Friday, October 29, 2004

It's a small small world

Holy cripes!

In my best non-saline language, this phrase spontaneously burst out after a stunning realization. I just heard "Azzam the American" on radio. Azzam is the voice and face on the video just released, promising attacks that will make the streets of America "run red with blood", as punishment for "Bush and Cheney". Presumably, this is yet another foreign endorsement for John Kerry. But, his voice... so familiar. I just know who it is.

Now, this is a serious business, to be sure. This guy really means it and is voicing a very real threat to us. But that voice, it's a dead giveaway. Just listen to it. Skip the video, that's too distracting. Just listen to the voice.

You guessed it too, right? Yep, none other than Andy Kaufman. Not Tony Clifton either, nor his Latka Gravis persona, but Andy himself. Apparently, he did indeed fake his own death and moved to somewhere in the Middle East.

And that voice, with its deadpan style, is a giveaway. Only Andy could pull something like this off so smoothly. Apparently he is spoofing al Qaeda, and bin Laden and the crew are buying it, hook, line and sinker.

I hope he's not really pissed at us, though. Maybe we should have been nicer to him when he was among us.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The boys of October

When I started this site some months ago, I promised myself to avoid "salty" language. Brackish maybe, but no brine. Yet, as much as I enjoy politics, this promise is being sorely tested. Watching the World Series doesn't help, either.

Every presidential election seems to bring with it an October Surprise. In 1992 it was Lawrence Walsh's indictment of Caspar Weinberger, formerly Secretary of Defense under Reagan. This distracted the Bush 41 campaign and gave Clinton just the edge he needed to win. Never mind the charges were later overturned-- it was the opportunity for 11th hour political theater that mattered.

In 2000, it was revealed George W. Bush had been arrested years earlier and charged with drunken driving. Not a huge deal, but just enough to turn off some evangelical voters and give Gore a popular majority. But for the grace of the Electoral College, Gore might have won the election. Whew!

Last minute political ambushes in this, the world's oldest democracy, have been going on for more than a century. This year's October Surprise has Bush bungling the war in Iraq, failing to secure hundreds of tons of high explosives, despite pre-invasion warnings from the United Nations.

Except, the evidence points to the material being removed from the suspect site sometime prior to the invasion. Just based on the initial information provided by the New York Times ambushers-- if carefully examined-- the preponderance of evidence suggests no wrongdoing on the part of anyone except Saddam Hussein, and likely the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA said they had "sealed" the explosives bunkers with IAEA markings and then warned the Bush administration about them.

Here is the problem. The New York Times worked with CBS's 60 Minutes to develop this story, (registration required) which contains its own discrediting paragraph:

But apparently, little was done. A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces "went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal." It is unclear whether troops ever returned.

If the troops looked, but did not see IAEA seals, then I guess the explosives were already gone. Does that not seem obvious? Not to the New York Times, whose headline proclaimed "Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq", suggesting we had it, but then lost it. Curiously, this becomes an immediate speech-feed to John Kerry.

The play did not fo quite as planned. The real plan was for CBS's 60 Minutes to pitch this greaseball Sunday night, less than 48 hours before the election. The heat of the story began to leak out and the New York Times was forced to go to press prematurely. Oh dang, October Surprise spoiled. Spoiled and discredited. Take that, you dirty... oops, never mind.

Ironically, what tripped the New York Times and CBS News conspirators was another member of the mainstream media-- NBC News. It turns out they had a reporter "embedded" with the 101st Airborne unit at the time of the invasion. The 101st took possession of the particular weapons site in the early days of the war. They inspected the site but found no such explosives, nor IAEA tags. The reporter in question, who now works for FoxNews, says he did not see any IAEA seals of any sort.

Of course, someone might have smuggled something out in their lunch box while the soldiers were not looking. Hell, (oops!) even Sandy Berger might have smuggled it out in his pants and socks had he been in Iraq. But, 300-plus tons of high explosive seems unlikely to have been smuggled out after the invasion without notice, regardless of presumed incompetence on anyone's part. 40 truckloads is a lot to sneak and hide, even in the fog of war.

Okay, so the New York Times and CBS News don't like Bush and are willing to conspire to thwart the election. Bad enough, but we apparently have to tolerate a "free" press, no matter how badly we want to burn the bas... oops, there's that promise.

Okay, so oddly enough, John Kerry has enough immediate command of the story's details to deliver a blistering speech that condemns Bush for a huge blunder. And Edwards too. They just got an early copy of the Times and ad libbed their speeches. Sure.

Then the NBC story comes out and reveals the explosives were not there at the time of the invasion. It certainly appears nobody in the White House screwed up. So, story over, right? It's a swing and a miss!


Kerry turns up the heat. Not only do he and Edwards repeat the charges, but suddenly there is a new television commercial on that very topic. Kerry looks into the camera and assures us... blah blah blah.

Look, boys. Your surprise was foiled. You tried a double play but bounced the ball off your chins. Give it up. The more you press it, the more transparent your methods become, the more obvious is your linkage to the left-wing press. They may be your bat boys, but you are certainly no Red Sox.

Just to clarify the matter: given what we know of the story, including the original New York Times reportage, the evidence suggests we never had control of the explosives. Yet, Kerry flat-out insists Bush let this material get swiped. Tell the lie, shout it out, repeat, repeat...

Is anyone fooled here? At long last, is it not clear to absolutely everyone breathing that this is a dirtball political trick?

I suspect a huge backlash to roil up this week, fueled by us bleacher-bums in the blogosphere. Look at the suspects: Kerry/Edwards. New York Times. CBS News. It's a triad of deceit, each with its own sordid track record. It is clear those characters will do and say anything to overturn this presidency. No bounds, practical or moral. Anything to win, fair or foul, including mugging the opponent with your bat.

It's enough to make you cuss.

Yer out!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Let them eat raisins

It all became clear when I read of Theresa's arthritis remedy. Take some white raisins, soak them in gin for a couple of weeks, and eat them every day. I guess it works for her.

During a visit to Nevada, she criticized television advertising of prescription drugs, as it increases consumer demand. Apparently, consumer involvement in healthcare decisions is a bad thing.

In her words, as reported in the Reno Gazette-Journal's online edition,
“It’s like cereal (advertising),” she said. “The more sugar, the more toys, the more kids want it.”
Of course, her and her husband's plan calls for government paid healthcare for every American. If there is anything we have learned from socialism in the past century, it's that whatever is "free" or subsidized, begets unlimited demand. Which is why socialism fails miserably at every turn. Costs go up, shortages are inevitable. Witness the flu shot shortage this year.

When individuals have a financial stake in their own healthcare spending, they have an incentive to put the brakes on unnecessary drugs and services. Free markets. Consumer choice. What a concept. Of course, that would fall under the purview of President Bush's Health Savings accounts, so it must be bad bad bad.

Oddly, she used the same occasion to support re-importation of drugs from Canada, seeming to simultaneously support socialism and free markets. “We will play the market. That is what Americans do”, she said, slyly including herself as a real American.

The Left imagines water will not seek it's own level, Newtonian physics will no longer apply, down is up, the Sun will rise in the West, all by government fiat. "Power to the people." And pharmaceutical companies will gladly sell unlimited quantities of proprietary drugs to socialist Canada, only to watch them come back across the border and cannibalize their home market.

Theresa and her dreamy-eyed followers imagine that people smart enough to invent Nexium and Zocor are simultaneously too stupid to notice they will lose money if they sell drugs at a loss.

"We're losing 2 dollars a pill, but we make it up in volume."

Drug companies will plug that leak faster than that dyke-boy in Holland. It will be like the Soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld-- "No more drugs for you. One year!"

Which is fine with me. I am tired of subsidizing those delusional faux-Americans' socialist fantasies anyway. In fact, let's charge them extra when they come down to the United States for otherwise-unavailable surgical procedures. A Canuck Tax, if you will. And you pay twice if you utter a single word in French.

I hate to seem personal when discussing Theresa Heinz Kerry, but her own words leave me with this indelible mental image. Every time I see her picture, I shall be reminded of a gin-soaked white raisin.

Which she is apparently chugging.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

But... but... he WON

Kerry supporters are sputtering in disbelief. Immediately following the debate, the weekend "first impression" polls assured them Kerry had won the debate. Of course, Kerry supporters completely ignored the underlying poll questions and responses that suggested Bush easily won on those issues voters would use to actually decide the election. No, Kerry won the glibness contest handily, and that is what mattered. Or so they imagined.

And how they gloated.

Now, a few days later, the same polls that had Bush ahead of Kerry following the conventions, still show Bush in the lead. And pretty much by the same margins too. The Kerry folks are simply astounded.

How utterly unfair that a candidate could "win" the debate, but not pull ahead decisively in the polls!

So, what then does "win" mean, when it comes to the debates? Well, apparently style is no substitute for substance. Consider how poorly Bush handled himself-- staring into the camera as though he was wondering what the question was, grasping for words to complete his thoughts, appearing annoyed at having to put up with mindless inanities. In spite of this weak visual performance, voters somehow connected with his message. He made sense to them, however goofy he may have seemed.

Certainly they did not connect with Kerry's message. The Left has never understood the American mind. To them, it's still Maoist street theatrics and Worker's World Party foaming-mouth rhetoric. The New Left of the late Sixties runs the Democratic party today, and they were trained as Marxists. For the Left, machine propaganda is the weapon of choice.

If you say it loud enough and long enough, people will tend to believe it. Forget reason and logic. Since "the people" are fools, then fool them with words. Make a strong emotional case and hammer the point, over and over.


Bush Lied.

Wrong war at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Worst economy since Hoover.

Drown out the opposition voice with sound bites-- however irrational in fact-- until the voters are numb.

The problem with the Left, and the Democratic Party today, is they tend to believe their own propaganda. Consequently, they make false assumptions and strategic errors.

So when Americans voted for Reagan in overwhelming numbers in the Eighties, the Left was confused and dismayed. Reagan was a dolt, they assured themselves. How could anyone possibly follow him? Yet traditional Democrats gave Reagan a landslide, because Reagan gave them what they wanted: a stronger America.

Bush is an idiot, they insist today. A mindless puppet of the mysterious corporate cabal, headed by Halliburton. How could anyone possibly follow him? Because Bush gives them what they want: a stronger America.

Americans are not actually stupid. They are capable of collective reasoning and will follow whoever not only makes sense, but speaks to their hearts. While Kerry offers a weaker America, Bush offers strength.

Americans prefer strength.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Passing the Global Laugh Test

I mentioned the other day how John Kerry has given the Right much ammunition with his glib debate "victory" last week. One such item is the matter of preemption and that mysterious "global test".

The concept was introduced when John Kerry was asked by debate moderator Jim Lehrer if there was a situation under which he, as president, might use preemptive military force. Kerry said yes, he might use such force, but-- and there is always that "but"-- such a situation would have to pass a "global test", in which Americans understand "...fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

In the past day or so, Richard Holbrook-- presumptive Secretary of State in the event of a Kerry presidency-- has been trotted out to the media to explain what this "global test" is all about, and why the United States should permit it's security to be subject to the approval of foreign governments. When asked what would happen if international approval was not forthcoming, Holbrook assured us any legitimate need for preemptive military action would be "self-evident". That was his actual phrase, self-evident.

So I offer the following hypothetical situation:

Suppose some third-world dictator, who supported terrorists both financially and logistically, had a history of development and use of chemical and biological weapons, had invaded two of his neighbors, had attempted to develop nuclear weapons and continued to do so, had funded suicide bombers in other countries, and had actually met with and had cooperative agreements with terrorist organizations that specifically targeted United States citizens and interests. Further suppose this hypothetical dictator had even attempted the assassination of a former United States president.

Not Saddam Hussein, mind you, but some hypothetical third-world dictator.

Let's further suppose the United Nations had already tried to put a lid on this guy with numerous resolutions and sanctions, all of which he defied and undermined with impunity.

Now the President of the United States-- John Kerry, perhaps-- decided this dictator represented a strategic threat to the United States because one of the terrorist groups with which the dictator was affiliated actually attacked the United States, killing thousands of our citizens.

Not that this hypothetical dictator had actually participated in that attack, but he did have a long-standing cooperative relationship with this terrorist group and other terrorists with similar anti-American aims. And this hypothetical President decides the dictator must be de-fanged once and for all, to eliminate any future threat and to deny terrorist enemies possible sanctuary or support. That is, the President of the United States decides to preemptively eliminate a strategic threat.

That hypothetical President decides to get international cooperation and takes his case to the United Nations, demanding the UN disarm this thug, "or we will". The United Nations agrees to a final ultimatum and issues a resolution, perhaps very similar to UN Resolution 1441. It calls for the dictator to acquiesce to the United Nations' terms at once, or face "serious consequences". The President makes it clear to the world this means the use of military force to remove that dictator from power.

The President takes his case to Congress and that body gives him authorization to use military force at his discretion. The Constitution is satisfied and we are ready to go to war.

Yet, in spite of all diplomatic efforts and reason, the dictator simply defies the United Nations and the United States yet again. Apparently he does not sense, or does not care about, a credible threat of force. Now that hypothetical President decides to bring the matter to a head with the United Nations. He asks the UN Security Council to formally endorse the use of military force to enforce the resolution and he offers to head a coalition of international forces to invade and disarm the hypothetical dictator immediately.

Suddenly, one or two members of the Security Council decide to oppose the enforcement of that ultimatum resolution. It turns out they have a huge financial interest in the continuance of that dictatorship, the removal of whom will surely cause them to lose billions of dollars of income. And they decide, however selfishly, that their national interests are more important than the interests of the United States.

Besides which, one of these United Nations holdouts has personally promised that hypothetical dictator it will do whatever it can to prevent the United States from taking military action. Further, that one nation actually shipped UN-outlawed weapons to that dictator after the ultimatum resolution was passed.

Of course, this case is indeed hypothetical. I mean, is such an outrageous situation even possible? Is this even a believable scenario? Well, if it is, then is the passing of the "global test" now self-evident, as Richard Holbrook says it would be?

If that hypothetical President Kerry were to find himself in such a situation, would he go ahead with the preemptive force, or would he succumb to the financially conflicted interests of another nation?

John Kerry cannot answer that question. No matter his response, he would be laughed out of the race.

Yet, it must be asked.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Lurch lurches to the left

At first, I was terribly disappointed with President Bush last night. At times, he had that "deer in the headlights" look as he groped for words. No matter, in the end he held his own, despite the incessant battering from the left. That's "political left" as well as "camera left", of course.

Kerry on the other hand, never fails to disappoint, and last night was no exception. While he has a reputation for hiding is true views and changing positions like the wind upon which he surfs, this first debate revealed his true nature for all to see.

In his self-confident blustering, he made several revealing statements, which of course now become ammunition for those of us on the right. Giving nuclear fuel to Iran, going back to bi-lateral fawning over North Korea, "tax cuts for the rich", etc. But one statement stood out from the rest, and shows us exactly who John Kerry really is.

When asked what is the greatest threat facing us, he replied "nuclear proliferation". Not terrorism, not WMD in general, not even al Qaeda or Osama himself. And he was careful to say that Iraq was a "grand distraction" from the real war in Afghanistan. But all of that is beside the point.

No, the War on Terror is not the greatest threat to us. Not Islamic extremists who want to slaughter each of our children in the name of "divine justice". Not WMD in the hands of terrorists. No, he thinks nuclear weapons in general are the greatest threat, especially those produced by his own country.

What egregious example of nuclear proliferation did he offer? Why, the United States, of course. He talked about our development of nuclear bunker-buster bombs, and how terrible an example that sets for the world. And, if he is elected, that program comes to a screeching halt. No other example given. Not Iran, not China, not North Korea, but the United States.

In other words, in the "global standard" view of John Kerry, the greatest threat to the world is the United States.

It reminds me of a line from an old Pogo comic strip, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Thanks, John Kerry. You never fail to disappoint.

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