"You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine..."
Although it's only the sort of newspaper that the Flown-Over Proles read, USA Today is reporting on a poll that says
Last week's Democratic convention boosted voters' impressions of John Kerry but failed to give him the expected bump in the head-to-head race against President Bush, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds.
In the survey, taken Friday and Saturday, Bush led Kerry 50%-46% among likely voters. Independent candidate Ralph Nader was at 2%.
The survey showed Kerry losing 1 percentage point and Bush gaining 4 percentage points from a poll taken the week before the Boston convention.
The change in support was within the poll's margin of error of +/-4 percentage points in the sample of 763 likely voters. But it was nonetheless surprising, the first time since the chaotic Democratic convention in 1972 that a candidate hasn't gained ground during his convention.
Nevertheless, Bush is still struggling against some poor job approval ratings, which never seem to stay above 50 percent. The pundits say this is the biggest indicator of a President's re-election prospects.
But maybe enough of the electorate see that Kerry is using his Viet Nam record not like the proud achievement it is, but as a club to bludgeon Bush with and to pre-empt the notion that he is weak on defense and intelligence. The American people would've seen that fact had Kerry chosen to include something of it in that four-day infomercial last week.
Don't let him run away from his record, Mr. President. He's counting on a whole lot of collective amnesia to sneak past the wire.
A Bad Idea
Be sure to read Mark Steyn's latest demonstration that he is one of the best conservative writers out there. On his merry way to shredding the idiocy of the Kerrion's hypocrisy, he raises an important point:
As for the home front, Kerry says: "As President, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that [the 9/11] commission." Whoa, hold on there. There's a ton of recommendations, and some of us don't like the part about concentrating all US intelligence under one cabinet secretary who serves not at the President's pleasure but for a fixed term. That effectively institutionalises the groupthink resistance to alternative ideas that led to the 9/11 failures.
This notion of a Director of National Intelligence, whose term of service would be something like that of the Chairman of the Fed, is incredibly dangerous. The President, no matter what his party, must have, at the very least, veto power over any directives that might come down from a DNI if they are at cross-purposes with his own. For the first time in our history, the term czar would almost be an exact job description for such an office. A million times no!
But what's happening right now with the recommendations made by the Kean Commission? Bush has authorized his own Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, to head up a task force to see what can be done towards implementation. This is a good move, politically, because, somehow, the Report came out a lot more bipartisan than did the assholes who served on the Commission; Bush may as well make hay while the sun is shining.
But if Kerry is so gung-ho to get these recommendations implemented, why not start now? How about if the President gets everybody back to Washington for a month or two and have some good long debates about every one of them? Bush can give us updates in front of the cameras from the Rose Garden every few days and Kerry and Edwards can decide how to run a national campaign from the floor of the Senate. No? Too much competition with all the other hungry mouths? Hmmm. Maybe Lurch will have to do what Dole did in 1996 and either resign his seat or finally do his fucking job.
You did see the Washington Post's review of Kerry's acceptance speech, right? They thought it was a missed opportunity:
Mr. Kerry [...] sought above all to make the case that he could be trusted to lead a nation at war, and rightly so; he and Mr. Bush must be judged first and foremost on those grounds. But on that basis, though Mr. Kerry spoke confidently and eloquently, his speech was in many respects a disappointment.
Mr. Kerry [...] elided the charged question of whether, as president, he would have gone to war in Iraq. He offered not a word to celebrate the freeing of Afghans from the Taliban, or Iraqis from Saddam Hussein, and not a word about helping either nation toward democracy.
But Kerry not only avoided the real issues of foreign policy and the related intelligence demands, which he has spent half a lifetime trying to thwart, but persisted with his lies about the economy. As the Post, with devastating politeness, says:
His promises to stop the outsourcing of jobs and end dependence on Middle East oil are not grounded in reality.
Neither is this bullshit about "creating 10 million new jobs." What, is he the Premier of the Soviet Union?
Baghdad Jim: Hypocrite, Urinal Puck
Courtesy of the Instapundit, we find that Washington Congressman Jim McDermott, who is a piece of Ted Kennedy, is a co-sponsor of a bill reinstating the draft. But McDermott is also going around, telling his college-aged fellow Moore-ons that
"everybody in this room who is 17 years old should know that the likelihood of a draft in a second Bush administration is almost a certainty."
Got that? McDermott pushes for the draft, then tries to scare young people even stupider than he is with the news that they might have to go fight in Iraq because of Bush.
And be sure to read the rest of the article from the second link because it also shows that McDermott likes to take money from friends of Saddam's oil-for-food program.
The Effrontery of Savages Reports Reuters, in the matter of the UN's toothless resolution over the Sudan:
Sudan's U.N. ambassador, Elfatih Erwa, accused the Bush administration of using the Darfur crisis to its political advantage in the election campaign. He condemned council members for the resolution and pointed a finger at the U.S. Congress for branding the crisis as genocide.
"The U.S. Congress should be the very last party to speak about genocide, ethnic cleansing and slavery. Let them go back to their history," Erwa said in a 25-minute speech.
Filthy fuck. Maybe Erwa can come over and be an election observer in Cynthia McKinney's district.
Why the Darfur Genocide Is Being Ignored by the United Nations
There's a lot of oil interests in the Sudan, but disappointingly for the Hate America crowd, virtually none of it's ours. Other, more reasonable and non-interventionist countries like Canada, Sweden, and China are the ones working the deal, making a killing (excuse the phrase, as you will) off of giant concessions in the south of the country. But no one begrudges them that because they're not the ones who invaded Iraq, thoughtlessly freeing millions of people from a life under tyranny.
Unfortunately for non-Arab peoples in the southern part of the Sudan, they have found themselves inconveniencing the Arab Muslims who have been running the country. The government at Khartoum has promised their guests in the oil industry a negro-free environment where they can drill and pump oil all day long.
As Dr. Eric Reeves of iAbolish, an anti-slavery organization, writes (emphases mine):
The regime's scorched-earth warfare centers around the destruction of villages to clear areas for oil development and to provide security for existing operations. Typical raids include the burning of all dwellings, often with inhabitants trapped inside; executions of the male population, sometimes en masse; the raping and enslaving of women; the killing and enslaving of children; the burning of all foodstuffs and the killing of cattle. Troops are sometimes ferried by helicopter gunships (some have been linked to the oil companies' airstrips) that strafe villages, cattle herds, and fleeing civilians.
The civilians who escape these attacks are often bereft of food and possessions, and join Sudan's staggering number of internally displaced persons - estimated between 4 and 5 million people since the outbreak of war in 1983. Indeed, the regime's scorched-earth destruction aims to make returning to the oil regions pointless and terrifyingly dangerous. The government hopes to secure tens of thousands of square miles of concession areas for present and future oil development.
The victims of this brutal campaign are overwhelming Nuers and Dinkas (the two largest ethnic groups in southern Sudan). In the racially-charged conflict of Sudan's civil war, deliberate military policies that destroy and displace the members of these particular ethnic groups constitute genocide under the 1948 Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
But is the United Nations going to call this what it is? No, because that might offend some of their best allies in the war against needless intervention and abrogation of national sovereignty.
Here's what Maina Kiai, Amnesty International's Director for Africa, had to say, as quoted in an AI report of May 2000:
"Respect for human rights should be the central issue for any company which is involved in a war-torn environment such as southern Sudan -- the silence of powerful oil companies in the face of injustice and human rights violations is not neutral."
The report goes on to say:
Around the town of Bentiu, government troops reportedly cleared the area using helicopter gunships, some allegedly piloted by Iraqi soldiers, and aerial cluster bombardment by high-altitude Antonov planes. In addition, government troops on the ground reportedly drove people out of their homes by committing gross human rights violations; male villagers were killed in mass executions; women and children were nailed to trees with iron spikes. Reports from other villages claim that soldiers slit the throats of children and killed male civilians who had been interrogated by hammering nails into their foreheads.
But not even Amnesty International is willing to piss off their powerful friends. They just wish that they would enter into "positive dialogue" with Khartoum "to promote human rights."
Yep. Positive dialogue often persuades fanatic Muslim governments to change their ways. Just ask the Iranian students and professors routinely silenced by the mullahs or moderate Israelis who try to work a peace deal with the Car Swarm People. Some animals don't have ears. And soon, no heads.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 7:40 PM CDT
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Updated: Saturday, 31 July 2004 7:42 PM CDT
He's Using the English Language, But Sounds Like a Frenchman
Get a load of this lousy fuck writing for the Sudan Tribune (emphases mine):
[...E]ven if you accept the need for intervention of some kind in Sudan, whom would you trust to do it? To continue the medical metaphor, would you call on Jack the Ripper to carry out the operation? He was by all accounts an expert anatomist, and had an impressive set of instruments: but both his motivation and his post-operative care left something to be desired.
For most of the world, Bush has about the same credibility in the healing arts as the old London-fog night prowler. Not only has the invasion of Iraq raised the barrier against any serious international consensus for action in Sudan, too vigorous a push by the US for it would probably stiffen resistance.
One can indeed despair of the Arab world's tolerance for its own rulers' barbarities. But we have to admit that after the war on Iraq, the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the US's total protection for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's pogroms in Gaza, and the xenophobic anti-Muslim and anti-Arab outbursts in the US, it is hardly surprising that many governments and their people across the world will cut some slack for any Arab regime in the face of US "concern" at its behavior.
This stupid fuck, Ian Williams, is saying that the actions of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in executing the will of the UN with respect to Iraq (some 17 resolutions' worth) actually justify the cynical inaction of Arab governments in condemning the genocide being perpetrated by the Khartoum-backed Janjaweed militias. Get it? Condoning the slaughter of innocent villagers who live over some choice drilling spots is actually a protest vote against the Crusaders. A protest vote! Like voting to authorize force against a tyrannical regime and then voting against the funding that would rebuild the society being liberated. Ahh, the nuance of it all!
But this probably self-loathing journalistic refugee has one more bit of wisdom that must be read (emphases mine):
So the question of support or opposition for intervention is a genuine quandary, but it is surely important that we do not let people die in Sudan just so we can feel vindicated in our stand against interventions. A credible threat of intervention has to be made soon - but kept within those "precautionary principles".
It seems that Williams recognizes the moral rot of his position, but is unwilling to overcome it. He and his fellow anti-war Leftists don't want to get snared in the trap of their own hypocrisy, but they have read enough of their manuals to know that they can't really excuse genocide, so what to do? He believes that intervention cannot be credibly led by those evil Americans and Britons, but that the "threat" of intervention, carried out by other African countries (with American money behind them, of course) will be enough to deter these Arab guerillas on horseback. Right. Intervention is bad if done by white Crusaders, less bad if done by black Africans with white Crusader money and logistics behind them.
I know. Williams is the Wise Voice of Internationalism, drunk on its ass and ashamed of looking Uncle Sam in the eye.
In an interesting column on why black Americans vote so disproportionately Democratic, Joseph Perkins points out one area that I think should of especial interest to black parents who want more for their kids educationally:
[...] Bush has increased K-12 funding by a whopping 49 percent since he took office. And on his watch, funding for historically black colleges is at an all-time high.
The Republican also signed into law legislation creating a taxpayer-funded voucher program for disadvantaged students in predominantly black Washington, D.C., who are mired in the city's underperforming public schools.
If Bush were a Democrat, many if not most blacks would find his record commendable. But because he is a Republican, he gets no credit for the positive initiatives he has undertaken that have benefited black Americans.
If Bush wants a chance at winning more of the black vote than just the "Uncle Tom" segment, he needs to play up the potential for vouchers as a way of breaking the stranglehold of unionized public schools on the lives of inner-city children. I know it for a fact: if you give a single black mother the option of either sending her child to a smaller, more disciplined school where the chances for personal attention are high ---or to an overcrowded playpen where casual violence, drug-pushing, and sexual harrassment is the norm, you might actually see some competition for the black vote.
Some Good Words for Francis Crick
The New York Times has a very nice obituary on Dr. Crick here and the BBC has a decent one here.
One of my favorite books from my college days was The Double Helix, James Watson's account of his and Crick's days together at Cambridge when they discovered the structure of the DNA molecule. Crick comes across as an absolute force of nature. What a curious mind! What a great man of Science.
Thank you for your good work, professor. You're a credit to the species.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:34 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 30 July 2004 11:34 PM CDT
Kerry's Hypocrisy, Example No. 2
Jonathan V. Last of the Weekly Standardpoints out another example of Kerry's hypocrisy:
In the low point of the speech, Kerry says, "You don't value families by kicking kids out of after-school programs and taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break." The irony, of course, being that Enron profited wildly--and quite fraudulently--under Bill Clinton. It was only under Bush's Justice Department that the crooked company's executives were exposed and prosecuted.
See, the Democrats want to taint the President by association with thieves like Kenneth Lay, never minding that Lay also had ties to the Heinz-Kerrys:
Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry reported more than $250,000 in Enron stock ownership before the firm's 2003 collapse. Kerry also was forced to return a campaign contribution from an implicated Enron executive.
And Heinz Kerry served on a charity board with Lay, even after he was implicated in the alleged fraud, records show.
A Heinz family trust bought between $250,000 and $500,000 of stock in December 1995, just days before Heinz Kerry announced Lay would serve as a member of the Heinz Center philanthropy, Kerry's Senate financial disclosure documents show.
Neither Kerry nor his wife seemed to be bothered by Lay's ethical and criminal status:
The Bush campaign said [...] that Lay attended a dinner at Kerry's Georgetown home "10 months after Enron went under" and that Lay had been on a board, the Heinz Foundation, overseen by Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Kerry wasn't at the dinner, the foundation was philanthropic, and Lay is no longer on the board.
Ahh, who cares? If there's anything that Kerry learned from the Kennedys, it's that multimillionaires have a right to pretend to speak for the common man. And the common man has an obligation to excuse his betters when they preach a different game from the one they're playing.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:05 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 30 July 2004 11:45 PM CDT
Kerry's Hypocrisy, Example No. 1
As Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standardasks of Kerry's new meme that we shouldn't go to war because we want to, but only because we have to:
Should Kerry have elaborated on his view that our nation's "time-honored tradition" is that "the United States of America never goes to war because we want to; we only go to war because we have to"? Yet he might then have had to explain not only why he voted for war in Iraq, but also why he supported our military efforts in Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans--surely not instances where we "had" to fight to "protect against a threat."
Will anyone ask him this question? Or, to put it another way, is there any journalist out there masochistic enough to take down his answer? It is sure to be [nuanced].
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 10:43 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 30 July 2004 11:46 PM CDT
The anti-American agitpropagandist Michael Moore is being sued by a small Illinois newspaper for falsely portraying a headline they ran in the aftermath of the Election of 2000.
The (Bloomington) Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois has sent a letter to Moore and his production company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., asking Moore to apologize for using what the newspaper says was a doctored front page in the film, the paper reported Friday. It also is seeking compensatory damages of $1.
A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The Pantagraph's Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election."
The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer."
True, it's not a crime on the scale of stealing Top Secret documents from the National Archives, but it's entirely typical of Moore's modus operandi. And since there's dozens of such examples of his outright lies and distortions, one hopes that the news of them will continue to discredit him in the eyes of his gullible worshippers.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 10:17 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 30 July 2004 10:26 PM CDT
An Insomniac Concern
We might expect that the outcome of this election depends upon the resolution of specific issues, but that is an intellectual expectation. And it is false. Instead, as it too often does, it will come down to impressions and emotions. And I do not believe that there is enough time to effectively counter a year's worth of Leftist lies about the War for Iraq or a whole term's worth of their lies about the circumstances of George W. Bush's election. That is a function of Big Media's pervasive influence.
I will continue to make the argument for Bush's re-election and believe in its rightness for our country's sake, but I have no confidence that the mere exposure of the lies of the anti-war and Democratic parties is going to accomplish anything.
Can the GOP and the organs of the Bush campaign turn this around, after having done such a poor job of justifying the war when perceptions turned against it and failing to counter the worst of the demagoguery and hypocrisy of our domestic enemies? I am not hopeful.
But I doubt one other thing also, which is that the electorate doesn't respond well to negative campaigning. Big Media and pollsters may find all the evidence they wish to that people are turned off by this approach, but I do not believe it.
Burn every bridge, Mr. President. If you go down, take as many with you as you can. The War for Iraq is right, even if you have failed to make the case that you should have. History will prove you right. But these useful idiots on the Left should be brought down and humiliated. They have lied and they have turned their coats. They have bought into the worst sort of propaganda and they have sickened themselves on everything from Abu Ghraib to the Patriot Act and from the agitprop of traitors to the self-serving sedition of embittered fools.
If John Kerry wins, it will be a victory for terrorists and the decadent old shells of Europe. It will be a victory for Kofi Annan and Jacques Chiraq. Hatemongers and Moore-ons. Dhimmicide and American self-loathing.
Sign of the Times Mood:
Watching the post-game wrap-up on MSNBC and there's some guy in the background behind Dee Dee Myers with a sign saying "Hope I$ on the Way" depicting an ambulance being chased by John Edwards is a convertible. Nice.
The Acceptance Speech
Caught about half of Kerry's speech on the fly. Seems like he did what he had to do. Went too long, but that's his thing. And lots of red meat for the faithful, all of which deserves a good cooking later on when I see the whole thing again on tape.
But this stuff about how the Bush Administration are a lot of Neanderthals who are shredding the Constitution and hating Science and all that is just bunk. The Patriot Act, which has become this weird reverse talisman for the Left, is not the Great Abrogation of American Liberties that the Left needs it to be. It is, in fact, a necessary tool in the fight against the Muslim fanatics that we have unwisely admitted into our country. The Left wants it to be perceived as a carte blanche for the Gestapo, but that's because, as we know, they are liars and propagandists.
One thing's for sure: Kerry has given Bush all the license he needs to rip him a new one. And I believe he will.
They're Only Bitching Because He Looks Goofy
Courtesy of the Instapundit, here's some more about the dirty trick the GOP somehow played on the Kerry campaign by distributing photos of him in a clean-suit and looking very goofy. I don't know how the GOP had anything to do with NASA releasing their own publicity photos, which are routinely taken of visiting dignitaries, but there must be some huge plot to make Kerry look like a fucking dope.
But here's something you may not have known:
NASA laywers claim the pictures might violate the Hatch Act, a federal law prohibiting campaign activities on government installations. There was apparently no objection to Kerry's campaign holding an invitation-only, town hall meeting on the federally-owned grounds of the KSC Visitor Complex.
Which is why they may have taken them down from their website, but not why they may have put them up in the first place. Now just who, besides the GOP, may have wanted to not publicize Kerry's lawbreaking? Hmmm.
I am watching John Edwards' speech and I am very surprised at how pedestrian it is. For one thing, he's rushing all his effects. I've heard much of the same stuff coming out of his mouth myself. You'd think that he would have done more to make it something beyond a mere stump speech, but it's not looking like it.
Two Americas? There should have been as many speeches from Edwards. But this is the old one.
A Creepy Broad
I'll be blunt: I have an instinctive dislike ---if not outright hatred--- for the filthy rich. I don't like unearned privilege and I don't like rich assholes who presume to talk to and for me as though they have any fucking idea what it's like to spend the last few days of every month parceling out change in increments of the cost of a hamburger or a gallon of gasoline.
If you think that this arrangement the Democratic Party has reached in foisting upon us a rich man and his filthy rich wife as the defenders of the common man is acceptable, you are a goddamned idiot. Period.
Yeah. Is Bush a rich man? Yep. But he doesn't disrespect me by pretending that he's like me. In fact, what does he talk about when it comes to work and property? That we can make our own way and be proud to call what we have our own.
But when you see someone like Teresa Heinz get up in front of the world and talk about the struggles of regular people, it sickens me. When you get a good whiff of her elitist, unearned status and are made to endure her egocentric nonsense, how can you not be pissed?
The Democratic Party has no principles. It is willing to surrender the Presidency to a kept man and a woman whose wealth has very clearly shaped her attitudes and morality. And they are not those of the average American. You have to know that. And you have to know that she and her consort are a bad idea for the integrity of this country.
No soul. No sense. No way.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:32 AM CDT
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Updated: Wednesday, 28 July 2004 11:33 AM CDT