Wednesday, February 18, 2004

History Lesson 

When you listen to John F. Kerry talking about the Vietnam war (does he talk about anything else??) as a "Republican war," remember that it was John F. Kennedy who first sent troops there, and his successor Lyndon Johnson who escalated it to a major commitment of American forces. Nixon campaigned in 1968 on his "secret plan" to end the war.

Nixon's secret plan was to actually try to win it, or at least punish the North Vietnamese enough to make them back off. Unfortunately, by the time Nixon took office the war had become such a festering boil on the US body politic that the political will to win it did not exist. Once that tipping point was reached, North Vietnam had won the war. It won because the American public was never convinced the war was necessary and North Vietnam was able to last long enough for the American people to get fed up with it.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Working Both Sides of the Street 

Another story about Kerry telling people what they want to hear.

Where does this guy really stand? The best indicator is probably his Senate voting record. Some folks say he really stands for what's best for John Kerry.

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Kerry's Core Principles 

Here's one view.

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Sunday, February 15, 2004

Bush & Kerry in the 1970s 

What Kerry and Bush did or did not do 30 years ago is relevant to their qualifications to be President only to the extent that each man's behavior then is predictive of what he would be like as President.

As Mark Steyn recently pointed out in the Telegraph, Bush has changed greatly since then. Among other things, he has become a born-again Christian and has foresworn alcohol. He's raised a family, run a business, been governor of Texas. It's therefore likely that his behavior in the 70s would have little if any predictive value about how he would serve as President. More importantly, we voters have the benefit of his recent experience as President. It's reasonable to assume that a second Bush term would be similar to his first term, factoring in the effects of being term-limited and any changes to the mix in Congress.

Applying the same process to Kerry, one should ask whether there is any indication in the interim that would indicate a change of philosophy and values from those of the antiwar activist of the 1970s. Less change => more predictive value.

Not having researched his voting record in the Senate, I must rely on published reports that Kerry has consistently voted against defense expenditures, voted against Gulf War I, voted for the Iraq war but then voted to defund it once the troops were on the ground. On domestic issues, it is reported that there are few if any more "liberal" Senators. It has also been reported that Kerry has initiated or co-sponsored comparatively few bills during his Senate term. One more thing -- he was Mike Dukakis's Lieutenant Governor. This record suggests that Kerry has not, in fact, changed much since the 1970s, and therefore his activities then should be somewhat predictive of what kind of President he would be.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Awww ... Those poor Hollywood types 

This story says that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) are upset that their big self-congratulatory bash will be subject to a five-second delay. The purpose of the delay is to allow the TV network carrying the spectacle to bleep out any offensive language or behavior.

I can only say that if they had acted responsibly in the past -- especially the recent past -- they wouldn't be subjected to such indignities. The grownups have decided to exercise a little control, finally, and the unruly adolescents in the entertainment industry are upset. Their screams of "Censorship!" don't resonate a bit with me.

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Fact-checking Kerry: It has begun. 

Thanks to Charles Johnson for this item, and this one too.

In the first item, Kerry is quoted thusly: "“I’m an internationalist,” Kerry told The [Harvard] Crimson in 1970. “I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”

Now, whatever Sen. Kerry told a student newspaper 34 years ago might not reflect on his present qualifications to be President, but in Kerry's case, there's not a whole lot of evidence that he's changed his philosophy over the years. Someone who would give (or even consider giving) the likes of the UN or France or Russia a veto over what the United States does to protect its national security will never get my vote.

The second item quotes the entire text of an e-mail that the Kerry campaign sent to the Iranian Mehr news agency, among others, which states that Kerry intends to repair the damage done by the Bush Admninstration to our international relationships. The campaign claims that it sent the message to a mailing list, and that someone at the Mehr agency was on that list. All a clerical error -- nothing to see here, move along ....

One question I have is, why is Senator Kerry sending this kind of stuff to non-citizens? The e-mail by its text appears to target expat Americans, but what's the point of sending it to anyone who is not a citizen? Isn't it illegal for foreign interests to contribute to a Presidential campaign. Does he want foreign interests to apply pressure on citizens they have relationships with (perhaps, e.g., as employer) to contribute to his campaign, or to vote for him? It stinks, and should be investigated.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Classic Mark Steyn 

In this opinion piece, Mark Steyn elequently makes the point that Sen. Kerry is, in Texas terms, "all hat and no cattle" on the current war against islamofascist terrorists. While Kerry deserves much credit for his actions in Vietnam, he's trying to win the Presidency on what he did 40 years ago. Maybe he ought to listen to Springsteen's "Glory Days."

It seems to me that, in choosing a President, or any leader, for that matter, one would be well advised to look at the entirety of the record, not merely the highlights selected by the candidate.

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James Lileks' Bleat for today contains a little walk down memory lane: 1998; Clinton; Desert Thunder. Excerpt:
Bill Clinton had a plan to go to war before the crisis flared! What does that tell you? Obviously, he was looking for any excuse! Halliburton! We all know about the ties between Clinton and Halliburton – he gave them a sweet no-bid contract after his Balkans war, you know.

Anyway: it's deja vu all over again. You want to talk imminence? WMD? Democratic concern and conviction? Go back to the papers of 1998; it’s all there, right down to the terrorist links: Hezbollah, for example, swears it will strike Israel if the US attacks Iraq. (A poll of Palestinians showed that 94% supported Iraq, and 77% wanted Iraq to kill Jews if the US attacked Iraq.) Bob Dole was quoted as supporing the strikes but urging Clinton to seek Congressional Authorization. A story on Bush 41’s reaction said that the former president would completely support Clinton if he decided to attack, but noted that Bush 41 urged Clinton to get more international support - which was lacking at the time.
Read the whole thing.

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Monday, February 09, 2004

Gore the Ox! (OK, so it's not as witty as I had hoped) 

I saw the film clip of Al Gore's by now famous accusation that GWB "betrayed the United States" by waging the war in Iraq. "He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure, dangerous to our troops, that was preordained and planned before 9-11," Gore said, according to the AP.

My first thought was, "Thank God this man is not the President! He is not emotionally stable enough to do the job."

I am still considering how the American electorate actually gave Gore more popular votes than Bush, and how close the man came to occupying the White House. To me, the lesson is that professional political handlers have gotten so good at their jobs that they could probably get 40% of the people to vote for a mushroom. Something to think about as the Kerry juggernaut sweeps aside all challengers to the Dem nomination.

Do your homework, folks! FACT CHECK HIS ASS!

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Queen of Nice? 

Tim Blair posts an interesting anecdote about Rosie O'Donnell.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to do a mini-rant about how many celebrities think that society's rules of behavior (sometimes called "manners") don't apply to them. First Janet & Justin and now Rosie, not to mention Kobe Bryant and the former NBA what's-his-name whose trial for shooting his driver started today. If those people had any sense of what most of us regard as acceptable behavior, they wouldn't be in trouble at all. Of course, so long as an adoring public excuses such behavior and continues to patronize the spoiled brats, nothing will change.

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