Saturday, May 01, 2004

Balance tipped on Supreme Court!

If you believe the old saw that a conservative is a liberal that has been mugged, move Justice David Souter to the conservative side of the court.
The NY Times chides their guy

Kerry Struggling to Find a Theme, Democrats Fear
For many Democrats, Mr. Kerry's single biggest difficulty was what they described as his continuing search for a defining theme for his candidacy — typically one of the most urgent tasks of any presidential candidate.

Last week, after completing the most in-depth poll of his campaign, Mr. Kerry unveiled yet another theme for his candidacy: "Together, we can build a stronger America." It was, by the count of one aide, the sixth message Mr. Kerry has rolled out since he announced his candidacy nearly 18 months ago.
And he "polled his campaign" to get it. Puhleeze.

Actually, I'm a little puzzled. I thought Lurch had already chosen his theme:
Mr. Kerry has yet to unveil a long-promised biographical advertisement highlighting his war record that Democrats urged him to broadcast as soon as possible as a rebuttal to Mr. Bush's $50 million crush of advertisements. Democrats outside the campaign blamed the ouster of a senior media adviser in March for the delay.
Let me guess - "He served in Vietnam" is the universal solvent.
I want one!

A Robosaurus that is.
Blasts from the past!

The CBC amazes with Prime Ministers and Presidents:
In his book The Presidents and the Prime Ministers, author Lawrence Martin mentions how John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, "would alienate all of Washington with displays of contempt for the presidents and their men." Indeed, the subtitle of Martin's book catches the true spirit of relations across the world's longest undefended border: Washington and Ottawa Face to Face: The Myth of Bilateral Bliss 1867-1982.
1962 - Prime Minister John Diefenbaker on President John F. Kennedy: "He's a hothead. He's a fool - too young, too brash, too inexperienced, and a boastful son of a bitch!"

1965 - at the height of the Vietnam War, Prime Minister Lester Pearson visited President Lyndon Johnson at the White House. Pearson gave a scathing speech one night about the war, then appeared at the White House the next day to confront a livid Johnson. As Martin describes it, LBJ grabbed Pearson by the shirt collar, lifted the prime minister off the floor and shouted, "You pissed on my rug!"
I believe diplomats call those "frank exchanges of views."

And while we're digging up the past, Thomas Roeser has a US History quiz in the Chicago Sun-Times:
He was ''personally opposed, but'' -- the nation's most prominent pro-choicer. A nationally known U.S. senator. Straddled the most divisive domestic issue of his day. Sought the presidency by flip-flopping to please all sides. Beset by clergymen he charged were mixing politics with religion. Married a controversial heiress whose vast holdings spurred severe criticism.

John Kerry? Sounds like him, but guess again.
Well, enough historical hijinks, time to get back to Lurch and his butler:
An April 28 article in the newspaper that prints all the news that fits its agenda (which makes one wonder how this one got past the 43nd Street editorial trolls), Kerry’s butler has on him at all times, or within instant reach, such absolute necessities of stressful political life as:

Loose change, Tylenol, Advil, Advil Liquid Gels, Advil Sinus pills, Swedish hand cream, Halls cough drops, Scope mouthwash, a tube of Blistex, Band-Aids, a sewing kit, little zip-lock plastic baggies containing made-fresh-daily peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches wrapped in aluminum foil of course, cans of strawberry diet milkshake, Imodium and Handiwipes.

Wipes? That raises the question – not answered here, you can bet your bippy – of just what it is the pampered senator can or can’t or won’t do for himself, unassisted, on his very own, now that he’s over age 3.

Friday, April 30, 2004

It just gets better

Matea Gold in the LA Times - Kerry Escalating Use of War Veteran Status
When Sen. John F. Kerry's advisors indicated recently that his service during the Vietnam War would be central to the campaign's effort to define him, they weren't exaggerating.
In one 24-hour period, he invoked his service:

• To fend off attacks by his Republican rivals;

• As evidence he will fight to expand healthcare;

• As evidence he understands the complicated landscape in Iraq;

• To explain his love of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
By and large, I think it's because he has nothing else to say. But it just sticks in my craw that this preppie does a brief drive-by of Vietnam to pad his resume and play the military medal system for all it's worth; and then he returns home to defame fellow soldiers, hobnob with the North Vietnamese, and then spend a life in politics trying to shutdown support for the military and POW-MIA investigations. George Herbert Walker Bush and Bob Dole were genuine war heroes and they mentioned it less in their entire campaigns than this slug does in 24 hours.
"I'm mad as Hell" - Let's have some leftoid entertainment!

Well, leftoid fun is going to be hard to find at Err America - Errors keep piling up for Air America Radio. Time to get down your bets in the dead pool.

But not to worry, wingnuts! There's hope on the horizon - Dean preps for talkshow:
Dr. Phil could soon be sharing the Paramount lot with another doc: Howard Dean.

While everything's still in the early talking stages, the former Democratic presidential candidate is mulling the idea of hosting his own syndicated gabfest. He's hooked up with ex-Big Ticket TV topper Larry Lyttle ("Judge Judy") and longtime political consultant Gerald Rafshoon, who would likely serve as exec producers of a pilot for any such project.
Be still, my heart! Jerry Springer better watch his back!

Lyttle and Rafshoon are lefty political consultants so we know where this going.
"The last thing we're going to talk about is politics," Lyttle said. "We'd talk about a myriad of other things instead of politics."
Yuk, yuk. We believe ya.
Dean's skein would likely have more in common with the talkshow Bill Clinton had been considering a few years back.

"He'd look at things like, What happens if you lose a sibling? What about when you're victimized by not having health care?" Lyttle said, arguing that Dean has the perfect persona for the small screen.
Yup, no politics there. But where are the adulterous couples of several sexes and the fisticuffs? I think Springer is safe, this sounds like a sure cure for insomnia.
"He's a little bit of Howard Beale, a little Dr. Phil and a little Donahue all rolled into one," he said. "What was so appealing to me is the fact that he's not afraid to express an opinion."
Howard Beale! Now that's the ticket. Howie (Dean that is) could close each show with an extended rant and then yell "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! Yearghhhhhhhhhh!" before passing out.
Ruh Oh!

The long public transit transit strike in Minneapolis- St. Paul had some interesting effects according to the Red Star Tribune - Some crime ebbed during bus strike:
The anecdotal stories that crime was decreasing in downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul and at the Mall of America started soon after the Metro Transit strike began in early March.

Curious about what might be happening, police began discreetly monitoring crime figures and found some intriguing numbers.

• Police calls at the Mall of America, especially on weekends, were down by as much as 21 percent.

• Arrests in downtown Minneapolis had dropped.

• In St. Paul, police calls for so-called "quality of life" complaints, such as narcotics sales near bus stops, also had fallen.

After the metro area's first transit strike in a decade, the possible relationship between the strike and crime has become a much-debated -- and politically touchy -- issue. Critics complain that the focus unnecessarily paints an unflattering portrait of bus riders.
No word on "letting the chips fall where they may."
Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, also said such comparisons are unsettling. "I wouldn't say it's a disservice to draw those connections. [But] there is kind of a sport in picking on the poor and trying to point out their foibles," he said.
Er, foibles? And it isn't being poor that is the problem.
I'm feeling nostalgic!

Gnu Hunter points out this gem - N Korea train blast victims died saving leaders' portraits.
Many North Koreans died a "heroic death" after last week's train explosion by running into burning buildings to rescue portraits of leader Kim Jong-il and his father, the North's official media reported yesterday.
Fears of a toilet paper shortage?
"Many people of the county evacuated portraits before searching after their family members or saving their household goods," KCNA said in a report with a Ryongchon dateline.
The KCNA report could not be independently verified.
Ya think?

I really miss the Commies. The world's a poorer place without a consistent flow of stories about the antics of "hero workers" and "humble Socialist toilers". Nowadays you have to be satisfied with the inferior quality products from Cuba, North Korea, and China. But every once in a while they manage to deliver one like the above that brings back the "spirit" of the old days. Here's hoping the fat boy takes up swimming next.
"Don't criticize Mr. Ponzi! We want to invest our money with him!"

Congressman Tom Lantos (D - California, natch) is giving Jimmy Carter a tough fight for the prestigious Mooncalf of the Year Award:
At a time when we are moving towards placing enormous responsibilities, following the handover on June 30, upon the United Nations and the Secretary General.... to imply dishonesty on his part is so contrary to our national interest that it simply boggles the mind.
The clue phone appears to be off the hook at Tom's place.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Why is Gorelick still on the 9/11 Commission?

I know she's a liberal princess, but how warped do your faculties have to be to miss that fact that she should be testifying instead? Here's the latest - Memos show Gorelick involvement in 'wall':
Newly released Justice Department memos show that September 11 panel commissioner Jamie S. Gorelick was more intimately involved than previously thought with hampering communications between U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies fighting terrorism.

As the No. 2 person in the Clinton Justice Department, Ms. Gorelick rejected advice from the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who warned against placing more limits on communications between law-enforcement officials and prosecutors pursuing counterterrorism cases, according to several internal documents written in summer 1995.

"It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorney's Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required," U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote Ms. Gorelick six years before the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon.

"Our experience has been that the FBI labels of an investigation as intelligence or law enforcement can be quite arbitrary, depending upon the personnel involved and that the most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right and left hands are communicating," she wrote.
C'mon Jaime, trundle on down to the witness table!
I know, let's send in some lawyers!

From yesterday's WSJ - War and the Supreme Court: Will the Justices let the President do his job? :
As the Supreme Court weighs the rights of the captured al Qaeda fighters whose cases will be heard today, we hope it won't forget the rights of the rest of us. Namely, Americans have the right to be protected against enemy attack.

This appears to be a more open question than it should be with the current High Court, whose sense of its own importance is such that it just might think it can do a better job of running the war on terror than an elected chief executive.
From the upcoming May 3 Newsweek - Guantanamo: The 'Revolving Door' Sends Terrorists Back Out:
The Bush administration's detention of hundreds of foreign fighters in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, got dissected last week by the Supreme Court, with some justices questioning the government's right to incarcerate aliens indefinitely without judicial review. But the court arguments may have obscured a potentially bigger embarrassment for the Pentagon: some of the more than 100 Gitmo prisoners who have been released have since turned up back in Afghanistan—fighting with Taliban forces against the U.S. military.
Not to worry, they can all go back if the usual complement of leftoid Supremes whine and cry long enough.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

"Yeah, it's the TV thing!"

Is Kerry Blowing It?:
In recent weeks, even Senator John Kerry’s closest friends have been at a loss as to why the Democratic Presidential candidate has failed to communicate the most humanizing part of his biography: his war record as a decorated Vietnam veteran. "I know he’s quite capable of it," said Bob Kerrey, the president of New School University, former Nebraska Senator and fellow Vietnam veteran. "I don’t know why it’s not working now."

But there seems to be a very clear reason why: Mr. Kerry is terrible on TV.

"Abysmal," said John Weaver, the former strategist for Senator John McCain’s Presidential run and the man who coined the "Straight Talk Express."

Watching Mr. Kerry on TV, he said, "I don’t know if it’s a stream of consciousness or stream of unconsciousness."

"It’s a lot of words and no clarity, a lot of presence and no warmth," said Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, who was preparing to interview Mr. Kerry for an hour on April 27. "And I think he’s got to deal with that."
The problem, guys, is that there's no there, there. More howling angst by following the link.
"Let's put the United Nations in charge!"

Claudia Rosett on Oil-for-Terror:
It's looking more and more as if one of the best reasons to get rid of Saddam Hussein was that it was probably the only way to get rid of Oil-for-Food. The problem wasn't simply that this huge United Nations relief program for Iraq became a gala of graft, theft, fraud, palace-building and global influence-peddling--though all that was quite bad enough. The picture now emerging is that under U.N. management the Oil-for-Food program, which ran from 1996-2003, served as a cover not only for Saddam's regime to cheat the Iraqi people, but to set up a vast and intricate global network of illicit finance.
In Oil-for-Food, "Every contract tells a story," says John Fawcett, a financial investigator with the New York law firm of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, which has sued the financial sponsors of Sept. 11 on behalf of the victims and their families. In an interview, Mr. Fawcett and his colleague, Christine Negroni, run down the lists of Oil-for-Food authorized oil buyers and relief suppliers, pointing out likely terrorist connections. One authorized oil buyer, they note, was a remnant of the defunct global criminal bank, BCCI. Another was close to the Taliban while Osama bin Laden was on the rise in Afghanistan; a third was linked to a bank in the Bahamas involved in al Qaeda's financial network; a fourth had a close connection to one of Saddam's would-be nuclear-bomb makers.
More by following the link.

Dang, I see that the Instapundit already caught this one. He also links to James Morrow's report from Downunder, UN apologists remain silent on oil scandal:
ABC viewers were shocked to learn last week that the man who spent six years administering the UN's Iraqi oil-for-food program stood accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes from Saddam Hussein's regime. The official, Benon Sevan, had conveniently slipped off to a Queensland resort as the scandal broke and gave reporters who showed up on his hotel doorstep a brusque "no comment" before retreating to the comforts within.

But the ABC that aired the story and tracked Sevan down in Noosa Heads was not Australia's taxpayer-financed broadcaster but the American television network. Meanwhile, Australia's ABC has remained virtually silent on the story, choosing to run little more than a couple of newswire stories on Sevan's trip on their website.

The editorial decision to turn a blind eye to the story puts the ABC in good company with other Western news outlets, most of which have taken a see-no-evil approach to one of the biggest corruption scandals in modern history: the systematic purchasing of friends and allies by the Iraqi dictator.
All the news that fits, James!
But by far the biggest recipient of Saddam's largesse was the UN. During the program's existence, more than $US1 billion was kept by the organisation as a fee for administering the program. As one senior UN diplomat recently told London's Daily Telegraph: "The UN was not doing this work just for the good of Iraq. Cash from Saddam's government was keeping the UN going for a few years."

Amazingly, though, it has taken an incredible amount of time for this story to get what little traction it has so far gained in the media. (Certainly the anti-war Left, which is happy to believe that George W. Bush toppled Saddam to kick a few contracts to Dick Cheney's old pals at Halliburton, has been deafeningly silent on the topic.)

Perhaps because of all the DIY international lawyering engaged in by the world press corps in the run-up to Iraq's invasion, many journalists are reluctant to admit that the UN they put so much faith in was many times more corrupt than they could imagine the Bush White House being.
But the naive belief among journalists with little or no international law background that no military action is legitimate without the UN's seal of approval is one thing. The continued fetishistic belief of politicians and opinion-makers in the supposed good intentions of the UN is another -- and it is something that needs to end immediately.
Marks figuring out the con? Not likely, because they love the fantasy so much.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

"The Saddamites blowed up real good!"

Explosions Shake Fallujah After Nightfall
Multiple explosions shook Fallujah after dark Tuesday and plumes of smoke rose into the air as fighting erupted for a second straight night. A U.S. AC-130 gunship hammered targets in the city.
Lots of large booms on the tube.
The fighting broke out as a two-day extension to a cease-fire came to end.

Earlier in the day, U.S. aircraft dropped white leaflets over the city west of Baghdad, calling on insurgents to surrender.

"Surrender, you are surrounded," the leaflets said. "If you are a terrorist, beware, because your last day was yesterday. In order to spare your life end your actions and surrender to coalition forces now. We are coming to arrest you."
Arrest? Why burden the taxpayers?

And stay tuned for the big whine from the usual suspects. Which reminds me of this item from Rich Lowry at The Corner
I was on the Alan Colmes radio show last night with Susan Estrich. The discussion really brought home to me the odd position liberals find themselves in with regard to Kerry’s service. On the one hand, they say Kerry’s combat experience in Vietnam is a tremendous testament to his toughness and moral character. On the other hand, they believe Vietnam was a deeply dishonorable and even criminal enterprise. So why is it an asset to have served there? Both Susan and Alan stand by Kerry’s war crime allegations from 1971. So I asked Alan why he would support a man who has confessed to committing atrocities in Vietnam. Alan’s answer was that everyone committed atrocities in Vietnam and U.S. soldiers are committing atrocities in Iraq even today. And this is the year liberals are supposed to be portraying themselves as pro-veteran and pro-military service!
You'd have to be pretty thick to believe 'em. If Alan Colmes saw you with a can of Raid he'd be calling the UN to report a war crime. These folks just have no whiff of a hint of a clue.
Huge Honking Angst Alert!

Conspiracy fans may now don their commemorative Torricelli tin foil beanies and start scanning the skies for Hillary on a broomstick! James Ridgeway at The Village Voice says John Kerry Must Go
Note to Democrats: it's not too late to draft someone—anyone—else

With the air gushing out of John Kerry's balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn't have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party's got to have someone to run against George Bush.
If things proceed as they are, the dim-bulb Dem leaders are going to be very sorry they screwed Howard Dean.
Hmm, maybe they could get Howie back if they asked extra nice!
More Kerry Konundrums!

I guess John Kerry really is the "International Man of Mystery" - he sure can't seem to do anything in a straightforward manner. Tax returns, his medals, financial disclosures, even what cars he drives are all sources of endless back pedaling and confusion. If he isn't hiding anything, he's sure doing a great imitation. The latest is his faux release of his military records. Notice that I said "faux," not "full." Historian B.G. Burkett weighs in:
Closely following all these developments is B.G. Burkett, the co-author of “Stolen Valor,” a highly acclaimed book on the Vietnam War.

Burkett, who has advised the FBI and sometimes the media on cases involving fraudulent military records, said that what inflamed him about the Kerry case was that the American public was being spoon-fed the record.

“Kerry is not being forthright,” complained Burkett, who wants to see the unabridged, uncensored version of the record.

He is demanding that the candidate bite the bullet and sign off on a Standard Form (SF) 180, giving the media the power to examine and cull the full record, not just bits and pieces selected by the Kerry camp.
What set this off is the little problem that some of the records released by the Kerry campaign cover a period for patrol boat 94 when ole Lurch wasn't even on the boat.

Then there's the curiosity that Kerry's Silver Star citation is signed by John Lehman who served as Navy Secretary about 10 years later than when Kerry was in Vietnam. Terpsboy and the folks on FR have the backhoe out and are doing a ton of digging on this one, but frankly it's making my head hurt. Does John Kerry ever tell a straight story? I know, it's naive of me to even ask.
It is to laugh

Michael Graham at The Corner:
The Washington Post has been doing a series on the Red State/Blue State divide. Yesterday they profiled the "typical" Red State voter, described by writer David Finkel as a huntin', grits-eatin', church-goin' quasi-bigot redneck whose "truck is a Chevy. His beer is Bud Light. His savior is Jesus Christ." The entire piece was a tribute to East Coast snobbery and stereotyping.
Well, yeehaw!
This morning came the typical Blue Stater. Would it be a homosexual couple in San Fran's Castro District? A single, black mom in Harlem?

No, it's a straight, white, blue-collar, never-divorced Catholic couple with two happy, straight adult children...and who don't even drink. Oh, yeah, this is Deep Blue heart of the Kerry coalition.
Them folks got some of them doilies and finger sandwiches I heard tell about?
If these are the hard-core liberal voters, yesterday's Red Stater should have been a pot-smoking agnostic Republican living in subsidized housing.
It's sure uplifting when the liberal press takes notice of the little people.
"I'll take all sides, thanks!"

Peter Wallison at NRO has much the same feeling that I mentioned yesterday - it isn't so much that Lurch lies, it's that he always tries to have it 15 different ways.
But what do we have at the end? Once again, Kerry is trying to have it both ways. In 1971, he threw away his ribbons to protest the war in Vietnam, implying that he had actually thrown away the medals. But in 1984, he uses the medals to demonstrate to labor that he did not really do the symbolic act that he performed in 1971. In other words, that throwing away his ribbons was not the same thing as throwing away his medals. If this sounds a lot like "I voted for it before I voted against it," you're getting warm.
Except that it's even worse than that, because Lurch says the medals and ribbons are the same thing. So did he throw away his "medals" or not? Beats the heck out of me. Probably him too.
Kerry's Continuing Implosion

"Anyone seen my medals?"
He's still searching

Powerline has a roundup of the latest feeble flopping. But not to worry, the big media spinmeisters are on the case.
Hmm, that sounds familiar!

Kerry Blackout: Couldn't Recall Where He Lived for 20 Months
Facing a tough reelection battle and questions about his personal finances, Sen. John Kerry told the Boston Globe in 1996 that he couldn't remember where he lived for nearly two years in the 1980's, only to admit later that wealthy contributors had put him up in the Boston area.
"Only later did he acknowledge that he used [Edward W.] Callan's condominium on Beacon Street in the Back Bay for eight or nine months during that time," the paper said.

Kerry and his top political advisor Ronald Rosenblith offered what the Globe described as "contradictory and sometimes erroneous information" about Kerry's housing arrangements, in a bid to hide the identities of Callan and two other Boston-area developers who had put Kerry up and helped him out financially.
Lurch does seem to have a ongoing confusion problem. But wait, there's more!
Kerry's decision to accept the hospitality of wealthy friends wasn't limited to his living arrangements.

While he was lieutenant governor in 1983 and 1984, Kerry leased several cars from Boston-area Buick dealer Bob Brest - but failed to make a single payment for 16 months.

When a reporter inquired about the sweetheart deal, Kerry launched a cover-up, hastily issuing a flurry of back payments to make the arrangement look more legitimate.

Kerry later explained the accumulation of late payments as "a series of billing mishaps," the Globe said.
The poor fellow seems to be a tad accident prone too!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Neal Boortz 'Splains It All

What we have here is a succession of lies. First he says he threw away his medals. Then he says he didn't throw away his medals when union officials criticized the action. Then he said he threw away his ribbons and not his medals. Then he says he would have thrown away his medals, but he didn't have time to go back to New York and get them from his home. So, what is the truth? The truth is that Kerry will say whatever he needs to say at any given point in time in order to gain the greatest political acceptance and support from whomever he happens to be speaking to.
And it's one of his most endearing qualities, isn't it?
Here's a question. What is more amazing here: That Kerry would lie, or that ABC News would actually expose the lie? Actually, ABC has been on a role of late. First they busted the U.N. Oil-For-Food scam and now they're taking on the Kerry campaign. Unbelievable.
I've been noticing that too. The conspiracy folks probably think it's part of Hillary's secret plan to do a Torricelli on Lurch's candidacy, but why suspect malice when Lurch's incompetence will do?

I can't keep track of the nuances without a scorecard!

And it's apparent that Lurch can't either. It's been well known for years that in his salad days, Kerry helped organize a demonstration during which his VVAW troops threw miltary medals over a fence at the US Capitol. Ole Lurch heaved some medals too, but they turned out to belong to someone else, because his medals later showed up framed in his Senate office. I've mentioned it before as a perfect example of Mr. Waffles covering all his bases. He obviously chisled his antiwar droid pals to keep his future options open.

So what's the big deal now? Well Lurch says there's a "right wing" smear attempt going on. Dang! How come no one told me there was a party?

But I'm a little confused as to the exact nature of the "smear". CNSNews tries to explain things after viewing the Lurchster's performance on this morning's Good Morning America program - Kerry, Pressed, Says Medals/Ribbons Were the Same Thing:
Did John F. Kerry throw away his Vietnam War medals or didn't he? In a newly surfaced 1971 interview with a Washington, D.C., television station, the young Kerry said he threw away "six, seven, eight, nine" medals. He said nothing about ribbons -- mentioning only "medals" in that 1971 interview.
Tsk, talking trash again, eh Lurch?
But on Monday morning, Kerry vehemently denied throwing away his medals -- contradicting what he said in the 1971 interview.
Er, we knew that. I guess he's still nervous about the electorate getting the idea that he might be a leftoid freak. But wait, there's more!
He explained the contradiction by saying that back then, medals and ribbons were the same thing.

"There was no distinction," he said on Monday. Medal, ribbons, even dogtags and photographs -- all were "symbols" of the Vietnam War he told ABC News.
So it was just the same as if he actually had tossed his medals? Did he just try to split the difference between his peacenik supporters and normal Americans?

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Wannabe 2nd Black President Fails the Quota Test!

Over at the WaPo, Colbert King is in a snit and whines Is Kerry's Campaign Colorblind? (Hint to improve comprehension - to Colbert "colorblind" is bad.)
John Kerry, oh, John Kerry, say it isn't so. But, alas, apparently 'tis true.

The Massachusetts senator, putative 2004 Democratic standard-bearer and soon-to-be leader of the party that most voting African Americans and other people of color call home, has an innermost circle of advisers that is practically as white as the driven snow. That slam against the Kerry high command appeared last week in "The Inside Edge" column of Carlos Watson on

Not wanting to believe that Kerry would assemble a team of insiders with faces that exclusively resembled Europe -- especially after proclaiming throughout the length and breadth of the land that he wants our workplaces to reflect the full face of America -- I called the Kerry campaign in Washington and got press spokesperson Stephanie Cutter on the phone.

I asked her: Is Carlos Watson's assertion true?

Watson, for the record, had written that, unlike former vice president Al Gore, who had an African American campaign manager, political director and finance director, Kerry has no person of color in his inner circle, including the campaign manager, campaign chairperson, media adviser, policy director, foreign policy adviser, general election manager, convention planner, national finance chairman and head of the vice presidential search team.

Cutter's answer to my question was truly Clintonesque. It all depends, she said, on what you mean by inner circle.
You guessed it. The day Watson's column appeared, Lurch's "senior staff" got a big expansion. Tsk, Lurch! Colbert's not buying it.
Let's be fair, you might argue. Doesn't Kerry have a right to surround himself with close friends and top assistants who click with him? Of course. But is it too much to expect that the Democratic Party's top liberal, the candidate who cries that he has "fought for civil rights and equal opportunity for every American my whole life," who brags about his efforts to "enhance diversity," and whose message is inclusiveness, would in fact have a presidential campaign inner circle that is reflective of the diversity of his party and the country? And if elected, will Kerry govern that way?

As for grand strategists, Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill made it plain in a story this week by The Post's Jim VandeHei that only six people qualify in Kerry's camp as real insiders: herself, Bob Shrum, Michael Donilon, Tad Devine, Tom Kiley and Mark Mellman.

And they don't look like America.
Too bad for Lurch. Live by the pander, die by the pander.

It doesn't get much better

Kerry Gets Audi-ted
One day after John Kerry stressed the importance of buying American cars to keep American jobs, records show that his wife owns a pricey imported German Audi.

The green 2001 Audi Quattro is registered to Teresa Heinz Kerry at their townhouse in Boston's posh Beacon Hill, according to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Her registration is good through February 2005.
Sounds like Lurch's Ducati motorcycle that he turned in for a Harley when he decided to run for President, except that the little lady isn't as slick.
That news comes the day after Kerry reluctantly admitted, on Earth Day, that his family owns a gas-guzzling Chevrolet Suburban SUV but blamed it on his wife, saying: "The family has it. I don't have it."

Kerry added that it's important for his family to buy American and vowed to protect American autoworkers' jobs. Next week, he's launching a "jobs tour" that will take him through the industrial heartland, home to many autoworkers.

Kerry left out the pricey Audi import two months ago when he detailed the cars that his family owns to the Detroit News.

Talking to the Detroit paper, Kerry said: "We have some SUVs. We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate . . . We also have a Chevy, a big Suburban."
Hmm, Lurch isn't too slick either. I understand Lurch is still looking for a "campaign car" and considering one of those "hybrids" that the ecoweenies love. Forget that, Lurch! Go for a vehicle that shows the real John Kerry!
Here's a big honking surprise

Anders Aslund in the WaPo - An Expanding Europe, in Decline: The EU Is an Economic Laggard. If You Want Growth, Kazakhstan's the Ticket:
Next Saturday, the European Union (EU) will admit 10 states, eight of them former communist countries. This is a moment to celebrate: In the 12 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, these countries have become fully democratic and are now, to varying degrees, integrated into the West.

But it is also a moment of economic concern. For the past five years, the new Central European members -- Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary -- have had a mediocre economic growth rate of 3 percent a year. Those four countries constitute almost 90 percent of the population of the entering states. (The other six -- Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus -- are mini-states, with only 10 million people among them.)

The EU has many advantages, but economic dynamism is no longer one of them. In order to qualify, the applicant countries had to adopt all the bureaucratic EU regulations, including the most moribund of them, known as the Common Agricultural Policy -- a system of subsidies paid to EU farmers. As a result, the Central Europeans should expect their growth to slow: This year, the 15 preexpansion EU members were expected to post an economic growth rate of less than 2 percent. By contrast, the U.S. economy and that of the world as a whole are set to expand by 4.5 percent.
Meanwhile, in a development that has gotten little notice amid the EU expansion hoopla, the post-Soviet countries further to the east have been booming since 1999. The nine market economies in the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) have on average grown annually by no less than 7 percent for the last five years. The new tigers are Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine -- far more so than Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic. The three Baltic countries are doing significantly better than the Central Europeans, but not as well as their eastern neighbors.

This is a dramatic turnaround.
Why's that, you ask?
The truth, which may shock you, is that the post-Soviet countries have a more efficient economic model than the Central European ones because they are free from the harmful influences of the EU.
More by following the link.
And in a related note

Raid rumors send local immigrants into a panic
The panic that sent hundreds of illegal immigrants fleeing from their homes, jobs and schools in recent weeks may have been set into motion on March 23, when a developer and contractor surveyed their sprawling construction site from a white helicopter with green stripes -- the same colors as U.S. Border Patrol helicopters.

Workers at the Shadow Creek Ranch subdivision in Pearland shouted that the helicopter belonged to la migra, short for immigration agents. Countless workers dropped their tools, abandoned their taco stands and vanished.
You mean that most of the construction crew were illegal aliens? So why weren't they being picked up?
Fueled by Spanish-language media and the tenuous existence of thousands of immigrants, los rumores have been so persistent that immigration activists and construction contractors were convinced federal officials had been conducting random raids on work sites from Pasadena to Tomball -- a tactic not practiced here in years.

Federal officials insist there have been no recent raids in the Houston area.

"The rumors are false," said Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Dallas.
One question, why are they false?
The immigration service, now known as ICE, no longer does general workplace raids.

"It has been proven that just going after illegal immigrants is inefficient," Cravener said. "It's better to do an investigation and then go after the employer or the smuggler."

The last workplace enforcement action in Houston happened in October as part of a national investigation of janitorial subcontractors at Wal-Mart stores. Only a few workers in Houston were detained.
Sounds like it would be more effective to drop by the Shadow Creek Ranch subdivision and arrest every contractor.

And why is the enforcement so inept? Here's an answer. On a side bar to the article we find:
U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, and the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans will host a town hall meeting on the immigration raid rumors at 6:30 p.m. Monday at AAMA's Multipurpose Education Center, 6001 Gulf Freeway.
Sounds like a target rich environment.
What's wrong with this picture?

The Washington Times reports on Los Angeles' massive schoolbuilding program:
The 10-year, $10 billion project, the biggest school-construction program in the nation, is nothing if not ambitious. The LAUSD plans to build 160 schools between 2002 and 2012, as well as expand and update some of its existing 800 facilities.

And yet when the project is officially completed in eight years, it won't be enough. That $10 billion will buy 162,000 seats, but projections are that, by 2012, the district will need an additional 33,700 seats, Mr. McConnell said.
Hmmm, did Angelenos suddenly become abnormally fecund?
Such is the size of the immigration wave into Los Angeles. With the state growing by about 600,000 people per year, virtually all of it from immigration, the school system can't keep pace with the growth.
The district is also trying to place the schools where the students are. More than 70 percent of the district's students are Hispanic, and more than 50 percent are identified as speakers of limited English.
It's sure nice of the taxpayers to give illegal aliens a good education. But not to worry, the education bureaucrats are on the case!
Instead of blaming immigration as the cause of the building woes, school officials point out that the district hadn't built a real school since 1969. They attribute the inaction to the state's stiff school building codes, as well as the prohibitively high cost of land in Los Angeles.
Puhleeze! If there were no increase in the number of students, no new schools would be needed except for the occasional replacement of older structures.

But if you think that's swell, consider medical services:
Meanwhile, the prognosis for the health care system is increasingly grim. Since 1999, the county has closed six hospitals and nine public clinics owing to financial constraints, said Carol Gunter, director of the Los Angeles County Medical Services Agency.

She cited several reasons, including recent state laws mandating higher nurse-to-patient ratios and requiring hospitals to upgrade their buildings to meet new seismic standards.
Yeah, right.
On top of that, there's the problem of providing for the uninsured who turn up at emergency rooms seeking health care.

The uninsured and underinsured, mainly those on Medi-Cal, account for 30 percent of county residents. For those moving through the trauma system, it's closer to 50 percent. Because federal law requires hospitals to screen and stabilize all patients, "if a patient is uninsured, the hospital eats it," she said.

Private providers are also feeling the squeeze. The health care giant Tenet announced in January that it would sell its 14 Los Angeles-area hospitals and if it doesn't find buyers by December, it will "probably close them," Mrs. Gunter said.

Paying for indigents costs more than $360 million annually, said Tony Bell, chief of staff to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

"There are documented cases of people coming from all over the world for free health care," Mr. Bell said. "The taxpayers foot the bill, and then they're losing their own services."
The benighted American taxpapyer takes it in the neck again.