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6/30/2004

 

AFTER-WORD


  • According to Thursday's Washington Post, Deputy CIA director John McLaughlin -- acting director as of July 11 -- says that the agency has addressed its problems, defended the agency, and says he expects an appetite for change.

    He hinted at the Church committee of the early '70s, that Senatorial committee which moved swiftly and decisively, when it got around to it, to chain our intelligence services to a tree. (His rhetoric was less direct.)

    And unnamed deputy told the paper of McLaughlin: "He spent the last 32 years at the agency and has earned the right to have views of his own. Anyway, what are they going to do to him?"



  • Thursday's Rightsided Newsletter has been mailed to the sundry global Inboxes, and I've put it on the web site: HERE. If you do not yet subscribe, you ought to. It's free and informative.



  • The New York Yankees, this evening, were trailing the Boston Red Sox, 2-0, in the bottom of the 7th. Without getting a hit, they tied it. In the 8th, they scored twice, and Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th and struck out the side. (I really need only say that Mo pitched the 9th. The rest is a given. Except in the World Series against Arizona, but that's a bad memory.)


  • I'm listening to the music of Guillame Dufay (c1400-1474). In the broader sense, this music is funky. It's challenging in a good way, but it's also safe.

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    "Anonymous" Has a Name


    With a tip of the hat to Robert Waters (Watersblog), we've learned that "Anonymous," author of Imperial Hubris, is a CIA veteran named Michael Scheuer.

    Google revealed nothing on the fellow, but a look at this article from the Boston Phoenix web site reveals that his name was not kept secret because he wanted it that way or to protect his safety; rather, it's a strange set of CIA rules and procedures: "[H]is forced anonymity is both unprecedented and telling in the context of CIA history and modern politics."

    And the Boston Phoenix site that this:
    [I]f liberals seem ecstatic that yet another career national-security official is blasting the Bush administration for unnecessarily invading Iraq and bungling the so-called war on terror, they’re also horrified by Anonymous’s apparent advocacy (largely rhetorical, actually) of a military campaign that includes "killing in large numbers" and "a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure" as part of "relentless, brutal and blood-soaked defensive military action until we have annihilated the Islamists who threaten us."
    And as I described Sunday [HERE and HERE], he also favors the doctrine of preemption.

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    Bush urges EU to accept Turkey


    President Bush's vision is one of a world of democracies not at constant war. Jacques Chirac's vision is one of a world in which the United States is kept in check and thwarted.

    His speech in Istanbul called for the EU to accept Turkey as a member, as it would prove that a Moslem nation could join with non-Islamic nations and that the "clash of civilizations [is] a passing myth of history."

    Chirac told the President to shut up, "none of your beeswax." He said that Bush "not only went too far but went into a domain which is not his own."

    He does not want the United States to exert its influence, even if it is working towards a world without recklessly spilled blood.

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    Most Popular Leaders in Europe


    Another poll, this one by HI Europe.

    A survey of a several thousand people if five European countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain -- asked for positive or negative feelings about world leaders. It concluded that the most popular global leader there is U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, followed by Pope John Paul II. This reveals their secular, globalist side as well as a reassuring religious aspect to their EU culture.

    French President Jacques Chirac is most popular in Germany, and he is tied with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for most popular in France. They each scored their low marks in the U.K.

    A pretty good breakdown from PR Newswire can be found HERE.

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    Allawi: Saddam, Qaeda connected


    This is Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawai speaking to NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw, as carried on their evening news program Tuesday:
    Allawi: We know that this is an extension to what has happened in New York. And — the war have been taken out to Iraq by the same terrorists. Saddam was a potential friend and partner and natural ally of terrorism.

    Brokaw: Prime minister, I’m surprised that you would make the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The 9/11 commission in America says there is no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and those terrorists of al-Qaida.

    Allawi: No. I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September — atrocities or not, I can’t — vouch for this. But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists.
    MSNBC.com sub-headed the story: New Iraq leader
    believes deposed president had relationships with terrorists
    . Always didn't express belief, however; he expressed, in his term, knowledge.

    Brokaw is "surprised" that Allawi would differ from the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission? Brokaw is very confused. The 9-11 Commission is not, and cannot be, the last word on anything. It's just a dinky commission set up by the U.S. government to study something way out of the realms of expertise of its various members. Prime Minister Allawi, though not living in Iraq, lived these matters for decades.

    Of course the Iraqis are going to disagree with the 9-11 Commission. The commission's conclusion was, admittedly and by necessity, incomplete.

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    Nader and Dean to debate on NPR


    Get this. On July 9, ex-Greenie Ralph Nader and former candidate Howard Dean will debate one another for 90-minutes on the PBS Justice Talking radio program. Wiccan priestess Margot Adler will moderate.

    Things like this are too priceless to be the products of one's imagination. This is real.

    "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

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    JF Kerry, the picket line, and a "bogus" strike


    Kerry doesn't cross picket lines -- never has, he said when refusing to address the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Boston, around striking police officers. But what if they are still striking when the DNC happens in two weeks?

    Kerry can attend the DNC without breaking his promise. All he has to do is what the New York Times did in an article this afternoon: Declare the strike to be bogus.

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    IT'S… Wictory Wednesday


    The polls, for what they might or might not be worth, show the Presidential race at a near-tie. This is unthinkable, and maybe if it weren't for the media-driven Abu Ghraib "scandal," the President might have a significant lead.

    The press is waging Kerry's campaign, and President Bush has to counter that. It takes time and money, and that's where we come in.

    Click RIGHT HERE to be directed to the page where you can become a Bush Team Leader, an official part of the campaign. You can also join by donating at the campaign's SECURE SERVER.

    This effort is undersigned by WW founder PoliPundit and the entire cast of Wictory Wednesday bloggers (page down to #3).


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    "Big Three" to cut convention coverage


    According to The Hill newspaper, the "Big Three" TV networks will air less of the two major political conventions this year.
    “We know we’re going to cover the nomination and the [nominee’s] speech,” said one network’s spokeswoman, but “we’re not sure about the first two days.”
    After 1976, the parties' national conventions have gone from political event to showcase, to fun and spectatcular extravaganza! (All we need is the fabulous and exciting merchandize waiting to be won…)

    The bottom line is the bottom line. There is a certain civic duty to carrying the acceptance speeches, but the rest is party dross. There's nothing to be learned, and massive loads of viewers would no doubt tune to something else. We have cable and satellite.

    Granted, I'm talking about the "average viewer," not about you or me. We'll watch on FNC or CNN or MSNBC, and maybe some of you will read a book instead. (If the noise gets to us, and it probably will, we can always watch the conventions on C-SPAN.)

    So the nation will miss Zell Miller's Wednesday speech. Maybe they can watch a Drew Carey rerun. (No fabulous and exciting merchandise there, either.)

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    PRE-FACE


    Good morning.

  • JF Kerry is taking a two day Pennsylvania vacation to spend some time on with his wife on their country estate, formerly the property of the late Senator John Heinz (R-Pennsylvania).

    He will be spending the 4th in Iowa, home of Governor Tom Vilsack, subject of much buzz.



  • It seems Kerry will have trouble paying off the $6-4-million mortgage he took out on his Beacon Hill home to keep his all-but-dead campaign afloat long enough to secure the Democrat nomination in an obscenely truncated primary season. If he wants to use campaign cash to repay the load, he has until 20 days after the convention to do so, but this means less spent on his flagging Presidential campaign.

    And he can't use the late Senator Heinz's money.

    So many billions he cannot spend.


  • The Iraqi government took legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 of his henchmen yesterday. This strikes me as important in a sic semper tyrannus fashion, and it was made possible by President Bush.

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  • 6/29/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • Now that the press has discovered what we have known for months, that there really is nothing for voters to like about JF Kerry other than that he can be the Anybody in "Anybody But Bush," we will doubtless see scads of stories about how the voters are furious with President Bush but have not yet take to Kerry.

    They're negativity toward the President is proving ineffective, so you can probably expect additional juvenile histrionics like we saw after the 9-11 Commission's interim staff report was released and editorialized upon by news reporters from everywhere, some even that crawled out briefly from under rocks.



  • I saw part of an MTV News segment last night which showed an MTV reporter interviewing a group of college students who had seen the Michael Moore film. They thought it should influence voters never to consider voting for President Bush. One fellow said that he never realized that the President played so much golf.

    It does not document anything, so the "documentary" label should not apply.

    What warps the minds of men like that?



  • The Yankees defeated the Red Sox tonight, 11-3. Tomorrow evening, Javy Vasquez pitches against Derek Lowe, and I have to admit that Lowe is probably the better relief picher.


  • I'm listening to some interesting tracks composed by a German abbess named Hildegard of Bingen, who lived from 1098-1179. This is medieval music, and like the Gregorian and Byzantine chants, it is an acquired taste. It can be a very relaxing music, and I sometimes prefer it while writing. Not often, though.

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    Joe Biden's super-secret cell phone


    We all know the aura of self-importance which surrounds Joe Biden, precedes him where'er he walks.

    This is a cut story from THE BUZZ in the Kansas City Star online (free subscription):
    As a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Joseph Biden has the use of a supersecure cell phone. Recently, the Delaware Democrat was talking to reporters when the secret cell phone on his desk suddenly rang. “Sorry, gotta take this,” Biden said. Biden said into the phone: “Rita's not here, sorry. No. I don't know any Rita.”
    Of course, it begs a question: How can a cell phone, being wireless, be "supersecure"?
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    Hillary's Political Ideology


    A part of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-New York) political ideology can be found in this quote delivered to wealthy Californians, from the AP carried by the San Francisco Examiner:
    "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
    Granted, she was speaking to wealthy Democrats who think it a fine thing that government confiscate some of their income for use in the various redistribution schemes, but the principle of which she spoke applies to all Americans who pay taxes.

    What is "The Common Good"? The definition of 20th Century Democrats barely resembles that of the 18th Century democrats who crafted our Constitution and founded our Republic. It is most certainly not a principle "of the people, by the people, and for the people," since it is all government-dependent.

    She means well, but she is speaking of a fundamental evil. (Not bin Laden/Zarkawi evil; rather, it's a different type, one which conceals its odiousness behind a cloak of tolerance and sharing. But the tolerance and sharing, I must remind, are mandated by threat of force, quite literally while those tolerating and sharing are doing so not of their own choice -- even though they would do so -- but almost literally staring down the barrel of a gun.)

    That's Hillary's ideology. I don't have the stomach for her.

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    Kerry talks to RAINBOW/PUSH


    JF Kerry spoke today at Jesse Jackson's Daimler-Chrysler-RAINBOW/PUSH Coalition Conferences today, giving the expected speech about the "haves" vrs. the "have-nots." His speech was secondary news, however, behind the large crowd protestors who were unhappy with Jackson for having the conference underwritten by a large corporation, Daimler-Chrysler.

    So we had a billionaire Presidential candidate trying to stoke class envy at a quasi-Socialist convention sponsored by the world's largest automaker.

    Welcome to the Democratic Party, circa 2004. Michael Moore, start recording.

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    More Support for Edwards


    Last week, it was Ralph Nader who urged JF Kerry to select John Edwards as his running mate. This week, it's county Democrat chairs. In fact, eight of eleven Democratic Party chairs from Dick Gephardt's home State of Missouri urged Kerry to select Edwards.

    John Edwards has been underestimated by observers on the left and on the right. Attempts to dismiss him in the primary process proved laughable.

    John Edwards is a bright man, and he is the best liar in the Democratic Party right now. This is not to say that he tells more lies than anyone else; rather, that he is much more skilled at it than even, say Bill Clinton.

    He can look at the electorate as a jury and convince them of virtually anything that helps his cause.

    As far as raw brainpower, he is smarter than is Kerry, and Kerry might suspect this, hurting Edwards's chances to be selected; more likely, though, Kerry feels himself intellectually superior to Edwards, which works in Edwards's favor. (This is why Kerry won't pick a Joe Biden, who projects an aura which might intimidate him.)

    Right now, Kerry is doing nothing against President Bush. In fact, except for a few freak polls last month, Kerry has done nothing against the President all year. He needs a zip to his ticket, something which will inspire both the party base and new voters.

    Howard Dean could have been that man, but he's insane. Wes Clark, ditto that, ableit to a lesser degree. Gephardt, as we've seen, won't even help Kerry per se in Missouri, and Vilsack is, nationally right now, a throwaway.

    Ronald Reagan, running against an incumbent in 1980, selected his closest primary challenger, George Bush. Kerry likes history.

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    The Bush Doctrine is…


    Have the core tenets of the foreign policy known as the Bush doctrine been "undermined" and "discredited"? Reporter Robin Wright and "a wide range of Republican and Democratic analysts and U.S. officials" evidently think so. Just look at her analysis.

    Robin Wright no longer works for the Los Angeles Times; in case you, like me, missed it, she is now with the Washington Post, and she asserts that 15-months ago, the President's Iraq policy was based on four principles:
    The United States should act preemptively to prevent strikes on U.S. targets. Washington should be willing to act unilaterally, alone or with a select coalition, when the United Nations or allies balk. Iraq was the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism. And Baghdad's transformation into a new democracy would spark regionwide change.
    Those, she writes, have been laughed off the stage:
    [T]hese central planks of Bush doctrine have been tainted by spiraling violence, limited reconstruction, failure to find weapons of mass destruction or prove Iraq's ties to al Qaeda, and mounting Arab disillusionment with U.S. leadership.


    1. Preemption. It is still intact, although he may now require a more certain intelligence. As "Anonymous," the author of the book which supposedly blasts the President's handling of the war on terror, put it on last Sundays This Week on ABC:
      "What there was, I think, was a lack of moral courage or bureaucratic courage to say, 'This isn't the best intelligence in the world, but it's the best we're likely to get. And if we don't take this action, we're going to lose a lot of Americans."



    2. Act unilaterally or with a limited coalition if the U.N. fails. It is still intact, and it has proven successful. Saddam is no longer in power, and our foreign policy is not tied to French acquiescence, which is that for which opponents of the Bush doctrine are calling.


    3. Iraq as the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism. It is. Better we fight them there than here.

    4. A Democratic Middle East. Give it time, and we'll see what comes of it.


    The piece was published yesterday, which was supposed to be the first day of the week on which the turnover in Iraq was to take place. A Monday publication would have given it time to do damage to the President before the transfer of authority. That was… shall we say, preempted by the surprise transfer on Monday.

    That did not stop her from appearing on Charlie Rose yesterday.

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    Whither National Review?


    He said he's concerned about his own mortality. William F. Buckley is giving up National Review, the conservative bi-weekly he began in 1955. His controlling shares are going to a board of trustees he has created. Ed Capano, a long time National Review hand, is taking over as the magazine's Chief Executive Officer, and Rich Lowry remains as editor, according to the press release.

    To me, this is tragic. I have subscribed for almost twenty years, but I have been unnerved of late by the slow creep of the world's most illuminative magazine into the lazy depths of Jonah Goldberg-ization. His prose is a trendy pastiche of yesterday's cliché with… what did President Reagan ask Fritz? "Where's the beef?" He would be a fine fit with a necon magazine like B. Kristol's Weekly Standard, but not with NR.

    I guess I'm a disgruntled paleocon. We are going to make a come back. I trust Capano and Fowler, and what good is a movement if it must be dragged along by an octogenarian? (Reagan was one of those when he effectively departed the conservative movement. Perhaps we should treat this similarly, though hopefully Mr. Buckley has not had nature steal his faculties and senses.)

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    Kerry Blasts Bush


    When JF Kerry savaged the President on foreign policy matters yesterday, it was an attack on a Commander in Chief while overseas during wartime. It is stuff for punks, and one would hope (but certainly not expect) that Kerry were above it.

    From Reuters.com:
    The senator noted, "Today's newspapers are full of stories about how the president, the administration are trying to repair relationships with NATO and with allies" during a trip to Europe.

    He said Bush's diplomacy before the war in Iraq and since had alienated allies like Germany, France, Turkey and NATO and suggested those relationships might not be fully repaired until there is a new president in the White House.

    "It may well be that it takes a new president to be able to re-establish the relationships that we have had in the past," Kerry said, adding he believed he could, "do a better job."
    Our relationship with Turkey is as strong as ever; the Germans have put the war disagreement behind them, and the French were the French before the war as they are afterwards. There is nothing Kerry can do about that.

    Our relationship with Great Britain is as strong now as it has ever been (at least since Roosevelt and Churchill).

    The campaign continues…

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    "And the survey says…"


    The new ABC News/New York Times survey of X number of people (the CBSNews.com story doesn't specifiy) shows that the President has narrowed the "vote for" gap with candidate JF Kerry to 45-44. (Last month, Kerry was up by eight points.)

    For the first time, more people (30%) claim to think the economy is doing well than think it is growing worse (21%). They have the President pegged at 39% approval, up from 36% last month.)

    "Polls is polls."

    Last month's ABC.NYT was offered has the first evidence that Kerry was finally gaining traction and starting to pull away from Bush, but it was obscured by a flood of other results of other polls which showed the race even.

    That's a poll.

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    PRE-FACE


    Good morning.

  • Yesterday, I read several articles citing analysts and saw several news reporters on TV pretending to be analysts describe the turnover of Iraq as the de facto death of the "Bush Doctrine." I see at as a reaffirmation of that doctrine, and I shall post on that later today.



  • I was delighted, in a perverse way, to see that someone found this blog via the search terms "Al Gore" and "Love Train" and "Ojays." That was back in early 2000 -- around his Naomi Wolf, earth tones, alpha male period -- that Al Gore adopted the old Ojays classic as his campaign theme song. (He had dabbled with it the previous September at the 1999 Democrats' Plenary Session.)

    I was not yet blogging, of course, but I had some fun with it in the Rightsided Newsletter, which is been around since 1997,

    I had heard Love Train resurrected last October for Paul Wellstone's funeral, and I blogged that one.

    I now think it would be the perfect campaign theme for the lifeless JF Kerry:
    People all over the world (everybody)
    Join hands (join)
    Start a love train, love train
    People all over the world (all the world, now)
    Join hands (love ride)
    Start a love train (love ride), love train
    The next stop that we make will be soon
    Tell all the folks in Russia, and China, too
    Don't you know that it's time to get on board
    And let this train keep on riding, riding on through
    Well, well
    It would be funnier for Kerry even than it was for Gore.



  • I heard on NPR this morning that the U.S. military had damaged the ancient ruins of Babylon in Iraq. I've found no mention of this elsewhere, and a New York Jewish Times piece from Monday the 21st carries a statement from Major General Mieczyskaw Bieniek, Commander, Multi-National Division Center-South, relating that the site will be closed to all but archeologists until a study on how best to preserve the site until the American military leaves is completed. There is no mention of destruction and damage there or anywhere else.

    My own take is that NPR feels it appeals to an audience which cares about such things as ancient relics, NPR opposes the President and the war, thus NPR tells its audience that the war is destroying something about which it cares.

    I suspect they'd like to have us believe that the First Armored Division took out Mullah Omar's Bamiyan Buddhas.

    It is, after all, an election year.

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  • 6/28/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • The State Department has announced that the United States has reestablished diplomatic ties with the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. (They didn't use that name, but it is the conventional long form name of Libya.) This is after 24-years of no ties.

    This was made possible because we are winning the war on terror. The Liberation of Iraq, a component of that war, played a part in convincing Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi to give up his WMD, renounce terror, and join the civilized world. And fortunately for the world, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair possessed the diplomatic acumen to make it happen.



  • This one is worth a chuckle. It is a paragraph-lone bit from the Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com), and it is headlined A Liberal Explains the June 28 Transfer:
    A guest on the Fox News Channel Monday suggested that Iraq's interim government is a sham - a proxy of the United States - and he also suggested that the date for transferring sovereignty to Iraq was moved up two days to draw the media's attention away from a U.S. marine who has been threatened with beheading. The comment was made by Rick MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's Magazine.
    The man sounds as if he has his head stuck up his Buzzflash.com, so to speak.

    (Buzzflash.com is news from the juvenile, liberal perspective.)

    I saw Juan Williams, a liberal, on FNC this morning, and he gave a genuine analysis.



  • The Yankees had today off, after the day-night sweep of the Mets yesterday. The Red Sox come to town tomorrow -- the last, great hope for those of you who might be Yankee-haters.



  • I'm listening to Brahms, and it took me a while to enjoy his music, probably because he was the one classical composer I've disliked since childhood. Not his music, which I did not begin listening to until 1998, but just the notion of Brahms.

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    JF Kerry: Failed Diplomat


    Here's an interesting take on the JF Kerry "WON'T CROSS THE PICKET LINE" story.

    Captain Ed, taking his turn at Blogs for Bush, writes that Kerry is a failed diplomat because he was unable to settle Boston's police strike.
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    Hyperbole: There they go again.


    In the wake of the Al Qaeda-Iraq Connections embarrassment, one would think the news media would want to avoid sticking their faces in it again.

    But here's the AP:
    In a matter of a few minutes Monday, the Supreme Court unraveled a major component of the Bush administration's legal strategy for fighting the war on terror.
    Actually, the ruling affirmed the President's power to hold enemy combatants but must explain why to a judge. This could lead to sensitive intelligence becoming public, and it will add effort and expense, but it's not a major blow to the war on terror. The prisoners in Gitmo can have attorneys. That is fair enough.

    Contrast this with what is so far in the New York Times:
    The Supreme Court ruled today that people being held by the United States as enemy combatants can challenge their detention in American courts — the court's most important statement in decades on the balance between personal liberties and national security.
    Fine. No histrionics from them.

    This was not at all malfeasance on the AP's part on the order of what went on after the interim staff report went public. In fact, the AP news article would have been fine as an Op/Ed, while the Times reporting on the staff report would have been a malicious "gotcha" fabrication appearing in any forum.

    What did the Times ombudsman have to say?

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    "Let Freedom Reign!"


    This is from the French wire AFP
    ISTANBUL (AFP) - US President George W. Bush checked his watch, whispered in British Prime Minister Tony Blair's ear, and shared a smile and a handshake with his closest ally on Iraq in a quiet but unmistakably joyful reaction to the handover of power there.

    The silent celebration began when US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld passed Bush a note during a meeting of NATO leaders, not all of whom knew that Iraq's new government was assuming sovereignty two days ahead of schedule.

    The furtive message was from US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who wrote Bush: "Mr President, Iraq is sovereign. Letter passed from (US civilian overseer Paul) Bremer at 10:26 AM Iraq time - Condi."

    While the alliance's secretary general spoke, Bush read the note, smiled, scrawled "Let Freedom Reign!" on the note with a black marker, and passed it back to Rumsfeld, who grinned broadly.

    Bush rolled up his left suit sleeve, checked his watch -- it was 10:17 am (0717 GMT) -- whispered a few words in Blair's ear, smiled and extended his hand, which the prime minister happily took as both leaders smiled.


    And here is a jpeg of the "furtive message" described above:



    From White House.gov, here are the remarks of Bush and Blair from Istanbul. As President Bush said: "The final decision was by Prime Minister Allawi, and he thought it would strengthen his hand. And so that's why the handover took place today, as opposed to 48 hours later."

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    Romney talks to Mayors


    As mentioned below, JF Kerry opted not to cross the Boston police's picket line to speak to the United States Conference of Mayors Monday, so they replaced him with Massachusetts' Republican Governor Mitt Romney:
    "A mayor, a governor and a president have a responsibility for making tough decisions and balancing budgets," Mr. Romney said, according to The Associated Press. "Senators don't. You always want to support labor and the efforts of labor . . . but our first responsibility is to the people."
    Translated, that means: Do not take Kerry's promises seriously; he does not know what he is talking about.

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    Michael Moore's Voter Registration


    On Friday, Michael Moore said to NBC's Matt Lauer:
    I'm not a member of the Democratic Party. If you know anything about me, anybody who's followed me, I'm the anti-Democrat. I have railed against the Democrats for a long time. They have been a weak-kneed, wimpy party that hasn't stood up to the Republicans. They let the working people down across this country.
    But according to SmokingGun.com:
    New York City Board of Elections records show that Moore, 50, registered to vote in Gotham in 1992, checking off "Democratic" as his party affiliation. He listed his address as the swanky Upper West Side building where he owns a multimillion dollar condominium (Moore's office is on West 57th Street). The filmmaker's New York registration remains active, though he has not voted since an October 2001 Democratic runoff election.
    Moore is also registered to vote in Michigan, where he owns property, though he has not yet voted there. In Michigan, one does not have to declare a party affiliation, so he's not a registered Independent there, either.

    Though Moore has not yet voted twice, according to the information here before us, we might have a conspiracy to do so.

    [initial source: Taegan Goddard's Political Wire]

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    Sauce for the Goose


    I've put the new column by Justin Darr, Sauce for the Goods, on the Rightsided Newsletter web site. It's an exercise in the GOP taking the tactic of say or doing "anything they want, no matter how distorted and deceitful, without ever being held accountable for their words and actions" -- used by JF Kerry, Michael Moore, et al. -- and turning it loose on them.

    Read the column HERE.

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    The Rights of Enemy Combatants


    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today, in Hamdi et al v. Rumsfeld and Rasul et al v. Bush that it is within the President's powers to hold citizens and non-citizens as "enemy combatants," but he must satisfactorily explain in court why he wants to do so.

    They also refused to hear Jose Padilla's case because, as I understand it, it was filed in Manhattan while Padilla was in North South Carolina. Padilla was in Manhattan when the case was filed, though, and the government simply moved him. This seems to indicate that the government can hold him indefinitely, provided that it keeps moving him about when habeas corpus is filed.

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    Column from Peter and Helen Evans


    I've put the latest from Peter and Helen Evans on the Rightsided Newsletter web site. It's an excerpt from their interview with former Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyoming) about American values and the war on terror.

    You can read it HERE.

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    The Media and the Big Lie


  • And USNews & World Report's Michael Barone weighs in on the New York Times' journalistic malfeasance regarding the al Qaeda-Iraq connection and the interim staff report.

    He concludes something which seems to be the case:
    The good news is that the public is on to this. The recent Pew Research Center poll showed that the credibility of most major media has declined since 2000. (Among the exceptions are U.S. News & World Report and Fox News Channel, two organizations that I work for and that, unlike most other media outlets, have staffs with significant numbers of Republicans as well as Democrats.) And the voting public does not seem to be buying the line, repeated with almost religious intensity, that it has been absolutely and positively proven there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq on 9-11.
    Occasionally, we'll not an article from, say, the NY Times or the Associated Press expressing the reporter's bewilderment that the public "just doesn't get it" about George W.

    "We keep publishing this nasty stuff about him, so how come he's not plummeting?"

    Part of it is that the Democrats have offered a dud alternative, to be certain, but a good deal of it is, I think, what Barone suspects: people know to filter the garbage from the press accounts or to ignore them altogether.

    There is more to the Barone paragraph quoted above:
    And the voting public does not seem to be buying the line, repeated with almost religious intensity, that it has been absolutely and positively proven there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq on 9-11. In a June 22-23 Fox News poll, voters said they believed there was a partnership between Iraq and al Qaeda by a 56 percent to 28 percent margin, and by a 68 percent to 23 percent margin they say it was very or somewhat likely that Saddam had prior knowledge of 9-11.
    The media have been faulting the Bush Administration for somehow convincing the public that there was a connection between Saddam and the September 11 attacks. The press have tried to use that as a major gotcha point.

    As an aside, if things continue the way they seem to be going now, I can foresee the electoral landslide about which some of hinted in the past. I still have to see how CNN and MSNBC are reporting this, and how the broadcast networks treat it.

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  •  

    "The Worst Best City for Blacks"


    I've Just Posted on the Rightsided Newsletter web page:

    The latest from columnist Dustin Hawkins, The Worst Best City for Blacks, looks at how Washington, DC was rated by Black Enterprise was one of the best places for American blacks "to live, work, and play."

    Huh?

    Read the column HERE.

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    PRE-FACE


  • With the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government occurring this morning -- almost three days early -- one fears for our media outlets. They had been readying themselves to cover "the historic day," with questions of quagmire and "can the Iraqis handle it?" and "when will Zarkawi destroy the Western World?" filling their airwaves.

    On ABC's This Week yesterday, host George Stephanopoulos asked National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice if the President were going to fly the 90-minutes from Istanbul to Baghdad to attend "THE CEREMONY." (He no doubt was attempting to make Dr. Rice admit that security was a problem.) She replied that the day was "for the Iraqis," presumably knowing what was up.

    For JF Kerry to upset President Bush this November, he will need for the economy to sour or the Iraqi situation to turn into bog down and deteriorate, and he'll probably need for both things to happen. That observation was from late last year, and it is still true. It looks as if neither will happen.

    Keep an eye on what Kerry does and says today.



  • Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Sunday, called on candidate JF Kerry to cross police picket lines and attend a conference of mayors event, but Kerry, a pro-labor billionaire, finally, after days of deliberation, said that he would not cross the line on principle: I don't cross picket lines. I never have."

    If the inflexible one's decision were that simple, why did it take him a weekend to make it?
    Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick said he was disappointed and angry.

    "This was the opportunity for Sen. John Kerry to give a message for how he's going to help mayors and cities," Kilpatrick said. "I'm concerned whether he's going to support the mayors of this country in delivering for their citizens."


    What if the striking Boston police picket the Democratic National Convention later this month?

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  • 6/27/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • It is evidently a big question out there, whether or not the FCC can fine CBS for its ongoing Clinton-hype. The theory, I guess, is that it amounts to free advertising on CBS's part.

    It is not, in my estimation, unethical. CBS is making money from pumping Clinton and Clinton is making money from the CBS circus. It's a nice deal for both sides, and the government ought to stay away from it.

    The only Clinton I've caught over the past few weeks is the backwash and detritus of this campaign, so it can be nearly ignored.

    I'm more concerned with the ads for Michael Moore's new flick. The FEC ought to become involved in that, as long as we have a government regulating political advertising, because the ads are like anything from MoveOn.org and the ilk.



  • The Blogging Ceaser has a new election projection, and for the first time since he hit bottom in late May, the President is leading in the hypothetical Electoral College count, 274-264, though he's trailing in the pop vote, 49.5-percent to 48.7-percent.

    He runs a great projection, fascinating. Check it out.



  • The Yankees beat the Mets this afternoon, 8-1, behind Jose Contreras. Contreras has been problematic since arriving in the U.S. from Cuba, and today was his first great game. He lived up to the hype which preceded him last year, and it might have something to do with the fact that his family arrived in Florida via boat from Cuba last week.

    They're leading the Mets, 7-5, in this evening's game.


  • I'm listening to Sibelius as I type this -- I'll had back to the game when finished. No, he's not related to Ned Sebelius; heck, their surnames aren't even identical.

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  •  

    The Sixteen Words Revisited: Saddam Sought Yellow Cake from Niger


    You remember the Sixteen Words from the President's 2003 State of the Union Speech.
    "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

    That launched former Ambassador Joe Wilson on his flirtation with fame.

    From the Financial Times, Sunday:
    When the US State Department later passed the documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, they were found to be fake. US officials have subsequently distanced themselves from the entire notion that Iraq was seeking buy uranium from Niger.

    However, European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.

    These intelligence officials now say the forged documents appear to have been part of a "scam", and the actual intelligence showing discussion of uranium supply has been ignored.
    Sweet.

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    The Billionaire Presidential Candidate


    No, I'm not going to rehash Ross Perot. (I did that with a Perotista comparison to the Deaniacs earlier this year.) I am talking about this year's billionaire candidate, JF Kerry.

    According to Los Angeles Times, Kerry's worth, through his wife, was estimated like this:
    The Times analysis produced estimates as low as $900 million and as high as $3.2 billion.

    Three senior executives at investment firms that handle accounts for wealthy clients reviewed The Times' study and said the $1-billion valuation was a fair and conservative estimate.
    By jove, sounds like he's from the wrong one of the "Two Americas."

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    "Anonymous" Favors Preemption


    This is a followup on an earlier post, with the exact quote.

    "Anonymous" is an active CIA official who wrote a book called Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. The book trashes the CIA "bureaucrats" and the tactics in the war on terror, and he talked to George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week this morning.

    He was talking to Steph about al Qaeda when he said
    "What there was, I think, was a lack of moral courage or bureaucratic courage to say, 'This isn't the best intelligence in the world, but it's the best we're likely to get. And if we don't take this action, we're going to lose a lot of Americans."
    THAT, my friends, is preemption. It is what the President did when making the call to invade Iraq. Anonymous is in essence praising the President for invading Iraq when he did and criticizing those who did not support the action as cowards.

    Anonymous said some other things I want to address, but not in this post. Anonymous backs preemption.


    AND BTW, Anonymous appeared in silhouette on Steph's show, but he looked an awful lot like Joe Klein to me.

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    Joe Biden demands COMPETENCE


    Here's this from today's Rightsided Newsletter:


    [CBS's Face the Nation host Bob] Schieffer next brought in Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, to refute the Secretary of State. Biden said in no uncertain terms: "More troops are coming." He's just back from Iraq -- his third trip and "most candid yet" -- and that's what he is told. He expected a "minimum of 140,000 troops" on the ground through December of 2005, and a "surge" in troops at around the time of the January elections.

    He disputed that Administration's statements that the Iraqis are becoming competent enough to take over some of their own security: "We're turning over authority, not competence. … There is no competent Iraqi force."

    "Competence" is one of JF Kerry's words, and Biden made his pitch. He said that the situation in Iraq could work out. "We just need a more competent leadership in the Administraton."




    Kerry's been making similar statements for months, meandering meaninglessly, saying vague things which sound as if they should be profound, then stating that he thinks the situation can be salvaged if the Administration starts to do things differently.

    This time, he abandoned his call for the Administration to change and instead stated that we need new leadership in the White House. A new President: JF Kerry.

    It could have been a desperation call from the Kerry campaign which triggered this change.

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    Anonymous Supports Preemption


    Another of the tell-alls, purportedly devastating to the Bush Administration, has been published and is being sold.

    On ABC's This Week, though, I heard something with which I agreed.

    This is what I jotted for today's Rightsided Newsletter:


    An anonymous officer with the CIA -- 22-year veteran of the CIA who occupies a senior position in counterterrorism -- is the author of a new book: Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror. On TW, he appeared as a shadow, but his voice wasn't garbled. We learned that he had already written a book, so this was not motivated by an overwhelming need to "right the wrongs," as Dick Clarke and others claimed -- and that this book was approved with no edits by his superiors at the agency.

    He spoke to Steph of a "lack of courage" -- "bureaucratic cowardice" -- amongst senior CIA officials. Asked about George Tenet, he vigorously asserted that Tenet was one of the good guys, with courage.

    He said that they are afraid, when the evidence is not 100% conclusive but points very strongly at a danger, to say that "this is not the best evidence, but it's the best we have and we must act now to save thousands of lives." (That is a paraphrase from notes.)

    Steph asked, "Even if we risk alienating our allies?" And "Even if we would risk alienating the Arab world?"

    Yes and yes.

    I'm going to stop reporting on "Anonymous" right there. Steph nodded his head in agreement at this straight talker, possibly thinking that he could set the Bush Administration straight. Whether Anonymous realizes it, whether Steph was able to connect the dots, he was talking about precisely what the President did in invading Iraq.


    Preemption. The bureaucratic cowards of whom he writes could just as easily be Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosit… and JF Kerry, post-Howard Dean.

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    The RSN is Live


    The Sunday Rightsided Newsletter has been sent to the sundry global Inboxes, and it is now LIVE on the Rightsided Newsletter web site.

    It has the summary and analysis of this morning's talk shows, of which I'll add more in this space.

    In a few minutes, I'll post what I saw from the CIA author known as "Anonymous." Perhaps unintentionally, it was the strongest statement in favor of Bush Administration policy I've yet heard from one who is not in the Administraiton or an ally.
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    Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press


    NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw talked to MTP host Tim Russert from Baghdad, where the old man is covering the transition of authority later this week.

    Here's the bit from the rought draft of the Rightsided Newsletter concerning that chat:
    Brokaw in Baghdad. First a bit about the NBC News anchor talking to MTP host Russert at the beginning of his show. The world was about to explode, he insisted: "This is the storm before the even larger storm that could be coming." (That was nothing less than butchering an old saw.)

    He informed us that "Iraq is divided into so many parts, all at war with each other." Indeed, Iraq is a "deep and bloody swamp."

    But he said that he has spoken with people who expect the Shi'ite Badr Brigade to help the government fight the insurgents. He did not mention this, but the Badr Brigade is Iranian controlled and supported. Brokaw also said that he expects the military to request additional troops because "they are spread out so thin."
    More later.
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    PRE-FACE


    Good morning.

  • From the Washington Post, we have word that some Democrats fear that John Edwards's superiority as a politician and campaigner might be ticking JF Kerry off.

    It is understandable that Kerry does not want to be upstaged, but do the Democrats have a choice? I don't think so.


  • Abu Musab al Zarkawi, neeAhmad al Khalayla, is taking hostages and threatening them, severing heads from bodies the whimsy strikes, but he is not nearing his goals. The United States did not back down. South Korea strengthened their resolve. And now Turkey, not even a coalition member, is not flinching.

    The mutant has threatened to execute three Turks he has captured if Turkey doesn't back off. The response from the Turkish government?
    ``Turkey has been fighting terrorist activity for more than 20 years,'' Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul told reporters in Istanbul. ``They ask many things, they demand many things. We never consider them with seriousness.''
    Turkey is host this weekend's NATO summit.


  • The Sunday shows are about to begin. The absence of Dick Clarke and Carl Levin should make for a better morning.

    0 comments
  • 6/26/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • Meeting over beers in Milwaukee, the Green Party selected party activist David Cobb to be its 2004 Presidential nominee. Pat LeMarche, the Greenies' 1998 candidate in the Maine gubernatorial elections, was selected to fill out the ticket.
    "Ralph Nader has had more influence on my life than any human being who is not related to me," said an ebullient Mr. Cobb, flashing the peace sign to cheering supporters in the grand ballroom of the Midwest Airlines Center here. "Ralph, if you are watching, thank you for what you have done, and thank you for what you will continue to do."
    Aren't they a fun bunch?


  • This is from ABCNews.com's "Noted Now"
    WILL KERRY CROSS PICKET LINE???: Despite having publicly announced that Sen. Kerry would be forgoing his appearance at the US Conference of Mayors gathering in Boston, Kerry campaign sources now tell ABC News' Ed O'Keefe that no decision has been made regarding Kerry's appearance. A (final) decision is likely forthcoming within the next day.

    KERRY SPOKESMAN: "He never crosses a picket line."

    Perhaps the staff will very publicly announce that JF Kerry will cross the line and attend, then Kerry will even more publicly "overrule" his staff. Kerry will be the principled union guy.


  • The Yankees lost to the Mets this afternoon, 9-3, on national television. That makes three straight nationally televised ballgames lost by the Yankees. For those of you who know the Yanks only from their TV games and think they are one of the most awful teams in baseball… sometimes. When they're on TV. The have the best record in baseball, though they're having a lot of trouble with their pitching staff. (Rookie Brad Halsey started this afternoon.)

    It ain't over 'til Yogi Berra sings.


  • I'm listening to some Haydn Symphonies this evening It's a far cry from something I played this afternoon, a 20th Century composer named Krzysztof Penderecki. His stuff was a lot of well-placed noise: interesting but not exciting.


  • Tonight, my wife and I begin our 2nd go through with the complete episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. I've breathed this stuff since I was a very young kid in the mid-'70s.

    We try for one episode a night…

    Oh, there'll be more on that.

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  •  

    On the Sunday Morning Talk Shows


    This might be a good week for the GOP. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gets the full hour on Fox News Sunday.


    The GOP's no. 2 man in the Senate, Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky leads off NBC's Meet the Press, followed by the always-in-over-her-head Madeline Albright. Then host Tim Russert talks to Gingrich and former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta.


    Secretary of State Colin Powell is first on CBS's Face the Nation, and he'll be followed by someone I've just seen called "the dumbest man in the Senate," Joe Biden (D-Delaware).


    On ABC's This Week, former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos talks to Dr. Rice and to "Anonymous," the CIA guy and author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. Also, he has planned former Clinton U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. (I wonder if Anonymous will appear behind a screen with an electronically distorted voice. Like in a bad movie.)


    Finally, on CNN's Late Edition, host Wolfgang Blitzer chats it up with Powell, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and Chuck Hegel (R-Nebraska), and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom we had been pretty sure had died a few years back.

    Blitzer also talks with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

    "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"


    As always, I'll watch them, summarize them, and analyze them for you in the free Rightsided Newsletter, and e-mail newsletter with a global outreach. To subscribe, visit the web site, or send a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe -[AT]- topica.com.

    And I will, of course, follow up on all that in the space.

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    Kerry: Still a Useful Propaganda Tool


    [NOTE: This was to have been posted early this afternoon.]

    I owe this hat tip to John Moore (Useful Fools), himself a veteran of Vietnam, who posts a devastating article concerning JF Kerry's real war record.

    In his piece, in the form of a letter, Moore links to a June 11 article from the Viet Nam News, the English language daily of the government of Vietnam.

    From the Vietnamese government's propaganda:
    Candidate in this year’s American presidential elections, John Kerry, who fought in the war, went further in his criticism. In a statement to the US’ Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971, he said the war crimes committed by US soldiers in Southeast Asia "were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

    But despite these abuses, the Vietnamese did not reciprocate in kind; instead, they treated captured US troops humanely.
    If I had been asked to write something goofy which I thought would make a cute spoof of "typical communist propaganda," I could not have drafted something as good as the real thing. That's priceless.

    All we need is for the candidate to end the segment with: "I’m John Kerry, and I authorized this message."

    (NOTE: Useful Fools is on my "A-1 Blogroll" as well.)

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    I like blogging…


    Honest.

    Blogspot had this to say for itself this afternoon:
    Saturday, June 26, 2004
    Blogspot Plus users are currently unable to update their blogs. We're working on the problem.
    If you're reading this, the problem has been solved and I have a post about Kerry still being used for VC propaganda.

    I'll probably get to my John Edwards post on Monday, but it will be an admonition not to fall into the trap of mistaking the man for a Dan Quayle-lite. The man is good, and he is dangerous.

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    Kerry: Still a Useful Propaganda Tool


    I owe this hat tip to John Moore (Useful Fools), himself a veteran of Vietnam, who posts a devastating article concerning JF Kerry's real war record.

    In his piece, in the form of a letter, Moore links to a June 11 article from the Viet Nam News, the English language daily of the government of Vietnam.

    From the Vietnamese government's propaganda:
    Candidate in this year’s American presidential elections, John Kerry, who fought in the war, went further in his criticism. In a statement to the US’ Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971, he said the war crimes committed by US soldiers in Southeast Asia "were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

    But despite these abuses, the Vietnamese did not reciprocate in kind; instead, they treated captured US troops humanely.
    If I had been asked to write something goofy which I thought would make a cute spoof of "typical communist propaganda," I could not have drafted something as good as the real thing. That's priceless.

    All we need is for the candidate to end the segment with: "I’m John Kerry, and I authorized this message."

    (NOTE: Useful Fools is on my "A-1 Blogroll" as well.)

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    The Catholic Eucharist


    The New York Times is not always a myopic instrument of confusion. In fact, it is usually a pretty decent paper. I'll include in that judgment most of this piece regarding the recent Bishops' task force and their stand that politicians who flagrantly ignore church teaching on abortion can partake of the Holy sacrament of the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is, through transubstantiation, the physical body, blood, and divinity of Jesus Christ. This is done in light of just-released documents on the U.S. bishops' web site:
    The task force spelled out its reasons for this conclusion [not to deny the Eucharist to recalcitrant politicians]. "The sacred nature of the eucharist could be trivialized and might be turned into a partisan political battleground.'' The floodgates would be opened to debates about "what other issues might lead to denial of holy communion.'' Catholics upholding church teaching in public life might be perceived not as representing their own moral convictions but merely "as under pressure from the hierarchy.''
    Of course, the reporter then tries to redefine Catholicism:
    Given the shadow of the sexual abuse scandal that already burdens the bishops' public standing, is this whole exercise somewhat beside the point? In fact, by highlighting the hierarchy's responsibility not only to teach clearly and authoritatively but also to persuade, to welcome dialogue, to engage in real conversation with Catholics in political life and with those, Catholic or not, who are unconvinced of the church's teaching, both the interim report and the conference's statement imply a distinctly different way of being a bishop.
    This is why I, a non-Catholic, think the Vatican has failed in its obligations to administer a clear and consistent church based on a Catholic reading of scripture. To avoid the appearance of being political and to keep people, regardless of their beliefs, in the Church.

    It does not affect me personally if JF Kerry takes communion in a Catholic church. It does, however, cause me to wonder if the U.S. bishops know what they believe.

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    French: Cheney has no regrets


    From the French wire, AFP:
    US Vice President Dick Cheney said he had no regrets about using the F-word in a confrontation with a Democratic senator this week.
    What is the F-word in France? The question answers itself with the obvious.

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    PRE-FACE


    Good morning.

  • Representative Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), chairman of the House Budget Committee, feels that since the "wireless airwaves belong to the public, the government should auction their use to the highest bidder instead of having the FEC simply assign them to a corporation.

    The money earned in such auctions, under Nussle's plan, would be give to the U.S. Treasury for Congress to spend as it sees fit.

    Why not let the wireless corporations, such as Nextel and Verizon, sort the issue themselves" Their interests would force them to come to an accommodation and would keep the artificiality of government contrivance out of this area.



  • In order to cut care costs, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had proposed putting down stray animals three-days after their capture instead of the current six. That did not sit well with "animal rights" organizations and pet lovers in California, so he has relented:
    "That's not me. I have three dogs. And of course I grew up with every animal you can think of," said Schwarzenegger, who credited his own daughter for persuading him to change his mind. "I'm an animal lover."


    Capture and care of stray pets should be the determination of the various localities in California, not the State government. If the shelters were privatized, as they should be, these various organizations and pet lovers could contribute to the lockup of these animals for as long as they want.



  • Jon Lester (Lesterblog), a Georgian, left a thoughtful comment on the post below concerning Zell Miller speaking at the Republican National Committee:
    Zell Miller has come a very long way since the 1970's when it was said that governor George Busbee ate the watermelon and lieutenant governor Miller spit out the seeds. He even stood behind the best of what Bill Clinton supposedly stood for and promised to deliver. It's also been said since his 2000 appointment that Miller has been possessed by the spirit of Paul Coverdell. I think what's really happened is that the national party has truly abandoned all of its ideals. I also still wonder why it was ever decided that the party needed to move further to the left, as was said when Nancy Pelosi became the new minority leader.
    Did the Democrat Party to move the left, abandoning Miller, to satisfy its funding constituency of fringe interests groups?

    0 comments
  • 6/25/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • I haven't addressed the Vice President's foul language directed at Pat Leahy. I can picture the scene, just as Mr. Cheney described it. Leahy had been talking personal trash about the Veep for months, and then he walks up to him at a photo session and acts as if they were old friends. The Veep told him, in so many words, to get the hook. Leahy's office then complained that the comity had gone from politics.

    He might have been thinking about the over told story of Presidnet Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neil. They would do battle on policy all day and share a drink at night, is how that one goes.

    It's a different game with Leahy. Neither Reagan nor O'Neil were as personally savage as are Leahy and his colleagues. There is a limit, Leahy (et al.) have crossed it, and Cheney spoke for many of us. (But, as the Veep told Neil Cavuto on FNC this afternoon, "that's not the kind of language I usually use.")


  • Eric Lindholm (Viking Pundit) and I have differing takes on John Edwards and his likelihood of becoming the bottom of JF Kerry's bottom-'o-ticket. I'll go into this in detail tomorrow, but I have been studying John Edwards since 2000, and it's not that simple. (I actually had never paid much attention to Kerry until relatively recently. I discounted him, expecting that if he did try for his party's nomination, he'd be knocked out early in the long nominating season. And I still think he would have been.)

    Note, though, that challengers have rarely selected the expected person as veep.


  • The Yankees and Mets at the Stadium, part of the inter-league circus, was postponed tonight and will be played Sunday as part of a day/night doubleheader. Rookie Brad Halsey, set to get his second start tonight, will go tomorrow.

    And I'm listening to Telemann. I think he is, behind J.S. Bach, the most interesting baroque composer. You can argue Vivaldi or Handel, and that's fine, but I also like that Telemann could compose at the drop of a hat. Kewl.

    1 comments
  •  

    No More Federal Sentencing Guidelines?


    By the standard (these days) 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court called into question federal sentencing guidelines for the first time. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion, and he based on the Sixth Amendment (trial-by-jury)!

    Erick Erickson (Confessions of a Political Junkie) has it covered and links to appropriate WashPost story.

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    "Bush Afloat Despite Bad News"


    This is another example of a political reporter trying to do analysis. The piece begins:
    From his unremarkable State of the Union address to the 360th slain U.S. soldier in Iraq, this has been a disastrous year for President Bush. And yet, he's tied with John Kerry in his race for re-election.

    How can that be?
    The reporter goes through a list of bad news events as if they were all linked or even linkable to the President, and the piece really is a mess.

    I'll answer the question.

    It can be because it has not "been a disastrous year for President Bush." The economy is expanding rapidly, the Iraq campaign has become more focused, and is showing progress, and much of the "bad news" actually linked to the President was either contrived or hyperbolized by an election year press.

    The other reason this can be is that the Democrats stuck themselves with a lousy candidate. If Terence McAuliffe had not truncated their nominating process, they might have ended up with candidate John Edwards, who with a straight face could have convinced many voters that they had just been hurt by a defective valve and George Bush was to blame.

    It is possible that if even Dennis Kucinich had somehow won the nomination and been made presentable by Democratic Party handlers, he'd have done better than has JF Kerry.

    You know, Americans can see through much of the media's maligning of the President. How can that be?

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    NYTimes: Saddam and al Qaeda connections


    The New York Times found a document:
    American officials described the document as an internal report by the Iraqi intelligence service detailing efforts to seek cooperation with several Saudi opposition groups, including Mr. bin Laden's organization, before Al Qaeda had become a full-fledged terrorist organization. He was based in Sudan from 1992 to 1996, when that country forced him to leave and he took refuge in Afghanistan.

    The document states that Iraq agreed to rebroadcast anti-Saudi propaganda, and that a request from Mr. bin Laden to begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia went unanswered. There is no further indication of collaboration.
    Saddam sought cooperation with al Qaeda, and they collaborated at least on these ventures.

    But check this out:
    The new document, which appears to have circulated only since April, was provided to The New York Times several weeks ago, before the commission's report was released. Since obtaining the document, The Times has interviewed several military, intelligence and United States government officials in Washington and Baghdad to determine that the government considered it authentic.
    So they've known about the collaboration all along.

    They got themselves in trouble, it seems, when they first asserted that there was no collaboration and that this contradicted a White House assertion. This proved to be incorrect, and the paper tried to cover itself, in part, by insisting that no collaboration on 9-11 was the same as no collaboration at all, both for what has been proven and for what the White House asserted. They confused themselves and then became lost in their own confusion, and we need a smarter press.

    Saddam and al Qaeda spoke, collaborated, were on the same team, and the Times was wrong and had proof that it was. That's unethical journalism.

    DISCLAIMER: I do not mean to impugn every Times reporter. To this day, I do get some good information from the paper. Perhaps they could stop reporting and commenting on political matters, as they are clearly not qualified.

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    Goodbye, Jack Ryan


    Barack Obama can be beaten. The Democrat candidate for the Senate seat from Illinois, freed by retiring Republican Peter Fitzgerald, is not a tough candidate and was leading Republican candidate Jack Ryan by between 9 and 11 points in polls I'd seen. Ryan had been dogged by spousal abuse accusations and never quite had a solid aura about him.

    Lately, word from his child custody hearing of four years ago had him forcing his wife to have relations with him in public clubs with cages became public, and he's decided to quit the race.

    The Chicago Sun-Times story I linked above contains Ryan's complete statement. They also relate that several Republicans would like to take his spot on the ballot: State Senator Steve Rauschenberger and "dairy magnate" Jim Oberweis:
    Other potential replacements include Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz and Glenview businessman Andy McKenna Jr. Gidwitz would be a first-time candidate. McKenna finished fourth in the primary.
    "Oh, the line forms on the Right, babe…"

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    Democrat Zell Miller to speak at RNC


    Retiring Senator Zell Miller (D-Georgia) delivered Clinton's keynote at the 1992 Democratic National Convention; Miller will speak Wednesday night, September 1, at the Republican National Convention in New York, New York.

    The Democrat Party has left him over the past twelve years.

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    Electoral Polarization


    A USAToday/CNN/Gallup poll released yesterday indicated that only 18-percent of those surveyed claimed that their choice of candidate might change by Election Day, indicating what the paper called, "a polarized electorate." Some politicians and pundits have tried to ascribe this phenomenon to President Bush and his divisive policies after eight years of the "uniter," Bill Clinton. But this nation became so sharply divided under and because of Clinton, and the poll supports this. For what the poll is worth.

    At about this time in 1992, 62-percent said they might change their minds, dropping to 39% in 1996 and 28% in 2000,

    To defend Clinton, one had to behave in an obstinately defensive manner. Some felt obligated to defend him, and the obstinance lent itself to stubborn division. The trenches were dug with the impeachment and trial of Clinton, with both sides hard on their positions.

    This might have happened over Watergate and President Nixon saw this. At least part of him put the country over his personal future -- though he had to know that he would be delivered a humiliating doom if he were impeached. If Clinton had resigned, the electorate would be nowhere near as polarized as it is but we might have a President Al Gore right now.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Addendum. This from the VOA:
    On the campaign trail in California this week, Senator Kerry derided President Bush's promise of four years ago to unite the country. He said Mr. Bush was "the greatest divider as a president in the modern history of this country."
    That's not what the comparison of poll results tells us, Mr. Kerry.
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    The Torturous Memoranda


    Today's Wall Street Journal editorial is an excellent contextual piece on the recently released "Torture Memos." (HT to Goldberg at The Corner.)

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    PRE=FACE


    Good morning.

  • Al Gore has his lunatic rant yesterday, stirring the troops, screeching about the folly of the Bush Administration for seeing a al Qaeda-Iraq link. Bill Clinton has spoken mildly about such a connection. Clinton was in office first, so he saw the link first.

    From the Washington Times:
    In fact, during President Clinton's eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton's defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.
    To use Gore's words, does he find his old boss "too dishonest or too gullible"?


  • Barbra Streisand has written a send-up of her own hit song, People.

    In it, she uses the racist imagery of Secretary of State Colin Powell sitting in the back of the room while his masters are "fiddling with doom." Of Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, she observes:
    Now Rumsfeld

    We must get rid of Rumsfeld

    He's the spookiest person in the world.
    It's Hollywood.

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  • 6/24/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • The Senate voted, 95-3, to support "a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate in support of United States policy for a Middle East peace process." It supports the President in backing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to leave Gaza. It also said that it was "unrealistic" for any peace plan to call for restoring the borders to where the were prior to the 1967 war.

    Voting no were Byrd of West Virginia, Jeffords of Vermont, and Sununu of New Hampshire. JF Kerry wasn't there to vote, and we'll have to see if he throws a fit tomorrow.


  • Former corporate boss Lee Iacocca (Ford Motors) has has announced that he supports JF Kerry for President. Kerry embraced the support despite railing against corporations and the "wealthiest 1%."


  • "Ballgame over. Yankees win. THEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN!" That's how John Sterling sounds off after every Yankees victory, and the beat the Orioles, 5-2, tonight in Camden Yards. They move 5 1/2 games up on the Red Sox, 6 in the win column.

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  •  

    Administration Honors Dissent


    A labor union for government employees has honored two diplomats who voiced constructive criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq, and they did so in the Benjamin Franklin reception room at the State Department

    . From the French wire AFP:
    The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the labor union that represents US diplomats, presented Keith Mines and Ronald Schlicher with awards for "extraordinary accomplishment" that involved "constructive dissent" of Washington's policies.
    Mines recommended that the U.N. be more involved in the transition process in Iraq, a policy the Bush Administraiton adopted as the time for the transition began to near.

    Schlicher was honored, in part, for suggesting that the Sunnis be allowed positions of power in Iraq, despite their being of Saddam's sect.

    The Bush Administration did not squelch dissent. In fact, it played a role in honoring criticism that was productive.

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    Polls is Polls


    The results pf USAToday's can be found HERE.

    JF Kerry's lost his lead in the poll, etc. and he's way behind the President on terrorism, 54%-40%. The poll results are narrowing on the economy and they are not going to get worse for the President. The economic numbers don't support it.

    The figure being cited is the Iraq question, and it's reported that 51% say that we would have been better off had we not gone to Iraq.

    Here's the question as asked: "All in all, do you think it was worth going to war in Iraq, or not?" They left the "all in all" to the respondents' imagination. There is no way they can make an informed judgment based on the vague question and what has been reported in the press.

    Are you better off than you were four years ago?

    That brought "better off" from 49%, worse off from 36%. Think of it! Four years ago, a Democrat was President. Four years ago, a Democrat given high marks by the press on the economy was President. Yes, he had been impeached, but he was still President.

    No problem. Proceed.

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    In Al Gore's Mind


    Al Gore today in Washington, referring to the Iraq-al Qaeda link:
    "If they believe these flimsy scraps, then who would want them in charge? Are they too dishonest or too gullible? Take your pick," Gore said.
    Which is Al Gore?

    From RNC Research, Gore attacking President Bush 41 on Larry King Live - October 5, 199:
    GORE: "[W]hen George Bush took office, he should have reevaluated what our relationship was with Iraq ..."

    CNN'S LARRY KING: "Well ..."

    GORE: "Let me finish, just briefly. Instead, he stepped up the foreign aid to Iraq, and he looked the other way when there were repeated incidents of terrorism in which Iraq had a part, terrorists operating openly in Baghdad, and repeated warnings from our national security people telling the Bush administration that Saddam was on a crash program to develop nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. And he overruled a lot of his advisers and extended another billion dollars of foreign aid, and the U.S. taxpayers are right now having to bail out Saddam Hussein for almost $2 billion. Just like the savings and loan bailout, now it's the Saddam Hussein bailout, and it shouldn't have taken place."
    And this is from a piece by Sam Vincent Meddixin USA Today - September 30 ,1992:
    "Democratic vice presidential nominee Al Gore Tuesday attacked what the Bush campaign views as its strongest asset, as he charged the president caused the gulf war by 'coddling' Saddam Hussein. … He said recent evidence - including published reports and documents from congressional hearings - contradicts Bush's assertions he did nothing to enhance Saddam's development of weapons of mass destruction before Saddam invaded Kuwait. Gore said both the Reagan and Bush administrations received regular intelligence 'warnings' that Saddam was aiding terrorists and was bent on building such weapons."
    So Gore was for a Saddam-Qaeda link, before he was against it. Okay.

    Gore was speaking to an audience, at Georgetown Law Center, which he knew would applaud such vacant verbiage, so we'll call it tonic for the troops rather than serious accusations.

    I wonder if they liked the speech at the NY Times

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    "Fahrenheit Fact"


    There is a blog afoot categorically refuting the points made in the new Michael Moore film. It is well done -- compiled by a_sdf and Recovering Cynic -- and you can read it here: Fahrenheit Fact.

    Methinks they're just getting starting

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    "America, are You Angry Yet?"


    The latest column from Barbara J. Stock, America, are You Angry Yet?, is now live on the Rightsided Newsletter web site. In it, she describes what has been wrought by the international terrorists and their allies and the current reaction of much of America.

    Moore's little film is a media sensation, yet no one talks of a real documentary, on documenting just what Saddam Hussein did to his own people.

    Read Barb's column HERE.

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    Danforth confirmed as U.N. ambassador


    With a voice vote, the Senate confirmed from Senator John Danforth (R-Missouri) to be the new ambassador to the United Nations. He replaces John Negroponte, who will soon be our first ambassador to the liberated Iraq.

    The only real opportunity for the Democrats to cause trouble her would have been to loudly complain that it was Senator Danforth who formally introduced then-Judge Clarence Thomas to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They resent that, but it seems not John Danforth.

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    Brit Tabloid: Clinton's Latest Affair


    I know this is tawdry, but I dabbled in such reporting when the RSN was still a young newsletter, six or seven years ago, so for old time's sake…

    Britain's The Sun tabloid alleged Tuesday that Bill Clinton is having yet another affair, this one a wealthy divorcees.
    The magazine does not name the woman, but says she has several young children and got millions in a divorce settlement a few years ago.

    She is allegedly the daughter of a wealthy Clinton supporter.
    This would mean that Clinton's recent talk of marital counseling and his book-selling contrition is garbage. Or we could speculate that Bill and Hill have an "agreement," which we don't know.

    Now, the other day, I mentioned that a "tabloid" in Britain is different from a "tabloid" in the United States. Over there, it is a newspaper of a smaller size with lots of pictures, usually with sensationalistic reporting. They report actual news, if in shorter articles, and have large subscription bases.

    Here, a tabloid is what you see in the checkout lines of a grocery store: Weekly World News, National Enquirer, The Nation. (I apologize for almost including The Nation. It is a hard-left political journal.) The National Enquirer, in recent years, has been attempting to break actual news, though one doubts their sourcing is as strict. (Granted, the New York Times occasionally seems as if it uses no sources other than the reporter's imagination.)

    The British tabloid The Sun gets its story, it reports, from "a US magazine." That "U.S. magazine" is… the National Enquirer.

    I don't think I believe anyone with regards to any of this, and I would prefer it all would vanish.

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    Michael Moore's Movie


    Two things which I do not think relevant for me to discuss are Clinton's novel and his book tour and the new Michael Moore movie. They're both symptoms of the directionless mass-mind of the Democratic Party this election.

    But others examine these things, as well they should, and I offer you Byron York's NRO review of Moore's film.

    He also presents a dilemma:
    Since Fahrenheit 9/11 is so heavily identified with Democratic causes, it seems likely that a number of Democratic leaders, possibly including presidential candidate John Kerry, will be asked whether they endorse the conclusions of the movie. That could present a dilemma. To do so would mean associating with some of the least credible theories of the radical Left, while declining to do so would tend to undermine Moore's status as an anti-Bush hero.
    Indeed.

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    "Harlots and Hustlers Unite For Terrorism"


    I posted the latest column by Isaiah Z. Sterrett on the RIghtsided Newsletter web site. He calls it Harlots and Hustlers United for Terrorism, though it could just as easily have been entitled "Stuff Liberals Were Wrong About," an expression he uses later in the column.

    Sterrett examines the bit about the Saddam-al Qaeda connection and sees it as symptomatic of "jittery" liberals.

    Read the column HERE.

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    PRE-FACE


    Good morning!

  • First, some additional thoughts on "Kerry-Edwards." Yesterday, I explained why I thought the Nader endorsement made John Edwards the frontrunner in JF Kerry's veep selection process. Eric disagreed in a comment, saying that "Kerry is all about gravitas" and what would happen in a Cheney-Edwards debate.

    Kerry believes he has the gravitas and needs none of the ticket. Kerry wants to win, and Edwards would provide the novelty element to liven his drowsy ticket. A choice of Edwards will also appeal to Nader supporters, whom Kerry needs -- in both the States where Ralph will not be on the ballot and in general.

    But there's not a commentator in the land who knows what's going in wherever Kerry's currently laying his hat. We shall see.


  • Colorado GOP Senate candidate Pete Coors has questioned the current drinking age, 21-years, and chided the federal government for pushing it. Coors accused the federal government of "criminalizing our young people."
    "I haven't said that 18 is a better age. I'm saying we should reopen the debate and let the citizens decide, without bureaucratic intervention."
    Right. And if a government has to be involved, keep it at the State and local level.

    But it's nice that we have a person named Coors who cares about such things. It is, after all, his bottom line.


  • That Michael Moore movie opens, I think, today. I do want to see it, out of curiosity about just what is happening on the fringe. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD, preferably after the election when the President has been safely reelected.

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  • 6/23/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • 'T was reported on NPR today that the Iraqi government wanted to reserve the iq domain for itself, but that it was already owned. According to the Internet Assigned Numbers Agency (IANA) web site, it is assigned to… well, Iraq.

    Actually, it is owned by someone named Saud Alani of something called Alani Corp in Richardson, Texas, and it was registered on October 13, 2002.

    I've heard of selling domain names, but this is the first I've seen of an opportunity to sell a domain extension/country code.


  • Saudi Arabia has offered amnesty to terrorists who turn themselves in within thirty days. Well, not really.

    The deal is, if they turn themselves in within 30 days, they will be tried and punished under Islamic law. If they refuse and are subsequently captured, they will be beheaded.

    You know, if there were ever a case of a government making its own bed and being forced to lie in it, this is it.


  • I began tomorrow's Rightsided Newsletter with a quote:
    "Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." - Ronald Reagan, referring to Ulysses S. Grant, but nonetheless doubly applicable today.
    To read the entire newsletter, and to find subscription information, visit the page HERE.


  • The Yankees were losing 7-2 when I turned the game off. I'm listening to Georges Bizet. He is best known for his operas, but his non-vocal stuff is imaginative. As far as French composers go, and I will grant them that much, I personally like him better than Berlioz or Faure but less than Poulenc and Couperin. (NOTE: I don't know this music as well as I might let on. I'm just a quick study.)

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  •  

    NATO's Role in Iraq


    Twp "senior Administration officials" told AP Thursday that President Bush will urge NATO countries to take a role in the new Iraq, be anything from training troops to guarding U.N. personal, at the organizations Istanbul summit next Monday and Tuesday.

    Joe Biden has, of course, been pushing the Administration to present a complete plan at the summit, pegging three possible roles for a NATO force: protecting Iraq's borders, supplementing Polish troops in southern Iraq, or guarding U.N. personnel from attack.

    Biden, the ranking Dem on Senate Armed Services, had been urging the President to talk to NATO for months after the President began doing so, and JF Kerry seems to believe that no one is talking to anyone.

    It seems clear -- not that things are always what they appear -- that Biden wants a Secretary of State slot in a Kerry Administration; although he seems skeptical that Kerry can win or that he wants him to, beyond the requisite party loyalty.

    One wonders, then, if Biden would like to replace Secretary Powell should he decide to leave after the President's first term. A Secretary of State Biden could solve a slew of problems for the Administration just by being a Secretary of State Biden; however, Joe Biden would cause more problems that I'd like to consider.

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