Yesterday the NY Times landed a solid low blow on the President that the Kerry camapign exploited-they reported that 360-odd tons of high-powered explosive had "dissapeared" from a storage site that the International Atomic Energy Association had guarded up until the onset of the war. The Times spun the story to make it appear that the explosives were there when US Troops arrived, but have been looted since, due, of course, to Bush Administration incomptence. The media bit, hard, and the Kerry people went nuts. Kerry called it another sign of Bush "incompetence", Madeline Albright was on CNN with a freaked out Wolf Blitzer complaining about the exact same thing. Democrats were jumping for joy, privately, as celebrating the sudden dissapearence of dnagerous explosives is not becoming a national Party. Then, the story began to turn, slowly.
NBC news revealed, and Drudge pointed out, that NBC news crews imbedded with the US Troops that first encounterd the site reported back in April of 2003 that the place had already been cleaned out. So yeah, the explosives have been missing. Since before we got there. The IAEA was last there MAYBE in March, though it appears the last real accounting was done perhaps as early as January. Why is this news now? Well, obviously, because it hurts the President. The NY Times story was based on memos leaked by the IAEA and the report of the head of the agency, Mohammed El Baradei. El Baradei is no friend of the US, and the timing of this story is, as usual suspicious, as the agency has known for over a year, one would assume, that the explosives are missing. Cliff May over in the Corner calls is a "Fraud" citing an unnamed US official who told him that it stems from an ongoing fued between the US and the IAEA leader. The source is quoted as saying that El Baradei "leaked a false letter on this issue to the media to embarrass the Bush administration. The US is trying to deny El Baradei a second term and we have been on his case for missing the Libyan nuclear weapons program and for weakness on the Iranian nuclear weapons program." The Drudge articel linked above also quotes NBC News Reporter Jim Miklaszewski, who quoted anothe official that "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political." So it's not just May, a conservative, who is saying that this is essentially a fraud, designed to embarass the US and the President.
Adding a little extra sauce to the story is the fact that 60 Minutes planned to air the story of Oct. 31., two days before the election. It would have been nearly impossible for the administration to do damage control two days before the election. The Times, knowing it had a "scoop", or a least thinking it did, ran the story 8 days out, and in less than 24 hours it's fallen apart. You know, Democrats always warn the public about the GOP pulling an "October Surprise", such as Bin Laden being captured, say, tomorrow. But actually nastier and more impactful are negative stories that break before elections, and they always target Republicans, whether it was the Drink Driving "incident" non-story that hurt Bush's momentum and helped lead to the 2000 election debacle, or the 1992 last minute charges by the Iran-Contra special prosecutor that killed off George HW Bush's chances against Bill Clinton. The media may have more up it's sleeve, but with this embarassment, can anyone trust the NY Times anymore? Do they not check their stories, or only not check the ones based on innuenedo and unverifiable embarassing "information"? This is a crock. I hope 60 minutes gets burned, too.
:: C.M. Burns 10/26/2004 11:59:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 21, 2004 ::
Political Correctness Moving Neck and Neck with The Religious Right on Halloween
A school district in the Seattle area has decided to ban all Halloween celebrations and parties and not allow the kids to even dress up this year. That happened often in the South and other Evangelical communities maybe 20 years ago because Halloween allegedly equaled Satan. This time though, it's because the school disctrict
doesn't want to offend local Wiccan's. Yes, it's come full circle folks. Kids just can't have fun anymore because it's either offensive to God, or his arch-Nemesis, the Dark Lord Lucifer. You know, I went to a Catholic school, and we got to dress up every year. The school always threw an elaborate party on a Saturday night, with a haunted house, candy, and a costume contests among other Halloween-themed games. The local public schools did, too. Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays because of the costume aspect. For about 4 years, mostly in High School, Halloween is "uncool", but in college it becomes hip again, with all the focus on the costume making. It's always been harmless fun. So I always resented the crazy Christians who wanted to ban it. DId you know that no one ever actually FOUND a razor in a candy bar, ever? It's an urban legend.
Anyway, there are what, 100 Wiccans maybe in that town? Are they REALLY pissed that for 100 years people have been co-opting Samhain? All the kids do is dress up. Hell, reading that article it doesn't seem like anyone ever filed a complaint. The school board, wimps all, were apparently AFRAID of a potential complaint, and banned it. So the kids lose, as they always do when school boards get religion involved in what is essentially a secular affair. That goes for both ends of the political spectrum. Where is the harm here? And since Wicca survived Burning at the Steak and other horrors, can't they take one day a year when a kid dresses up as like Spider-Man? Christ, if I have kids, they're gonna trick or treat and they're going to like it. If the holiday still exists when I have kids. Which could be a while. I don't much care for Children. But that's another rant.
:: C.M. Burns 10/21/2004 12:10:00 PM [+] ::
How I can Live With a Kerry Win
Three words: Teresa Heinz Kerry. Does she not have the part of your brain where you think before you speak? She's got Howard Dean's disease or something. It does take a special kind of person to manage to insult someone more in the APOLOGY than in the initial insult.
:: C.M. Burns 10/21/2004 10:57:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 ::
John Edwards Will Help Heal the Lame!
Because a man who spends this much time on his hair must spend days thinking up ways to use Stem Cells in ways even scientists haven't dreamed of.
And people laughed at Wolfowitz in F9/11 for using a comb and spit. Look at this guy!
:: C.M. Burns 10/19/2004 12:52:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 18, 2004 ::
John Kerry Loses My Respect, Finally
Coming out of the debates, I did a flip flop. Going into them, I didn't much care for John Kerry as a person or a candidate. I liked John Edwards on a certain level, though. At least, I understood why people liked him and would want to vote for him. Besides the ABBers, I couldn't think of a single good reason to get enthusiastic about Kerry. After the first Debate and then the Veep debate, however, I flip flopped. I saw Kerry as almost leader-like, relaxed, and not an Al Gore-like robot. Edwards, on the other hand seemed like a slick, dishonest trial tawyer who would talk you into giving up your kidneys and then make you feel like you'd done the right thing, even as youlay dying. After Edwards "John Kerry and Stem Cells will heal the lame!" bit, I actively hated Edwards, as his trial lawyer buddies had done more to hurt health care and research than Bush could ever do. Still, Kerry seemed consistantly agreeable. I didn't hate him. And even though I think he made a mistake with the Mary Cheney comment and exacerbated that mistake by not apologizing, I don't think there was any malice in his hear when he said it. I really don't. It just seems like and answer he fumbled. But when May Beth Cahill went on TV and said the woman was "Fair Game" and then Elizabeth Edwards suggested that Lynne Cheney was "ashamed" of her daughter and Kerry and his people did nothing, I got a little pissy. It's not that she's gay, it's that a rule in campaigns is that children of the candidates are not to be used for political points, and again, while I don't think Kerry intentionally meant it, his staff and the Edwardses have used it for points, and Kerry has done nothing to stop it. He could have. A quick apology, and it's over. No story. But, he didn't, and by the time ge said Mary Beth Cahill was wrong to label Mary Cheney "Fair Game", the damage had been done. Kerry's advisors and his flack supporters over at places like Salon.com (the entrie staff), and Slate(Just Sleatan and Tim Noah) can't seem to understand that even if Kerry won the third debate, which is debateable and certainly not a fact, all the other words he won on are trumped by his gaffe. Leading up to the debates, everyone was waiting for one of the candidates to make a mistake. Well, Kerry made the one big mistake, and now his supporters in the press and the camapign are upset about it. Joe Lockhart, who is nothing if not on-message, keeps insisting that we not focus on that mistake, but on the fact that Kerry won. But, if the story coming out of the debate is Kerry's answer to a admittedly bad question, all the insisting in the world won't change the news cycle. And since polling that occured right after the debate before wither side claimed victory said that Kerry was wrong to say what he said, well, Kerry drove the coverage, Cahill made it worse, and Elizabeth Edwards kept the story going. Kerry and Co. lost the post-debate spin by not apologizing.
Obviously, Kerry and co realize this, because they're hitting the classic Democatic desperation scheme of scaring voters to the polls. Up first, the classic Republicans are coming to take your Social Secuirty away, old folks scare. In Florida, no less, because nothing gets the seniors to the election day shuttles like the fear of having money taken away from them. True, there's no real proof or actual Bush quote to prove this, but Kerry's running with it anyway. Way to stay on message, Senator.
The second is aimed directly at the youth vote, with the help of the "nonpartisan" Rock the Vote. Yes, Elect Bush and you'll get drafted! There's no proof again, but Kerry keeps hitting it over and over again and so is MTV. Hell, you could make the (false) argument that Bush may have to, but there is no way in hell that Congress would allow it. The draft is dead forever, and Kerry bringing it up is fear-mongering, yet again.
So Kerry is no longer and honorable human being anymore. Elections are by definition ugly. They always have been, and god willing always will be, if soulless SOB's like me want to stay employed, but the blatant fear mongering the Democrats are engaged in YET AGAIN, is too much to take. The Kerry people have been too quick to say that Bush is playing the "politics of fear" regarding terrorism. But Kerry has actually found a way to be more crass than he accuses Bush of being, which Bush isn't being. Bush is being realistic. Kerry is being bombastic and blatantly lying about what Bush would do. These are no longer "stretches" of the truth or "exaggerations". This is lying, appealing to the worst in people, and is beneath the Senator. I think. It's not beneath John Edwards, but it's supposed to be beneath Kerry. And this is even before we get into the race-baiting efforts of the Democrats, convincing minorities that their votes are being ignored before the polls open and actually suggesting in several instances that having to produce ID, that is, PROVING you are who you say you are before you vote, is voter intimdation. That having police at polls to keep both sides orderly will scare minorities. It's not just insulting to the police. It's insulting to minorities. I never liked class warfare, and I never like it when one side or the other plays the race card, and Republicans have done it. But this year, the fear and hate is all coming from the Dems, and John Kerry, who will now, apparently, say anything to get elected, has lost any shred of respect I might have had for him.
:: C.M. Burns 10/18/2004 03:57:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 14, 2004 ::
I'm Never Moving to Europe
OK, this has to be the stupidist thing I've ever heard of. The European Court of Justice yesterday decided to uphold a German ban on a laser-tag like game because it was an "affront to human dignity". That's right. Pointing a light gun at someone is an affront to human dignity in Europe. Well, not Britain. But we're talking about fucking laser tag! Germany thought the game had "acts of simulated homicide" and such led to the "trivialization of violence". Laser tag is simulated Homocide? Now, if there were like some new kind of game, in which you were sent shocks through your body and actually fell over or something when hit, maybe, MAYBE I could see the reluctance of the German's to endorse it, considering that encouraging Germans to act violently has historically been a bad idea. But this was in 1994. And in 1994, you wore a space helmet and shot beams of light at each other. I swear to God this is the dumbest thing the European's have done yet. It's a good thing we don't belong to the "World Court", as our use of water ballons and super-soakers might be considered war crimes. Christ. What idiots. And they complain about us. I like Europe. When I've been there, I've enjoyed myself. But their governments are so backwards and politically correct that there seems to be a form of creeping facisim on the march from the left. Boo-urns, I say.
:: C.M. Burns 10/14/2004 11:52:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 13, 2004 ::
Adventures in Inter-Party Relations
I'll be watching tonight's debate with a woman I've been seeing who is a liberal feminist and who I like alot. It's sort of a test, to see if we can stand each other in our most partisan moments(for those of you who don't know me, I'm not really as partisan as this blog suggests. I do support Bush, and I do dislike the organized left, espically the MoveOn type of organization, but I have never had a problem with individuals as long as they respect my positions and I respect theirs. WHich mean no communists or Peta People, but that's about it). Anyway, I'm interested to see what will happen. Will we scream at the TV and then each other, or will cooler, rational heads prevail on both sides, leading to undersatnding or at least gruding respect? I'm optimistic. For political partisans, we're both far more open to other viewpoints as some others I've known on both sides of the aisle. Bottom line: If I'm all bitter and pissy about Kerry tomorrow, you'll know how it went. No more blogging today. I'm getting a headache.
:: C.M. Burns 10/13/2004 01:27:00 PM [+] ::
Afghan and Australian Election (non) Coverage
Remember when Spain tossed out it's Iraq-war backing PM and replaced him with a terrorist coddling socialist? Yeah. All over the news. Front page. True, it was in the wake of a large bombing by terrorists in Madrid that made the election more interesting to watch, but the Mainstream Media reaction was that the terrorisim had nothing to do with the results, or very little, or if it did it was because the old PM who lost didn't want to blame Al-Qaida right off the bat. Still, Bush was "dealt a blow", at least that was the front page coverage at the time.
Fast-forward to this week. Afghanistan held it's first elections ever, and despite some obvious, unavoidable bumps for a country voting FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER THANKS TO THE UNITED STATES, the elections went off pretty well. Bill at INDC Journal has the relevent links and a very pissy report heard on the liberal radio program "Democracy Now". They seemed intent on putting the worst possible spin on an election held in a country where just three years ago if your beard was two short they would shoot you. Of course, the main correspondent works for The Nation magazine, a hackneyed rag of a journal that never met a partisan rant it didn't like. It does employ Eric Alterman, afterall. Anyway, Bill has pics and other, less biased positive reports on the election. Yes, there is some controversey, but all the candidates have agreed to stand by whatever final ruling the independent voting monitors find on the voting fraud allegations.
The other BIG election that took place was in Australia. John Howard, who has been whacked around in his own national media for supporting the war, demolished his opposition and won re-election. Tim Blair, an Aussie blogger who comments on just about everything, has all the links you might need right over here. He also notes, if you scroll down, that the results of the election were buried in the Post and the NY Times, and hardly mentioned on major US News web sites. One can only wonder what the headlines would have been if Howard lost. Which he didn't, which is very good news for Bush, and cannot be placed in a spot where readers might notice it.
Anyway, Democacy continues apace. I do wonder though, that if the Insurgency in Iraq collapsed between now and election day, which is a possibility if the ingihting mentioned in the Post today continues, if the media will report on it until after Nov. 2nd
:: C.M. Burns 10/13/2004 12:08:00 PM [+] ::
Voter Fraud Gone Wild
The loudest shouts of the dangers of vote fraud come from the Left, who since 2000 have peddled unproven stories about "voter intimidation" in Florida and conspiracy theories about electronic voting machine.
Of course, there are dangers in e-voting machines, and no one should be afriad to vote. But thanks to the efforts of some left-wing voter drives, hundred's of thousands of votes in battleground states may not count.
Lets start with this story from Colorado where people getting paid by the voter registered by the group ACORN, a left-wing activist group, have been forging names and signatures so that they get paid more. Watch the full video and be legitimately afraid at what you see. And then make sure you're registered correctly.
Next, lets head to John Fund's web diary where he talks about very real voter intimidation by AFL-CIO thugs who have already been part of the trashing of various Bush/Cheney or GOP offices in battleground states, which has prompted calls from some to get the Justice Department invlolved. Of course, getting the Justice Department involved means that Democrats cry "scare tactics". Lawyers are already being assembled by the Dems and the ACLU to make sure "every vote counts", and their cries are louder and more strident than the very real worry that the election may be stolen old-fashinoned, Chicago-machine style. The best quote on this comes from California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, a GOPer, who, when asked to respond to claims that her call for an investigation into fraudulant registration would scare away voters said "You're damn right, I'm going to try to scare away the crooks."
See, it's not just Chicago anymore. ACT and MoveOn have been registering so many people and in some cases so many people so repeatedly, that it may be impossible for the true results of the election to be known. It it going to be ugly. It already is ugly. I've maintained that hatred never won a campaign in America, but the rampant hate that much of the Democratic party and it's surrogates feel towards those of us who are voting for Dubya and Dubya himself may allow hate to STEAL the vote. In a final roundup of the violence being done by Kerry supporters, I point to Jim Geraghty at NRO's Kerry Spot who throws down the gautlet and says that this will not stand. I'm going to be part of the GOP's 72-hour push in Ohio. I'll be on the ground, and if I see one parka-wearing AFL-CIO goon so much as looking at an old person crosseyed, election official will no. Fear and hate must not decide this election. If Kerry is to win, let it be on his merits, not Bush's percieved faults.
:: C.M. Burns 10/13/2004 10:06:00 AM [+] ::
John Kerry Will Heal You! With His Mind!
Christopher Reeve, you passed away Sunday, sadly, was a strong supporter of Stem Cell research, and he was a hero to anyone who needed inspiration, at any time. He was always optimistic, always thought he would walk again, and frankly, just a stand up guy. Now, Stem Cell research is a little tricky, ethically. It's not a black and white issue, mind you, but it's not that simple, which is why I was honestly surprised that Dubya had a better answer on it than Kerry did at Friday's debate. Kerry plowed the moral and ethical problems surrounding the issue and pandered to the woman who asked the question. Bush gave a thoughtful, articulate, rational response. I'm not so sure myself about Stem Cells, at least the embryonic ones, as Abortion makes me uncomfortable, and science should be used ethically, not just for convenience. Still, Bush's answer was truthful and respectful to those who are pushing hard for embryonic Stem Cell research and those who would prefer we not use that type of cell. Kerry invoked the names of two celebreties, Reeve and Michael J. Fox, in what had to be the worst case yet of his name dropping. Still, he didn't promise miracles, just "hope".
Well, apparently he was going to let John Edwards offer up the Miracles, as he said on Tuesday that if Kerry is elected , "people like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again with stem cell research." Wow! Kerry is like Jesus! Except not! Frankly, this is pretty disgustuing on Edwards' part. Besides having no basis in reality, it's extremely crass, and invokes the name of a beloved, recently dead figure for support. Hell, Kerry and Edwards seem to be mentioning Ronald Reagan more than the Republicans. Bush has referenced him when talking about foreign policy, but if you had just landed on the Earth you'd think Reagan was a tax and spend liberal who favored abortion, stem cell research, and possibly communism. Why is it that when Bush shows 5 seconds of Ground Zero he's an "exploiter", yet no one comments on Kedwards using of individual tragedy for their own gain?
:: C.M. Burns 10/13/2004 09:39:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 ::
Rodney Dangerfield, RIP
The big news is still that Cheney did, in fact, whup Edwards. But more important, I think, is the passing of Rodney Dangerfield last night. Dangerfield, the comic who always claimed he "got no respect", was beloved by millions of fans for his ability to make people laugh. Of course, his most memorable role was that of lovable slob Al Czervik in "Caddyshack", perhaps the greatest comedy of my lifetime. Only Dangerfield could sell a joke in which he farts loudly, and then looks around and says "Somebody step on a Duck?", or enrage Ted Knight to thepoint where his Judge Smails character is also a classic. Of course, Dangerfield was also in "Back to School", in which he brought the talents of another late, lamented comedian to the screen, Sam Kinison. Rodney Dangerfield was funny and beloved by just about everyone, and I know the worls is a less funny place now that he's gone. Go with God, Rodney, you've earned respect at last.
:: C.M. Burns 10/06/2004 09:15:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 ::
Just How Bad Will Edwards Be?
John Kerry kicked Bush's ass last week, or Bush just took a dive and Kerry looked good by comparison or whatever. All that matters is that the CW says Kerry won, and the polls have tightened since. Now, John Edwards and VP Dick Cheney are debating at Case Western U. in Cleveland(aka "The Mistake by the Lake), OH tonight. Time for that momentum to slow down, if you have Edwards saying stuff like "if you vote for Bush you've lost you mind". Yes, that's certain to swing the voters in your direction! Insult them all! Huzzah! Now, Kerry may be a flip-flopper, and really, he is. Changing postions on one issue is not flip-flopping. Going back and forth is. But that's not the point. Do you really want to hand something as juicy as that to someone like Dick Cheney, who will likely murder Edwards with it? And people wonder why no one has seen Edwards lately. ALthough I think this debate doesn't mean much, if it gets half as many viewers as the first debate last Thursday, Kerry may see his bounce disapear. At least Cheney calls people nasty things when he thinks he's not miked.
:: C.M. Burns 10/05/2004 04:22:00 PM [+] ::