done in the past, when the three broadcast networks dominated the television news business. At that time they didn’t want to report on each other’s mistakes and scandals.

Congressional hearings were justified when CBS aired that offensive half-time football show. In that case, Congress had every right to examine whether CBS had violated federal laws against airing indecency, and whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was doing its job enforcing the law. In rejecting the call by Congressman Chris Cox for a congressional probe of Rathergate, Rep. Barton said, “A news organization’s responsibility is to facts and truth, but the oversight of network news generally is a matter best sorted out by the viewing public and the news media. I do not personally believe these documents are legitimate, and it seems clear that the press and the two presidential campaigns are properly dealing with that issue.”

Hugh Hewitt said that congressional hearings “would benefit the Bush campaign, just as the forgery scandal has, because it brings into sharp focus the ethics of the Bush opponents and the anti-Bush bias of the mainstream media.” But that’s precisely why Republicans should reject such hearings. Using the Congress against the news media would surely backfire against the Republicans.

The liberals have already shown their preference for the use of Big Government against their enemies in the media. The George Soros-funded asked the Federal Trade Commission to halt Fox News’ use of the allegedly misleading “fair and balanced” slogan. If they controlled Congress, they might even urge hearings into Fox News. The Republicans should not make that mistake in regard to CBS. This is a matter for the FBI, not Congress. The use of forged documents to defraud the U.S. can result in ten years in prison. CBS should welcome such a probe, since it believes it was misled and it wanted the White House to investigate and expose the documents in the first place. CBS should welcome an FBI probe into its “sources.”

[9/24/04 Friday]

[Cliff Kincaid columnist & Don Irvine] 5:25 am [link]
Schieffer and Soros: CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer acted concerned, in a September 13th commentary, that rich people were abusing the campaign laws by funneling money to so-called 527 groups. Schieffer complained that, “One of the President’s strongest supporters, Texas oil man Boone Pickens, had given the Swift Boat group a half million dollars” and “two other Bush supporters” chipped in more than $200,000 each. Then Schieffer added in passing that George Soros is a billionaire “financing millions of dollars of attack ads against President Bush…” Schieffer called these examples of “how the big money boys on both sides can find ways around the campaign laws and do it with the blessings of Congress.”

It is apparent that what prompted Schieffer’s concern was the less than one million dollars he identified as going to the Swift Boat ads against Kerry. But based on his own rather vague figure of “millions,” the Soros money dwarfs anything spent by the Swift Boat vets. Indeed, it’s much worse than he indicated. The members of the CBS News political unit had already done a compilation, based on a report in the Boston Phoenix, of what was called the “Dems’ Dirty Dozen,” who were using the 527s against Bush. At that time, according to this account, Soros alone had spent more than $12 million on 527s. Soros associate Peter Lewis had spent over $14 million on pro-Democrat 527s. Stephen Bing, linked by ABC News reporter Brian Ross to a mob figure, had spent over $8 million.

The Boston Phoenix article by David S. Bernstein noted that “more than $15 million of political advertising has run in the past three months, most of it bashing Bush, most of it in key battleground states—without costing the Kerry campaign a dime…it’s probably a big reason why John Kerry entered July in a dead heat in the polls despite the tens of millions of dollars spent on negative advertising against him—and one of the reasons why Bush’s favorability ratings are at an all-time low.”

Bernstein said that today’s “527 fever” is “predominantly liberal” and reflects what one political figure calls a “privatization of political activity.” Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson also wrote about this phenomenon, saying that the privatization of the Democratic Party was a positive development. And he thanked Soros for doing it.

Meyerson rejected suggestions from Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert that Soros was getting money from mysterious foreign sources possibly connected to the illegal drug cartels. Soros, who favors legalization of hard drugs, strongly denied that connection and threatened to sue Hastert for suggesting it.

We don’t know where Soros gets his money. We do know he runs an unregulated hedge fund that is based outside the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do know that Soros is reported to have invested in the narco-state of Colombia when the Drug Enforcement Administration was warning of drug money being laundered in the banks down there. We also know he was convicted of insider trading in France. Bob Schieffer should do a commentary on that.

[9/23/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:25 am [link]
Thank you, America: What a morning in Washington, D.C. In contrast to the doomsayers and those who, like John Kerry, called Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time", Iraq's Interim Prime Minister Allawi put it all in perspective -- - Politics - Transcript: Allawi Thanks America. Among all the other statistics he quoted about Iraq's progress, he noted that elections could be held today in 15 of the 18 provinces. People are living in freedom, not fear. And he said, "Thank you, America." The difficulties are many, the price is high -- but mornings like this remind America of why it is America. The big battles are left to the strong and the blessed; America would not be the country it is if we shirked that duty. President Bush sees a noble cause and the importance of protecting the U.S.; Kerry sees a "quagmire" that's supposedly taking money from fireshouses in America, where troops can't be pulled out soon enough, whatever the chaos that results. Whose vision for the future do YOU support?

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 7:22 am [link]
Education with a union label: An interesting article from the Washington Times today: Public schools no place for teachers' kids - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - September 22, 2004 - highlights the fact that public school teachers actually send their own children to PRIVATE schools in disproportionate numbers -- often more than 1 in 4.

It's an amazing statistic, and tells you all you need to know about the real state of public education. Can you imagine the outcry if nurses refused to permit their own children to be treated in the hospitals where they work -- or if GM factory workers were found to be more likely than the average person NOT to buy GM cars?

But dominated as it is by teachers' unions, many of whom are only tangentially concerned with the quality of the actual education that is provided, the status quo remains. Apparently quite all right that hte people who know public school the best are abandoning it. Quite sad -- because, though it's become a cliche, education really is the means for achieving the American dream.

While I was in Washington last weekend, I had an interesting chat with a taxi driver who won the immigration lottery to move to the US from Ethiopa. He's an entrepreneur -- having taken my mother and me from our hotel to the WWII monument Monday morning (it's magnificent, by the way), he volunteered to return later in the afternoon to our hotel in order to have the fare when I went to BWI. Though he makes comparatively little, he and his family are scrimping so that they can live in Montgomery County, where the schools are much better than in the District. He's proud that even his two daughters have the chance to get educated -- an opportunity he tells me he was denied in Ethiopia, and of which his children (especially the girls) would also have been deprived. "You can do anything here," he told me. "Anybody can get an education." Well, yes, unless they live in an unfortunate school district -- and don't have a dad with the immigrant's perserverance and patriotism.

The NEA and AFT and that gang owe our children more.

[9/22/04 Wednesday]

[Nick Winter-CRO administrative editor] 12:39 am [link]
Big Media for Kerry: You know, the thing that bothers me – as I’m sure it bothers you – in all this CBS forged document stuff is that the self righteous Dan Rather trying to turn the vague possibility of President Bush maybe missing a National Guard physical is something so reprehensible it should bring down his bid for reelection. Wringing tortured statements from three partisans... Awful... And Dan breathlessly hanging on to that Knox lady’s every word... Please...

It’s so unseemly to watch Dan Rather nakedly throwing a life vest to the sinking John Kerry by killing this gnat of an issue with the mighty hammer of 60 Minutes.

It is maddening that the Rathers, Brokaws and Jennings of BIG MEDIA — these elite “investigative journalists” - can jump all over the President... Tear down the President... Sneer at the President.. but on the other hand give John Kerry a complete pass. Where is their “investigation” of John Kerry? Does the Senator have nothing but a pristinge record? It doesn’t seem important to the media elite that he lied to Congress in his testimony on his return from Vietnam. They shrug off that he secretly met with North Vietnamese officials in Paris – undermining the negotiations of the United States government. Meeting with the Chief Sandinista Daniel Ortega to help Ortega to keep the people of Nicaragua from being free... Voting against the first Gulf War... The most radical, liberal voting record in the Senate... Come on!

Oh, yeah, I forgot. What could I be thinking? BIG MEDIA believes that having the most liberal, most radical voting record in the Senate is a good thing. A really good thing... Mainstream, actually. Why it’s so mainstream Kerry's record a non-issue for BIG MEDIA... He's their perfect kind of Robert Redford (The Candidate) Michael Douglas (The American President) Martin Sheen (The West Wing) nuanced Chief Executive... Disturbing.

You know, with almost all of BIG MEDIA - the three big broadcast networks, the major magazines and the largest metro newspapers - ALL lined up against President Bush it is an absolute miracle that George W. Bush leads in the polls!

[9/21/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:02 am [link]
Hard to believe -- even if you've always known that the "old media" leans left. Apparently, according to the AP, CBS struck a "corrupt bargain" with Bill Burkett and persuaded Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign to telephone the disgruntled Bush-hater. To borrow a phrase from John Dean, to me, this sounds "worse than Watergate." A supposedly impartial news organization serving as the pimp between Burkett and Kerry's minions? How low the "Tiffany network" has fallen. Heads must roll.

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist, CRO contributor] 5:01 am [link]
More on "They're Terrorists - Not Activists":
I published an article by the above title, criticizing major media outlets for their avoiding the term terrorist in favor of some twenty synonyms. The article has prompted new information from readers.

  • A CNN viewer notes a marked spike in use of the word terrorist by the station newsreaders and reporters on Sept. 4, one day after the atrocity at Beslan, with 6 usages in just over a half-hour period. The viewer characterizes the T-word being said "more times in a few minutes than in the past year."
  • In the South Asian context, the press and politicians use such super-euphemisms as intruders, ultras and miscreants.
  • In the Israeli context, when describing an actual terrorist attack, the Hebrew press always uses the word "terrorist" but when describing, say, an IDF operation against Hamas, Tanzim, etc., it will most often use the term "Hamas activists" (pe'ilay Hamas) or "Tanzim activists" (pe'ilay Tanzim). Also common are the terms "Hamas man" (ish Hamas) or "Hamas men" (anshay Hamas).
  • Reuters, one of the outlets I named, has posted a page with its "Editorial Policy" that includes a question, "Why don't you describe terrorists as terrorists?" and this reply: "As part of a long-standing policy to avoid the use of emotive words, we do not use terms like "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" unless they are in a direct quote or are otherwise attributable to a third party. We do not characterize the subjects of news stories but instead report their actions, identity and background so that readers can make their own decisions based on the facts."
  • The Boston Globe's ombudsman, Christine Chinlund, took on the vexed matter of when to use the term terrorism a year ago. She acknowledged that the Globe routinely describes Hamas, "whose suicide bombers maim and kill Israeli citizens," as a militant, not a terrorist, group, and that this policy "infuriates" some readers. Chinlund justified the terminology by noting that tagging Hamas as a terrorist organization "is to ignore its far more complex role in the Middle East drama" and then fell back on the hoary myth that "One person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter." She reserved the terrorist label "for specific acts of violence," and preferred that it not be applied broadly to groups. Oh, and all that said, she endorsed the Globe referring to Al-Qaeda as a "terrorist network." Go figure.

[9/20/04 Monday]

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 8:13 am [link]
The Race for Board of Equalization Chair:
The chairwoman of the Board of Equalization, Carol Migden, is running for the State Senate. She will win her seat, leaving the chair vacant. The chairperson sets the Board agenda and serves on the Franchise Tax Board. Rumors have already started about who will succeed her in this post. Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-2 on the Board, but we generally work in a bipartisan fashion and nearly everyone has voted for someone of the opposite party to have a run as chair. Controller Steve Westly seems to be changing that tradition. He is rumored to have declared that he will not vote for a Republican as chair, meaning me or Claude Parrish. Westly himself is not eligible to be chair because the Controller already sits on the FTB and cannot occupy two of those three seats, and the Migden seat will be vacant pending the legal question about whether her Chief Deputy can be elected Chair. That means Westly’s vote can only go to John Chiang. [Leonard Letter]

[9/17/04 Friday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:01 am [link]
A big mushroom cloud: A massive explosion in North Korea up close to the China border reminded us last week that these people may be just an eyelash away from a real nuclear test blast. While not the real thing it at least was sufficient to generate a heartbeat out of John Kerry who immediately blamed - who else? - Bush for 'permitting' the North Koreans to go nuclear. Let's forget about the 1994 Agreed Framework (let's see who was pres then?) knocked together by an ego-tripping Jimmy Carter that allowed the North Koreans to give us their word that they were discontinuing nuclear research while we poured billions of aid and light water reactors into the country. So much for promises from dictators. And while we're mentioning his name, where was the Mouth from the South Carter when it came time to speak out on the terrible human rights abuses perpetrated by the Great Leader and the Dear Leader in their gulags? Including open discussion of this intolerable situation in! North Korea by presidential candidates would be a welcome addition to the debates. At least we can fast forward from four months in Vietnam.

[9/16/04 Thursday]

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:12 am [link]
Sign Up:
I'd like to plug Restoration Weekend 2004, a four-day retreat sponsored by David Horowitz' Center for the Study of Popular Culture. This year's bash takes place on November 11-14, in Boca Raton, Florida at the splendid Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Né the Dark Ages Weekend, it went legit a few years ago. It each year brings together leading policymakers, writers, and conservative activists and is among the very best of such events on the circuit. Many distinguished speakers will be there, including:

  • Two men who are making history this presidential election - John O'Neill (of Swift Boat Veterans) and Senator Zell Miller.
  • Three other senators - Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Jeff Sessions.
  • A bevy of columnists - Michael Barone, Ann Coulter, Victor Davis Hanson, Michelle Malkin, and Dick Morris.
  • Such distinguished figures as Charlie Black, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Chris DeMuth, Kelsey Grammer, Bill Kristol, Thomas McInerney, Marc Andreessen, and R. James Woolsey.
  • Natan Sharansky, who will be honored.

I encourage you to attend if you possibly can. More information, including pictures of past events and a schedule for the forthcoming weekend, can be found at the website. You can also reserve a spot there or by calling Michael Finch at 323-556-2550 ext.212, or e-mailing him at

Participation costs $1,500 for a single person, $2,500 for a couple. (Contributions are partially tax deductible.)

[Nick Winter-administrative editor] 5:11 am [link]
Other Fake Documents? Fabricated military records citing falsehoods? Dan Rather has a story ready made for 60 Minutes. Oops… forgot… Dan and his fellow “journalists” won’t cover any story that puts their candidate in a bad light. But Mr. Kerry could very well have manipulated (fabricated?) his citation for a Silver Star. Documents related to the medal tell different stories. If CBS can say that this issue of President Bush missing his physical goes to his character – then why won’t they look into Mr. Kerry’s document problem which truly speaks to his character [Fighting With The Truth Henry Holzer – FrontPage.mag]

[9/15/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
A less left Hollywood? Interesting documentary on AMC last night about Republicans in Hollywood. Most heartening was the assertion by writer and producer Lionel Chetwynd that those in Hollywood under 35 -- maybe even those under 40 -- are much more conservative than their predecessors. Chetwynd attributes this to a reaction to the fact that many of the up-and-comers came of age in schools warped by political correctness. That may be true, as far as it goes . . . but it's worth bearing in mind that many of the under 40 crowd gained political awareness during the era of Ronald Reagan -- and the "stigma" of being a conservative was considerably less than it had been in decades. Also, young people place a premium on authenticity. Watching privileged peacocks like Susan Sarandon and Barbra Streisand lecture everyone about the evils of big business before retiring behind the gates of their privileged existences (like watching Rosie O'Donnell decry guns, though HER children have armed bodyguards) doesn't do a lot to back up their preening assertions of moral superiority and ethical purity. It's about time to get a little balance back in Tinseltown. We could also use some good movies that don't rely on gratuitous sex and violence...

[9/14/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 8:36 am [link]
I'm Melting...That drip, drip, drip is the slow, steady leaking of CBS' life blood -- its credibility. Even the Washington Post pretty clearly concedes the documents are forgeries. Click here: Expert Cited by CBS Says He Didn't Authenticate Papers . Yet Dan Rather continues to defend them . . . perhaps having learned from President Clinton that until fault is actually admitted, there is still a chance that some members of the Flat Earth Society will continue to believe the propaganda. What's sad is that a once-respected news organization has chosen to follow the lead of one of America's most dishonest presidents. Unless CBS does something to put this right, it's hard to believe that its reporting can ever be believed again.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 7:02 am [link]
Bush Numbers in California Country:Latest poll had Bush up on Kerry with "economy trust", here is an example why...

Jobs up. The California’s economy created 3,100 jobs in August. It now has 112,300 more payroll jobs than a year ago. (Source: Employment Development Department (EDD), seasonally adjusted, 9/13/04)

California’s economy is adding good-paying jobs. More than three-quarters of the new jobs added in the last year have been in industries that pay above the national average. For example, Professional and Business Services comprised 39% of the gross job growth. The average hourly pay of a non-supervisory job in that industry is $17.60. That’s above the national average for all non-supervisory jobs of $15.77 per hour. (Source: Employment Development Department (EDD), seasonally adjusted, 9/13/04)

Unemployment down. California’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% from 6.2% in July. This is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2001 and a full percentage point below year ago levels. California’s average unemployment rate in the 1990s was 7.3%. (Source: Employment Development Department (EDD), seasonally adjusted, 9/13/04)

Personal incomes swell. California personal incomes increased 1.5% to $1.2 trillion during the first quarter of 2004. On a per capita basis, personal incomes increased $760 to $33,749 last year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 6/29/04)

Housing values increase. California housing values increased 13.9% in the past year. Over the last five years, home values have risen by 77.0%. (Source: U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, 6/1/04)

More exports. California exported $27.1 billion in goods and services in the first three months of 2004. That’s 25% more than a year ago. 1 million manufacturing jobs in California—one out of four manufacturing jobs—are reliant on trade. (Source: Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5/18/04; “Exports from Manufacturing Establishments: 2001.” U.S. Census Bureau, 7/04)

Insourcing jobs. Over 713,500 jobs are “insourced” to California from companies based in other countries. About 11.1% of all manufacturing jobs in State are with foreign companies. (Source: “Survey of Current Business,” U.S Department of Commerce, 8/02)

Revenues on the rise. Total state tax collections in California, adjusted for legislation and inflation, increased by 9.5% in March from the same period a year ago (Source: “State Tax Revenue Recovery Gathering Steam,” Fiscal Studies Program: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 6/04)

[9/13/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:32 am [link]
Prof Left: Kudos to my compatriots on The Daily Princetonian (I was editorial chairman way back '88-'89). Today's piece on the overwhelming preponderance of left-leaning donations by my alma mater's professoriate has been linked by the Drudge Report and appears here Click here: The Daily Princetonian - Professors fund liberal candidates.

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 5:08 am [link]
Election Follies: Two things are now clear about the presidential election campaign. One is that it's essentially over. The Kerry campaign is more and more resembling the Bush campaign of 1992, a campaign without focus or definition. Working on that debacle, I recall at one point asking a White House speechwriting researcher what the campaign's position was on a particular issue so I could write lines about it for a Bush speech. "You mean our position today?" she replied cynically. That's what the Kerry campaign looks like now. The head of the Bush advertising team in '92 later described it as the most frustrating assignment of his career, "like being asked to produce ads about a non-existent product." Again, that's this year's Kerry campaign.

Most voters now know that Kerry has no idea who he is, what he stands for or where he wants to take the country, and that realization is being reflected in the polls that show Bush pulling away. Democrats hoping Kerry can redeem himself in the debates can forget it. Bush will win the debates as handily as he's going to win the election. While Kerry will calculate and massage every answer to say what he thinks most voters want to hear, Bush will speak from the heart and express his core beliefs. The stark, side-by-side contrast between real and phony will push Kerry further into the quicksand.

The other thing that's now clear is that we are collectively a nation of fools. When we endured September 11, 2001 in a state of jaw-dropping shock, I bet there was not one person in the U.S. who predicted that day that the #1 issue in this year's presidential election would be who did or did not do what during the Vietnam war. Yes, Kerry opened this can of worms by making his Vietnam service an issue. But it should have ended by now. To have this nonsense -- including Bush's National Guard service or lack thereof -- go back and forth and on and on to Election Day as it apparently will, is an outrage. At a time when America is fighting two real wars -- one in Iraq and one against Islamic extremists -- as well as facing the dangers of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran, plus a host of domestic challenges, arguing about a war fought decades ago is something that future generations will look back at with contempt. The first presidential election since 9/11 has failed to rise to the occasion.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
Blogosphere vs. CBS: If they weren't so arrogant, you'd almost have to feel sorry for them. Jonathan Klein of CBS argued on Friday that bloggers are essentially "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas." (Good thing I'm not sensitive -- Jonathan, I'm a girl! And why blog in pajamas when Lanz nightgowns are so much more comfortable?). And in an article on bloggers in yesterday's LA Times, Jeffrey Seglin, a professor at Emerson College in Boston, expressed worry about knowing who the bloggers actually are -- that is, whether they can really be trusted. Sounds like he's auditioning for a job in the CBS news department -- apparently they don't believe in taking the initiative to do a little simple fact-checking there, either.

Both Klein and Seglin have come in for a fair amount of ridicule on the internet -- see or if you don't believe me. It's hardly a fair fight -- Seglin and Klein get only one moment in time for taking their little cheap shots; in return, countless intelligent, resourceful and creative bloggers are able to make fun of them in a variety of highly entertaining ways. Just one more instance where it's one for "new media"; zip for the old.

[9/11/04 Saturday]

We will never tire,
and we will hunt them down.
We will fight these evil ones,
and we will win. - GWB 9/21/01

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 3:45 pm [link]
9/11: Today we mark the third anniversary of the Al Qaeda attacks on America. It is a day of rememberance -- a sad day, but also a time for all of us to renew our resolution to prevail over the evil that murdered 3000 of our fellow Americans and sent thousands more fleeing terrified through the streets. Yes, it's natural to be sad -- but the real question is what we will do about it. To paraphrase what President Lincoln said at Gettysburg, what we must do is this: From the sacrifice of the lives that were lost, we can rededicate ourselves to the cause of freedom and the defeat of a dark and tyrannical ideology. It is the only way to ensure that those who have lost their lives -- in New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Afghanistan and Iraq -- did not die in vain. And as President Bush has said, we can remember that, in the struggle between good and evil, God is not indifferent to the outcome.

May the departed in peace. God bless them and God bless America.


[9/10/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:32 pm [link]
CBS Filegate: Finally, CBS is revealing the identity of its "expert," one Marcel Matley. It will be interesting to see what information the blogosphere has on Matley, but a cursory google search seems to indicate that he is not a printing expert -- he is a handwriting expert. For example, he is quoted opining on the authenticity of Kurt Cobain's suicide note. So maybe he could verify the provenance of the handwritten signature of Bush National Guard Colonel Jerry Killian -- but what are his credential to evaluate whether the memo itself is a new document, with an old signature "copied" into it? Note also that Matley is from San Francisco, not in itself dispositive, but certainly a prima facie case can be made that this indicates that he is hardly a charter member of the right-wing conspiracy. And so far, there doesn't seem to be ANY other expert that agrees with Matley that the documents are genuine -- to the contrary. CBS . . . in a hole and continuing to dig. An object lesson in where arrogance will get you.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01am [link]
BUSTED! That's the word for CBS. It ran Wednesday night with a story about President Bush's National Guard service, replete with documents purporting to demonstrate that the President's commanding officer was subject to political pressure and that the President was not fulfilling his service obligations. Less than 24 hours after their release, documents have been credibly revealed to be fakes. Kudos to the gentlemen over at Powerline, who broke the story. And two thumbs down to CBS, which refuses to disclose the identity of the "experts" who purportedly "authenticated" the documents. It's fair to ask: Is this the kind of behavior that CBS would permit a President to get away with? It's "Rathergate": What did Dan know, and when did he know it?

[9/9/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 2:45pm [link]
Kerrynista: In his Weekly Standard column, One Weekend in April, A Long Time Ago . . . Hugh Hewitt once again adds an important reminder about John Kerry's pacifist past, and his efforts -- along with Tom Harkin -- to serve as a self-appointed mediator in Nicaragua back in the 1980's. Contrary to the wishes of the Reagan Administration and even some of his fellow Democratic senators, Kerry and Harkin headed to Managua to try to end the fighting between the Sandinistas and the Contras. As it turns out, as usual, Kerry was wrong. The people didn't just want "peace." They wanted freedom. And thanks to a strong U.S. president and continuing U.S. pressure, free elections kicked out the Communist Sandinistas and installed a democratic government. Kerry was wrong. Again. Still.

[Nick Winter-CRO administrative editor] 5:01 am [link]
Cheney is unAmerican: John Edwards is ourtraged! Outraged I tell you! He is so outraged he has called the Vice President "divisive" and "unAmerican!" ...and the entire Democratic establishment have ginned up the talking points and dogpiled on Dick Cheney for saying ...

“'s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, [and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us.]”

Oops, it seems that every mainstream media outlet forgot to mention the part that I’ve put in parenthesis and italics. The Vice President’s point is that it would be a disaster to go back to the “law enforcement” mindset that lead up to 9/11 - right?

Has Senator Edwards forgotten what his nominee partner said in during the primary debates (the Tom Brokaw one)? In the National Review ‘At a nationally televised debate on January 29, Massachusetts senator John F. Kerry delivered the jaw-dropping assessment that the threat of terrorism had been "exaggerated" by the Bush administration. Terrorism, he asserted, was "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world — the very thing this [Bush] administration is worst at."’

Oh, yeah in April Mr. Kerry was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert... "Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry said yesterday that he will treat the war on terror "primarily" as law-enforcement action...” Washington Times ...And we’re all very familiar that Mr. Edwards nuanced partner will wage a “more sensitive war on terror” Washington Post

And why not? After all in the primary debates Kerry thought this “war on terror” stuff is just so overblown... “Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said during last night's Democratic presidential debate that the threat of terrorism has been exaggerated. "I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism. "They are misleading all Americans in a profound way." Washington Times

Hmm. Odd that Mr. Edwards forgot that “exaggeration” notion... ‘cause in that same debate he said to Mr. Kerry “    "It's just hard for me to see how you can say there's an exaggeration when thousands of people lost their lives on September 11," Sounds to me that for a brief moment of time Mr. Edwards was more on the same page with the Vice President instead of Mr. Kerry.And, come on...

In his comment, wasn’t Mr. Cheney warning us all that it would be disastrous to go back to the Clinton administration’s strategy? “Before 9/11, Americans tended to slough off overseas terrorist attacks on Americans -- and even on our soldiers, sailors and Marines. Such attacks were merely passing outrages somewhere out there beyond our borders. When Bill Clinton noted them at all, he treated them as criminal matters, to be dealt with by law enforcement officials. Aside from a few cruise missiles here and there, this amounted to very little. And this indifference allowed our enemy to thrive and grow. It was the Bush Administration that recognized that we are in a war, and began to fight.” Human Events

How can Mr. Edwards call Mr. Cheney “calling the warning dishonorable and un-American” for his comments when the Vice President’s comments very accurately reflect the “law enforcement” attitude of Mr. Kerry? Doesn’t Senator Edwards know that in a Kerry/Edwards administration his boss plans to wage an aggressive “supeona on terror?” I’m sure it will be sensitive.

Oh, yeah... And how can Mr. Kerry say, "It is outrageous and shameful to make the war on terror an instrument of their politics..." when that’s exactly what his powerhouse Democratic ticket is doing? You know, he should be more sensitive in his campaigning, eh?

[9/8/04 Wednesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:02 am [link]
Heinz Kerry's Hospital Example: Interesting development over the weekend. President Bill Clinton goes into the hospital for bypass surgery and Senator Hillary Clinton says, "wouldn't it be nice if everyone had that kind of health care?"

Then, almost on cue, Teresa Heinz Kerry goes into the hospital with a 'tummy ache'.

Isn't it amazing that John Kerry has been quiet on health care during the post convention spree? Kerry hasn't offered the usual 'health care is a right and everyone should have health care like the folks in DC' line.

Reason, if we get socialized health care and medicine in this country, you can bet at least 45% to 50% of the people will start using the hospital for ridiculous complaints like Teresa's 'tummy ache'.

John Kerry knows this and he is staying away until the temperature of Teresa's stupid pit stop into the ER cools off!

Teresa Heinz Kerry is as rich as it gets, it means nothing to her to head the hospital for her 'tummy ache'. Just think about some of the people you know who will behave like this. When they get the word they get 'unlimited medical coverage' at no out of pocket cost - it'll be Katie-bar-the-hospital-door.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:01 am [link]

Arnold's "Veto Ceremony"? This week Governor Schwarzenegger faces more than a thousand pieces of liberal legislation in Sacramento. Time for Arnold to get out his BIG Sharpie (Schwarpie as we call it) and VETO these wasted trees.

The Democrats are hoping that he vetoes numerous items, especially the bills concerning driver's license for illegals, making outsourcing illegal and raising the minimum wage for California.

Here's my idea, the Governor should hold a "Veto Ceremony" surrounding these bills. This would give Arnold the opportunity to message on each of them and corner the Democrats BEFORE they have the media to themselves to spread their negative rhetoric.

If any politician can drive a event like this, Arnold Schwarzenegger can! Let him say "asta la vista baby" to these laws and force the Dems to respond to his message versus reacting to their attacks!

[9/7/04 Tuesday]

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:02 am [link]
More Muslim "Hate Crime" Myths:
I published an article recently, "'Islamophobic Prejudice' and CAIR" that documents how one Mirza Akram of Everett, Washington, plastered vile anti-Arab graffiti on the store he was managing and planning to buy before allegedly setting fire to it.

Well, the ever-vigilant Michelle Malkin, in a May 29, 2003 article titled "Myth of the Muslim hate crime epidemic" and a May 30, 2003 article titled "More Muslim hate crime myths" provides specifics of four other instances in which American Muslims - Ahmad Saad Nasim, Mazhar Tabesh, Nezar "Mike" Maad, and Aqil Yassom Al-Timimi - won themselves vast sympathy as victims of "hate crimes," only to have it turn out that they were actually the perps. She notes that what she calls "hoax crimes" have a real price: they "waste precious investigative resources, exacerbate racial tension, create terror and corrode goodwill."

In all, then, there are at least five cases proven or alleged hoax crimes since 9/11; how many more might there be that no one has counted? Malkin wonders about this too, noting that

when it comes to cracking down on hate crime hoaxes by Arabs and Muslims, the feds˜too busy conducting politically correct "outreach" with Muslim leaders who pooh-pooh hate crime fraud˜have been appallingly negligent. There is no way of knowing whether fake hate crimes outnumber real anti-Muslim crimes because no law enforcement agency keeps track. (Note to frustrated cops: Send me your suspected hoax cases and let's get started.)

She also blames journalists for ignoring this phenomenon: "It's a shame so many in the media are more concerned with protecting the twisted cult of victimhood than with exposing hard truths."

[Found in the ebag-Tim Binh] 5:01 am [link]
Licenses for Illegals:
There is another reason Arnold will veto the drivers license bill for illegal aliens. The Vietnamese community and Van Tran asked him to. 90% of the beneficiaries of this bill would be Hispanic, while none would be Vietnamese. In other words, SB1160 is preferential treatment for Hispanics and discrimination against Vietnamese. It is racism. This means the Hispanic Caucus members are racists for supporting this bill, and other Democratic Legislature members support this racism. As Van Tran said "we (Vietnamese) came here legally, so everyone else needs to get in line with their papers". How about doing an article that points this out?

[9/6/04 Monday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:11 am [link]
Hurricane RNC: I just returned from digging my Mom out of downed oak trees in old Orlando where the canopy once stood at 80+ feet. Hurricane Charley passed by and left destruction in its wake. Millions were without power. It was a tragedy of huge proportions and a sad occasion. A more positive storm, Hurricane RNC, seems to have had a similar debilitating effect on the Kerry Campaign. Reduced to a lame, mumbling late-night counterattack Kerry-Edwards sputtered and accused in a manner akin to arguing school children. But unlike the schoolyard rules that I learned they seem to be able only to dish it out. When it comes to taking it they cringe, whine and howl like the bullies whose bluff was called. Their Midnight Rally will have about as much influence on the electorate as Midnight Basketball did on juvenile crime. The RNC put the campaign on a higher plane. Kerry moans about the Depression and Bush talks about guidance from behind the stars. The wheels are coming off! now; stand by for the crash.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:10 am [link]
Not Quite Full Disclosure: Everyone knows that John Kerry hasn't released all his military records. But let's not forget that there are other records that have thus far been "inaccessible": His health records and his wife's tax returns. Maybe a reporter should ask him when we're going to get this information. But wait -- that would mean that Kerry had actually talked to a reporter . . . something that hasn't happened for a month and five days. Let's keep count of how long it takes Kerry to sit down and answer the questions -- if he can.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:09 am [link]
Dems Israel-lite: Republicans can help themselves quite a bit in Florida if they make sure that the state's many Jewish voters become familiar with yesterday's edition of "Meet the Press." There, Pat Buchanan was essentially blaming U.S. policy with regard to the Middle East (read: Israel) for Al Qaeda's attacks on America. Bob Graham (D-FLA) -- unlike Republican Newt Gingrich -- never took issue with any of Buchanan's anti-Israel remarks. Must make Jewish Americans wonder about their traditional alliance with the Democrat Party. Come on into the Republican Party -- the water's warm and it's nice over here.

[9/3/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
RNC Nite 4: The speech was, in a word, wonderful. Masterful, inspiring, heartfelt. Most of all, it was authentic -- a quality sorely lacking in Kerry's acceptance. The domestic programs, laid out at the beginning, were certainly less compelling than the foreign policy parts of the address, but they were necessary. Necessary to assure listeners that the President had achievements at home that he intended to accomplish -- and that there was a reason to send him back to Washington.

The address' conclusion was sublime. When the President choked up, you could almost sense that the Americans watching were renewing the bond with him that they had formed after 9/11. After watching this, it will make it very difficult for Americans to be convinced that George Bush is the depraved, evil person as portrayed by the left.

The Fox News pundits noted that there was little new of note in the President's discussion of Afghanistan and our reasons for liberating Iraq. That may be true, but it's important to realize that not everyone follows the debate with the attention that many bloggers and pundits do. For them, the explanation was necessary.

The humor was inspired. Have you ever heard John Kerry be self-deprecating, or laugh at himself? NEVER. The contrast was remarkable -- and marked the President as someone with true self-assurance, not arrogance. I loved the line about his swagger: In Texas, we call that walking.

The Republican Convention has been a great success. And even the Kerry people know it; that's why Kerry is out flinging the dirt at a midnight press conference. But it looks desperate, and it looks petty. The theme, once again, is "They're questioning my patriotism." Once more, Kerry is bringing up Vietnam. What is he, some kind of masochist?

It won't work. Tonight, the country got a sense of something nobler and better, from the President. And perhaps, just perhaps, the face of George Bush that was revealed will cause some -- who have been swayed in the past by the hatemongers -- to realize that they certainly HAVE been misled. But not by the President.

[Nick Winter-CRO administrative editor] 12:01 am [link]
I’m Not Unfit! At midnight (Eastern) on Thursday – just barely an hour after the end of the Republican Convention, John Kerry and his young ward, John Edwards, couldn’t wait to get right out there and be all outraged that the Republicans pointed out to the American people the facts about Kerry’s Senatorial record. How dare those mean-spirited Republicans bring that up! This negative campaigning has got to stop!

Then – of course – John Kerry proceeded to go negative in a big way (again) by accusing the President of “misleading” the country into war.

Kerry and Edwards were outraged that Republicans feel that they are not the best choice for leading the free world in the Age of Terror. Then old “tour of duty” John reminded us once again that he served. Okay, okay, he served and he got medals. That’s a credential for becoming Commander-in-Chief? Lt. John is qualified to lead the world's most powerful military because he was a swiftie commander? I suppose that means that there are thousands of ex-Lieutenants who are just as qualified as him to take on that job. That’s a lot of competition.

Oh... Maybe he’s fit to be Commander-in-Chief because he was a war hero. Well, hmm... I dunno... There are a lot of medal winners who might not be fit to be Commander-in-Chief. You know, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was awarded the Bronze Star, too... and the Combat Infantry Badge – he was a hero, right? I guess by John Kerry’s criterion Tim would’ve been qualified for Commander-in-Chief – except for that lethal injection thing got in the way.

Medals aside, Mr. Kerry disgraced his service and his honor and any heroism he displayed when he came back from his “tour of duty” to publicly trash the American military. He follows in a line of other heroes who have disgraced their country. Benedict Arnold was a heroic general in the Revolutionary turned his back on his comrades and gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Marshall Petain was a hero to France in WWI, but in WWII gave aid and comfort to the enemy when he governed Vichy France on behalf of the Nazis. For his part Mr. Kerry – beyond giving aid and comfort to the enemy as a “useful idiot” undermining the will of the American people also directly collaborated with the enemy in Paris while troops were dying in rice paddies.

It’s one thing for the misguided citizens of Massachusetts to elect euro-socialists as Senators – but to foist upon the rest of the country this anti-military and dangerously conflicted “hero” to be the next Commander-in-Chief of the United States is insanity.

Mr. Kerry you may be outraged that some consider you unfit. However, what exactly is it that makes you fit? It’s not being a Lieutenant, not commanding a river patrol boat, not getting medals and it’s not testifying – lying actually - before a Senate committee accusing our military of being “Genghis Khan” murderers. What is it? What makes you fit? Nuance?

I'm annoyed. Could you tell?

[9/2/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
RNC Nite 3: Yet another rousing night at the RNC.

I remember when Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA), a good man, died in office and Gov. Roy Barnes of George replaced him with Senator Miller. I was disappointed because it was just one more Democrat reducing the size of the GOP ranks. Was I wrong. If all Democrats were like Zell, we could do business. But even if I didn't agree with him, I'd respect him. He's a man who puts his country before party -- and he said what I suspect Joe Lieberman would have liked to say if he didn't care about being reelected. Above all, it was PRICELESS to watch him shout down Chris Matthews, who richly deserved it. He even wished he could challenge Matthews to a duel -- and Matthews figuratively slinked away with his tail between his legs. I'm told that Terry McAuliffe said to Matthews that Zell Miller is no longer part of the Democratic Party. Now THAT's a strong response -- and who made him the Democrats' Pope, excommunicating "apostates" willy-nilly?

Dick Cheney delivered on the strong, quiet style that best becomes him. My guess is that his speech did great with Republicans, okay with the rest of the country. Above all, he pegged President Bush as decisive, Kerry as a flip flopper. And the whole "two Americas" thing has produced some of the best humor of the convention -- first with Rudy on Tuesday night (two Americas, one for each side of the issue Kerry takes), then tonight (John Kerry sees two Americas; conversely, America sees two John Kerrys).

And finally, kudos to Michael Reagan. Judging from an LA Times article yesterday about him, he's been through a lot -- and he conducted himself with dignity and honor. His dad must have been proud.

[9/1/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 10:45 am [link]
Swift John: John Kerry's speech to the American Legion was nothing to write home about. It was typical Democratic politics -- the government isn't doing enough; there ought to be more of everything for everyone, and no one but "the rich" (>$200,000 per annum) should pay. On the war on terror, all Kerry could do was catalog every problem in the war since it began, and swear that he'd do everything differently. For the American Legion, most of whom are fairly senior, it must have been deja vu all over again: John Kerry criticizing the conduct of a war. At least this time, he wasn't calling all our soldiers war criminals.

The Legion is largely Republican, so it's not surprising that the response was less than enthusiastic. What was surprising -- and thank you, Swift Boat vets -- was the extent to which Kerry kept his whole self-congratulatory Vietnam War hero preening to a minimum. Now, in fact, he's trying to stand very, very close to John McCain and hope that some of the sheen rubs off on him. In fact, he ended his speech recalling standing with McCain in the latter's Hanoi Hilton prison cell.

Given that McCain was in the same hall yesterday, endorsing Kerry's opponent, this constant invocation of the Arizona senior is starting to bear all the marks of a bad high school crush gone wrong. Earth to Kerry: McCain doesn't feel the same . . . it's time to move on and find someone new. Max Cleland clearly doesn't have the same widespread appeal.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:05 am [link]
RNC Nite 2: The secret to understanding Tuesday's proceedings: They were broadcast on network prime-time. So while there may be less to send the Republican faithful into rapture over, that wasn't the point. The point was to reach all the people who aren't Republican die-hards and bring them on board. Which I think it did, beautifully.

Ah-nuld! Ah-nuld! He may be wrong on a lot of the social issues, but you've got to love the guy (and respect him -- look what he's done). I'd be willing to bet that Ed Gillespie's next child will be named Arnold (Arnoldette?!) -- he did that much good for the Republican Party tonight, in my estimation. Along with the moving passage about life under the Soviet boot, the best part of his speech was his elucidation of what it means to be a Republican. He spoke in terms that everyone could understand . . . and thinking of the non-political, apolitical types who had tuned in just to see him gave me warm fuzzies all over. Through people like Arnold, the Republicans CAN extend their majority.

As for the Bush girls, all the distinguished bloggers over at National Review are having a bit of a refined nervous breakdown. I understand -- I reacted in largely the same way. But we all need to remember that we are Republicans. We don't go for the whole pop culture, giggly, loose thing. That's okay -- we're not the people they're targeting. My bet is that they went over pretty well with "normal" Americans who either (1) have grandchildren/children their age, or (2) who ARE that age (or close to it) or (3) didn't care what they said because they seemed cute and approachable. They seemed normal, at least. Occasionally, the Kerry girls struck me as almost TOO scripted -- like they "wanted it" too much. No need to worry about that with the Bush girls, for better or worse. Altogether, given the media stereotype of Republican young people as "Stepford" sorts, maybe it was better that they came across as a little, well, free-spirited. Being too programmed would have been the kiss of death, and might have made their parents seem too rigid.

On to Laura Bush: No, her speech didn't have me pounding the table and screaming with delight, like Rudy's last night did. But again, I'm not her target audience. I'd crawl uphill over broken glass to vote for her husband, whatever she said. As for the people she was trying to reach -- the apolitical moms -- I'd bet they loved it. Television commentators were expressing amazement that there wasn't as much emphasis on domestic issues as they expected. But again . . . you play your strongest hand when you're preempting "Everybody Loves Raymond" or whatever's usually on network tv on Tuesday night. Our strongest point (and most important) is that George Bush will do the best job at keeping our nation safe. It can't be repeated too often.

On the whole, a very, very encouraging second night. Feeling good.

[Streetsweeper] 5:04 am [link]
Ron Jr: You know, I something’s been bugging me about Ron Reagan Jr. I mean, beyond the fact that he’s annoying and sorta smarmy and a disgrace to his name... No, it’s something else. Watching “After Hours,” the late night MSNBC convention show hosted by Joe Scarborough and Ron Jr. during the Democratic Convention in Boston I developed a nagging thought. It was not clear – very hazy – but Ron Jr. seemed a remembrance of things past...

Then came the same “After Hours” show after the first night of the Republican Convention. Watching Ron Jr. brought that nagging feeling came back... It got stronger when he started badgering Stephen Baldwin (the other “born again” Baldwin)... Suddenly it came to me – I got it!

Watching Ron Jr. sitting next to Scarborough and making his smarmy commentary and asking his snide questions it became amazingly clear that Ron Jr. is nothing less than the Deputy Barney Fife of politics!!

Check it out for yourself. I dare you to watch “After Hours” on MSNBC and try to put Barney Fife out of your mind. You can’t. Ron Jr. has become grander than life in my mind.

And you know what? When he stands next to Joe Scarborough you could pretty much see that Joe himself would make a pretty good Sheriff Andy Taylor... “Ron, how many times have I told you not to put a bullet in that gun?”

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 12:01 am [link]
No Moore:
Some people can dish out the lies and distortions, but they can't handle the truth.
Click here - GOP 2004: Moore Won't Return to Madison Square Garden What a girlie man.


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