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September 04, 2004

QUEER EYE for the Bush guy.

MARK STEYN writes that Kerry can't take the heat:

There was an old joke back in the Cold War:

Proud American to Russian guy: ''In my country every one of us has the right to criticize our president.''

Russian guy: ''Same here. In my country every one of us has the right to criticize your president.''

That seems to be the way John Kerry likes it. Americans should be free to call Bush a moron, a liar, a fraud, a deserter, an agent of the House of Saud, a mass murderer, a mass rapist (according to the speaker at a National Organization for Women rally last week) and the new Hitler (according to just about everyone). But how dare anyone be so impertinent as to insult John Kerry! . . .

Sorry, man, that's not the way it works. And if he thinks it does, he's even further removed from the realities of democratic politics than he was from the interior of Cambodia. Instead of those military records the swift boat vets are calling for, I'd be more interested in seeing his medical ones.

I don't think a Kerry administration would work out well.

UPDATE: Related thoughts here:

By now, much of the sturm und drang of the Swiftboat controversy has passed. Yet, one man seems intent on keeping it alive. His name is John Kerry and he's from Massachusetts. At a rally here in Ohio, Kerry denounced Bush for questioning his patriotism, and mocked Cheney for not serving in Vietnam (in contrast to, say, John Edwards?). Beyond sounding petty in light of the larger campaign issues, this tirade reveals some fundamental flaws in Kerry as a presidential candidate. These flaws range from the personal, to campaign strategy, to larger misunderstandings about America's cultural dynamic.

Indeed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ouch: "The only thing that was bad about the convention week was that it kept Kerry out of the public eye. Thanks to the Kerry Magic, the more the public sees of him the better we do. Answering our desperate pleas Kerry made an unprecedented midnight appearance last night, holding a rally to answer the charges hurled at him by the Republican Convention speakers."

MORE: Still more Kerry pans here.

BELDAR offers first impressions on Mike Kranish's Kerry book. Kerry was "severely wounded in combat?"

ROGER SIMON IS OUTING NEWSDAY:

An interesting (but small) example is how I have been distorted. In tomorrow's Newsday there will be a number of quotes from those who blogged at the Republican Convention. . . . They asked permission to excerpt my blog, without providing the excerpts they had in mind (a normal and professional thing to do - I would have). I smelled a rat, but gave them permission to do so as a test. And guess what? They chose the most anti-Bush remarks I made, highlighting my firm opposition to the President on the social issues. You would have to read these excerpts very closely to realize that I unequivocally support Bush in the election and would no more vote for John Kerry for President in an era of terrorism than for a protester on Seventh Avenue.

Stuff like this just keeps happening, and yet people in the media seem surprised and offended when that pattern is noted.

UPDATE: David Adesnik says he had a different experience.

TOM MAGUIRE has lots of interesting stuff. Just keep scrolling.

"SHUT UP," they explained.

HEH: "We humans are downright irrational beings - witness the fact that the possibility of a cure for baldness arising from stem cell based regenerative medicine garners just as much interest as a cure for heart disease using the same technology."

BLOGGER JULIE FIDLER is working on a book, and would like you to help her by filling out a questionnaire. Explanation and link here.

DAVE KOPEL HAS THOUGHTS on what to do about schoolhouse terrorism.

AIRPORT TERROR? LAX has been shut down and there are reports of an explosion. It's not clear yet what's going on. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Now people are emailing me that Fox says there was no explosion.

BOUNCE UPDATE: Guess the Time poll mentioned below wasn't a fluke, because the Newsweek poll shows a similar bounce:

President George W. Bush leads his Democrat opponent John Kerry by 11 percentage points according to a poll immediately after the Republican National Convention in New York, Newsweek magazine reported.

Bush is supported by 54 percent of the 1,008 registered voters surveyed Thursday and Friday, compared with 43 percent support for Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts senator. Independent candidate Ralph Nader polled 3 percent. . . .

The president's job-approval rating rose to 52 percent, the first time it's been above 50 percent since January, Newsweek said. A 53 percent majority wants to see him re-elected, the highest since May of last year, the magazine reported.

Seems pretty consistent. Polls only mean so much, of course, and we still have nearly two months left until the election, but this can't be bringing joy to the Kerry camp. I'm wondering, though, if there isn't a connection between these poll results and this observation: "It has now been one month and three days since John Kerry last answered questions from a real reporter."

UPDATE: According to this table, Bush's lead increased dramatically between Thursday and Friday, presumably as a result of his speech Thursday night (and perhaps Kerry's response at midnight Thursday):

9/3 only 54 38 4 4
9/2 only 49 43 3 5

As you can see, Bush picked up 5 points between 9/2 and 9/3. Assuming that this holds up when we see other polls, it represents a rather dramatic effect for a single speech.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I guess we can call this an informal Democratic focus group:

Near the end of the night's broadcast, I took a poll. How many people thought Kerry was going to win?

The room contained liberal and Democratic voters of different races, national origins, incomes, professions and generations. Not a single solitary one raised a hand.

My stomach did a little flip-flop. I'd underestimated the depth of John F. Kerry's problem, his lack, to quote a phrase from the Bush I years, of the "vision thing." No one can win the presidency without mobilizing the base, and Kerry's base, uninspired and dispirited, is weakening.

Ouch. (Via PoliPundit).

And Ryan Sager reports a similar experience:

I watched President Bush’s acceptance speech tonight at a sushi bar on the Lower East Side with a group of reporters from a prominent Washington, D.C.-based publication. The whole time: heckling. Every. Single. Line.

Now, we’ve all seen the polls (or read about them) where the press corps routinely leans Democratic by a factor of about ten-to-one. Still, it was a bit shocking.

It was a little like Mystery Science Theater 3000, but with reporters instead of robots.

Every line of the speech, every item on Bush’s laundry list of domestic candy (yuck, too sweet), they had something snide to say. More money for community colleges? Somehow not good enough. Education? Bush sucks -- and any school showing improvement under No Child Left Behind is just fudging its numbers. Iraq? Don’t get them started.

But here's the clincher:

The punch line here, however, is this: Everyone at the table expected Bush to win. No anger. No denial. Just acceptance.

And that's before the polls came out.

(Longer story on the poll here.)

And CrushKerry says that the Newsweek poll is overweighted toward the GOP. Hmm. Okay. But it's still pretty consistent with the Time poll.

MORE: Mickey Kaus: "Obviously there are plenty of swing voters because Bush just swung 'em!"

HERE'S A HURRICANE BLOGGER from Melbourne, Florida, pretty close to where the hurricane is expected to hit.

I GUESS THESE ARE ANALOG BROWNSHIRTS: "A shot apparently was fired at the Republican Party headquarters in downtown Huntington while President Bush's speech accepting the GOP nomination for president was being televised."

THE LATEST CARNIVAL OF THE RECIPES is up.

RALPH PETERS: "Did any of those protesters who came to Manhattan to denounce our liberation of 50 million Muslims stay an extra day to protest the massacre in Russia?"

September 03, 2004

INTERESTING PICTURE from the scene of schoolhouse slaughter today. Note the t-shirt. More information here.

This is what we're dealing with, for those who have forgotten.

UPDATE: GayPatriot asks: "First NYC/DC, then Madrid, now Russia faces its own "9/11". How many more will have to die until Europe, and ostriches here in the US, wake up and realize we are in a World War?"

Beats me. But David Kaspar has some helpful advice on how to think about acts of terror.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oliver Willis sees this as some sort of attack on Democrats' patriotism, full of "slander" and "bile." To me, he seems awfully, well, defensive. When pointing out that we're at war, as a remedy to September 10th thinking, is considered partisan, well. . . .

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Don't worry -- there's a solution: "The situation, clearly, can only be resolved by Russian concessions on the underlying political issue in Chechnya." David Kaspar's advice is already taking hold!

MORE: Matthew Yglesias emails to say that I've misquoted him above, and demands an apology. Er, except that the quote -- done via cut-and-paste, natch -- is accurate. Here it is again, cut-and-pasted, again. "The situation, clearly, can only be resolved by Russian concessions on the underlying political issue in Chechnya."

I guess that Matthew means it's out of context, or misrepresents his post. Maybe it misrepresents what he meant to say. Follow the link and decide for yourselves. But I can't figure out what Matthew could have meant that would make the statement above a misrepresentation of his meaning.

Chechnya, of course, is a mess, and there's lots of blame to go around. But the news reports are that quite a few of the terrorists in this incident were Arabs, not Chechens, and this seems to me to fit quite well into the general Al Qaeda assault on, well, everybody else -- especially after the two airliner bombings, etc. Does Matthew really think that this is something that can be negotiated away via Russian concessions to the Chechens? Judging from his email, I guess not. So why did he write the above? I guess you'll have to ask him, as his email didn't provide any guidance on what he did mean.

In a later post, Yglesias writes "Fuck you, Glenn." And he still says I misrepresent him. I don't think I did -- at least, it's hard for me to figure out what he meant that would have made my (accurate) quotation misleading. And Yglesias doesn't tell us, preferring to substitute profanity for clarity, I guess.

I will note, however, that I managed to respond to Yglesias' implications that I was a Nazi who was inciting "mob violence" against the New York Times without resorting to profanity.

I'm guessing that Matthew's comment in the section below -- which I believe appeared after my post -- contains the best clarification he's got:

Pardon me, but I'm not advocating capitulation to the terrorists. As I wrote: "in the wake of this sort of outrage there will not only be no mood for concessions, but an amply justified fear that such concessions would only encourage further attacks and a further escalation of demands."

I'm not advocating anything, that's why I wrote that "I don't see any way out for Russian policymakers nor any particularly good options for US policymakers . . . no one should claim it's obvious what the right way to proceed is."

Does that clear things up? Not to me. The only solution is concessions, which we can't make? Okay. Except that I don't think concessions -- even if we could make them -- are any solution at all, because I don't think the people involved care about concessions in Chechnya.

Obsidian Wings also says I misrepresented Matthew's post, though there at least I'm given credit for it not being intentional (Matthew's initial post, he observes, "was not a model of clarity.") There's also this observation:

From this post, Yglesias seems to suggest that he doesn't believe that he's in a debate. If that's his belief, then he's wrong -- and, since I don't want to be told to do the anatomically impossible (as Yglesias has instructed Reynolds), I'll explain why. The notion that the "underlying problem" can be solved by Russian concessions is based on a fundamentally incorrect premise. The "underlying problem" is that of terrorism directed at civilians, and it can only be solved by making terrorism an unacceptable method of political action. No "concessions" on this point are possible.

So if I understand Matthew's post better now -- and I'm not at all sure that I do -- my understanding is that it translates as "Jeez, what a mess." True enough, and I certainly don't disagree. My own sense is that the way this mess will be resolved won't be through actions at the periphery -- such as concessions involving Chechnya -- but by addressing Islamist terror at its sources, which chiefly mean Iran and Saudi Arabia. I don't know what Matthew thinks about that. Perhaps he'll manage a non-profane post on that subject.

At any rate, I honestly didn't think my quotation was a misrepresentation of Matthew's position -- which I still don't understand. But anyone who wanted to read the whole item had only to follow the link and -- as it was presented -- wouldn't even have known it came from Matthew unless they followed the link, in which case they would unavoidably have read the whole thing. So I don't really see how I can be accused of mistreating him here. Certainly, if his meaning was so clear that I shouldn't have misunderstood it myself, that couldn't have left any misimpression on the average reader.

MORE: Maybe this is another case of "'misleading-without-lying' in the sense that someone, somewhere, might have misunderstood him?"

Eric Muller emails:

The trouble is obviously that Yglesias contradicted himself in his own post. In the sentence you quote, he asserts what the solution "clearly" is, and in the last sentence, he says "no one should claim it's obvious what the right way to proceed is." I guess he wanted you to post his full self-contradiction.

Yeah. I wasn't trying to misrepresent his view -- I just thought that the concessions bit was the key point because, well, it looked that way to me.

Pierre Legrand has further thoughts.

FINAL NOTE: Armed Liberal, who started all this, has thoughts here.

POWER LINE HAS MORE ON THE BOGUS-BOOS REPORT FROM AP, mentioned below.

UPDATE: Here's a firsthand report from a blogger who was there. No boos:

As I said, there was no boo’ing when President Bush made the announcement about Clinton’s hospitalization and made wishes for a speedy recovery. The crowd was very gracious.

The only boo’ing to be heard was when Bush reviewed Senator Kerry’s voting record in the Senate.

Do I trust this blogger I've never met more than the Associated Press? Yes, yes I do. And she's got the audio.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More from a reader:

Prof. Reynolds:

We live in Lake County, Illinois, a few miles from the Wisconsin border. Two of our neighbors drove up to the event today at which AP said the booing occurred. One is a retired Army officer and the other is his adult daughter. They are good friends of ours and very trustworthy. They were outraged when they read the AP story, because they say the crowd did not boo when President Bush asked for their prayers and support for Bill Clinton. On the contrary, they applauded President Bush's well-wishing for Clinton, and many bowed their heads in prayer. From their account, there was no way to mistake their cheers for boos.

This AP story is one of the most blatant examples of press bias I have seen in a campaign season that has featured the most partisan media coverage in memory.

Best,
Evan

____________________________________
Evan McKenzie
Political Science Department
University of Illinois at Chicago

This seems quite outrageous. I wonder if it's one of those "dirty tricks" that Susan Estrich was threatening?

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Apparently, this story is not by Scott Lindlaw, as earlier reported, but by Tom Hays. Jonathan Last has more on this, and observes:

So the AP: (1) Puts out a story with falsified reporting; (2) Pulls the story; (3) Removes the faulty reporting; (4) Makes no note of its mistake; and then (5) Pulls the byline of the reporter who made the error. If you were going to impute bad faith to the folks at AP--and at this point that's not unreasonable to do--you might suspect that they have pulled Tom Hays's byline to protect him.

Behold the power of Lexis-Nexis. The AP was able to cover their tracks on the web, but Lexis-Nexis keeps all versions of stories which carry different time-stamps. The Hays original is preserved there in its entirety.

He's got it. He also observes: "This is a fine time for Romenesko to be on vacation. Let's hope he digs into this story on Tuesday. Paging Howie Kurtz . . . "

MORE: Still more here.

STILL MORE: Video here. Article from Editor and Publisher here. Amusing comment from CQ, linked above:

This has been the AP style for as long as I've been aware of them.

Start of the newsday: BUSH EATS GROUND FOETUSES.
and by the end of the newsday: PRESIDENT HAD SCRAMBLED EGGS FOR BREAKFAST.

Heh.

MORE STILL: Jonathan Last has a followup:

First of all, good for the AP for fixing the faulty reporting and including what seems to be an accurate description of the Republican crowd's reaction to bad news about President Clinton's health.

But the AP's conduct with regards to the rest of this story is not reassuring. We have an un-bylined bit of faulty reporting which was incorporated into the bylined work of another reporter without accreditation. After being confronted by the blogosphere, the AP pulled versions of the bad reporting from the web and the first instance of it from Lexis-Nexis. After it was revealed here at Galley Slaves that the bad reporting lived on in other versions of the story in Nexis, the AP went into Nexis and disappeared it from there, too. Then, they inserted a cleaned-up version with no time-stamp whatsoever. By the time media reporters like Jim Romenesko and Howard Kurtz and Jack Shafer get back to the office on Tuesday, there will be no story, because the AP will have completely altered all of the evidence.

In fact, as it stands right now, the only evidence that the AP ever made this enormous error is on blogs, such as this one, which copied the offending stories--remember, Lexis-Nexis does not page-cache the way Google does.

The AP's conduct reminds me of the famous Soviet picture of the Bolshevik leaders sitting on the couch. It began with the entire high command, and over the years, as individuals fell out of favor and were disappeared, was airbrushed over and over until, in the end, it showed only Lenin and Stalin, who were mysteriously seated on opposite ends of an enormous sofa.

Correcting errors is good. And "stealth corrections" can be OK. But the AP has published a damaging falsehood, which was spread widely -- reaching the BBC and numerous other sources -- and has now destroyed the evidence. That seems wrong to me.

RAND SIMBERG IS HURRICANE BLOGGING -- from a secure alternate location.

IF YOU WANT TO HELP the victims of the Russian school massacre, go here.

CLINTON'S HAVING BYPASS SURGERY; Bush called to wish him well. My grandfather died of complications from bypass surgery when it was very new; fortunately, it's now as nearly routine as anything involving surgery on your heart can be. I hope he comes through well, and wonder if he'll be able to give up the Big Macs.

LAYING OUT THE BUSH DOCTRINE.

JOHN FORBES DUKAKIS?

DOES THIS sound like somebody who's winning?

Maybe it was just a reaction to this nightmare.

ANTI-SADR PROTESTS IN NAJAF:

In Najaf, scores of demonstrators took to the streets in the battle-scarred heart of the city near the Imam Ali shrine to protest the presence of al-Sadr and his militia and to back Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, who brokered last week's peace deal. The agreement called for the Mahdi Army to give up its arms, but many militia members in Najaf are thought to have kept them, hiding them at home or elsewhere.

"The demands of the demonstrators in general and for the people of Najaf especially are to ensure safety and security and to have stability back," said one protester, 38-year-old Abu Mohammed al-Najafi, identifying himself with a nickname.

Demonstrators shouted chants denouncing al-Sadr, including one that equated him with deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention.

"KIDS. SHOT IN THE BACK"

MADE-UP BOOS at the AP? Hmm.

UPDATE: An update to the post above says that the story was by the AP's Scott Lindlaw, seen here previously with distorted reports of Bush visits to military bases and NASCAR races -- the latter of which got characterized as a "cheap shot" by the Columbia Journalism Review.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The report that it was Scott Lindlaw seems to be in error. Jonathan Last reports that it was Tom Hays, but that AP pulled the byline. Quite appalling.

I GOT YER BOUNCE RIGHT HERE: The folks at Time send this, though there's no hyperlink, dangit:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 3, 2004

TIME Poll: Campaign 2004

BUSH OPENS DOUBLE DIGIT LEAD,
ACCORDING TO NEW TIME POLL
---
AMONG LIKELY VOTERS, 52% WOULD VOTE FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, 41% WOULD VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY,
AND 3% WOULD VOTE FOR NADER

New York – For the first time since the Presidential race became a two person contest last spring, there is a clear leader, the latest TIME poll shows. If the 2004 election for President were held today, 52% of likely voters surveyed would vote for President George W. Bush, 41% would vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry, and 3% would vote for Ralph Nader, according to a new TIME poll conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Poll results are available on TIME.com and will appear in the upcoming issue of TIME magazine, on newsstands Monday, Sept. 6.

Most important issues: When asked what they consider are the most important issues, 25% of registered voters cited the economy as the top issue, followed by 24% who cited the war on terrorism as the top issue. The situation in Iraq was rated the top issue by 17% of registered voters, moral values issues such as gay marriage and abortion were the top issue for 16% of respondents, and health care was the most important issue for 11% of respondents.

Bush vs. Kerry:

The economy: 47% trust President Bush more to handle the economy, while 45% trust Kerry.
Health care: 48% trust Senator Kerry to handle health care issues, while 42% trust Bush.
Iraq: 53% trust Bush to handle the situation in Iraq, while 41% trust Kerry. Terrorism: 57% trust Bush to handle the war on terrorism, while 36% trust Kerry.
Understanding the needs of people: 47% said they trust Kerry to understand the needs of people like themselves, while 44% trusted Bush to understand their needs.
Providing strong leadership: 56% said they trust Bush to provide strong leadership in difficult times, while 37% said they trust Kerry to provide leadership in difficult times.
Tax policy: 49% trust Bush to handle tax policy, while 40% trust Kerry. Commanding the Armed Forces: 54% said they trust Bush to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, while 39% said they trust Kerry.

Bush on the Issues:

Iraq: Half (50%) of those surveyed approve of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while 46% disapprove. In last week’s TIME poll, 48% approved of the way Bush was handling the situation in Iraq and 48% disapproved.
Terrorism: Almost two thirds (59%) said they approve of how President Bush is handling the war on terrorism, while 38% disapprove. Last week’s TIME poll found 55% approved of Bush’s handling of the war on terrorism, while 40% disapproved.
The Economy: Survey respondents were split on the President’s handling of the economy. Almost half (48%) said the approved of Bush’s handling of the economy, while 48% said the disapproved.

Other results include:

Was U.S. Right Going to War with Iraq? Over half of those surveyed (52%) think the U.S. was right in going to war with Iraq, while 41% think the U.S. was wrong to go to war.

Have the United States’ actions in Iraq made the world safer? Almost half(45%) think the United States’ actions in Iraq have made the world safer, while 45% think the world is more dangerous. In a similar TIME poll taken Aug. 3 –5, over half (52%) said the world was more dangerous, and 38% said the world was safer.

Note the pro-Bush movement on many issues. How much of this is due to the convention? Beats me. Given the dates involved, I'd say not all of it. I'm not that big on polls, generally, and especially pre-Labor Day polls, but this shift seems rather striking, particularly when compared to Kerry's non-bounce from the Democratic Convention.

UPDATE: Ask, and ye shall receive -- link here. And more poll news here.

DARFUR UPDATE: "The Canadian general who watched helplessly while genocide raged in Rwanda has launched a tirade against Western countries for their 'lame and obtuse' response to unnervingly similar horrors unfolding in Sudan."

There will be a Rally in New York City on September 12th to address this. I hope it does some good.

UPDATE: Just noticed that John Kerry is calling for strong action on Darfur. That's good. Unfortunately, what Kerry seems to think of as strong action seems a bit weak:

He called on Mr. Bush to "stop equivocating" and declare the attacks a genocide, and to release the findings of a State Department investigation of the crisis. Two dozen experts hired by the department spent a month interviewing refugees and confirming widespread atrocities, and their report, which includes 1,200 interviews, is on the desk of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Mr. Kerry also said the president should press the United Nations to create a commission to investigate possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

He urged Mr. Bush to press the Security Council to impose sanctions on the Sudanese government in Khartoum. . . .

On the question of military intervention, Mr. Kerry said the administration should push the United Nations to deploy an international force and to authorize it to use all means necessary to disarm militias, protect civilians and allow aid to get through.

As the article notes, that's not likely to happen given that Security Council members like France and China -- which have oil interests in the region through the current government -- would veto or sabotage any effort.

I guess Kerry's not willing to call for unilateral action (that is, action not approved by France), here, but that's what we need. Some special forces trainers and some weapons to organize the victims in Darfur (and across the border in Chad) would go a long way toward ending this genocide. But if you think that Security Council approval is essential for legitimate military action, then there's not much that can be done here.

CATHY SEIPP looks at Bill Maher in Hell, and finds it thin gruel.

OUCH: "All hat, no Cambodia."

Another ouch, here.

And yet another ouch, here.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: And good riddance.

SOFIA SIDESHOW has a number of interesting posts on the Russian massacre, including thoughts on Al Qaeda connections thereto, what it means for Putin, and the Zell Miller angle.

UPDATE: Striking photo here. And there's lots of coverage at The Command Post -- just keep scrolling.

BLOGOSPHERIC INPUT into Bush's speech? Hmm. Could be. [LATER: And maybe here, too.] Meanwhile, Virginia Postrel writes:

After hearing Bush compared to Reagan, Churchill, and Roosevelt all week, I was ready for him to look embarrassingly small by comparison. He did better than that. The speech was competent and at times moving. It just wasn't inspiring, at least not to me. But it wasn't addressed to me, and it seems to have done quite well, at least among the punditocracy. John Kerry made Bush look even better with his petulant and rambling midnight address. What was he thinking? Doesn't Kerry have advisers to tell him not to give poorly prepared speeches that project desperation?

Apparently not. (Mickey Kaus: "That's the way the coccoon crumbles.") I blame the staff!

UPDATE: You should read all of Stephen Green's wrapup, but here's an excerpt:

There was no overriding theme to President Bush’s speech, except for the unspoken one: “This is who I am.” No, wait -- let me amend that. The unspoken theme was, “This is who we are.” As Americans.

For all its faults, for all its overtly- and overly-religious tones, this small-l libertarian prefers George Bush’s America to John Kerry’s. I don’t care for NASCAR. I’m not much for country music, Sundays at church, blue-eyed soul, or faith-based initiatives.

But Bush made me feel welcome all the same. No, wait – let me amend that statement, too. Bush made me feel like his place is somewhere I’d like to spend some time and get to know the locals. You know -- down a few beers, chat up the natives and learn their quaint customs.

I don’t feel as welcome, as at home, in the America Kerry painted for us tonight.

Read the whole thing, which zeroes in on what's likely the key contrast in the campaigns. Meanwhile Rick Richman parses the language and notes a surprising JFK parallel.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Eric Olsen has a wrapup post on where the election stands.

Meanwhile, Ann Althouse pans Kerry's late-night appearance:

So, your big answer, after all of these attacks, is that you somehow "will not have" any questions. I simply will not have it. You hear that? He does not want to be questioned. He went to Vietnam, and therefore, he simply will not have any questions about whether he has the qualifications to be President. Come on, that's a roar, isn't it?

And by the way, any man who didn't volunteer to go to Vietnam who was of age at the time--all you Baby Boomer men who had student deferments or even if you served in the National Guard, I mean were in the National Guard--you were all refusing to serve.

Boy, Kerry's staff sure is doing him a lot of harm, making him say things like this.

IT'S A MEDIA TIME-TRAVEL ROUNDUP!

A REMINDER OF THE STAKES:

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Russian troops stormed a school in the country's south, after hostages started fleeing the building where armed terrorists had been holding as many as 1,500 people captive for two days in Beslan, North Ossetia.

More than 200 wounded were taken to hospitals, Interfax said, citing Lev Dzugayev, spokesman for North Ossetia's government. Russian broadcasters NTV and Rossiya showed children escaping and gunfire and explosions could be heard during the broadcasts.

That could be happening here, and sooner or later it will if we don't win this war first.

UPDATE: Well, this isn't especially good news, though I suppose it could have been much worse:

Commandos free children

September 03, 2004
AT LEAST five people are dead and more than 300 people, including children have been injured after commandos stormed a school in southern Russia where up to a thousand hostages were being held, news agencies have reported.

The 10 victims, children and adults, have been taken out dead on stretchers, an AFP correspondent reported.

At least six children, all very badly wounded and some with their limbs ripped off and their backs torn open, were also evacuated by civilians and members of the Russian emergency ministry.

Troops were pursuing the hostage-takers, and gunfire continued to ring out in Beslan, Russian news agencies said.

Five militants were killed but 13 others escaped, the ITAR-Tass news agency said, and were holed up in a local residence surrounded by troops, the Interfax news agency said.

The Russians do not take a "zero defects" approach to these things.

THE POKER GAME was fun. Poking around the blogs below, I'd say that Bush gave a pretty good speech, but not a barn-burner. Of course, for President Bush, a pretty good speech is a barn-burner.

September 02, 2004

I HAVE A POKER GAME TONIGHT, and I've decided to go play instead of staying here and blogging. I've pretty much overloaded on politics this week, and I don't want to suffer from the perspective-loss that seems to have hit some quarters of the media and blogosphere.

Stephen Green will be liveblogging, and I suspect that Ann Althouse will be too, and PeakTalk. Along with comments from Wizbang, Ed Morrissey, RedState, Power Line, Oxblog, and a bunch of the other RNC bloggers, no doubt.

Besides, what do you need me for? Thanks to the wonder of Laphamization(tm) ABC and the Independent have already covered the event:

It was a prime-time, nationally televised climax to a gathering that has in effect been a four-day party political broadcast for the Republicans, depicting the President as uniquely able to protect America, and belittling John Kerry as a "flip-flopper" who could not be trusted to protect US national security. . . . Immediately after his acceptance speech at a delirious Madison Square Garden, the President left New York to resume campaigning.

So there you are. Lacking a time machine, how can I compete with that? And don't miss The Belgravia Dispatch's report card for Bush on Iraq. Mixed grades, and some thoughts on Kerry.

TOM MAGUIRE has several interesting posts.

TIM BLAIR has a lengthy review of Zell Miller's speech. Excerpt:

Actually, compared to the themes routinely hauled up by the anti-Bushites - Hail to the Thief, Halliburton, Bush Lied, Bush Knew, BusHitler, etc. - Miller's speech was an exercise in elegant restraint. Maybe Zell should've punched it up a little.

No, I think his measured approach was best. Meanwhile Ralph Peters reviews Kerry's American Legion speech.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse wonders why talking-head types are calling Zell Miller's speech a personal attack, when it wasn't personal. It was just business:

The Kerry campaign and the various people who support it, like Matthews, spend a lot of time expressing outrage that their opponents are fighting hard. But it is a political fight. Fight back! Don't whine that it's somehow unfair for Miller to point to your record. Defend your record. Presumably, you've got arguments. If you don't, you deserve to lose.

Indeed. Virginia Postrel has some additional observations about Zell.

THE REALLY NEW Media.

THEY SAID THAT THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION would bring hate-spouting politicians to New York -- and I guess they were right!

U.S. Rep. Major Owens, a New York Democrat, warned a crowd of feminist protesters that the Bush administration is taking America "into a snake pit of fascism."

Owens also said the Bush administration "spits on democracy" and is leading the country down a path reminiscent of "Nazi Germany."

Owens made his remarks in New York City's Central Park at a National Organization for Women rally on Wednesday night.

And then there are all the hate-spouting theocrats. (Via Bryon Scott).

ABC APPROVES ZELL MILLER'S CONVENTION SPEECH: "ABC's Mike Schneider saluted it as an instance of Democrats 'engaged in the time-honored tradition of attacking the opposition.'" Of course, that was the 1992 speech. . . .

HUGH HEWITT has thoughts on OODA Loops and campaigns. He says the Kerry campaign doesn't understand this stuff. No, but Joe Trippi does. Too bad he doesn't work for them.

UPDATE: Terry McAuliffe, on the other hand, certainly knows how to deploy a rapidly evolving position.

MORE FIRSTHAND REPORTING from New York City, at Best of the Web.

ISN'T THIS KIND OF OUTSOURCING illegal?

MICKEY KAUS: "The emergency Kerry 'We're-Not-in-A-Crisis' crisis meeting for the press was a bit of a bust, I'm told.* Lots of Kerry cooks--including Lockhart, Devine, Cutter, Sosnick. No clear leader. . . . *kausfiles was not allowed in. Illustrative of Kerry's stodgy and troubling ignorance of new media! (Hey, isn't that allegedly what got him into trouble with the Swiftys in the first place?**)" More evidence that he should have hired Joe Trippi!

I'VE WRITTEN BEFORE that our immigration policy seems to be designed to hassle honest people while letting actual terrorists slip through. This would seem to be the latest example:

Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss scholar known for his work on Islamic theology and the place of Muslims in the modern world, was supposed to start teaching last week at the University of Notre Dame. But after he got a visa from the State Department, it was revoked at the behest of the Department of Homeland Security, which apparently sees him as a danger. Why is anyone's guess, since the department declines to spell out the reasons he's been barred. . . .

If the U.S. government has grounds to think Ramadan has worked with Al Qaeda to further its bloody ambitions, he should certainly be denied entry. But no one has produced tangible evidence that he is personally involved in such activities, and the law doesn't require such involvement. If he is being refused permission to teach in this country purely because of his views, the government has an obligation to Notre Dame and the American people to acknowledge that--and to specify which of his opinions endangers public safety.

Nothing that has come to light so far suggests that Ramadan endorses terrorism. His defenders say that on the contrary, he is known for urging a more modern understanding of Islam and for firmly denouncing anti-Semitism. It's not likely that Notre Dame's Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies would knowingly grant its imprimatur to an apostle of violence.

Okay, given the dubious history of "peace studies" that last probably doesn't carry much weight.

Daniel Pipes thinks the exclusion is justified. Ramadan replies here.

As Eugene Volokh notes, this is entirely legal. But is it a good idea? Unless there's more to this story than we know so far, I'd say that it's not a good idea.

Here's an email I got from a Muslim law student at Northwestern with whom I've corresponded for a while:

I've met Professor Ramadan myself and I can say with full candor that he is anything but a radical Islamist who wishes to bring terror to our shores.

For what it's worth, I've always believed that any change that moves the worldwide Islamic community as whole away from fundamentalism and Islamism is going to come from the West. But we, the 'West,' are going to have to be smart about it. . . . The greatest move we can make is to bring people like Professor Ramadan to our shores to let the world know that we the Americans are taking the lead in cultivating a moderate, progressive, and intellectual form of Islam, now that Islam in the Middle East and other parts of the world has been hijacked, in large part, by radical, anti-Semitic wackos who call themselves Imams yet understand nothing of the faith of Islam.

I certainly agree with "constructive engagement" here. I'm all for toughening up immigration in ways that keep terrorists out, but unless Ramadan is a terrorist, I don't see the reason for excluding him.

LOOKS LIKE DAN RATHER WILL RIDE TO THE RESCUE of the Kerry campaign.

JON HENKE rounds up reactions to Zell Miller's speech from around the blogosphere. Meanwhile reader Allen Baruch emails:

Did not see it live, but saw the video. I'm way too young to know, but I'd guess that once upon a time a speech like that at the *Democratic* Convention could have given us a better candidate...

Indeed. But personally, I'm just sad that the Republican Convention became such a hatefest:

A featured performer at a National Organization for Women rally accused President Bush of having "savagely raped " women "over and over" by allegedly stealing the 2000 presidential election.

Poet Molly Birnbaum read aloud to a crowd of feminists gathered in New York's Central Park on Wednesday night, as part of a NOW event dubbed "Code Red: Stop the Bush Agenda Rally."

"Imagine a way to erase that night four years ago when you (President Bush) savagely raped every pandemic woman over and over with each vote you got, a thrust with each state you stole," Birnbaum said from the podium.

No doubt Chris Matthews will be interviewing her shortly.

MORE: Another roundup of reactions here.

A WHILE BACK, Noah Millman wrote the speech he'd like to see Bush give tonight. How will the real speech compare?

UPDATE: Frank Martin emails:

Do you get the feeling that in "newsrooms" across America there are reporters with their fingers hovering over the enter key, just waiting to file their stories on how "President Bush in his speech this evening":

"failed to close the sale"
"showed intolerance"
"failed to mention his appalling record"
"alienated women and minorities"
"failed to rebuke Ashcroft and Rumsfeld"

Well, Lewis Lapham already mailed it out.

I'VE POOH-POOHED the Kerry medals issue, but this new article by Thomas Lipscomb is likely to give it some legs.

ROBERT TAGORDA notes an outbreak of protectionism and unilateralism.

WILL COLLIER is looking at Kerry's Senate record.

UPDATE: More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ryan Pitts explains what Kerry ought to say.

Kerry's getting a lot of good advice from outside the campaign

STILL MORE EVACUATIONS in Florida, ahead of Hurricane Frances. It's up to 1.2 million now.

UPDATE: Juan Paxety emails:

One thing that folks don't think about with hurricane evacuations is the terrible, terrible traffic. Since early this morning, I-95 here in Jacksonville has been bumper-to-bumper as folks flee south Florida. I would think I-75 is the same. We're hundreds of miles north of the projected striking point. If you're in the southeastern US try to avoid the major interstates.

Don't wait until the last minute!

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS' PIECE from last week looks prophetic now:

Comes the next question—should it only be veterans or potential veterans who have a voice in these matters? If so, then what's so bad about American Legion types calling Kerry a traitor to his country? The Democrats have made a rod for their own backs in uncritically applauding their candidate's ramrod-and-salute posture. They have also implicitly subverted one of the most important principles of the republic, which is civilian control over military decisions.

Choosing Kerry as the Democratic nominee was a mistake. Choosing to campaign this way was a disaster. It'll be a disaster even if he wins. And it didn't have to be that way.

BOUNCE?

THE JACKSONIAN PERSUASION: Michael Barone's column on Zell Miller's speech is worth reading:

Until Wednesday night, I was under the impression that Andrew Jackson had died in 1845. But on Wednesday night he appeared at the podium of the Republican National Convention under the guise of Georgia Senator and former Governor Zell Miller.

Read the whole thing. He even mentions David Hackett Fischer.

UPDATE: Tom Bevan liked the speech, while Power Line looks at how the press is trying to spin things.

DARFUR UPDATE: An interesting look at conspiracy theories in the Arab world.

INDEED:

As President Bush's acceptance speech tonight closes the Republican convention and sends us full speed into the final electoral push, would it be too much to ask one tiny favor of TV's anchors, analysts and pundits?

In the name of all that's holy, shut up.

When exactly did the primary goal of journalists become not talking to news-makers, but talking over them?

Did I already say "Indeed?"

UPDATE: Hardball with Harry Caray?

CAN ANYONE HERE PLAY THIS GAME? I've been pretty critical of homeland security before, but I do have to admit that I never thought we'd go this long after September 11 without another major attack in the United States.

On the other hand, then you get stories like this one:

In one of the most significant setbacks for the Bush administration's war on terror, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge in Detroit to set aside guilty verdicts against three Middle Eastern men who were convicted last year on terrorism-related charges. . . .

The Justice Department decision came after a lengthy review of the Detroit prosecution, in the wake of repeated defense complaints that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped the defendants. In its filing, Justice officials acknowledged that prosecutors failed to disclose matters "material" to the defense, and "allowed an incomplete and, at times, misleading record to be presented" on key issues.

The department was harshly critical of the lead prosecutor, Richard Convertino. Officials said they have provided Convertino with documents from their internal review, and that he responded to their questions with "information that is at odds" with the evidence and testimony.

In its filing, the government said that Convertino and his supervisor and co-counsel, Keith Corbett, had assured Judge Rosen that they would abide by his order to notify him of evidence that might be exculpatory to the defense. But, time and again, the government said, they defied his order and withheld evidence.

Withholding exculpatory evidence, sadly, is not all that unusual. And I guess the positive note here is that the management at the Justice Department has stepped in to try to fix things. But this is still disgraceful, and it bespeaks a problem with criminal prosecution in general. What's more, convictions in cases like this one need, even more than regular criminal cases, to be obviously fair. This is a serious black mark.

I GUESS THIS WOULD BE A BIGGER DEAL if anybody paid attention to what Dennis Hastert says, but Eugene Volokh is right to note the sliminess of Hastert's almost-claim that George Soros is financed by drug dealers.

Like me, Soros favors drug legalization. That makes him (as Volokh notes, linking a post by Jesse Walker) a natural enemy of drug dealers, whose profit margins would be shot to hell if drugs were legalized. And Hastert's followup explanation doesn't make sense anyway.

While I'm (sort of) on this topic, why doesn't the United States address the Afghan opium trade by just buying the stuff up? Presumably, farmers would be just as happy to sell their poppies to us, and that would keep them off the market, as well as depriving bad guys of a revenue source. Am I missing something here?

UPDATE: Reader Jacob Proffitt emails:

If you do this, you actually end up increasing opium production as farmers move to a guaranteed crop (all the profit, none of the uncertainty). It'd be better if we guaranteed purchase of an alternative crop at opium production profit levels for the farmers...

Hmm. I don't know if this would work or not.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI AT THE WEEKLY STANDARD has a look at the Swiftboat Vets charges against Kerry, and gives it a mixed report: the Kerry campaign has admitted that the Christmas-in-Cambodia story was false, but Continetti has a rather involved review of the purple-heart issue and says the Swiftboat vets' evidence is inconclusive. (Nothing about the Swiftvets' ad regarding Kerry's Senate testimony, etc., but then there's not much to argue about there, I guess, on the facts).

What's striking to me is that Continetti does a better job of making Kerry's case for him than the Kerry campaign has done. This seems to puzzle Continetti, and it should. I don't understand why Kerry doesn't release his records, and answer the criticisms. He should have done it a month ago.

UPDATE: Reader George Ditter emails:

It's just speculation on my part, but it would seem that if the records supported the circumstantial evidence set forth in the Weekly Standard article you would expect the Kerry Campaign to release the records. The logical (and legal) inference from a failure to present evidence in your control being? The same applies to Kerry's failure to release his educational test scores. We know what Bush's are, inference that can be drawn from Kerry's failure?

Yeah, when you don't release the records, you always look as if you're hiding something. Doesn't the Kerry campaign know that?

ANOTHER UPDATE: I wasn't supposed to talk about it, but my own connection with the Swiftboat missions has now been exposed.

MORE: Reader John Jorsett emails:

I was reading accounts of Kerry's "fury" with his staff for dissuading him from counterpunching on the swiftboat ads, and the subsequent tales of a staff shakeup. This led me to ask myself if Kerry might be dumb enough to counterpunch now, at 3 weeks into it, resulting in a reinvigoration of what should be a waning issue. And then when I saw today that Max Cleland and Bob Kerrey were calling for Rove's resignation over this issue, the answer was obvious: of course Kerry'd be that dumb. The entire party is freaking out about it, so why not Kerry? I wonder if his new staffers will be able to talk him out of it?

If they can't it'll be their fault!

THIS seems like a moment of some significance:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Fox News cable channel made a bit of television history by drawing more viewers than any of the Big Three broadcast networks on the opening night of major coverage of the Republican convention, according to figures issued on Wednesday.

Fox News' presentation of Tuesday's speeches by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Laura Bush drew 5.4 million viewers, more than broadcasters ABC, CBS or NBC.

That marked what is believed to be the first time a cable channel has grabbed the biggest audience for a telecast of a single event covered by all the networks, Fox said.

I'm not sure exactly what it means, except that the old media folks have no business being complacent.

HUGH HEWITT is wondering about constitutional arguments that would let Arnold Schwarzenegger run for President.

I don't think it's going to happen.

HMM. THIS IS INTERESTING:

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 1 -- The United States and France introduced a Security Council resolution Wednesday demanding that 20,000 Syrian troops "withdraw without delay" from Lebanon and that Syria stop meddling in the country's November elections. It threatens to consider unspecified "additional measures" against Syria to ensure compliance.

The resolution reflects mounting frustration by Washington and Paris that Syria is seeking to rewrite Lebanon's constitution to guarantee that the country's pro-Syrian leader, President Emile Lahoud, can remain in power after his six-year term ends on Nov. 24.

Very interesting.

I'LL BE ON C-SPAN in just a minute or two.

UPDATE: Well, that was bizarre. They introduced me as a "credentialed blogger from the Republican Convention," even though I had explained to their producer that I wasn't one, and even though they called me in Knoxville. That led to a somewhat strained conversation. . . . But the host recovered quickly enough.

UH OH:

Two explosions were heard near the site of the Russian school siege today not long after President Vladimir Putin pledged to do everything possible to save the lives of more than 350 hostages including children.

The blasts were about 10 minutes apart and rang out from the area of the cordoned-off school, followed by a billowing cloud of black smoke rising from the vicinity of the site.

The suicide gunmen and women who seized the school yesterday morning had threatened to blow it up if any rescue attempt was made.

Stay tuned. This is certainly a reminder of what's at stake. I wonder if Michael Moore will analogize these folks to the Minutemen.

INSTAPUNK joins the long list of those (including a bazillion female emailers) who say that my reaction to the Bush daughters speech was totally wrong. Hey, could be -- I promise only to give you my honest reactions, not that they'll be right. Remember, I'm the guy who thought Carter won the Carter/Reagan debate. I'm the guy who voted for Bill Clinton in the hopes he'd make the White House more ethical. And I thought George W. Bush might shrink the government.

PREDICTING THE ELECTION, with a Commodore 64.

ANDREW SULLIVAN is calling Zell Miller a "Dixiecrat." Actually, given that the Dixiecrats were a movement that briefly took place within the Democratic Party back in 1948, when Miller was 16, that seems rather misplaced. And if Miller's history is so bad, why did Bill Clinton choose him as his keynoter in 1992?

But I think the answer to this formulation appears as a question, when you search "Zell Miller Dixiecrat" on Google.

UPDATE: Some readers, who seem to think that I was being "coy" in my earlier discussion of Miller's speech want to know what I thought about it. I was most struck -- as I said in my post before, and as Virginia Postrel noted as well -- by the unvarnished Jacksonianism of the speech. As Virginia says:

Zell Miller sure is pissed off at John Kerry--and at the entire post-Vietnam Democratic party. His speech was, as Glenn says, a pure expression of Jacksonian America, complete with unashamed accent (an accent that probably is like fingernails on a blackboard to lots of folks north of the Mason-Dixon line). . . . I'm guessing Miller's been mad for a long time.

I suspect the style was a bit offputting to some people who aren't familiar with (old-fashioned) southern politics, since you normally only see someone speak that way in the movies if he's an Elmer Gantry style bad guy. In fact, it's not that way: Many of the old-line Democratic heroes in Tennessee (none of whom were "Dixiecrats") spoke that way. I'm too young to have seem anything but the tail end of that generation of politician: people like Ned Ray McWherter, Doug Henry, and John Jay Hooker. But they -- especially John Jay -- could give that kind of a stem-winder too, and it's only bigotry or ignorance that associates that sort of speaking style with racism and nothing else. This was probably the last speech in that style we'll ever see on the national political scene.

On the merits: It was hard-hitting. There's a legitimate question (which Chris Matthews might have succeeded in raising if he had been less ham-handed and insulting) about how much you can tell from legislative votes, which often as not are structured to allow people to conceal or misrepresent their true leanings, and which are thus easily misrepresented by opponents. On the other hand, we're told that people aren't supposed to criticize Kerry's Vietnam or post-Vietnam antiwar actions because doing that is a "smear," so if you can't talk about his Senate votes either, what's left? His time as Lieutenant Governor? Kerry's defenders seem a bit quick to call any kind of criticism unfair.

The upside of being a Senator running for President is that you get easy access to the national media, and to national money. The downside is that you have to explain your votes. You have to take the bitter with the sweet, and Kerry's already taken the sweet. This was pretty bitter, but it's part of the deal.

How well did it work for the Republicans? Beats me, but this may be an indication. And Luntz's swing-voter focus group liked it more than I expected last night, because it did seem a bit harsh to me. (But I'm often wrong about these things). There are a lot of Jacksonians out there. Best line, from the item linked above:

Emerging theme of the Democratic response to the Republican convention speeches:

Schwarzenegger is not a Republican
McCain is not a Republican
Zell Miller is not a Democrat

Heh. I'm not particularly a fan of Jackson (partly because of my Cherokee ancestry, but more because of, well, who he was). But, you know, the Democrats are supposed to be the party of Jackson. Zell Miller delivered that, but what he really seems upset about is the absence of Wendell Willkies.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Read James Lileks' take, too. There are a lot of Jacksonians out there, even in Minnesota.

MORE: A reader asks for an explanation of "Jacksonian." Guess I shouldn't have taken that for granted. Here's an interview with Walter Russell Mead, who coined the term as part of an explanation of four traditions of American foreign policy. Short summary: "[The idea is]: "Don't bother with people abroad, unless they bother you. But if they attack you, then do everything you can. . . . When somebody attacks the hive, you come swarming out of the hive and you sting them to death. And Jacksonians, when it comes to war, don't believe in limited wars. They don't believe, particularly, in the laws of war. War is about fighting, killing, and winning with as few casualties as possible on your side. But you don't worry about casualties on the other side. That's their problem. They shouldn't have started the war if they didn't want casualties."

A much more sophisticated discussion can be found in Mead's book, Special Providence. It's also worth looking at David Hackett Fischer's book Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America -- which meshes rather interestingly with the 4 styles of foreign relations that Mead identifies.

STILL MORE: Dead Parrots has the Kerry response. No word on whether he voted for this stuff before he voted against it, but presumably that will all come out.

September 01, 2004

TIRED OF POLITICS? Go to Michael Totten's and look at the many great pictures from his cross-country drive.

HALF A MILLION EVACUATED in Florida ahead of Hurricane Frances.

HOW DID IT GO? Peter Jennings and George Stephanopoulos look unhappy.

DICK CHENEY: After the almost preacher-like delivery of Zell Miller, Cheney comes across as very quiet. Interesting strategy, letting a Democrat stoke the fires and a Republican bank them. "How can you call us warmongers? Did you hear Zell Miller? He's a Democrat, you know."

The crowd applauded when Cheney said we honor Kerry for his Vietnam service. It also applauded when Cheney took a negative view of Kerry's post-Vietnam activity.

"We have already been attacked." Good line.

Also: "There is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations, and seeking the permission of a few."

"Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. And that makes the whole thing mutual — America sees two John Kerrys."

I liked the hair joke. Text here.

Ratherbiased has images of the protester who tried to disrupt things.

Last word goes to Ann Althouse: "He lays it out. And you can take it or leave it. He's not doing the twist. He's Dick Cheney."

LYNNE CHENEY: Good thing she stopped with the repeated "Dick did not" line before it got a bit, er, counterproductive.

ZELL MILLER: It's funny that the purest voice of Jacksonian America at this Republican convention -- in fact, at either convention -- comes from a Democrat. There was a time when it wouldn't have been surprising at all.

UPDATE: Here's the text. Zell Miller's obviously been unhappy with the direction of the Democratic Party for a while, and this was his chance to make that unhappiness clear. He took it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mara Liasson on Fox: "Who would have thought that the angriest speech of the Republican convention would come from a Democrat." Speaking as someone who was a card-carrying Democrat, and unhappy with the party on that front for a long time, I can understand it.

MORE: Wolf Blitzer asks him why he's angry, and why he's still a Democrat. Miller laughs at being angry, and says "I'll die a Democrat. . . . But there's nobody that welcomes a conservative Democrat in the party anymore."

Democratic spin from Tad Devine: It's the politics of fear. (It must be: he looks afraid.) Jeff Greenfield: How can Kerry be the leader of a strong wartime America when so many Democrats are against the use of force? Devine: We'll defend the nation if attacked, and use force without anyone's approval. This Administration has a record of failure. Then he started talking about Halliburton. Blitzer: What about voting for and against the $87 billion? Devine: More Halliburton. And Dick Cheney wasn't in Vietnam.

STILL MORE: Now Miller's on Hardball. Chris Matthews asks him if Kerry really only wants to defend America with spitballs. Matthews calls him a "conservative Republican." Oops! Miller: I knew you were going to be coming at me with all that stuff. This is a bunch of baloney that doesn't have anything to do with what I said. He's right. I change channels. [LATER: By changing channels, I missed seeing Zell nearly challenge Matthews to a duel, and Matthews backing down, according to several reader emails. Jacksonian America indeed! Reader Daniel Wilkins sends: "Chris M. looked like a dog getting a bath. I've never seen him so humbled."] [LATER STILL: Wizbang has a link to the video.]

MORE STILL: Reader Andrew Morse emails:

John McCain was on NBC immediately following Miller's speech. He said something to the effect that it was wrong for Miller to question Kerry's patriotism, even though Miller explicitly stated that he was not questioning Kerry's patriotism. Brokaw, of course, did not correct him.

Of course not.

FINAL NOTE: Just went back to Hardball and saw Matthews dissing Miller and blogs. Dude, you've got a blog.

The Luntz swing-voter focus group loved Zell Miller's speech. They liked it that he was a Democrat and an ex-Marine talking about national security. And the "spitballs" line did well.

Over at Begging to Differ: "It was political theater, no question. But it was also the opening salvo in what will surely be a substantive attack on Kerry's voting record. . . . Zell Miller was more effective tonight than any Republican could have been. John Kerry will have to answer, if he can."

ANN ALTHOUSE is liveblogging the convention again. She doesn't like Rick Santorum, or Barney the Dog. (No connection as far as I know).

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey is liveblogging, too.

So is Peaktalk.

HERE'S SOMETHING on Kerry's post-Vietnam political career: his time as Michael Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor. (Via Newsfeed).

ED MORRISSEY NOTES the arrest of a deep-cover spy, "living undercover in the US for eleven years, awaiting orders from his IIS handler that apparently never came." Interesting.

JOE TRIPPI HAS ADVICE FOR THE KERRY CAMPAIGN: "So wake the hell up, damn it!"

I told you they should have hired him.

UPDATE: From TAPPED -- Uh oh!

A friend of mine tracked me down a little while ago to relate a dream. He was walking through a big office that he realized was the headquarters of the Kerry campaign. He saw a door marked "Campaign Manager" and entered, to see Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, appropriately enough, sitting behind the desk. As he drew nearer, however, the woman suddenly ripped off her Cahill mask, behind which was ... Susan Estrich, Michael Dukakis' campaign manager! At that point, he woke up screaming.

Actually, I like Susan Estrich. But the point is taken.

More advice for Kerry here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: But don't worry -- Ryan Lizza reports that a crack crisis team has been dispatched to dispel the notion that the Kerry campaign is in crisis!

the campaign high command will descend on New York tomorrow morning to meet with the press and no doubt try to quell the firestorm of chatter sweeping the convention hall about the staff being in disarray.

Shrum won't be there. That should reassure people.

VIRGINIA POSTREL suggests that Andrew Sullivan needs to spend more time in Red America. Yes, he seems to be laboring under some misconceptions.

ZELL MILLER HAS BEEN LAPHAMED -- his speech has already happened! At least in this story, even though it's time stamped 2:34 this afternoon.

INTERESTING STORY ON BLOGS AND NEWS REPORTING:

W. Joseph Campbell, an associate communications professor at American University, said blogs have been out ahead of the mainstream media on some stories involving Kerry, and the blogs themselves have, in many cases, done a good job of vetting stories.

"The blogs that I'm familiar with don't tend to be fast and loose with the facts," he said. "They really try to pin it down."

If blogs continue to grow in influence and credibility, it could be a pivotal moment for political reporting, he said, adding, "There are some earmarks of watershed here."

We'll see.

UPDATE: This related post is interesting, too.

TERRY MCAULIFFE LOOKING AND SOUNDING NERVOUS: More blog video from Power Line.

SO I'M OUT PICKING UP FROZEN YOGURT for the family, and I turn on the car radio just in time to hear Hugh Hewitt complaining that I don't charge enough for blogads: "Glenn's giving it away! He's killing the market!"

Er, sorry.

THEY SAID THAT WHEN THE REPUBLICANS CAME TO NEW YORK, the streets would be filled with religious zealots spouting theocratic hatred.

I guess they were right!

TOM MAGUIRE looks at the bizarre behavior of the Iowa Electronic Markets.

OKAY, this editorial doesn't actually use the word "girlie-men," but . . . .

UPDATE: Could the "girlie-man" phrase have originally been authored by Al Franken?

Gosh, I hope so.

RARE FIRSTHAND REPORTING from the New York convention-and-protest scene, over at Best of the Web.

BABES FOR BUSH? More of that "teen spirit," I guess.

UPDATE: This originated at Wizbang, where there's also lots of more, um, substantive stuff.

HUGH HEWITT has posted a transcript of his interview with Terry McAuliffe, who seems a bit defensive. And Rush Limbaugh has posted a transcript of his interview with George W. Bush, who does not.

Question: Where's Kerry in all this? I'm sure either Hewitt or Limbaugh would be happy to have him on their shows.

TROUBLING:

For 40 million viewers in the Arab world, Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based satellite television channel, provides a window into the intricate world of American politics. This week, its 16 reporters and staff will air 13 hours of broadcasts from the convention -- more time than the combined coverage of America's major television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC.

On the other hand, even if Americans aren't seeing much of the convention, at least a lot of Arabs will have seen Arnold's speech. (Via Ed Cone).

A HEARTWARMING STORY OF CIVIL DEBATE on the streets of New York: No, really.

VOTE CARRIE: "A pair of Manolo Blahniks in every closet?" Well, the Carrie campaign has a clearer message than the Kerry campaign. And she's not George W. Bush either!

And her dress matches the InstaPundit color scheme nicely.

MORE CONVENTION VIDEOBLOGGING from Powerline.

JIM GLASSMAN: "Some of the worst of the economic girlie-men are in President Bush's own party."

THE MUDVILLE GAZETTE notes some overlooked news items.

"CULTURE SHOCK CUTS BOTH WAYS:" Some interesting observations on America, and Latin America.

RUSSIAN TERROR ATTACKS: Thank goodness nothing like this is happening here -- though you can bet that there are people out there who'd like for it to.

UPDATE: Lots more coverage here: Just keep scrolling.

IT'S NOT MY FAULT! It never is!

Sen. John Kerry is angry at the way his campaign has botched the attacks from the Swift boat veterans and has ordered a staff shakeup that will put former Clinton aides in top positions.

"The candidate is furious," a longtime senior Kerry adviser told the Daily News. "He knows the campaign was wrong. He wanted to go after the Swift boat attacks, but his top aides said no."

I see a rerun of the old Saturday Night Live Dukakis/Bush I debate sketch -- only this time with Kerry saying "I can't believe my staff is losing to this guy!"

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mickey Kaus notes another shocker:

Several campaign officials and advisers say they recognize the need to have an "adult" traveling with the candidate -- as one put it, "someone who can tell him to shut up ..."

Who'll do that if he's President? Teresa? And would a well-run campaign be leaking damaging statements like this?

Meanwhile, reader Dick Aubrey emails: "'My subordinates wouldn't let me.' Not the most reassuring picture of someone who wants to be the world's most powerful executive."

And Greg Decker observes: "I thought George W. Bush was supposed to be the brainless puppet."

MORE: Now Kerry is slamming Bush for "failing to share responsibility with NATO or the United Nations."

Sharing responsibility? Maybe that's what Kerry's doing when he blames his staff!

TRAFFIC: Over 310,000 pageviews yesterday, and just shy of 6 million last month. Thanks for coming by.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Stephen Green is channeling Ron Popeil, and it's well worth reading.

Now how much would you pay? But wait. . . .

WILL BLOGS AFFECT THE ELECTION? I have a column in the Wall Street Journal on that today.

UPDATE: Here's an interesting article from the Daily Texan on the subject, too.

MESSAGE TO THE REPUBLICANS: Great convention, kid. Don't get cocky. If you want something to puncture the buzz, look at the Iowa Electronic Market -- which has actually taken a sudden anti-Bush turn. Reader P.J. Hinton emails: "What is going on out there among the traders, I wonder. Were they so distressed by the Twins' performance? I dunno."

Maybe it was the word that Joe Lockhart is riding to the rescue of the Kerry campaign.

UPDATE: Hmm. Tradesports isn't showing the same phenomenon. Maybe Soros is manipulating the Iowa market!

ANOTHER UPDATE: If he is, it only took one trade, due to the rather odd way these things are graphed:

According to their website, what the graph shows is the final trade for that day, the ONE that occurs closest to midnight.

So, all someone has to do is put in ONE goofy trade right before midnight to screw the graph for the next 24 hours.

This market does not have enough volume & trade frequency to do it that way. They need to be graphing the final 25 trades or some such.

Odd.

August 31, 2004

WATCHING THE AFTERTALK, I think that Jeff Greenfield has it right -- Arnold's speech evoked optimism, and enthusiasm for America and for the common man, in a way that -- once -- was associated with liberalism but that has now become a hallmark of the Republicans.

UPDATE: Schwarzenegger transcript, here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Roger Simon didn't like any of it, even Arnold, but he reports that Pat Buchanan, who was standing next to him, really didn't like Arnold.

Roger's commenters seem to feel differently, though. My sense is that the Democratic convention speeches played better in the hall than on TV, and that these speeches are playing better on TV than in the hall.

LAURA BUSH: Competent, but no Arnold. Stem cell research must be polling strongly.

UPDATE: ABC's insta-analysis says she played well with women. Well, I'm not a woman.

ANOTHER UPDATE: But Halley Suitt is, and she loved Laura's speech:

I thought Laura Bush was excellent tonight. She delivered a great speech, hitting just the right note, with her remarkable dignity and integrity which gives her an awesome quiet power.

I suspect she touched a nerve in many people, but especially in mothers. She dared to say our children will be safe again and her husband will make that happen.

If it had this much impact on Halley, of all deeply-Bush-disliking people, then it obviously delivered a punch that those of us with Y chromosomes can't fully appreciate.

JENNA AND BARBARA: Arnold's a tough guy to follow. But they didn't follow him very well. Okay, the hamster joke wasn't bad.

UPDATE: Well, if this was the plan, I guess it worked.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Brian Noggle: "They didn't do too well, but they're just 22. What was I doing at 22? Stocking the dairy section at a grocery store. However, I was doing open mikes, so I would have had better timing."

But Ann Althouse liked them: "They are fun and self-effacing." Maroonblog agrees: "Not so bad."

Then there's this mixed review: "It felt like bad MTV VMA filler, but I totally want to ask them both out." On the other hand, some female viewers were less impressed: "George P. Bush does have a beautiful smile. The word "yum" does come to mind. The twins didn't impress me much - tried to be too cute, and it didn't fly." Hmm. The Bush clan -- something for everyone!

Er, except for James Lileks. But Gerard van der Leun gets the last word: "Not every moment can be a perfect gem, folks."

GREAT ARNOLD LINE: "I was a little boy -- I was not an action hero yet."

UPDATE: Here's a recent immigrant who likes Arnold's speech. "I didn't think anyone could match Rudy's performance last night, but Arnold is doing it."

I thought it was excellent, too.

POWERLINE IS ON A ROLL: Now with a photo of the Al Franken shoving match!

THE KERRY CAMPAIGN MUST BE HOPING that the Republican Convention will distract people from things like this. And this. It might.

UPDATE: Douglas Brinkley probably has similar hopes.

STEPHEN BAINBRIDGE has thoughts on Bush's "ownership society."

LEWIS LAPHAM WAS LOST IN TIME: Jeff Goldstein reports that Salon is Lost in Space.

I like Lost in Space!

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more extensive thoughts on the Salon piece.

ACE OF SPADES OFFERS sitemeter advice for bloggers.

ANN ALTHOUSE, who is on a roll, is liveblogging the Republican convention. "My TiVo has caught up with the live feed and I can't fast forward. Aaaah!"

UPDATE: Don't miss these late-breaking comments from Virginia Postrel. And Ambra offers a scathing review.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here from Ed Morrissey.

JOHN THUNE HAS CLOSED THE GAP with Tom Daschle.

GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS ENDORSES GEORGE W. BUSH: Powerline has posted an exclusive video interview. Excerpt: "I know what John Kerry's against, but I'm having a little trouble figuring out what he's for." Franks also responds to criticism that Bush lacked a plan to "win the peace."

UPDATE: Transcript here -- covering more than just what's in the video.

ANOTHER UPDATE: And here's audio. And there's more here, from Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics.

TURMOIL IN THE KERRY CAMPAIGN: Mickey Kaus is asking the right questions.

Kerry campaign spin: "The new additions strengthen an already impressive campaign team!"

The guy they need is Joe Trippi. Er, well, really he's the guy they needed a month ago. . . .

UPDATE: Tom Bevan has a Kerry turmoil roundup.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Contrary to the Kerry press release, Mel Levine isn't new. His appointment was announced two weeks ago.

MORE: Reader Heidi Gunther emails:

Kerry is having Serious problems, almost deadly. The media is giving him an extra minute in the neutral corner to catch his breath because they have so much invested in him. The news guys want him to win so badly that they will sacrifice their reputations to get what they want.

Watch for mass retirements in the media when Bush wins.

Hmm. Interesting. Read this, too. And there's this, from N.Z. Bear:

Let's be serious: can anyone actually imagine Kerry, or his senior advisors, suddenly interrupting a staff meeting to declare: "We're screwed! Get Joe Lockhart on the horn --- he's the only one who can save our asses!" . . .

The even worse news for Kerry is that despite the exceptional job his campaign has been doing at executing political hari-kari, the Bush team hasn't even started to attack him yet. . . . Kerry's recent Swift-Vet-driven collapse is the political equivalent of a boxer being clocked by a random spectator on his way to the ring.

Ouch. Stephen Green has further thoughts.

MORE CRUSHING OF DISSENT: BoiFromTroy reports that CNN is refusing to air the Log Cabin Republicans' ad, calling it too controversial.

You can see the ad here. What do you think?

UPDATE: John Kalb thinks the ad is unfair to Jerry Falwell.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Michael Demmons observes: "Remember, Falwell's the guy who said gays and feminists were to blame for 9-11."

Good point.

MORE VIDEOBLOGGING from Powerline.

THE BELMONT CLUB has harsh commentary on France's response to the hostage-taking, which appears to consist of wandering around the Middle East looking for someone to surrender to:

This suggests that the French diplomats are attempting to link the release of the French hostages to changes in the method and manner in which the Iraqi elections will be held. The mere fact that France is negotiating implictly means there will be a quid for the quo. After all, in 2003, European hostages held by Al Qaeda affiliate Algerian Islamic militant Group for Preaching and Combat were released in exchange for $6M dollars, according to Deutsche Welle. There were even demands from German politicians to force the ex-hostages to reimburse the state for the payout. . . .

Paying tribute is all part of the nuanced foreign policy of former great states. But whether the French ante up with secret political concessions or payouts, the result will be the same. More Americans and Iraqis will die as the price of French appeasement. Yet the French will not escape the carnivorous attentions of the terrorists in the end. Promises by blackguards are made to be broken.

Indeed. They'd be better off taking Iyad Allawi's advice.

THIS has got to be an embarrassment.

JAMES LILEKS offers convention thoughts and some media criticism. Excerpt: "Read the papers, and you might wonder why he’s quoting Cheney. Read the blogs, and you know exactly why."

WELL, THIS IS CHEERFUL:

U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating a series of thefts of official vehicles and uniforms, including an Air Canada uniform, amid fears al-Qaeda operatives could be acquiring such items for a terrorist attack.

Reports about stolen government and company identity cards, trucks and uniforms have been coming in from across the United States in recent months, leading to warnings the incidents might be related to a terrorist plot.

I've been quite critical of homeland security, but in truth we've gone nearly three years without a major attack on U.S. soil -- which few of us, I think, would have dared hope for in September of 2001. But that's no reason to relax now, as stories like this illustrate.

ERROR-CORRECTION UPDATE: Well, maybe. A while back I ran this post, noting that the Los Angeles Times hadn't corrected a false statement to the effect that none of the people in the Swiftboat Vets ads had served on Kerry's boat. (The LAT has since corrected the error.) I also noted that The New Republic had made the same mistake.

Reader Jonathan Miller, however, says that TNR was only referring to the first of the Swiftboat ads. That's not entirely clear from the language, but to the extent it's true, then the TNR statement was (I think) literally correct -- though of course, it loses a lot of force once you realize that the statement wasn't true of the ad campaign as a whole, and that in fact an ad featuring Steve Gardner, who served with Kerry longer than anyone else, appeared the same day the TNR piece was published.

Nonetheless, since we here in the blogosphere strive to outperform the mainstream media on stuff like this, I'll note the point, and I should have been more clear about the difference between the Los Angeles Times' point (which was about the group) and the TNR point, which was about the ads. Given that, as best I can tell, TNR never corrected its egregious Suriname error, this seems on the generous side. But why not be generous? It's only pixels, and nobody thinks less of you for correcting an error, or even a statement that might have created a misapprehension.

UPDATE: Jason Zengerle emails that TNR has, in fact, corrected the Suriname error, with a correction appended at the end. But the free subscription that they sent me doesn't work any more, and so I can't see it. I did check the article for several days after I posted on it originally, though, and saw no correciton then.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ah, here's the correction:

Correction: This article originally stated that Islam was the majority faith in Suriname. In fact, Suriname is only about 20 percent Muslim, and has populations of Roman Catholics, Hindus, and protestants of roughly this same size. We regret the error.

I don't know when it went up, but it's nicely done.

LEWIS LAPHAM'S TIME TRAVELS: Nick Schulz writes that it's the tip of the iceberg:

That's right, Lapham wrote about the GOP convention speeches before anyone even stepped to the podium. Lapham has apologized for what he's calling a "rhetorical invention," use of "poetic license," and a "mistake."

But the only "mistake" Lapham made is in revealing for all to see what has long been known by anyone who pays attention to the news: the major media routinely bring to their coverage of significant political events a predetermined storyline -- you might want to call it a "Lapham". Facts that undermine the storyline are ignored or explained away as aberrations to The Truth. For the editor of Harper's and other establishment press figures, it really makes no difference to them what will be said at Madison Square Garden because the Laphams are already set, loaded in the scribblers' word processors and television anchor tele-prompters and ready to go.

We at TCS have seen Laphams at work at a number of gatherings we've covered over the years.

A "Lapham." I like that. And TCS is on the lookout for more Laphams, and asks you to email them with any examples you happen to run across.

LAZINESS, BIAS, AND INEPTITUDE: My TechCentralStation column looks at how these characteristics have combined to produce a media meltdown this election year.

SOMETIMES, I ALMOST FEEL SORRY for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

August 30, 2004

JULIAN SANCHEZ spots something that seems right:

I spot the one Ben Sherman in a solidly Brooks Brothers room (actually Benetton, I discover, but Benetton trying to look like Ben Sherman) and try to suss out how gay Republicans are feeling in light of the Federal Marriage Amendment push. And his answer's a pretty good one: That the gay rights issue is largely a generational one, and that it'll be won inside of 10 or 15 years as a result of demographic changes regardless of which party's in power.

That's how it looks to me.

I DIDN'T WATCH the Convention programming tonight, but Ann Althouse did. (More -- devastatingly harsh -- thoughts here.)

UPDATE: Roger Simon has a pithy summation: "John Kerry should take speech-making lessons from John McCain. And if McCain is busy, he should try Giuliani."

THIS MUST BE ONE OF THOSE MOVEON-AFFILIATED OUTFITS, even though it doesn't admit it.

They'll say anything to make Bush look bad. . . .

UPDATE: My God, these people will stop at nothing!

HEH. JUST SAW THIS PICTURE. Nobody tell Atrios. . . .

VIDEOBLOGGING FROM THE NYC PROTESTS as anarchists attack.

(More here.)

IF YOU'VE ENJOYED JEFF SOYER'S BLOG, now might be a good time to hit the tip jar. I just did. (It's on the upper right, with the bullets -- I had to look twice to find it.)

If you need a stronger sales pitch, Jay Solo's got it.

CONGRATULATIONS to Daniel Drezner!

THE GREAT EURO-UNLEARNING CONTINUES:

PARIS — The plight of two French journalists abducted by Islamic extremists in Iraq dominated French public life today as journalists, Muslim intellectuals and others rallied on the hostages' behalf and top officials raced against an ultimatum issued by the kidnappers. . . .

The hostage ordeal has hit France hard. It is a gloomy rebuttal of the theory held by some-though not by most French government officials or those knowledgeable about Islam-that France's anti-war, pro-Arab policies had inoculated the country against such aggressions.

Meanwhile, Iyad Allawi is giving the French some advice, which Greg Djerejian has translated. Excerpt:

The French, like all democratic countries, can't content themselves with adopting a passive position. The Americans, British and other nations that are fighting in Iraq are not only fighting to protect Iraqis, they are fighting to protect their own countries.

The governments that decided to stay on the defensive will be the next targets of the terrorists. Terrorist attacks will occur in Paris, in Nice, in Cannes or in San Francisco. The time has come to act against terrorism, in the same fashion...that Europe fought Hitler. Every day, tens of people are killed in Iraq. They are not dying because we are going through a major national crisis, but because we have decided to combat evil. That's why the entire international community must assist us, as rapidly as possible, to improve the security of our country.

...the U.S. decided to disembark in Normandy, to eliminate Hitler. They suffered heavy losses to accomplish this objective. The same thing is happening today. People must assume their responsibilities. The decision to assist Iraq is courageous. Let me tell you that the French, despite all the noise they make--'We don't want war!'--will shortly have to fight the terrorists.

Djerejian also translates an editorial from Le Monde suggesting that the French are catching on. Best bit: "We have touched the limits of anti-Americanism that seems to too often take the place of French foreign policy."

Indeed.

NEAL BOORTZ is photoblogging from the RNC:

Three years ago I wouldn't have been able to see the Hudson River from this room. Eighteen months ago this room, and this whole hotel was empty. I wouldn't be able to see the river because the view would have been blocked by two skyscrapers, and I wouldn't have been staying in this room because this particular hotel was closed for 20 months to repair damage from the collapse of the World Trade Towers. Right below me, Ground Zero.

Indeed.

JONAH GOLDBERG ASKS: "What do fat people, MoveOn.org and the Swift Boat Vets for Truth have in common?"

TOM HUMPHREY has gotten some bad information:

After all, bloggers, I am instructed, do not have to follow those ironclad rules of attribution, fact-checking, logic and such that burden the daily production of stuff to print by traditionally ink-stained wretches. You can just babble like a talk show radio guy.

Or maybe he's just been reading Dan Rather's blog.

UPDATE: Some sounder information for Tom, here.

And here. He's a smart guy -- he'll catch on.

OLD MEDIA VS. NEW MEDIA: The new media wins, the old media whines.

POWERLINE HAS POSTED ITS FIRST VIDEOBLOG FROM THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION: Sean Hannity makes an appearance.

NO NETWORK COVERAGE TONIGHT for the RNC. Is this bias? I don't think so -- just more evidence that the major networks aren't nearly as big a source of news as they used to be.

HERE'S AN INTERESTING NEWSWEEK INTERVIEW with Kfir Alfia of ProtestWarrior.com. Excerpt:

I think the punch we pack with our style is very powerful. That's why we've attracted a lot of college students and high-school students who are hungry for an outlet to do exactly this. They look like the type of person you would find at the antiwar protests, but that doesn’t mean they share the same ideology. Part of the appeal of the left up until now has been, "Look, forget ideology, we’re cool. We’re here to have fun." That really struck a chord with a younger generation. I think that's changing, and I think we’re part of evidence.

I guess this is just another sign that the left is losing its teen spirit, something that's been discussed before.

UPDATE: Michael Ubaldi emails:

Alfia has a point about image and iconography. The stereotype that righties are old guys in suits smoking cigarillos made from $100 bills has been spoon-fed for decades; just open a thesaurus and look up "conservative." But just give a quick look around: who's calling for Third Worlders to be given the same rights we enjoy? Protest Warriors, Sabine Herold's Liberté Cherie, Conservative Punk, adjuncts to Daneshjoo; all friends of the right. I don't think Bruce Springsteen and friends understand how silly and hypocritical they look by talking about love and peace while flipping the bird to Iraqis and Afghans.

Besides mocking the left, Protest Warrior offers a chance for young adults to be part of real protests for real progress.

Indeed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's an older interview of Alfia from when Protest Warrior was just getting started. Best bit: "And since the Republican party is sure to continue its tradition of weak, pathetic, uninspiring ads, it's time for the grassroots to pick up the slack."

JOHN KERRY: MIA? Can this be right?

CAMPAIGN FINANCE "REFORM" HAS BEEN A MISERABLE FAILURE, and John McCain is unhappy.

THE NATION has been blogging the NYC protests.

I find the Reason convention blog more interesting, though.

And Jim Glassman has more thoughts.

HOPE NOT FEAR: This commercial from the Log Cabin Republicans seems just right to me. And you know, these guys are going to win.

(Via BoiFromTroy).

JEFF JARVIS is having a big blogging panel with a host of luminaries, tomorrow night in New York. If you're in the area, show up.

Er, unless you happen to be "Michael J. Copps, the Democratic member of the FCC and the one most likely to tear down both the free marketplace of both ideas and commerce." Then it might be a mistake to come within striking range of Jeff.

RYAN SAGER has exclusive assassin photography from New York.

BLOG FATIGUE: STEVEN DEN BESTE has grown tired of being a public utility. I'm not in the same place, but I understand where he's coming from.

UPDATE: Related thoughts here -- including the amusing origins of "Mindles Dreck" as a pseudonym. Plus this. Heh.

TOM MAGUIRE WANTS KERRY TO RELEASE HIS MEDICAL RECORDS, and offers some cogent arguments as to why that's an issue.

It's been an issue for a while, actually, with the Washington Post noting back in March that Kerry had lied about his health earlier, to the Boston Globe. "Kerry lied to the Boston Globe when asked whether he was sick."

JAMES MORROW WRITES that it's 1972 all over again.

But not exactly. Because in 1972, at a rock-and-roll event, Democrats wouldn't have been booed. (You can see video here.)

Ann Althouse writes: "You could conclude that it's a shame that these young people today don't care about politics, but that's not the impression I got. I think it's politically savvy to reject an attempt to usurp a music party for a political purpose. It's a solid political opinion to believe that politics don't belong everywhere."

UPDATE: This CNN story claims that it was the Bush daughters who were being booed, but the reader who sent it says that they didn't come on until afterward. I didn't see it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The above CNN report is contradicted by . . . this from CNN. And reader Chris Greer reports: "I watched the awards show last night, the crowd started booing when the Kerry daughters started speaking and continued booing while the Bush daughters made their statements. Basically, the crowd did not want any political agendas pushed during the award show." The personal isn't political, I guess.

IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Mary Schmich writes that the media are eating away their own credibility.

RNCBLOGGERS is picking up all the posts from bloggers at the RNC, and aggregating them for your convenience.

IS BUSH GETTING AN OLYMPICS BOUNCE?

PATRICK BELTON NOTES that we've entered a new era of peace: "Research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the Canadian NGO Project Ploughshares indicates that the world has actually become a substantially safer place lately - at least measured in terms of major conflict. The number of people killed in battle has fallen to 20,000 per year, the lowest number in the post-Second World War period."

That's nice to hear.

UPDATED: More thoughts here.

SOXBLOG: "Since I love the rumor and fervently wish for its accuracy, it is my pleasure, nay my responsibility, to continue its irresponsible dissemination. Reading the tea-leaves, Kristol has concluded that McCain might be poised to replace Cheney on the ticket."

I'd prefer Condi Rice, or Colin Powell, but this would be OK with me. And I admire Soxblog's forthrightness!

IT PROBLEMS, HOTEL PROBLEMS, and Dan Rather's keen nose for news: Ed Morrissey has started his convention-blogging.

UPDATE: Roger Simon has reports and photos, too.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More photoblogging at RedState.

STEPHEN GREEN points to this William Raspberry column, and wonders if the punditry is starting to distance itself from Kerry.

IF CONVENTION-POLITICS IS BORING YOU, check out this week's Carnival of the Capitalists, where it's all about business- and econo-blogging.

And there's also the Carnival of the Dogs, though in some ways that's more reminiscent of the political season. . . .


MY COUSIN-IN-LAW, Brad Rubinstein, has posted more photos from the RNC protests. He's got commentary here, too.

I'll try to do a big roundup of photoblogging later today, so if you've got some good photo links, send them along.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, David Adesnik writes that the big-media coverage of the protests is missing the story. "The big papers also fail to convey how the protest resembled a carnival of the absurd, with every obscure leftist faction in attendance. For example, there were hundreds of big red signs provided by a coven of conspiracy theorists who insist that Bush had advance warning of 9-11. If I had bigger pockets, I could've collected at least half-a-dozen different socialist and communist newspapers and newsletters. . . . If you read the NYT or the WaPo, you get the impression that the protest was filled with reasonable people who just don't like George Bush. . . . So there you have it. The big papers managed to be unfair to both sides while failing to provide critical information. Let's hope things get better from here." Scroll down for more.

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF has posted his regular roundup of under-reported good news from Iraq, and once again it's long, it's link-filled, and it's hosted by the Wall Street Journal folks.

IT'S BEEN A LIGHT-BLOGGING BIRTHDAY WEEKEND, and the email reading has been even lighter. That means I neglected to note that the Los Angeles Times has corrected its error in claiming that no one who served with Kerry appeared in the Swift Boat Vets ad. Congratulations to Patterico, who was on the ball as usual.

And speaking of birthdays, thanks to all the people who donated. If your donation involved an email address (you have to click a button on Amazon for that to happen) I've sent a thank-you. But thanks to everyone -- it's much appreciated.

August 29, 2004

DISSENT ON THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT: Jeff Jarvis rounds up some interesting stuff.

KERRY'S WORLDVIEW: Gred Djerejian looks at Kerry's 1971 testimony and thinks about what it might mean about Kerry's positions today.

UPDATE: Related item here: "The war-torn soul of John Kerry."

RYAN SAGER has posted many new photos from the NYC convention protests.

You can also find more here.

Not all that many nice smiles to be had, though, overall.

MY NIGERIAN SISTER-IN-LAW VICTORIA, who's now an American citizen, is always irritated when people tell her that she's not an "African-American." If I'm not one, she asks, who is?

Robert Tagorda has an interesting post on that debate.

I GUESS THESE ARE ANALOG BROWNSHIRTS, rather than the digital kind:

Nearly 40 protesters gathered Saturday at the home of the chief financial backer of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose ads criticize Democrat John Kerry's military record.

Or something like that.

JOHN ROSENBERG looks at Joe Biden vs. John Kerry.

I actually defended Biden in The Appearance of Impropriety, the ethics book I coauthored with Peter Morgan. You can read that chapter online here.

JERALYN MERRITT OF TALKLEFT has a column on convention-blogging in the Denver Post.

EXIT INTERVIEW: Tbogg's father has died, and he's written a moving farewell. Please send him your condolences.

BETSY NEWMARK notes that Amazon.com has changed its comment policies where the SwiftBoat Vets book Unfit for Command is concerned.

AN AMUSING PRANK in Massachussetts.

SELF-INFLICTED WOUND: "Kerry can rail all he wants about the unfairness of criticism by the Swift boat veterans. But to see who is ultimately responsible for this controversy, Kerry should look in the mirror."

CROSSWIRE is a new GOP-Convention blog set up by the Knoxville News-Sentinel. It features well-known Knoxville blogger SKBubba on the left, and new blogger WestKnoxMomma on the right. (Via Michael Silence).

THERE'S A TOUCH OF BLOGOSPHERE TRIUMPHALISM in the quotes at the end of this article. But under the circumstances, I think it's warranted.

UPDATE: Read this, too.

INTERESTING GRAPHIC FROM THE DETROIT NEWS on the impact of Bush's tax cuts.

I MISSED MAUREEN DOWD'S LETTERMAN APPEARANCE, but Ann Althouse didn't, and notes that Dowd was (repeatedly) dismissing Kerry as "lame." It makes me think that Ed Morrissey was right when he wrote that Kerry's media honeymoon is over.

UPDATE: Althouse has more thoughts here on the media and Kerry: "The media are looking ahead and imagining how the history of the 2004 presidential campaign will read and how their performance will measure up."

Meanwhile, reader Rick Lee emails:

haven't seen anybody mention what I thought was the best line of the Dowd/Letterman interview... he asked her if she was backing Kerry (or something like that) and she answered that (roughly quoting from memory) "NY Times columnists aren't permitted to endorse candidates... [sotto voce] although apparently Paul Krugman is ignoring that". At this point Dave made a joke about this answer going over his head.

Heh. Wish they posted transcripts.

SPOONS MAKES the conservative argument against Bush. He's actually been doing that for a while. Bush's dumb position on Campaign Finance "Reform" plays a major role.

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