Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Blogger Eric Johnson was a part of the Iraqi invasion in 2003 as a Marine reservist. He says that the Washington Post's Baghdad office is giving a false impression of what is happening in the country.

Part of the explanation is Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post. He spent most of his career on the metro and technology beats, and has only four years of foreign reporting, two of which are in Iraq. The 31-year-old now runs a news operation that can literally change the world, heading a bureau that is the source for much of the news out of Iraq.

Very few newspapers have full-time international reporters at all these days, relying on stringers of varying quality, as well as wire services such as Reuters and Agence France-Presse, also of varying quality. The Post's reporting is delivered intravenously into the bloodstream of Official Washington, and thus a front-page article out of Iraq can have major repercussions in policy-making.

The entire article is worth the time. He relates some specific events that he witnessed and how the Post covered them.

You paid for it. Some politician looked like a hero. The benefits were minimal. Business as usual.
Tucked into the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a little-known program called the "e-rate," setting up a tax that has cost consumers and phone companies upward of $2 billion a year. What has that money bought? A rudderless program riddled with fraud and waste.

The e-rate fund has distributed $12 billion over six years, and estimates place the amount wasted in the billions. Because of lack of oversight, it's impossible to know the extent of the losses.

During a recent House hearing, legislators documented some of the lapses. They showed, for instance, how most of the $101 million in e-rate funds spent in Puerto Rico went to dubious purchases, such as 73,000 wireless connection cards for individual computers. The cards, purchased at more than $300 apiece five years ago, have grown obsolete in a warehouse outside San Juan. Most Puerto Rican children still access the Internet through dial-up modems on roughly two computers per school.

Other rural projects cited by supporters as successes have enormous per-pupil costs. A conflict of interest is built into the program's core: Its dollars are doled out by a nonprofit corporation run by telecommunications service providers whose businesses benefit from the money. They are barely overseen by the Federal Communications Commission.

Did I say "typical?"


Gallup has done a pretty thorough poll on Clinton with the release of his book. The main point seems to be that Hillary's book was more anticipated. How much of that is Hillary beating Bill to the presses?

Hidden within the study is something that intellectuals may not like. 32% of those polled with a high school education or less plan on reading the book. Only 20% of those with a college education plan on doing so. It will be a nice little fact to cite the next time Bush supporters are called ignoramuses.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"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."

The twentieth Century was full of demagogues who won over a populace by taking things away from citizens. It sometimes led to Gulags and concentration camps. It has never led to more individual freedom.

Hillary's right-win conspiracy is nothing more than a group of working people that want politicians to quit buying votes with the money of middle class Americans.

Monday, June 28, 2004


George Bush 41 lost his re-election bid in 1992 on the argument that the economy of horrible, although the charts show the economy was in recovery about 10 months before the election. Maybe the relief wasn't immediately felt, but if you weren't sure what to think of the economy you could hear the media reminding you every night how bad everyone had it. That recovery began under Bush and lasted until the final year of the Clinton presidency. Bush was elected in the midst of a recession and Democrats were already blaming the economy on him before his economic plan went into effect. The Democrats tried the same "horrible economy" strategy in 2002 and no one listened. The public was more concerned about terrorism. Democrats in the early primaries started to make the argument as the economy was recovering before their eyes. Okay, the economy isn't going to be a winning issue with the voters. Let's try Iraq.

PLAN B - IRAQ was a mistake

1. No links between Saddam and Osama
2. WMD alegations were lies
3. Attacking Iraq will just make Muslims angry
4. Rebuilding Iraq is too expensive and dangerous
5. We didn't gain anything by defeating Saddam

1. Since there isn't a paper trail from the 911 investigations leading to Saddam Hussein's palace, Saddam is innocent of threatening American lives.

The fact the Iraq had numerous ties to Osama and most likely participated in any number of anti-American or anti-Israeli acts is buried under the headlines that the they weren't mobbed up for 911. The insinuation is that Saddam's links to Osama posed us no danger whatsoever. Does anyone think that Saddam was minding his own business?

2. Since we didn't find any WMD the intelligence was skewed, and maybe Bush himself used documents he knew were false to push his larger agenda.

When Clinton warned of WMD in 1998 everybody just figured it was a sideshow meant at distracting us from the Monica Lewinsky mess. Maybe it was a sideshow, but wouldn't it be nice to hear the Democrats who were full support back then step to the mic now and admit their contradiction. What the media has refused to do during this war is make Democrats reconcile their 1998 positions with their current ones. It would be nice to hear them admit that they would bomb a country just to take heat off the president. Or they could admit that Saddam was as dangerous in 2003 as he was in 1998.

Isn't it funny how Democrats will tell you that Bush's negligence caused 911 after Clinton did a genius job against terrorism in the 1990s? We're also supposed to believe that Saddam became less dangerous after he kicked out U.N. inspectors. Therefore, with no inspectors and incompetent Bush at the helm, Saddam wasn't as dangerous as when Clinton warned about him in 1998.

So where are the WMD? Syria. Some cave. Who knows? Iraq was trying to buy Uranium from Niger according to European intelligence. Doesn't this tell us enough about his aspirations? Not in an election year.

3. Attacking Iraq will just make them angry is an age-old argument reserved for people who would rather turn a blind eye. Could they hate us any more? Are they doing any less to come after us than they have? Aren't the citizens of Iraq actually citizens now? Don't they stand to be friendlier to the U.S. than their neighbors?

4. It's a relative question. We could have leveled the country to the ground, grabbed Saddam and walked. That would have provoked the kind of ire that critics warned about in complaint #3. Whether rebuilding was a mistake will be shown down the road. If Iraq eventually takes an anti-American stand then woe to the countries that we defeat next time. We'll just as soon walk away than spend more money that doesn't effect change. But with what we know now I don't see how we couldn't spend the money and rebuild.

5. We needed a target that would wake the Muslim world up. Afghanistan was just a holding ground for terrorists. That was an easy play. By attacking Iraq we showed other nations who support or harbor terrorists that we're not afraid to bring them down. This silly idea of sovereignty for dictators needed to die. Now if Iran or Syria wants to support our enemies they will be opening themselves up to a similar invasion. This was the most important factor in the Iraq invasion and yet the one we hear about the least.

The tragedy is that much of this capital has been squandered by politicians that complain about Iraq to the extent that it seems somewhat unviable for us to take out any of the other pesky countries. If Democrats had only shown a united front on Iraq then the world would have been on notice in a bigger way. Without a united America behind future invasions I fear that these countries will begin to feel too safe. Strength is more in the willingness to action than simply the ability. Our willingness is locked up in an election. The more we're willing to fight the less we'll actually have to fight. Opposition to an offensive campaign only makes our struggle longer and harder.

It would be ironic if Demcorats won by attacking Bush's strong stand on terrorism when they did so little about it in the 1990s. But it was ironic that Bush 41 would lose because of the economy in the midst of a recovery. Politics is the essence of getting your point of view into mainstream thought via the media. As long as the media continues to focus on some parts of Iraq over others, Bush is going to have a tougher fight.

Friday, June 25, 2004


Q: "What Liberal Media?" - Eric Alterman
A: "Fahrenheit 9/11" - Tom Stamper

A similar movie made savaging John Kerry or Bill Clinton wouldn't open on 900 screens.

You could fill a trilogy with Clinton capers, but even Kerry would be fertile ground. You could have the right wing version of silly bumbling Michael Moore interviewing the doctor that says Kerry got a purple heart for the equivalent of a paper cut. That batty wife of his could be raked over the coals for marrying the next senator that came along. That she went from pro-defense John Heniz to pro-wine John Kerry could be made good use of. All that footage of Kerry protesting and leveling unsubstantiated charges against the troops could be brought into play. We could use those quotes from Kerry about how Clinton's non-service during Vietnam was no big deal intercut with the constant reminder by Kerry that his service record makes him the only eligible candidate. If nothing else, how much distribution do you think this movie will get?

What Liberal Media, Mr. Alterman? Have you seen Rotten Tomatoes? Moore's movie registered 82% positive when I wrote this blog. This is despite that fact that his movie is filled with any innacuracy needed in order to bridge the gap to his next criticism. Christopher Hitchens sums up the credibility of the film very well.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.

I'm sure it is a funny movie. All of his movies are funny. But a reviewer of a supposedly nonfiction film should inform himself a little on reality before giving a movie like this credibility.
"Moore states his argument forcefully and effectively, alternating cold, factual data with emotionally wrenching -- and draining -- human episodes." Jeff Strickler, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

I'm sure some of the data is truthful, but much of it isn't. If Strickler could seperate fact from fiction maybe the rest wouldn't have been so emotionally wrenching. That's the problem with most of these film critics. Being personally liberal they are less interested in the truth of the subject matter and more enthralled that Moore has leveled a witty attack against someone they don't like.

A brawl would have been more fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


You think Gore is still sore about 2000? Speech . . .
It is an extraordinary blessing to live in a nation so carefully designed to protect individual liberty and safeguard self-governance and free communication. But if George Washington could see the current state of his generation's handiwork and assess the quality of our generation's stewardship at the beginning of this twenty-first century, what do you suppose he would think about the proposition that our current president claims the unilateral right to arrest and imprison American citizens indefinitely without giving them the right to see a lawyer or inform their families of their whereabouts, and without the necessity of even charging them with any crime. All that is necessary, according to our new president is that he - the president - label any citizen an "unlawful enemy combatant," and that will be sufficient to justify taking away that citizen's liberty - even for the rest of his life, if the president so chooses. And there is no appeal.

The first sentence is off the charts. When has Gore ever been a champion of individual liberty? The level of proof that he expects of Bush to lock up terrorists is much higher than the level of proof he expects from environmentalists that are screaming that the sky is falling. Gore wants to change individual behavior wherever an owl might be. He’s more than willing to punish successful individuals by taxing them at higher rates in order to buy votes of the less fortunate. To Gore and many left wing thinkers, the only individuals worth protecting are criminals.
What would Thomas Jefferson think of the curious and discredited argument from our Justice Department that the president may authorize what plainly amounts to the torture of prisoners - and that any law or treaty, which attempts to constrain his treatment of prisoners in time of war is itself a violation of the constitution our founders put together.

At least Gore talked about citizens in first paragraph. I don’t know why Thomas Jefferson would care one lick about what we do to enemy combatants. We didn’t sign a treaty with the Taliban, Al Qaeda or any group funding or supporting terrorists. Why should we tie our hands when our citizens are getting their heads chopped off in the Middle East?
What would Benjamin Franklin think of President Bush's assertion that he has the inherent power - even without a declaration of war by the Congress - to launch an invasion of any nation on Earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States.

Gore didn’t seem to be making these complaints when he was Vice President and the administration went after Serbia.
How long would it take James Madison to dispose of our current President's recent claim, in Department of Justice legal opinions, that he is no longer subject to the rule of law so long as he is acting in his role as Commander in Chief.

Is this Gore’s version of situational ethics? He didn’t think the “rule of law” was such a good idea when it prevented Clinton from lying under oath.

It takes balls to support activist judges that re-write the constitution whenever convenient and then complain that Bush is ignoring the founders vision. After spending a career walking over individual liberty for the overall “benefit of mankind” Gore can suddenly see the virtue in letting people alone. I wonder if Gore will allow such indulgences to those of us who aren’t trying to kill our fellow citizens.

Monday, June 21, 2004

In light of the Clinton book and 60 Minutes interview, NR's The Corner dug out some quotes from a February 1998 issue of the magazine.

#1 From The Week section of the February 23, 1998, issue of National Review: "President Clinton vows to spend the remainder of his term searching for the real adulterer."

#2 The scene: A smoky bar. The character: He and she. Old line: “My wife doesn’t understand me.” New lines: “I’m the victim of a right-wing conspiracy.”

I watched the baseball game instead of the 60 minutes interview. Did he take responsibility for lying under oath or was it my fault for sending money to the Empower America?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda

The media is trying to report that the Bush administration was wrong about a contact between Saddam and Osama. Even Democrat members of the commission admit the links. Real Clear Politics does a good job of cutting through the media distortion.

"Were there contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq? Yes," Thomas H. Kean (R), the panel's chairman, said at a news conference. "What our staff statement found is there is no credible evidence that we can discover, after a long investigation, that Iraq and Saddam Hussein in any way were part of the attack on the United States."

CHENEY: What The New York Times did today was outrageous. They do a lot of outrageous things but the headline, "Panel Find No Qaida-Iraq Tie". The press wants to run out and say there's a fundamental split here now between what the president said and what the commission said. Jim Thompson is a member of the commission who's since been on the air. I saw him with my own eyes. And there's no conflict. What they were addressing was whether or not they were involved in 9/11. And there they found no evidence to support that proposition. They did not address the broader question of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida in other areas, in other ways.

There are critics who think the Iraq invasion was wrong because they weren't involved in 911. That's an opinion. Another opinion says that we should defeat countries with terrorist ties before they do us any danger.

The reason for the 911 commission was to see if there was something we could have done to prevent tha attack. Bush's Iraq policy was designed so that they couldn't do what Osama had done. Whether Saddam funded Osama or the other way around misses the point that both factions were firmly anti-American and hellbent on our destruction.

UPDATE: What does Brokaw know?

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Dan Rather gives Clinton's memoir 5 stars according to The New York Observer. How are you to take a memoir from a man who has no trouble lying in court? The fact that he still blames others for his dishonesty makes me think he wasn't ready to write this book. What he said about Susan McDougal the other night is revealing. McDougal was put in jail for contempt of court after refusing to answer questions about her Arkansas land deal with Clinton.
"Susan McDougal was a victim of abuse of power," Mr. Clinton said. "She was simply a political pawn."

The only reason for Susan McDougal to clam up would be to shield her own self from even more jail time or to protect the president. If Clinton is saying that she is a political pawn then she was put in jail for protecting him. If Clinton had been so worried about Mrs. McDougal he could have told her to protect herself by speaking. There's nothing like a touchy feeling man sending a woman to take the fall.

As always with Clinton he can't see his own culpability. It’s always others that fail. His personal corruption is married to his goals of equality of mankind. You’ll have to accept one if you want the other. It's a shame that McDougal went to jail, but Clinton was irreplaceable. It’s more important that he continue to work for the American people. He's suggesting that prosecutors should know that he is untouchable like a mob boss and they will only be putting the people in jail that are protecting him. Prosecutors should just learn to layoff and let him make his own rules.

The difference between Nixon and Clinton is that Nixon felt a modicum of shame for the damage he wrought. Clinton is sure that his egalitarian goals trump any sort of personal corruption.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


I didn't blog last week deciding instead to take everything in and then expound. The one story I missed that was important was the passing of Ray Charles. I don't think any singer ever committed to a song the way he did. It was like his every last molecule was focused on the passion of that with which he was singing about. There were much better singers, but he performed a song in a way that you were sure it was about him. Sinatra was always given credit for phrasing a song well. Charles should be given credit for fully committing to the material like no one else.

The first time I heard him sing Georgia – I must have been quite young – I was moved by it. I didn’t realize that he was singing about a woman. I had thought he was just singing about the state. I guess it could be taken either way, but as I aged the passion in which he sang started to imply true love.

He brought the same excitement to anything he sang. When I hear “You don’t know me” I visualized him meeting and taking the hand of the woman he loves and I can see her misunderstanding his feelings. There was something real about his reaction to her nonchalance and his resignation that he would never have her.

Then the hard rockin’ “I got a woman” is a gigantic celebration of boy gets girl. It’s a simple song. His woman is good to him. The song is all in the singing. That ass clown Michael Bolton could never register the real feeling for a song like that. I’ve heard other versions that are fair, but Ray Charles seems to be living it.

“What I Say” has that great piano intro and then vocals that say little literally, but much in the way of blues. The song goes on and on and on and I think only Ray Charles could pull such a thing off. The song is so long that you have to turn the 45 over and hear part two on the other side.

I had wanted to see Ray Charles when I was in college, but no one was listening to that kind of music. Who would I have asked? I didn’t even own any of the records, but I had heard him sing on TV quite a bit.

After moving to Orlando I bought a 2-CD set of Ray Charles greatest hits and it was a big disappointment. All the songs were there in their originally recorded versions, but that turned out to be a minus. Sometimes the arrangements were all wrong for his brand of soul and the backup singers made some songs sound ridiculous. I realized that I had been hearing him sing these things live on TV with simple music and they were much better that way. He just throws so much of himself into a song that the old recordings make everyone else in the studio sound lackadaisical. I’d like to find a later album of these recording that were more bare-boned musically.

Luckily in June 2002 I got to see Ray Charles for a corporate event. The acoustics were horrible in the Convention Center, but he was his magical best. He ended with “America, America” and no song sung by anyone could ever make me feel as patriotic. He was much gray and needed to be helped on and off the stage, but I never would have thought he had just two short years remaining. The music will never die.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

What is a trade deficit?

The US trade deficit widened to a record $48.3bn in April, putting a bigger drag on economic growth than expected and further damping down hopes that the trade gap is soon set to narrow.

Economists said that with the dollar reviving in response to expectations of higher interest rates, there was little chance that the trade gap would start to close over the next 12 months.

The trade deficit is an illusion.

If Americans trade U.S. dollars for foreign goods what happens to those dollars? Either the recipient buries them in the ground which reduces the money supply and makes our money more valuable. Or they take those dollars and buy goods and services from America. The money we use to buy these things either has to be traded back in the United States for other goods or they were foolish to take U.S. dollars in the first place.

So the money has to make its way back here eventually and that will lead to Americans getting the money back for their services. If the money never returns then we've just traded paper for real goods. That's just the kind of deficit we can afford.

Monday, June 14, 2004


The Supreme Court says the atheist father has no legal standing to challenge the Pledge of Allegiance's phrase "one nation under God." He doesn't have legal custody. The girl's mother had no problem with the pledge invoking the almighty.

O'Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas said further that "Under God" wasn't unconstitutional. Scalia probably would have joined them but sat out this case.

I don't quite know what offends atheists about using God in our common language. They would be best in humoring the rest of us. Nothing makes Americans angrier than frivolous lawsuits. Don’t they know that belief in God is the only thing keeping half the country from kicking their ass?

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Oh Captain, My Captain

I was twelve years old when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. I went to the music room to watch the swearing in during recess, but recess had ended and the ceremony hadn't. I figured the teacher would come and get me, but she didn't. When thirty minutes had passed I realized that I was going to be in pretty big trouble. The teacher did feign some sort of anger toward me when I returned to class, but later she took me aside and asked me about the event. Looking back, I think she was pretty impressed that this normally behaved student would play hooky to watch American history.

I was a freshman in High School when he told Walter Mondale during the debate that he wasn't going to exploit his opponent's youth and inexperience. Our school was mostly Republican, but I remember a Democrat trying to make the best of Reagan's landslide re-election. He said that at least they picked up some seats in Congress. I was a junior in High school heading to lunch when news spread about the Challenger explosion. It seemed impossible. But Reagan's speech about slipping the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God and I was deeply moved even as a self-centered teenager.

I was in college when he went to Berlin and demanded the Russians tear down the wall and make people free. By then I had left the high schools that shared my thoughts and joined the quirky academics that would criticize his policies and manner. I didn't know that the elite element in the country looked down upon him until then. They loved the Iran-Contra affair. Our Western civilization class would become a discussion about the awful things that Reagan was doing in Central America. When I spoke up that he was fighting communism the TA pointed to a guy from Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan had nothing nice to say. Reagan was subverting the people's will because he was in the pocket of greedy businessmen.

"How could making a people free be a negative?" I asked.

"Because," he said, "The people are poor and they need the communists in order to eat."

Reagan's tenacity resulted in free elections in that country and the people who needed the communists so bad ran them out on a rail. They weren't ready to trade their freedom for bread. It's not a subject the left likes bringing up much. They will still talk about Iran-Contra, but you never hear them acknowledge that Reagan was really helping those people make their own choices.

It was Ronald Reagan that made me appreciate Rush Limbaugh. When I first heard Rush, I was surprised at how politically Incorrect he was. I had spent the last 3 years being shamed by college professors. Rush was very entertaining, but when I heard him speak about Reagan for the first time I realized that other people still felt the way I did.

I went to the Reagan library in 2002 by myself on a Sunday. It was pretty quiet and I was able to wander around and see things uninterrupted. The museum does a good job of reminding you of his life and especially his presidency. They show video from the assassination attempt and the budget victory after his recovery. Tip O'Neill calls him after the vote and says something like I just want to congratulate you, Mr. President. You beat us old buddy and you beat us good. There's a replica of the oval office with the Original Reagan oval office furniture including some interesting Remington statues. Another room has his cabinet meeting table. There's a great section about the cold war and the arms agreements he made with Gorby.

This week brought much of that back to me. I was surprised at how many of his critics spoke so well of him. On Sunday's This Week show, Sam Donaldson said that he didn't agree with those who thought Reagan lied about the Iran Contra scandal. This was from the man who asked the President if he thought that scandal would taint his presidency. Sam was the loudest voice in those Reagan press conferences. He even wrote a book called "hold on Mr. President." Sunday, Sam showed nothing but true affection for the man.

The funeral at the National Cathedral was a great example of politics yesterday and today. Bill Clinton was upset that he wasn't asked to speak and then he and Hillary fought sleep during the service. Margaret Thatcher was told by her doctors not to travel or speak and yet she was wide awake at the early service and made the long journey to California for the dusk burial.

George Bush the elder was maybe the most surprising. He gave an impromptu press conference shortly after the death announcement last Saturday. He seemed very composed. His speech at the funeral was much different. Bob Dole is known for breaking down at any mention of sentiment, but I was not prepared for Bush's cracking voice as he said Ronald Reagan taught him more than anyone in public life. These political foes that became allies always showed the united front, but Bush wanted a kinder gentler nation which many took to be a criticism of Reagan. His speech yesterday was Bush telling us that he had joined the club.

My southern mother was for Carter in 1980. She said Reagan was a war monger. Dad was a business owner and liked Reagan's economic policies. Neither ever voted because the one time that Dad registered he got jury duty and had to sit around a court room when he had a business to run. Four years later mom admitted that she was wrong about Reagan and she joined the crowd in the tradition of many southern Democrats then and now.

My father is not very political. He doesn't pay much attention to politics. I remember in 1992 when Reagan was introduced at the Republican convention. He got a bigger and longer applause than anyone before or after. Dad simply said, "Americans love Reagan." That expressed it better than anyone has all week.

After Oliver North testified before Congress an older man (probably a veteran) who worked at McDonald’s put a “Col. North for President” bumper sticker on his car. I asked dad if he thought Oliver North would make a good president. Dad had already expressed that he liked North’s tenacity facing Congress. “No,” dad said. “He isn’t smart enough.”

“But so many people think that Reagan isn’t smart enough.” I said.

“He’s smart in a way they don’t understand. He turned the economy around and he made other countries respect us.”

National and world events helped to show Reagan’s greatness, but there was something else that made him important to me. He was like a grandfather to the country. He had wisdom that could be expressed in levity or gravitas. He made me feel safe and proud to be an American. It was like my parents were working and I was going to school and grandfather was running the country.

I don't expect that another President in my lifetime will ever mean as much to me as Ronald Reagan. I was spoiled growing up and thinking that his skills and optimism to be expected. I was 11 when he was elected and 19 when he left office. Those were formidable years and he’ll forever be an influence in my life.

Saturday, June 05, 2004


I was too young to remember Watergate and old enough to know that Jimmy Carter wasn’t cutting it. Reagan made being president look easy. And the presidents since have shown us how hard a job it really is.

He was an optimist in pessimistic times. He could demand that Gorby tear down that wall and joke after being shot. His tax reductions in the early 1980s were that basis for the great economic times we’ve had ever since. His critics called him simple-minded and out of touch with reality. So he made his own reality and then remade the world.

He pulled the conservatives out of the ashes of the Goldwater campaign of 1964 and set the stage for the Republican Congressional victory in 1994. Like Democrats in the shadow of JFK or FDR, Republicans are forever in the shadow of him.

George Will
Reagan's D-Day Speech
The Queen and Thatcher
Thatcher in 1988
Peggy Noonan
Reagan Vigils
Washington Post
THE SPEECH (AKA the Goldwater Boost Speech he gave in 1964 that became legend among Reaganites --rendezvous with destiny)
When Buckley met Reagan
Buckley Today
Tom Wolfe in 1988
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Dinesh D'Souza v. E.J. Dionne (1997)
Bob Novak
Michelle Malkin
Rush Limbaugh
Andrew Sullivan

Friday, June 04, 2004


Paul Johnson writes an interesting piece about the D-Day planning and concludes that the Britain and the U.S. didn't consider everything when going into Iraq.
Unlike Montgomery in 1944, who never underestimated the German genius for counterattack, and made provision against it, the allies this time did not study and prepare for the peculiar Arab genius for counterattack, which is to carry out prolonged and vicious guerilla warfare, completely disregarding human life, including their own. Moreover they did not study and prepare for the difficulties of meeting this form of counterattack against the political background of a free society at home, reacting nightly to what it sees on TV, and reading highly critical reports from the front written by journalists who have their own opinions and agendas and feel under no obligation to pursue the war (and peace) aims of the allied commanders. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are currently suffering from their lack of provision and foresight.

In the old days wars were judged by history. These days the wars are judged daily by journalists.

If Bucky were only alive to see it.
A greyhound called Simply Fabulous was celebrating with his favourite meal of bangers and mash last night after pulling off one of the most unlikely upsets in racing history.

Early betting placed Tiny Tim, a six-year-old gelding ridden by Fergus Sweeney, a clear favourite to win the 5.45pm race over two furlongs (400 metres) despite only winning one of its last 33 races.

But the dog made the most of its light frame and rapid acceleration to take an early lead and never looked back. It crossed the finish in 23.29 seconds - more than a second faster and around 25 dog lengths clear of its equine challenger - and promptly lunged at the mock "hare" fitted to the trackside for the event.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Stop using our faces in your campaign material, eleven Swift Boat veterans have told Sen. John F. Kerry. The veterans are all from the unit in which Sen. John Kerry served.

"The signers of today's letter object to the use of their photographs in conjunction with the Kerry campaign because they believe that not only is Kerry unfit to serve as the commander-in-chief of the United States, but by using their images, the campaign suggests that these men endorse the senator," said a press release issued by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Of the 20 officers shown in the photograph, only two openly support Senator Kerry, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said. Eleven of the officers in the photo oppose Kerry's bid for the presidency, four wish to remain uninvolved and two are deceased, the press release added.

In an open letter on its website, the group tells Sen. Kerry, "It is our collective judgment that, upon your return from Vietnam, you grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that war (including a betrayal of many of us, without regard for the danger your actions caused us). Further, we believe that you have withheld and/or distorted material facts as to your own conduct in this war."

The letter also complains that Kerry now seeks to cover himself "in the very medals you disdainfully threw away in the early years of your political career."

Kerry wants to embrace his youthful folly and still convince America that he can lead the American military that he blasted for political gain. That's a tough job that maybe only Clinton could pull off.

IN OTHER NEWS: Kerry Honored by Vietnamese Communists