October 31, 2004
Trick: That bit about getting an extra hour of sleep on the day when you sent your clocks back is a lie. At least it is if you have kids and don't normally get up at fixed hour on Sunday Morning.
Treat: Walter Chronkite apparently said Karl Rove is behind the bin Laden tape. What a stunning admission from the left that this tape hurts them.
Treat: I don't put a lot of stock in polls, even though I watch them, because they are based on a lot of assumptions. But I noticed something interesting at Real Clear Politics. While Bush's lead in the RCP Average is only 2.3 points if you look at the list of polls that make up the average the most recent poll that shows Kerry ahead is 10 days old.
Trick: I just heard some Kerry campaign spinner on the radio saying that the bin Laden tape underscores John Kerry message! If by underscore he means to add emphasis by repeating it in a broadcast that will be seen by more people worldwide than both candidates acceptance speeches combined, I fully agree.
Trick: I got the kids all dressed up in funny costumes and sent them out in the neighborhood. (OK I went with them to carry the cary the flashlight. And I did where a silly pirate hat and an eye patch and have a fake parrot tied to my shoulder but that's beside the point). The went from door to door pleading for candy. When we got home, I took all the Skittles. (The don't like them any way.)
Treat: Finding a blog post that puts the Hollywood left into stark and clear perspective.
Treat: The extra hour added to the day results in children falling asleep an hour earlier.
One last Trick: Those kids who went to sleep an hour earlier, woke up an hour early the following morning.
October 30, 2004
I was considering the idea of staying up until 2:00 am, the official hour at which we are to set our clocks back 1 hour to see what effect it would have on my Site-Meter charts. But then it occurred to me that if I really expected that to be even remotely amusing or interesting then I needed serious help. It's an even more pathetic idea when you consider that between midnight and say 7:00 am having and extra hour of traffic probably means about two more hits.
After months of saying he would have done a better job at getting Osama bin Laden than President Bush; whom he not only accused of outsourcing the job to Afghan war lords (read working with our allies) but of taking his eye off the ball by invading Iraq. (AKA removing a dangerous terror supporting murderous dictator with passion for WMD.) His response to yesterday's bin Laden tape was that we are all united in pursuit of bin Laden and that on this issue there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans.
He followed that by saying that there wouldn't have been a video if Bush hadn't outsourced the battle at Tora Bora or taken his eye off the ball by invading Iraq.
The Twist: Despite his attempt to spin a bin Laden video in which Osama uses large amounts of material from his stump speech to score political points against Bush, Kerry insists that the video will have no impact on the election.
Actually, I think he has his fingers and toes crossed praying that it doesn't.
UPDATE: Michele Malkin does a much more thorough job on this. Why am I not suorpised.
Oct. 27, 2004 — Political junkies of all stripes have gotten much of their news and political commentary during this year's campaign from online sources, and a new survey finds the Internet is contributing to a wider awareness of political views.This shows clearly that people who are interested in hearing more than the surface details of one side of the political spectrum are going to look beyond the mainstream media.
The study released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Information, concludes that an often-expressed worry that people would use the Internet only to seek information that reinforces their political preferences has not held true.
Rather, the study found that Internet users have greater overall exposure to political arguments, including those that challenge their candidate preferences and their positions on key issues.
There was also a set of numbers that has to have the print media feeling a little uneasy:
The current survey found that television remains the primary source of information for campaign arguments and points of view about the Iraq war, same-sex marriage and free trade. At the same time, 31 percent of broadband users now cite the Internet as their main source, nearly the same number as those who say they rely on newspapers (35 percent).Perhaps this is why a publication like the New York Times seems to be willing to shed any pretense at objectivity and integrity in the hopes that the election of their candidate will allow them to lay claim to some level of relevance.
It is because of the Gore precedent, because he tried to win the 2000 election in the courts after losing at the ballot box, that this nation remains so bitterly divided between Republicans and Democrats.Reading this. I can't help but wonder if the title of Hugh Hewitt's recent book shouldn't have been If Its Not Close They Can't Sue.
And the nation is likely to remain bitterly divided following this year's presidential election. Because John Kerry is already gearing up to contest the outcome of the election even before voters go to the polls on Election Day.
In fact, lawyers for the Democrats already have filed some 35 lawsuits in some 17 states. And if Kerry goes down to defeat on Election Day, there almost certainly will be an avalanche of lawsuits claiming that the Democrat somehow was cheated out of the presidency.
This should be a part of the President's message for the last two days both to energize the base and to motivate the middle. He needs to challenge voters to send a clear message to the democrats and their waiting army of lawyers that the American people want the Presidency to be decided by the voters not the courts.
Did Bin Laden walk out to the podium offer a limp salute and announce that he was reporting for duty?
Did he offer a laundry list of complaints each followed by the promise that "Help is on the way?"
What did Bin Laden have to say about Al Qaqaa?
What did he have to say about Bush's National Guard record?
What is on the cutting room floor at Al Jazeera?
UPDATE: One newspaper in Kuwait claims to know where bin Laden is hiding out
It is claimed that Al-Qaeda terrorist network leader Osama Bin Laden lives in a northeastern part of the Afghani capital Kabul in a safe place under the protection of a tribe.
Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper in Kuwait said in a news story based on “Islamic sources” that Laden is in good health and spirits and lives with four people. Reportedly, he closely follows the news.
It is also reported that Taliban leader Moaal Mohammed Omer also lives in Afghanistan and that two weeks ago a person met with Omer and this same person also saw
Laden two and a half months ago.
October 29, 2004
Dear Steve,Uh. yah... sorry. I just can't seem to find the checkbook.
Tonight is the final fundraising deadline of this campaign. Please contribute to the Democratic Party today.
As we move into the final days of this campaign, I am working every hour to reach out to undecided voters and energize our base in battleground states. However, I feel it is important to take a few minutes to write to you.You probably need a break from lying about the draft and trying to milk anything you can out of what's left of the Al Qaqaa story.
There is really no way I can adequately thank you for all you have done. You and our entire online community have worked wonders throughout this election. Each day, when Mary Beth updates me on activities around the country, your incredible efforts are always one of the highlights.There's a bunch more fundraising boilerplate that I cut out and stuck in the extended entry. Then comes the close.
You and I began this campaign pledging to meet every challenge and overcome every obstacle on our way to victory on November 2. I leave it to you to judge whether I have lived up to my end of that bargain. But I am sure about this -- you have lived up to yours.
Thank you so much for standing with me. I will never forget what you have done.more...
Imam Says Man on Terror Tape Is U.S. Citizen Adam GadahnThe story is not up yet. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: 3:44 EDT The Adam Gadahn headline has been removed with no story that I can find. More disturbingly headline has been replaced with this
Al-Jazeera to Air Bin Laden Videotape at 4 p.m. ET
UPDATE: 3:56 EDT The Bin Laden story us up.
CAIRO, Egypt — The Arab television station Al-Jazeera said Friday it would broadcast a tape from Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden on an evening newscast.
Al-Jazeera said the tape deals with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and their consequences. While the announcer said the message was an audiotape, the station's Web site called it a video.
The Qatari-based channel did not say how it had received the tape nor how it had concluded that it was authentic.
The channel has previously received audio- and videotapes from people linked to Al Qaeda.
I moved a couple of people out of the Recommended Reading list as well. I put them down in other good blogs. They still write decent blogs, but I don't recommend reading them. I'm sure their egos will be crushed!!
The post took a look at some of the numbers swirling around the Al Qaqaa story and added spme much needed contgect and perspective to the mainstream coverage.
U.S. military commanders estimated last fall that Iraqi military sites contained 650,000 to 1 million tons of explosives, artillery shells, aviation bombs and other ammunition. The Bush administration cited official figures this week showing about 400,000 tons destroyed or in the process of being eliminated. That leaves the whereabouts of more than 250,000 tons unknown.Yet the Kerry campaign continues to brae on about 377 tons that at some unknown time either before or after the invasion went missing. What has also been missing from Kerry's stump speeches and the vast majority of news coverage is any information on the massive amounts of explosives Hussein's Iraq possessed. Lacking that context the thought of 377 tons of explosives is probably something most people have a hard time grasping. When you put that 377 tons in the context of the "400,000 tons destroyed or in the process of being eliminated" it starts to look a lot smaller. When you look at 377 tons as a part of an estimated 650,000 to 1 million tons it looks pretty small.
"There is something truly absurd about focusing on 377 tons of rather ordinary explosives, regardless of what actually happened at al Qaqaa," Anthony H. Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in an assessment yesterday. "The munitions at al Qaqaa were at most around 0.06 percent of the total."Given that we don't know when the explosives were removed, and that we do know what a overwhelming small portion of the explosives in Iraq the represent, this becomes the biggest non-issue of the campaign. It is a grain of sand in the desert.
October 28, 2004
In light this I asked Senator to Kerry to provide a fuller explanation of exactly how he thought the inspections were working. Well it turns out that they were working even more poorly than I originally thought. It seems the much vaunted IAEA seals were basically meaningless as there was fairly easy access to the contents of sealed bunkers.
The next question for the Junior Senator from Massachusetts is how effective does he really think he could be in bringing reluctant members of the international community (aka France, Russia, and Germany) to the table in Iraq when they were not only being paid off by Saddam, but now it seems they were actively helping him to preserve his weapons stockpiles.
I'm not going to repeat all of the details of the possible Russian involvement in moving weapons from Iraq to Syria. All of that can be found at INDC, Michelle Malkin, Wizbang, Powerline, and two posts at Captian's Quarters. (Plus probably a few dozen other sites I haven't seen yet.)
Paul at Wizbang thinks the word of the day is reckless and that Kerry should be branded with word for his actions on the Al Qaaqa story. I think the problem goes beyond this one story. Beyond Kerry's multiple positions on Iraq and the War on Terror. I think it goes beyond reckless. My word for the day is dangerous.
If they are not already doing so, the post election planning of the Republican Party has to include a comprehensive plan to replace Kerry in the Senate when his term is up. They need to do it as a public service in the interest of National Security.
UPDATE: Truth Laid Bear has a really good roundup of the whole story as well.
October 27, 2004
He was apparently so deep in thought he didn't notice.
The piece that struck the strongest chord for me was by Douglas Hanson written for The American Thinker. This is a subject which Hanson is qualified to comment upon. In the summer of 2003 he served as the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the Coalition Provisional Authority. His piece springs out of the whole missing explosives story, focusing on the role of the IAEA but it goes a long way toward showing how wrong John Kerry is.
In one of the debates (I'm not sure which since they have all kind of blended together into one mass of talking points and I have no deisre to go back through the transcripts to separate them) Kerry said that the inspections were working. That Saddam was contained, and we should have allowed the inspections to continue.
Here is Hanson's account is how well the inspections were working.
The first shots were fired by the IAEA at the US and the Coalition last July when approximately two tons of low-enriched uranium were shipped out of the Iraqi nuclear research facility at Al-Tuwaitha for disposition in the US. The IAEA was upset that the US and the Iraqi government had failed to notify the UN about the shipment. Apparently, the UN failed to note that the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology had been established by Ambassador Paul Bremer over a year earlier, and, with US assistance, had begun to take stock of the materials at the site.So Hussein had a large stockpile of nuclear material for which he had no purpose. Did he just like having it around or did he have plans for it? Why the IAEA let Saddam keep the stuff is a question that has yet to be answered.
The Coalition and the Iraqi scientists had to deal with an extraordinary amount of yellowcake uranium and other radioactive source materials that totaled approximately 800 tons. How the stockpile of low-enriched uranium was found is not publicly known. What is known is that the IAEA allowed Saddam and his scientists to retain hundreds of tons of nuclear raw material, supposedly monitored by the UN and under “IAEA seal and control.” Left unexamined was the rationale allowing the Iraqis to keep this massive stockpile, since both of the Iraqi reactors and the Italian-built enrichment facility had been destroyed and never repaired.
Explain to me Senator Kerry, how the inspections were working.
There are of course clues as to what Saddam had in mind for all that yellowcake.
The next incident occurred earlier this month, when the UN raised another fuss after they found out from satellite photos (who provided these photos?) that a substantial amount of dual-use equipment was “missing” from the Al-Tuwaitha complex. Dual-use equipment is that which can be used for peaceful purposes and for use in manufacturing weapons. In this case, the UN was clearly concerned about equipment that could be used to enrich raw nuclear material for use in a reactor or a nuclear warhead. This meant that the IAEA had detailed inventories and annotated overhead images to compare the pre-war and post-war layouts and configuration of the research site. The IAEA had supposedly accounted for and “sealed” both the raw material and the facilities required to turn that material into fuel for a nuclear bomb.So Saddam had the yellowcake and the equipment to enrich it and the IAEA left it intact in Iraq.
Explain to me again Senator Kerry, how the inspections were working.
But it does not end there. Now from the IAEA we get the story of 380 tons of missing high explosives. That we don't know when and how the material was removed from al Qaaqa is about the only relevant fact to the story. The description of the explosives has always been very interesting. It is always noted how little of the stuff it would take to bring down a passenger jet, and it always noted that it can be used to detonate a nuclear bomb. And what did the IAEA do about 380 tons of explosives that could be used to trigger a nuclear bomb? They inspected it, and left it sitting in Iraq.
What was that about the inspections working Senator Kerry?
Let's not forget that at the outset of the war we discovered missiles that had capabilities well beyond the limits established by the Gulf War cease fire agreement. Remember also the Deulfer report highlighting the high-level corruption rampant in the U.N. Food for Oil program and how Saddam was lining the pockets of those he thought could help get the sanctions against Iraq lifted. How long after that event would it have been before the IAEA seals were broken and the yellowcake found its way to the dual-use equipment? Then with the knowledge he likely had or would purchase from North Korea the now enriched uranium would be combined with some of that 380 tons of high explosives and loaded into one of his nice rockets.
I'm sorry, Senator Kerry, did you say the inspections were working?
Did I remind you of the fact that Hussein openly supported terrorists? At minimum he gave them safe harbor and he paid a bounty to the families of suicide bombers.
With Saddam still in power the end result would have been a madman, in league with terrorists, armed with nuclear weapons. Senator Kerry calls the removal of Saddm Hussein the wrong war at the wrong time and says the inspections were working. He couldn't be more wrong.
UPDATE: It would be interesting to hear how this story of fake IAEA seals fits into Kerry's definition of the inspections working.
NOTE: This has also been edited slightly and posted at eTalkinghead.com
October 26, 2004
If I had to pull one statement out that most clearly highlights the difference between Bush and Kerry it would be this:
That's the difference for President Bush between 9/10 and 9/12, that we can no longer look the other way while threats gather. Something tells me that if you were to ask Senator Kerry "What's the difference between 9/10 and 9/12" he would respond "48 hours."Needless to say, I recommend reading all 6 parts.
Then the anchor boy brought up the explosives story and made note of how the Kerry campaign was using it to attack the Bush administration. When asked, Russert agreed that this would likely be "an explosive" issue for the Bush Campaign.
Excuse me, but didn't you less that ten minutes prior run a report that debunked the story and defused Kerry's use of it as a campaign issue? I mean it's one thing to ignore a story like the Washingtion Times catching Kerry lying about meeting with the entire U.N. Security Council prior to his vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq. This you could rationalize as a decision based on the "newsworthyness" of the story. But to ignore the reporting by your own network, on your own damn, show just to push an issue for Kerry is demonstrative of bias beyond belief.
October 25, 2004
It seems that not only can he hold two positions on any issue, he is also capable of being in two places at one time. Kerry claims to have been at game six of the 1986 world series just "30 yards away" from the imfamous Bill Buckner error. This error cost the sox the game and probably the series. Buckner was probably lucky that it was played at Shea Stadium in New York as the Boston faithful have never truly forgiven him.
This is not so fortunate for Kerry as according to a Boston Globe report he was attending a banquet in Boston that night.
Today in Hold the Mayo's email I got an unsolicited message from Wil Thomson. But Wil wasn't selling, Will was hunting. Wil was hunting for links.
Wil Thomson is a producer for WBUR, a public radio station in Boston. Wil had teamed up with PBS's News Hour to create a project called Vote By Issue.
Vote by Issue lets you separate the candidates from the issues, and look at their platforms with a dispassionate eye -- splitting the personalities from the campaigns and letting voters make up their own minds by reading the issues.My first thought was "a voter education web site from a PBS station in Kerry's home state. This ought to be a fun and interesting bit of propaganda." I was very pleasently proven wrong by the straightforward non-partisan presentation.
If you feel it's appropriate, please pass on the link to your readers, or anyone else who might be interested.
The site presents 20 questions about important issues then anonymously presents the candidate's responses. (Except for George Bush who did not participate. The site presented his previously stated positions on the question, and did so fairly.) At the end of the quiz you are presented with your issue agreements and disagreements with each candidate. (At the start of the quiz you can specify which candidate's positions you wish to consider - I left them all checked)
I was a little bit surprised to see that I agreed with John Kerry on four issues, Terrorism/Homeland Security, Gay Marriage, USA Patriot Act, Intelligence. (But I guess that depends on which day he answered the questions). I also agreed with Bush on 3 out of those 4. The only difference being Gay Marriage. And Even if it were close, that is not an issue that is going to make any difference.
George Bush and I agreed on 15 issues. Energy/Environment, Iraq, Terrorism/Homeland Security, Taxes, Outsourcing, Deficit, Abortion, Economy, Foreign Policy, Poverty, Social Security, USA Patriot Act, Trade, Health Care, Intelligence.
The next best was Libertarian Michael Badnarik with 13 areas of agreement. Affirmative Action programs, Gay Marriage, Taxes, Outsourcing, United Nations, Abortion, Economy, Poverty, Social Security, Trade, Health Care.
He was followed with Michael Peroutka of the Constitutional Party with 11. Energy/Environment, Education, Affirmative Action programs, Taxes, Outsourcing, United Nations, Deficit, Foreign Policy, Poverty, Social Security, Health Care
Re-reading some of the areas of common agreement, it is clear that on many issues the agreement was not 100% but enough that I didn't oppose the position.
The real big shock was they guy who scored 1. David Cobb of the Green Party with his position on the defecit. Then I re-read it and realized that I had to have checked the wrong box
Our record-setting deficit is an irresponsible exercise in burdening future generations. Any hard-working family will tell you that the more debt you accrue, the more interest you pay. The middle class, working people and small businesses are shouldering a disproportionate amount of the debt burden. Most importantly, our deficit threatens the well-being of these people and businesses who are the true backbone of the U.S. economy.Definately do not agree with any of that except the part about the more debt you have the more interest you pay.
Coming in dead last with Zero Zilch Nana agreement, Independent Candidate Ralph Nader.
The test largely confirmed what I already knew about myself and my political beliefs, but was an interesting exercise. Having followed the campaign closely, it was easier to tell who the respondent was than to separate that knowledge and answer based on the provided statement.
The site was well done and remarkably fair.
Wil sent me an email looking for a link. I hope this is adequate. Congratulations and thank you for a well done site.
Good Hunting Wil.
Remember all those times Kerry said he talked to the entire UN Security Council before casting his vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq? Well it turns out that Kerry has a rather nuanced version of "entire." The Washington Times is reporting today that at least 4 members of the 15 member Security Council never met with Kerry.
This meeting that never happened is an important part of the foundation of Kerry's foreign policy and his multiple positions on the War on Terror and its Iraq War component. Much like the Christmas trip to Cambodia that never happened and formed an important part of Kerry's position on the Vietnam War.
There is a bounty of information on this story throughout the blog world.
Start with Red State where there are multiple posts including posts from the author of the Washington Times article.
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