Start the Music
Tonight in Miami the campaigns begin the final turn into the election season home stretch. Both W and Lurch have arrived in Florida, which surprisingly is not under a hurricane warning.
If the Mainstream Media was really doing its job, the biggest question of the night would be "What color will Lurch choose for his skin tone tonight?"
Bear in mind that Lurch hasn't really debated anybody one-on-one since 1996 - and that was against then Governor William Weld. I've read part of the transcript, and Lurch's main attack always had something to do with (surprise) Vietnam. If he falls into that habit again tonight, his campaign is toast.
W needs to stay on message. This isn't a problem for him, but it is for Lurch.
Here we go. Sit down, and grab hold of something. Its gonna be a bumpy ride.
Lurch's Doom & Gloom Tour
Yesterday, a very remarkable thing happened at the US Capital in Washington, DC. Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi delivered a speech before a joint session of Congress. In not so many words, he said Thank You.
We are succeeding in Iraq...Every day we grow in strength and determination to defeat the terrorists and their barbarism. As we mourn these losses, we must not forget the progress we are making ? we are fighting for freedom and democracy, ours and yours.Notable senators not in attendance included junior senators from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of North Carolina, otherwise known as the Democratic Presidential ticket of Lurch-Breck Girl 2004.
Thank you, America
We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain.
The speech was followed by a Rose Garden press conference in which the left leaning media took their best shots at W and Allawi. The two men stood steadfast together. One, the leader of the Free World, the other the leader of the most recent member of that world.
It was indeed a historic event. It was not merely the photo-op foreign policy show put on Clinton's Sorry Excuse for an Administration. Yassir Arafat was nowhere to be found. Seems he's traded in his frequent guest card for the Lincoln Bedroom and has been relegated to a crumbling bunker in Ramalla.
Now, pray tell, what was Lurch's reaction to the Allawi speech? Did he treat Allawi's remarks with the respect and dignity due to a foreign leader? Well, short answer there is No. He said this:
The prime minister and the president are here, obviously, to put their best face on the policy. But the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story.Basically, he called W and Allawi liars. This from a man who claims to have the support of "foreign leaders". If elected (heaven forbid), Lurch will have to deal with Allawi, and my bet is he won't like Lurch's attitude.
I'd say its a pretty safe bet that W and Allawi are more and better informed as to the situation on the ground in Iraq than is Lurch. I know he is briefed (as are all presidential contenders) on foreign affairs, but the bottom line is the commanders in the field report to W. Is W trying to put the best face on the situation in Iraq? Yes. Is the situation in Iraq better than that reported by the left leaning mainstream press? Damn Straight it is.
Given the choice in believing what W and Allawi say versus believing what the Dan "Stark Raving Naked" Rather media types say, I'll take Team W any day of the week.
Here endeth the lesson.
Third Rail Realities
Social Security has always, at least in my memory, been called the "Third Rail of American Politics". It supposedly means that if you touch or otherwise mess with it, your political career will become little more than a charred hunk of carbon lying beside the Political Subway. The American people have lived with this system for a half century. We pay into it, and when we retire, we draw on the system to sustain us through our 'golden years'.
The only problem is, the people drawing on the system take out far more than they ever put in. This has thus far been mitigated by two factors: a) there are far more people working that there are retired - currently three workers work to support one retiree and b) tax rates have risen steadily on the aforementioned workers - currently set at 15% of the first $85,000 earned in a calendar year.
In a perfect world, this system would never need to be reformed. Unfortunately, we live in a world that must deal with a strange concept to liberals. Its called REALITY. Two important realities that will inevitably affect the Social Security system. 1. People are living longer. 2. There are fewer overall workers in the system. When the Baby-Boom generation retires, the ration of workers to retirees will fall to two to one.
Social Security needs massive reforms. Lurch went out yesterday, and in a voice hoarse from weeks of campaign lies, stated the following:
I will never privatize Social Security, ever. He also stated he would not raise the retirement age or cut benefits to Social Security recipients. He then claimed Social Security would be "fixed" by a continuously growing economy.
If a growing economy could fix the Social Security problem, we wouldn't be talking about it. With the exception of a few years over the past twenty-five years, the economy has grown. What Lurch did not talk about, or even elude to, was the fact the only other way to infuse cash into Social Security short of raising the retirement age or cutting benefits is to raise taxes.
This brings me to the point I want to make today. I'm 33 years old. This means that, barring any changes in the system, I should retire in 2036. I'm right on the cusp of people who would be able to participate in W's plan to allow workers to invest a portion of their Social Security money in a private retirement fund. Lurch, of course, opposes this.
Well, Senator, here's my answer to your arrogant stubbornness.
It's my money!!
Right now I'm throwing away 15% of my hard earned income into a system that will give me a return of slightly more that 1%. The stock market, even in a bad year, gives a return of 7-8% even if you don't know how to invest properly. Frankly, a monkey throwing darts at a stock chart can give me better that 1%. Don't think that's a joke. Its actually been done.
W has the courage to take on this looming problem now - while guys like me still have a chance to do something other than watch our money evaporate. Lurch - well, he'd rather punt it down the road a for a few more presidential terms. They system cannot continue in its present form.
Lurch doesn't care about Social Security. He doesn't have to. Short of the Ketchup Queen throwing him out of her castle and cutting off his allowance, he'll never have to depend on it.
Just remember, Lurch.
Its not your money!
Nuance vs. Action
I finally got around to reading the transcript of Lurch's 'major foreign policy' address to NYU this week. For something that purported to be a major address, I'm surprised the audience was conscious enough to keep their seats.
Lurch has a plan for Iraq. He does. I'm sure of it. The problem is, its no different from the major policy address he has given during his tenure on the campaign trail. Here are the details for those of you who don't want to fall asleep reading the transcript.
George Bush's policy in Iraq is flawed. He was wrong to go in without the permission or approval of the UN. This war is not winnable. I know because I was in Vietnam. By the way, do you want to see my medals? If elected, I, Lurch, will go to the UN General Assembly, and after much groveling before the feet of spineless, Frenchified Weenies I will reclaim their respect. Of course, they will offer nothing in return for the aforementioned groveling. I'm fine with that. Their respect is more important than my own country's security and safety.If you don't like this stance on Iraq, wait a day or so. It will change to suit my audience.
Now to W's address to the UN. As W doesn't do nuance, I don't need to translate his statements.
Every nation that wants peace will share the benefits of a freer world. And every nation that seeks peace has an obligation to help build that world. Eventually, there is no safe isolation from terror networks, or failed states that shelter them, or outlaw regimes, or weapons of mass destruction. Eventually, there is no safety in looking away, seeking the quiet life by ignoring the struggles and oppression of others.
In this young century, our world needs a new definition of security. Our security is not merely found in spheres of influence, or some balance of power. The security of our world is found in the advancing rights of mankind.
Let history also record that our generation of leaders followed through on these ideals, even in adversity. Let history show that in a decisive decade, members of the United Nations did not grow weary in our duties, or waver in meeting them. I'm confident that this young century will be liberty's century. I believe we will rise to this moment, because I know the character of so many nations and leaders represented here today. And I have faith in the transforming power of freedom.
While Lurch sees only American as a failure abroad, W sees freedom as the ultimate consequence of the Global War on Terror.
So, dear reader, tell me which man seems more optimistic about the future of this nation, and indeed the world? Which man shows courage in the face of opposition? Lurch gave his address to a very receptive crowd at NYU. The UN General Assembly can hardly be considered a friendly crowd to W.
Lurch did get one thing right yesterday. He accused W of lecturing the UN. On that point he was right. That crowd needs to be lectured. Actually, they need more than that. The concept of 'woodshedding' comes to mind.
Here endeth the lesson.
Stop the Presses!!
Somebody give me a Valium. For the first time in nearly six weeks, Lurch held a press conference. Several reporters nearly collapsed from hyperventilation during the event, as most had nearly forgotten Lurch actually held press conferences.
Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a tad.
Some questions I wish had been asked:
Lurch: Over the course of the last four years, 5 million Americans have lost their health care. And under George Bush, the health care premiums have gone up some $3,500. Countless families are finding it harder and harder to afford to be able to pay for health care.
Reporter: Excuse me Senator, but could the actions that enriched your running mate possibly have anything to do with the skyrocketing cost of health care?
Lurch (on W's address to the United Nations): At the United Nations today, the president failed to level with the world's leaders. Moments after Kofi Annan, the secretary general, talked about the difficulties in Iraq, the president of the United States stood before a stony-faced body and barely talked about the realities at all of Iraq. After lecturing them, instead of leading them to understand how we are all together with a stake in the outcome of Iraq, I believe the president missed an opportunity of enormous importance for our nation and for the world.
Reporter: Senator, don't you think that after so many years of in-action on Iraq, coddling the blood thirsty dictator that was Saddam Hussein, and generally being spinless, Frenchified weenies, the UN General Assembly needed a good lecture?
Reporter: Senator, could you explain your shifting positions on Iraq?
Lurch: No, I have one position on Iraq, one position.
Reporter: How can that be? My last count was eight, but your nuanced statements sometimes make me doze off.
I could go on, and on, and on - as Lurch did in this press conference. I can explain his various plans in one simple phrase: Talk.
Lurch wants to talk, debate, nuance, and quite possibly bore the terrorists to death. There is no action in his plans. That is where the difference is. W is a man of action, Lurch is a man of limitless hot air.
The Dems are trumpeting this speech, and the one Lurch gave at NYU yesterday, as "turning points in the campaign - acts which will force the Bush Administration to play defense." If this truly is the best Lurch can dish out - the very best pitches he has to hurl, somebody better take up a position in the upper deck of the stadium, because W is swinging for the fences.
View from an Earhole
If you ever wanted to know the expression on a lineman's face as he looks though his earhole after having his clock cleaned by an opponent, Dan "Stark Raving Naked" Rather has that expression captured above.
The CBS statement is not only and indictment of Rather's personal vendetta against W and Company, but also a look at the crumbling foundations of the media establishment. They wanted so badly for this to be true - some of them (Stark Raving Naked Rather included) are clinging to the accusations leveled by the fake documents.
The President must answer these allegations! they cry.
Go Pound Sand says the White House.
And, not nearly as deep in the shadows is it would like to be, slinks the Lurch-Breck Girl 2004 Campaign. Today it was reported that former Clinton Press Secretary Joe "What's the meaning of IS?" Lockhart was an integral part of the "unearthing" of the forged documents.
This, my friends, is where we learn the definition of collusion. It was at this point that CBS ceased to be a news gathering and reporting organization and became a news producing arm of the Lurch-Breck Girl 2004 Campaign. If you were looking for definitive evidence that, in fact, the Emporer (CBS/Dan Rather/60 Minutes) has no clothes - this is it. Hence the nickname "Stark Raving Naked".
This may be my last post on this issue, if for no other reason than the subject is just too damn easy to do. I like a writing challenge, and Stark Raving Naked Rather fails to meet that threshold any more.
Lurch addressed NYU yesterday about Iraq. As I was strapped to a dentists chair (a preferrable place to be when compared to listening to Lurch). I'll have commentary on that, and W's address to the UN later. I may even comment on Kofi.
Acts of Desperation
How do you know when you're witnessing a desperate campaign? Here are some sure signs:
1. The ongoing drama of Dan "Stark Raving Naked" Rather and the CBS/Rather/60 Minute expose on W's Texas Air National Guard service. The hits just keep on coming, and Stark Raving Naked Rather just keeps on stonewalling. Sign of Desperation: Falling for duped docs faxed from Kinkos.
2. Lurch's address to the National Guard yesterday. I'd point you to the text of his remarks on the Lurch-Breck Girl 2004 site, but their webmaster hasn't figured out how to post it yet. Sign of Desperation: Being unable, or unwilling to have Lurch's remarks available for public dissection. Reports indicate Lurch got a far cooler reception than did W two days earlier.
3. This is probably the cheapest shot I've seen in years. Moveon.org (and no I won't link to those WOSABAs) have released a new ad featuring an American Soldier with his rifle raised above his head - evidently in surrender.
Memo to Moveon.org: You may disagree with W. You may disagree with his policies and even the fact he is breathing. That, however, does not give you the right to take a very cheap shot at the fighting men and women who defend your right to make asses out of yourselves.
If you're going to do this, why don't you post your home addresses along with the ad? I'm sure there are some soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who might want to personally discuss this ad with you. This ad will make them angry. You won't like them when they're angry.
Final sign of desperation for the day: USAToday/Gallup Poll. W 55% Lurch 42%. I know its closer than that right now, but excuse me while I take a second to gloat.
Oh, Lurch! The wind is coming.
Here endeth the lesson.
The horrible facts of supply, demand, and ratings
Market forces are very cruel things. They do not care about the individual. Said laws are not politically correct. They do not answer to any attempt to regulate them or otherwise infringe upon their effects.
CBS is beginning to feel these effects. CBS will take steps to mitigate the effects of the market/ratings, or it will cease to exist in its present form.
That's the obvious truth that will cost CBS millions.
Truth And Consequences
Dan "Stark Raving Naked" Rather had one shot at redeeming whatever credibility still clung to CBS/"Stark Raving Naked" Rather/60 Minutes last night. After promising the statement at 12:00 EST, the wise acres at CBS bypassed the afternoon radio talk show broadsides and went with a segment on their evening news show. I didn't watch it, as I, like most Americans, don't watch CBS News.
"Stark Raving Naked" Rather suggested in the statement that the documents used as the foundation of the report may be forgeries.
Through all of the frenzied debate of the past week, the basic content of the 60 MINUTES Wednesday report - that President Bush received preferential treatment to gain entrance to the Texas Air National Guard and that he may not have fulfilled all of the requirements -- has not been substantially challenged.Um, earth to Dan. These allegations have been challenged, beaten, drawn, quartered, and burned at the stake. Every election W has been in, including both Texas Governor's races and the election of 2000 have focused on these allegations. Nothing was found.
On the documents:
Again, the documents used for the 60 MINUTES Wednesday report were copies, and most of the analysis fueling the current controversy is based on scanned, downloaded, faxed or re-copied copies. For now, the disagreementsThe problem, dear Dan, is not in the reproduction of the documetns, but in the original production there of. I again point to evidence to the contrary here and here. The bottom line is the documents were produced using technology that is three, not thirty-two years old. They are attributed to the "personal files" of a man whose own wife states he kept no such thing. He did not type, and his secretary denies typing them for him. Other family members have publicly stated the files did not come from them. Does anyone think the Texas Air National Guard has 30+ files sitting around just waiting for former guardsmen to run for office?
among "dueling experts" have not been resolved.
Then Dan "Stark Raving Naked" Rather keeps digging his hole with astonishing speed. The New York Observer's Joe Hagan quotes The Naked Rather as stating the following:
Dan, let me be blunt. W doesn't need your respect. He definitely doesn't need your campaign advice. The very prospect of answering questions coming from a story based upon documents which have now been proven (evidently to everyone else but you) to be forgeries (Piss poor forgeries by the way - evidently produced at a Texas Kinkos) is preposterous. Until such time as the evidence proves to be something other than a Lurch/Breck Girl/DNC/Terry McAwful/CBS/"Stark Raving Naked"/60 Minutes wet dream, you can forget about those answers.
With respect: answer the questions. We've heard what you have to say about the documents and what you've said and what your surrogates have said, but for the moment, answer the questions. I say that with respect. They'd be a lot stronger in their campaign if they did do that.
That is, unless you want to answer this question, Dan.
Do you still beat your wife?
Here endeth the lesson.
PS. Dan, just so you know what all those underlined words are in the text above, when I make accusations against somebody (you), I cite my sources. Its something I learned in my first english class as a high school freshman. You might want to take one of those classes yourself.
View from an Earhole (Part 2)
CBS will today issue a statement regarding the memos used in the W hit piece. They originally said they would release this statement at 12:00 pm (EST). They have since pushed the time to 3:30 pm (EST).
All this means is that Hannity will get to dissect the statement live On Air, and Rush will have to wait till tomorrow's broadcast.
I don't know what CBS/"Danny Boy" Rather/60 Minutes will have to say about the matter. I doubt it will be a full mea culpa. I seriously doubt Rather will be a part of the photo op.
All in all, one could say the bell is tolling slowly for the Mainstream Media Establishment. This election season may well result in the demise not just of Northeastern Liberals as a political force, but also of CBS as a pillar of the media establishment.
Good riddance to both, says I.
The Lurch Foundation (or lack there of)
Chris Weinkopf has a very interesting take on Lurch's background as a candidate, and as a person. It takes awhile to develop, but for background its a great article.
View from an Earhole
Memo to Dan Rather: (By the way, we really need a nickname for this guy - suggestions are welcome)
The first thing you should do when you find your self in a hole, real or figurative, is stop digging. Of course, that would take all the fun out of watching you make a damn fool of yourself. With that thought, forget this memo ever happened. As it is real, and not a forgery, this should be easy for you to do.
More holes have developed in the CBS News/60 Minutes II story regarding W's service in the Air National Guard. Seems that not only do the documents come from someone who (a) did not type, and (b) did not keep "personal records", but now the document detailing pressure allegedly applied by Colonel Buck Stout to "sugarcoat" W's evaluation as a pilot is dated August 18, 1973.
That's all fine and good. Just one minor problem. Colonel Stout, USAFR became Colonel Stout, USAFR - Retired on March 1, 1972.
For those of you mathematically challenged people in the audience, I will confirm that anything dated in 1972 predates anything dated in 1973.
And what, pray tell, is the reaction by Rather/CBS/60 Minutes to this discrepancy?
This story is true. The questions we raised about then-Lieutenant Bush's National Guard service are serious and legitimate. Until and unless someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill.- Dan Rather to the Dallas Morning news
A CBS Staffer also stated that Colonel Stout could have possibly exerted influence on Texas Air National Guard Officials even though he was, in fact retired.
Seems to me that when Rather and Company find themselves in a hole, they ask not for a rope, but a steam shovel.
It Was a Tuesday Morning in September
In the early (and I mean early) morning hours of September 11, 2001, I was trying to fulfill a New Year’s Resolution. Living in Los Angeles at the time, I was on a Nordic Trak at 0545. I was, as was my morning custom, listening to an early morning news talk show hosted by Hugh Hewitt. Nominally conscious even though my heart was racing, it took me a few minutes to filter out the phrase, “a great tragedy has happened in New York City.”
Leaving my Nordic Trak, I stumbled into the living room and turned on MSNBC. The screen slowly materialized, I watched in stunned disbelief as the second jet slammed into WTC Tower 1. My wife, awakened by my exclamation, joined me in the living room and we watched NBC’s Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as his entire office shook with the impact of yet a third airliner. We watched together as Tower 1 collapsed upon lower Manhattan. Somehow in the midst of all of this, I left for my office located just a few miles from LAX.
I was in a donut shop (so much for the Nordic Trak) when Tower 2 fell. Arriving at my office, I called my father and left him a short message – “Someone has been reading their Clancy.” I filtered through what news I could get access to. Planes were still in the air. A plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. Hijacked planes were headed west. Air Force One was a target. I sat in my office exchanging emails with the oldest friend I have in this world (oldest as in time known, not chronological age lest she smite me in a blog) and wondered when the other shoe would drop.
Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
LA is a geographic continent and a cultural world away from New York and DC. Angelinos are used to having their world turned upside down by Mother Nature’s quake faults on a semi-regular basis. That said, even earthquake hardened Angelinos were shocked at the rubble. For weeks after the event, KFI radio put a haunting phrase at the top of each hour’s broadcast:
It could have just as easily happened here.
To the best of my knowledge, I did not know anyone (personally) who perished in the early morning hours of September 11, 2001. Even so, did the terrorists change my life? Yes they did. You see, my son – then just four years old – was full of questions when I came home later that afternoon.
“Daddy, did you see the buildings fall?”
“Yes, son, I did.”
“Why did they fall? Those buildings were big!!!”
“Yes, they were.”
“Well, son, you see some bad men crashed planes into them, and the buildings burned and fell.”
Then with a quivering lip and concerned eyes that only a four-year-old can produce, “Daddy, are there bad men on your planes?”
Four-year-old boys shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of thought process. That, gentle reader, is why Osama ‘Binny’ Laden can take the following words, uttered first by FDNY Firefighter Mike Moran at Madison Square Gardens, to heart:
“Osama bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish ass!!”
Here endeth the lesson.
Trap Blocks and Screen Passes
There are two types of offensive tactics which try and take advantage of a defensive lineman's overwhelming desire to decapitate the quarterback.
The first is called a trap block, where the offensive lineman (normally a guard, but sometimes a tackle) pulls from his position to block for a running back. This leaves the defensive lineman with a "supposed" clear shot at the quarterback. That is until the other pulling offensive lineman blindsides the defender, normally burying him in the turf so hard that he comes up looking out his earhole.
The second is the screen pass, which takes advantage not just of one defender, but the whole defensive line's desire to pummel the aforementioned quarterback. In this play, the ball is snapped, and the offensive line lets the defenders pass by - thus giving them a "supposed" straight shot at the quarterback. If they take the bait, and they almost always do, the quarterback passes the ball to a waiting receiver, who then has the entire offensive line blocking down on the secondary.
For over zealous lineman, neither of these two types of plays gives good results. If something looks too easy, it usually is, and usually results in one or more defenders looking very stupid in front of a crowd - usually through their collective earholes.
Now, I know you're saying, "Great analogy, Cordeiro. Where are you going with this?"
Well, Dan Rather, and the rest of the CBS News (Propaganda) team would've done well to do just a little bit more research on the documents handed to them regarding W's guard service. As Bonjo already explained, said documents are looking more and more like forgeries.
That would mean that somewhere, deep within the recesses of the DNC and Lurch 2004, someone whose identity will most likely never be known is being flogged for stupidly forging documents in a way that took people less than 24 hours to see through. Baseless accusations you say? Perhaps.
The real fault, however, lies with CBS News. Once a truly great news establishment in the tradition of Murrow and Cronkite, it has now degenerated into something that ranks only slightly above the National Enquirer. The bottom line is they saw a straight shot at inflicting a mighty blow to the W camp, and they took their best shot. It was too easy, too much of a giftwrapped present. Sorry, boys, doesn't ever work that way.
If this whole controversy plays out the way its going right now, Dan Rather will have to apologize on national television. The look you will see on his face will be that normally worn by a defensive lineman looking out his earhole.
Stuck in the Moment
You've got to get yourself together, you got stuck in the moment, now you can't get out of it. - Bono
This could well be the theme song to the Funeral Procession currently masquerading as the Lurch 2004 Campaign. They've been hit with broadsides on nearly every relevant issue. The SS Lurch is taking on water and the entire crew is standing around wondering what the buckets and pumps are for.
(Forgive me. I'm in the middle of reading - listening to actually - Patrick O'Brien's Master & Commander - The Far Side of the World. I digress.)
Lurch's primary problem (he has many) is the cornerstone of his campaign is a four month tour of duty in Vietnam as a Swift Boat commander. Never mind his stint as a prosecutor in Boston. Don't even mention his twenty years as the Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
(By the way, I finally came across a bill he co-sponsored. S.1341 would have banned the Beretta Model A 300. That said, Lurch gladly accepted this same rifle from a supporter on Tuesday. I digress, yet again.)
Lurch's secondary, and probably most glaring problem is his post-Vietnam activities. His anti-war efforts, blatantly false testimony before the Senate - while wearing combat ribbons improperly on a wrinkled battle fatigue uniform - followed by a decidedly leftist record as a democratic lawmaker makes him a very large target for his opponents.
Thus, every time he is attacked, justifiably so as this is part of the election process, Lurch cries foul, usually with a whining exclamation of "Don't you know I served in Vietnam?"
Yes, Lurch, we know. Both the President and Vice-President have gone to great lengths to praise you for your service to your country in time of war. W even went so far as to say that your service was more heroic than his, as you were in harm's way and he was not. The only people who have called into question your service records, and the medals that go along with it, are those who served beside you. They, of all people, have earned the right to criticize your military record even though you may not like it.
The Lurch 2004 Campaign is stuck in Vietnam. They can't seem to get out of it, because it seems that was the last time their candidate did anything remotely praiseworthy. This election is not about Vietnam. It is about this country at war with a very determined foe - and who is best suited to lead us during these turbulent times. My not so humble opinion is I would prefer to have a man in the Oval Office whose decisions are based on the current conflict, not one that ended 30 years ago.
One last digression. The Department of Defense found some more paperwork on W's Texas Air National Guard Service. After reading the media's collective orgasm over some pretty dull details, I found Byron York's explanation of the mind numbing details very informative. Read the whole thing.
Here endeth the lesson.
Lance Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC
My brother sent me a link to this site. Read the whole article. If you ever wanted to know what kind of man a Marine is, that post should answer your question.
Rest in peace, Lance Corporal Dunham. Welcome home.
W Takes Manhattan
Well, the 2004 Republican National Convention now belongs to the pundits, and the history books, in that order. Tonight was a truly remarkable event capped off by fantastic speech given by W. There was one big difference between W's performance and that given by Lurch last month in Boston.
W's speech came from the heart, and it had substance. It laid out a plan for the future of America, and made us feel good about being Americans. Lurch made us feel apologetic.
As the hour is late, I will quote but a few excerpts from the speech. Its transcript can be found here.
My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters. Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them.Oh, Lurch? Your record is calling. Somehow you don't look happy to see it.
In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English - I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt - and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.Most of that I chalk up to being a real human being.
I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers - to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.On that note, let me add a personal commentary.
The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.
I have spent the better part of the past two weeks in New York City. I have seen and experienced much in my time here. I have seen (and eaten) a pizza big enough to have its own zip-code. I have also had the honor and privilege to work with some of New York's Finest and Bravest. These guys are consummate professionals - and they stand behind W. I have walked where heroes walked, buildings fell, and a nation rose up to fulfill her God given destiny.
My favorite singer/songwriter/composer is New York's native son, Billy Joel. 35 years ago, he wrote what he thought would be a Science Fiction song, but turned out to be eerily prophetic of what was to come. The song is called Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights go out on Broadway). Here is the final phrase
You know those lights were bright on Broadway.May we always keep the memory alive.
But that was so many years ago...
There are not many who remember, they say a handful still survive.
To tell the world about,
The way the lights went out - and keep the memories alive...
Thank you, New York City. Thank you, and good night.
Lurch and Breck Girl Flail Back!
Lurch and Breck Girl flailed back at the broadsides leveled at them last night. At least the attempted to. They were about as successful at responding to "Give 'Em Hell" Zell and "Big Time" Cheney as Lurch is successful at throwing a football in anything resembling a "manly" fashion.
Maybe its the flower-speckled spandex.
Fox News has an Associated Press report detailing the Lurch2004 responses to Zell and Big Time. You'll note with careful reading they attack the manner and tone in which the remarks were given - not the substance upon which they are based.
Pop the popcorn, folks. W is up soon.
Football, Politics, and other Contact Sports
It is a generally accepted principle of football that any act committed within 3-5 yards of the line of scrimmage is legal. There are, obviously, execeptions to this rule (don't bother consulting the rule book - you won't find it there), but short of removing your opponents head or other extremity, play will continue.
Many years ago, more than I care to admit, I played defensive line for a high school squad in Colorado. During one game that we were winning handily, an opponent felt he was being cheap-shotted and in turn complained unceasingly to the line judge about his plight. It really became annoying.
Hey, ref! That was a clip!
Hey, ref! He's holding me!
Hey, ref! He grabbed my face mask!
The referee, after about two series of downs, each play highlighted by this player's whining, finally had enough.
Son, he said firmly, they aren't cheap-shotting you. They're kicking your ass!
Now, I know you're asking, "How does this apply to Politics?"
How nice of you to ask.
The whining surrogates of Lurch, who obviously lacks the stones to come out and take on people like "Give 'em Hell" Zell, and "Big Time" Cheney, have surfaced to attack the manner and tone of last night's convention speeches - but not the substance there in.
David Corn takes his shot. He invents some mythical Republican strategist to use as a ventriloquist dummy for his own thoughts. Sorry, Dave. Virtual Pets are a thing of the past. Katrina vanden Heuvel takes her shot. Something must be in the water over at The Nation water cooler. Neither of these two make any sense. Look for more of that to come following W's address to the nation tonight.
Politics, like football, is a contact sport. It is not meant for people with thin skin, glass jaws, or any other trait that can possibly be associated with the term 'girlie man'. With that in mind, Lurch and his 'girlie' surrogates would do well to remember that what they may see as a Cheap Shot, America sees as them getting their asses kicked.
Here endeth the lesson.
Big Time in Prime Time
Much will be said and written in the coming days about the remarks made by Vice President Richard B. Cheney - known affectionately by this blog as "Big Time". As I write this, retired General Wesley Clark is doing his best to make no sense with Greta Van Sustern on Fox News on this very subject.
For those of you who missed the speech, I invite you to read the unedited transcript here.
Big Time, like his boss W, does not do nuance. For this I am grateful because I know he says what he means, and means what he says. The democrats and their willing accomplices in the press will attempt to decode the speech. They will fail, miserably so, because there is nothing to decode.
It is late, and so I will end this post with but a few quotes from Big Time's address.
In this election, we will decide who leads our country for the next four years. Yet there is more in the balance than that. Moments come along in history when leaders must make fundamental decisions about how to confront a long term challenge abroad and how best to keep the American people secure...[t]his nation has reached another of those defining moments.
And so it is time to set the alternatives squarely before the American people.
Fellow citizens, our nation is reaching the hour of decision, and the choice is clear. President Bush and I will wage this effort with complete confidence in the judgment of the American people. The signs are good - even in Massachusetts. According to a news account last month, people leaving the Democratic National Convention asked a Boston policeman for directions. He replied, "Leave here - and go vote Republican."
I echo the sentiment of that Policeman.
Thank you, and good night.
When Anarchists Attack!
No, this is not the title of a new Fox TV reality show. I suppose it could be made into a reality show - and the ratings would be tremendous. Rupert, email me.
What I am referring to is the Sunday protest so ably infiltrated by our fellow Blogger - the now infamous Chainik Hocker. Read Thom's post for the link. I salute his courage in taking on the Long Haired, Dope Smoking, Maggot Infested FM types.
As I was wandering through the Blogosphere this morning, Instapundit's Glen Reynolds made mention of a video of Protest Warrior taken somewhere in the Sunday protest. These guys (and girls I think) have some serious stones. Man, do they drive the knuckle heads nuts! Blind Pig has the footage, or links to mirror sights where it can be downloaded. Take a look - turn the sound up, but be prepared to have your ears assaulted by the vulgarities hurled at the Protest Warriors by the aforementioned Knuckle Heads.
Big Salute to the Protest Warriors for a job very well done.