Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.
Whew. Now that my lovely wife is done seething and swearing, I get a chance to put my thoughts down on this subject. First let me say clearly that I do support her position. It is the same outrage shared by a good majority of people, including serving and retiured military personnel. And she has a good reason to feel that way. Senator Kerry's comments were completely out-of-touch, and slanderous; the two guys I graduated with that went onto join the US Navy (one is a SEAL) graduated in the top one percent of our high school class, and they have only expanded that level of intelligence. Another friend of mine who graduated a couple of years before I did just saw his son off to boot camp. His son's graduating GPA? 3.9; just shy of the 4.0 straight A's.
Are there people who "fall back" on the military as a career option--the sort of people that John Kerry is portraying? Sure, BUT the military trains these young men and women in a variety of areas, AND their accomplishments in high school or college shouldn't one d*mn bit of bearing on their record in the United States military.
THAT is the point of the outrage. Not only does he portray our troops to be stupid losers in life, and take the seemingly only option avaiable to them, but he slams the rest of the military by generalizing his view. That's a pretty broad analogy there, Senator. Care to elaborate?
And he has. He began the spin quickly. "It was a joke about the president," was the excuse. Um, no one's buying it. No one's laughing. Then came the response that he wasn't apologizing and the GOP is blowing this out of context.
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
OK, so where's the "out-of-context" argument? Anyone see it. It looks pretty cut-and-dry to a lot of people; Marcie and I among them. If you don't do well in school, you're going to Iraq. Not only does this slander our troops, but he makes it out to be some sort of punishment. I wonder Senator Kerry thinks will happen if you don't eat your vegetables. Will you go to Vietnam like he did? Or maybe H*ll?
The anger emanating from the people who have heard this is more than justified. And as yet we STILL CAN'T find a single Democrat who has told him to apologize, or have called him on the carpet for his statement. It's like aterrorist attack just occurred, and people are claiming that the moderate Muslims are shouting from the rooftops, condemning the act. The silence id deafening from the Democrat party.
And through that they are silently condoning the comment. I must concur with Marcie; If this is their attiutude, then let's hang them by it. They are standing by him on his view, and that includes every Democrat running for office right now. Their GOP opponents need to nail them on the point, and do so all week. Why drag this out for a week? Simply put, the Democrat leaders don't want to address it, and neither do their operatives, in hopes that the oxygen on the story will evaporate quickly. The operatives--The Kossacks, Michael Moore and Mother Moonbat fan clubs, the DU Kiddies, etc.--want this story to go away right now. They know that if it gets some legs (which it already has; run a Technorati search, or check out NZ Bear's site, and you'll see it has legs) he might have just killed 2006 for the Democrats in ways worse than he killed his 2004 presidential bid. Hugh Hewitt just stated that the nutter operatives are happy to hear this from him. I disagree.
No offense, if they're happy about this comment, then they've already written off 2006 as a good year for the Democrats. Dean Barnett at Hugh's site observed that they are being relatively quiet on the subject. That tells me that they want this story to die. They want it to die because they know this reaction from the people doesn't bode well for their party. They know that if the GOP can pull this off, John Kerry's statement can be a death knell for their election hopes.
Congratulations, Senator Kerry. If the Democrats lose ANY ground because of this statement, you pretty much just sank your party in the midterms. Do I think that this one statement can make all the difference? If the GOP plays this right, it could. It very well could backfire on them. It's not like this party has a great record on national security and military issues. And this is just another slap in the face of the troops from their friendly, neighborhood Democrat leaders.
Publius II UPDATE: Dean Barnett has discovered that Markos Moulitsas doesn't disappoint. He completely changed his attitude on this (or he's slept the day away, hoping this would go away) and has gone on the attack:
And for the rest of you who think this is the end of the world -- stop being afraid of your own shadow. Just stop it. Fight or get out of the kitchen! OK, now we hang them. Come out with guns blazing, and hang this party on a preconceived, post-Vietnam notion that the military, as a whole, was full of idiots. That's unacceptable. He should be apologizing profusely, and he's not. Here is that same old Kerry elitism at work again. This isn't a joke gone bad. This isn't taken out of context. He spoke off the cuff, and let a deep bias and despisement slip out.
So, now we hang the party on this because they either agree with it, which is why they're remaining silent, or they're the stupid ones who can't figure out what sort of damage a statement like this can make. Not smart. Maybe next time he should stick to prepared notes or speeches. At least that way he wouldn't offend so many people. They'd be asleep.
He is denying that he insulted the troops, yet I will cite what he said, and let the readers decide:
"Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs - "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.'' Hat-Tip: Dean Barnett and thePasadena Star-News
Personally speaking, I am quite offended. This man--the junior senator from Massachusetts--just slandered our troops in harm's way. And this is not the first time. Last year Sen. Kerry alleged that our troops were breaking into Iraqi's homes and terrorizing them; basically equating them with our enemy.
My brother is serving in afghanistan right now. He is an Army Ranger. Granted, Sen. Kerry did not allude to those in afghanistan, but it has to make people wonder what this man really thinks of our troops. I am not happy about this statement, or this man. My brother was a year away from graduating from law school when 9/11 happened. Rather than finish school, he joined. He felt the need to do so. He told me that the nation was at war, and he was needed.
In short, and I am not bound by the UCMJ, Sen. Kerry is a POS. Yes, I mean that. I am so incensed by the words coming from this man--a man who has lied to the nation repeatedly beginning with his "Winter Soldier" testimony, and leading straight through the 2004 election--that had I been there, I might have slapped him for his dishonorable portrayal of our soldiers.
Sen. Kerry wishes he could have even half of the honor and integrity our soldiers have. And what is worse, no Democrat has stepped forward that we are aware of. So, does that mean that the party shares his thoughts? Do they share his slanderous disdain for our troops? I hope that every Republican running for the midterms hangs the Democrats on this statement. And Sen. Kerry's spin that this was a "joke" does not wash. No one buys it because they know that the excuse is an attempt to ease the burden of criticism.
To all the right-center bloggers out there. DO NOT LET UP. Make him eat his words. Make his party eat their silence. This is what the Democrats believe? If that is the case, then they are all worthless POS's. They deserve no benefit of the doubt. They deserve no quarter. The nation needs to send a message to retarded idiots like Sen. Kerry that we do not like it when our troops are attacked.
Blogging here will be light for today and tomorrow. It is the 31st and we do have plans, but more importantly we are working on our review of Mark Steyn's book, America Alone now that we are both finished with it. (You can order it here and we encourage our readers to PLEASE get this book and read it. You will see why with our review.)
This is one of those days where any current events blogging is likely to come this afternoon, so check back then. But our focus of the day will be that review, and we are hoping to have it up tomorrow.
A Well-Deserved Wake-Up Call, Or A Richly-Deserved Slap In The Face
Good morning editors of newspapers; The clock is ticking, and bloggers are keeping score ...
Editor and Publisher has a story that is making the rounds, and has a lot of newspapers unhappy around the country. They're showing the new circulation numbers for the MSM newspapers, and they aren't looking good.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations FAS-FAX report for the six-month period ending September 2006 released this morning confirmed yet again that major metros are struggling to show growth. The losses are steep while the gains are meager.
This is the fourth consecutive semi-annual report to register a severe drop in daily circulation and -- perhaps more troubling to the industry -- Sunday copies. While the estimated decline 2.8% for daily circulation for all reporting papers may seem negligible, consider that in years past that decrease averaged around 1%. Sunday, considered the industry's bread-and-butter, showed even steeper losses, with a decline of about 3.4%.
Big cities like L.A., Miami, and Boston are feeling the effects of the Internet and the trimming of other-paid circulation. In New York, however, a 5.1% surge for the New York Post allowed it to leapfrog past its rival, the Daily News -- and The Washington Post -- into fifth place in daily circ.
The Los Angeles Times reported that daily circulation fell 8% to 775,766. Sunday dropped 6% to 1,172,005.
The San Francisco Chronicle was down. Daily dropped 5.3% to 373,805 and Sunday fell 7.3% to 432,957.
The New York Times lost 3.5% daily to 1,086,798 and 3.5% on Sunday to 1,623,697. Its sister publication, The Boston Globe, reported decreases in daily circulation, down 6.7% to 386,415 and Sunday, down 9.9% to 587,292.
The Washington Post lost daily circulation, which was down 3.3% to 656,297 while Sunday declined 3.6% to 930,619.
Circulation losses at The Wall Street Journal were average, with daily down 1.9% to 2,043,235. The paper's Weekend Edition, however, saw its circulation fall 6.7% to 1,945,830.
Daily circulation at USA Today slipped 1.3% to 2,269,509.
The Chicago Tribune showed slight declines. Daily dropped 1.7% to 576,132 and Sunday decreased 1.3% to 937,907.
Losses at the Miami Herald were steep. Daily circulation fell 8.8% to 265,583 and Sunday fell 9.1% to 361,846.
While daily circulation stabilized compared to past reporting periods at The Sun in Baltimore, down 4.4% to 236,172, Sunday took a massive hit.
Circulation on that day dropped 9% to 380,701.The Hartford (Conn.) Courant’s daily circ was down 3.9% to 179,066 while Sunday dropped slightly, 1.5% to 264,539.
At The Philadelphia Inquirer, daily fell 7.5% to 330,622 while Sunday declined 4.5% to 682,214.
Daily circulation at its sister pub, The Philadelphia Daily News, dropped 7% to 112,540.
The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported declines. Daily was down 4.1% to 358,887 while Sunday dropped 6.3% to 596,333.
At the Orlando Sentinel, daily circulation decreased 2.5% to 214,283. Sunday fell 4.2% to 317,226.
Daily circulation at The Arizona Republic declined 2.5% to 397,294 and 2.6% on Sunday to 503,943.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland showed daily circulation almost flat -- a small victory -- with a decline of 0.6% to 336,939. Sunday was down 2.3% to 446,487.
I know the "fans" of the Strib are celebrating the decline. We're toasting the Arizona Republic's fall, as well. Let's face it, the Internet is a contributing factor to this declaine, and it's showing no signs of changing. The dead tree industry is dying on the vine, and they aren't showing any signs of being able to turn it around. What is interesting (and would be even more interesting) is to see how well the New York Times "Times Select" is going. The Times Select was a way to generate more revenue for the paper by having people pay for the articles they wanted to read, like ones penned by Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich (when he writes for them). The last time I saw those numbers, they were about as bad as the circulation numbers.
The newspapers can't seem to comprehend that people aren't stupid, and they're sick of the bias that drips from these papers on a daily basis. Sure there are people who read the Times (both NY and LA) for various reasons. I read the AZ Republic for it's sports page (despite the fact that the sports media is about as bad as the regular news media), but that's about it. Well, Wednesdays has the Food section which gives me a couple of recipe ideas. But other than that, the Republic doesn't even rate as cage-liner. None of them do.
The future is the Internet. Not only do we--bloggers--utilize Internet-based media (duh!), but we can do more rapid fact-checking, and provide instantaneous back-up of the facts we present, but you don't have to pay for it. If the consumer would like to contribute to the operation of a website, they can. But bloggers don't charge for content--any content. No one has to pay Hot Air for their vlogging (video blogging). No one pays Hugh Hewitt for his timely and expert analysis of the day's events and political landscape.
Blogging, in short, is the answer to the news services that used to dominate the landscape. And we serve in the unofficial role of ombudsman for the media. Their own check-and-balance men can't seem to do the job. Remember that just recently, Byron Calame, NY Times ombudsman admitted that the Times shouldn't have run the SWIFT program story. Uh, yeah thanks Byron. Bloggers only told you this about three months ago when the story broke. But the people at the Times fell in behind Bill Keller, and supported the decision. Now they have second thoughts? And they wonder why their circulation is dropping like a mob informant with cement shoes.
The newspapers have been given plenty of opportunities to change their misguided ways. Some have even given opportunities to bloggers to write for them. Ed Morrissey was given a spot by the WaPo, but it appears to be a one-shot deal for most. And, of course, they tried to adapt to the medium by instituting their own blogs for their online sites. The problem is that the bias remains evident. Michael Hiltzik used to pen a blog for the LA Times, but was relived of his role when he decided to start a fight with Patrick Frey of Patterico's Pontifications, and was nailed when he used phony IDs to comment and berate Mr. Frey. Other MSM bloggers have failed in their endeavors to "steal" some of the thunder the blogosphere produces.
Sorry, but we're better at this sort of rapid-response news reporting, guys. And whereas the MSM denies it's bias, bloggers make no mystery of where they stand. We also have the tendency to report the news, and provide commentary separate from the story itself. We don't inject our bias into the reporting. We provide it only as commentary. They don't. The put it right into the stories. Don't believe us? Do some research, and see how many news outlets--print and TV--have been caught by bloggers of slanting stories or "fibbing" about issues. The list is long and plentiful.
The good news from this story is that people are getting smarter, and moving to the Internet to get their news. They're not necessarily switching from the NY Times to Little Green Footballs or Captain's Quarters, but they are definitely walking away from the dead tree industry.
For bloggers, it appears, at times, to be a a thankless cycle for many, but we do it because no one else will. No one will go through the steps that we do everyday to bring the relevant news to the people. Can the news media say the same thing? They could, but the numbers prove them to be, once again, painfully incorrect.
Pakistanis Claim They Tried To Kill Al-Zawahiri ...
But according to Allah @ Hot Air, that may not be the case. BillRoggio that may not be the case. Mr. Roggio admits that al-Zawahiri was present at the meeting (a fact in dispute by the WaPo, which claims he was gone by the time the strike occurred), and he believes that it is possible he might have still been there.
In addition, Mr. Roggio does not buy the credit claim by the Pakistanis:
While the Pakistanis are taking credit for this strike, the question arises as to whether this may have been conducted by Task Force 145, the U.S. special operations terrorist hunter-killer teams. Task Force 145 was responsible for the April raid in Danda Saidgai on the al-Qaeda’s training camp for Osama bin Laden’s Black Guard, his elite praetorian guard. Pakistan initially took credit for the Danda Saidgai strikes, but the Washington Post later revealed this was indeed a U.S. mission. Dawn notes the raid occurred “at around 5:00 am,” which means it was conducted in the dark. Pakistani helicopter pilots would need night training in flight and targeting. I am not up-to-speed on Task Force 145. That would be Thomas's forte. He keeps a close eye on our special forces units hunting down the al-Qaeda animals. Mr. Roggio obviously knows a bit more about the Pakistanis than the WaPo. His statement makes it clear that the Pakistanis lack the flight training necessary for such a strike. Meanwhile, it is more plausible that Task Force 145 had a hand in blowing up that meeting.
The Pakistanis believe they did not kill al-Zawahiri, citing that he was not present, but they do believe that they did nail another deputy--Maulana Liaquat. And there is a possibility that Faqir Mohammed, a chief al-Zawahiri deputy might have been killed. But the WaPo states that he left about a half hour before the strike.
The Bajaur region is speculated to be another stronghold of al-Qaeda's in Paskistan. This is unconfirmed speculation, but if that is true, then the problems with Pakistan continue to mount. They have already virtually ceded the Waziristan region to them. I was going to point out that had the Pakistanis carried out this strike, it is entirely plausible that someone in Musharraf's government could have tipped al-Zawahiri off to the raid, and he and his deputy departed. But that would be giving credence to a report that already does not seem right. And yes, I am aware that it sounds like some nutty conspiracy theory, but we would be remiss in not entertaining the idea.
Regardless of who carried it out, they missed. Al-Zawahiri was not there. And the hunt still continues for him and Osama. But, I will take Bill Roggio's word on the matter, and chalk this up to our boys in the field. Which means that the Democrats claim that we have given up on trying to catch or kill Osama and al-Zawahiri holds no water. Not that it did, in the first place. But I like stories like this to runb their noses in misplaced allegations.
Hugh Hewitt is urging the center-right to read the new column by Michael Barone. Mr. Barone does an outstanding job of explaining the polls right now for the midterms. Yes, the polls are an issue in this midterm election, and it is precisely because so many cannot believe them. The polls right now seem to be awfully skewed no matter what candidates do.Take, for example the Cardin/Steele campaign going on right now. Sabrina pointed out yesterday that Michael Steele slapped Ben Cardin around in their debate last week, and then unleashed an ad campaign crushing his Michael J. Fox ad.
And yet the polls were so wonky, it was hilarious. The WaPo showed Cardin with an eleven point lead, but Rasmussen had Cardin only ahead by five points, and SurveyUSA had them in a dead heat. So, what gives? How is it that the polls could be so far off of one another? Mr. Barone points out that polling now is becoming increasingly difficult:
Serious pollsters concede that there are some problems with polling. Americans have fewer landline phones than they used to, and the random digit dialing most pollsters use does not include cell-phone numbers. Larger and larger percentages of those called are declining to be interviewed. That is true. Thomas and I possess no land line phone. It was the easiest way for us to get around the numerous telemarketing calls we continued to receive. The "do not call" list is a joke, and hardly works. Furthermore, many of the telemarketing calls are computerized. You cannot even yell at the fool on the other end of the phone when they disturb your studying or dinner; the computer is doing what it was programmed to do. But that means that pollsters have a smaller pool with which to get information from. Moreover, Mr. Barone notes that just because you are called to take a polling survey does not always mean your opinion will be used:
At this stage of the campaign, pollsters try to screen their respondents and report only those who answer a series of questions in ways that suggest they are actually going to vote. Many polls find that a higher proportion of Democrats than Republicans pass the screen. Others find similar proportions do. But pollsters of both parties will admit that polls do a poor job at projecting turnout....
.... Interviewers can inject bias in the results. The late Warren Mitofsky, who conducted the 2004 NEP exit poll, went back and found that the greatest difference between actual results in exit poll precincts and the reports phoned in to NEP came where the interviewers were female graduate students -- and almost all the discrepancies favored the Democrats. In other words, we cannot trust the polls to begin with. As personal biases go, there is clearly one identifiable right now for this midterm. I am not saying that the GOP candidates have been completely infallible because they have not. Each candidate has made their fair share of goofs and gaffes in their election. Even the minor ones do not escape notice. But in comparison, the Republicans have made less mistakes this time around, and yet they lag behind. The Democrats would have the base believe that this comes from the ire the nation has directed at the president. But Mr. Barone observes that if that is, indeed, the case, then something has seriously shifted:
Over time, big changes in party ID can and do occur. When I started in the polling business, in 1974, national party identification was almost 50 percent Democratic and not much more than 25 percent Republican. Since then, Democratic party ID has fallen, particularly in the South, where many voters who considered themselves Democrats found themselves voting Republican for president and, increasingly in the 1980s and 1990s, for other offices, as well. Republican party ID has increased. But that's a process that took decades. If you could go back in history and conduct polls, I don't think you'd find any, and certainly not many, two-year periods when the balance in party identification shifted from even to having one party 12 percent ahead of the other. So what do you do when you see that your party is losing election after election? As Mr. Barone observed above, pollsters tend to inject their personal bias into their findings. And who conducts the majority of polls? The media does. Look at some of the polls that are cited as we come down to the stretch, and you will see the media's numbers are out-of-whack compared to Rasmussen, Zogby, and other independent polling organizations.
We said this when we came down to the last three-to-four months of this election: The polls are being skewed on purpose to do one thing only: The Democrats and their supporters are trying to discourage the GOP voters from even coming out. Think about it. If we all listened to the polls, would we even bother voting? The Democrats have had a seemingly untouchable landslide in the works. Yet Mr. Barone states that pollsters have done a terrible job of predicting turnouts.
This is the main reason why people like Hugh Hewitt and others have repeatedly said to ignore the polls, and get out and vote. The simple fact is that every poll in the nation is irrelevant. The only that counts is the one on Election Day. And none of us at The Asylum buy the bull being peddled that the GOP is going to lose big. A seat or two here and there? Sure. An electoral mud-stomping like the one the Democrats are hyping? Do not hold your breath. Mr. Barone observes that the trends are bucking the polls:
Republicans had a different turnout operation, utilizing 1.4 million volunteers and "microtargeting" potential voters, enabling them to motivate voters by emphasizing issues especially important to them. They found new Republican voters in fast-growing exurbs (George W. Bush carried 97 of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties) and in population-losing rural counties (the key to Bush's carrying Ohio). They even found some in central city neighborhoods that are heavily Democratic. Nationally, George W. Bush got 23 percent more popular votes than he had in 2000. That's comparable to Franklin Roosevelt's 22 percent popular vote increase between 1932 and 1936.
Fewer people vote in off-year elections than in presidential years. In 2002, 75 million people voted. In 2004, 122 million did. My hunch is that people who identify themselves as independents are substantially less likely to vote this year than people who identify as Republicans or Democrats -- which would be good news for Republicans, since independents give Bush low job ratings.Another hunch is that the Republican turnout apparatus, with which the Democrats haven't yet caught up, will boost Republican turnout as it did in 2004, and that the resulting electorate will be more evenly divided in party identification than the electorates shown in most of the public polls.
When you are right, you cannot deny it, and his hunches make sense. The independents not only are the ones slanting the job approval numbers, but are more likely not to vote this year. These will be the people who are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face because, in their finicky ways, they do not like some of the things that have occurred these past few years. The out-of-control spending, the questionable approach to the war, Harriet Miers, the UAE ports deal, etc., have all contributed to their ire. They will stay home.
But the GOP's Get-Out-The-Vote campaign is one of the most well-organized apparatuses in the history of elections. The numbers do not lie, and they are unmatched by the Democrats. The Democrats claim their "netroots" (read: nutroots) program is a "real" grass-roots movement. It is not, really. They are good at organizing those who are fed up with Republicans, but enlisting the aid of the Kos Kiddies, the Michael Moore allegiance brigade, and the Mother Moonbat fan club is not going to win them the day. Those people, and the ideology they represent, does not echo the Democrat base's ideology. The mom-and-pop Democrats not only cannot identify with this new Democrat party, but they dislike it for how hateful and spiteful it is.
In short, it is like letting a bunch of spoiled-rotten brats run the show. You may shake your head, but I am not wrong in that assertion. Look at their behavior over the last five years, and that observation cannot be denied.
The polls may show that the Democrats are going to win on November 7th, but as Mr. Barone opines, that completely goes against the traditional numbers. No party has executed such a turnaround in two years time. It takes a long time to switch the party's gears, and carry off a sweep like what the Democrats are hyping. It took the GOP forty years to retake the House; it took longer for the Senate, especially after Jim Jeffords pulled his party switching stunt in 2000. It was hard work to pull that "coup" off against the Democrats. It took leaders like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich to finally succeed and put the GOP in power in Congress.
The Democrats are now pushing the talking point that they lost the Congress after forty years, and we are about to beat their record; losing the Congress in just twelve years. We will see on November 7th. But we, at The Asylum, think that on November 8th, our side will not be the one disappointed in it's base. The Democrats will. And then watch how unhinged they really become. If we thought they could not get any worse, we will be surprised at the lengths they will go to for 2008. In addition, expect to see more insults from them directed at the electorate. They will not believe the electorate did not believe them and buy the bull they were peddling.
When a party has fallen to the point the Democrats have fallen, it is time for the base to do what they used to do with lame horses. Just shoot them, and start over. IF, and that is a big if, the Democrats do lose in the upcoming election, or they do not make the inroads like they have promised and hoped for, it will be time for the common-sense base to throw these jokers overboard.
All right dear readers. We have seen this election dive into the seemingly "lowest-of-the-low" when it comes to campaigning this year. And now Hugh Hewitt has found another display of stunning idiocy by a Democrat. Debbie Stabenow, in an effort to go after Mike Bouchard. Mr. Bouchard served on one of the boards for Jackson National Insurance Company. Debbie Stabenow decided she was going to make the claim that this company was outsourcing jobs. The aim, I would suppose, would be to paint Mike Bouchard as someone who stands against businesses that maintain an American workforce. But, what if you're wrong, as Ms. Stabenow is? She can't deny it because as the report goes on to say, the company is demanding an apology:
A Michigan company has asked U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow to retract her statements that it outsourced jobs overseas. Jackson National Life Insurance Co. sent a letter to Stabenow last week asking her to apologize for a campaign TV commercial and her public comments related to the company. Stabenow, a Democrat up for re-election Nov. 7, has said the company outsourced jobs to India and China.
Jackson National says that is not true. But the Stabenow campaign stood by its statements Saturday.
"We've been clear through this whole process," Stabenow campaign spokesman Brent Colburn said. "We stand by our ad."
Enter Hugh Hewitt:
The company employs 1,300 in Michigan, approximately 300 of them in recent years.
Whoops. Looks like someone didn;t check their facts before opening their mouth and swallowing their whole d*mn foot. But does this come as a surprise to anyone?
Ben Cardin and his supporters have not only lied about Michael Steele on the issues, but they unleashed a scurrilous set of racial attacks on him. Ben Cardin used a similar ad to Claire McCaskill's Michael J. Fox ad to slam Steele; an angle of attack that has subsequently backfired on him.
Claire McCaskill has lied about Jim Talent, even to the point of telling everyone that he is not a friend of Veteran's Affairs despite the fact the VA awarded him their highest honor. And she launched an ad using Michael J. Fox accusing Jim Talent of being against stem cell research.
Ned Lamont campaign workers did up a blackface picture of Joe Lieberman hugging Bill Clinton.
Jim Webb went after George Allen's mother.
The latest push by the Democrats to use dirty politics in the waning stretch of the election is backfiring all over the place. How else can they explain the latest surge the GOP recieved over the last couple of weeks. Their tactics aren't resonating with the voters. For that matter, a good majority of their message isn't sitting well with the voters. I'm not talking about the nuts out of the base. I'm talking about the sensible Democrats that understand the nation, the world, and what's at stake right now.
And they see these insane lunatics playing political football with national security, lying repeatedly about their opponents, and now they're slandering an American company in Michigan. Dirty pool may be a welcome addition in their circles, but for mainstream America we don't like seeing this, and we sure as H*ll don't play those games.
You'd think by now the Democrats would have learned this lesson. And for the people who will stand up and point to George Allen's latest foray into mudslinging, we have condemned him for that. There is no excuse for it by either side.
Good morning dear readers. I am back again to helm the Sunday posts for the kids. And today I spotted this on Hewitt's site. It's his link to the new Washington Post poll showing Ben Cardin ahead of Michael Steele by 11 points. Now, that's a h*lluva jump compared to Rasmussen, which has Cardin ahead by only 5 points, and Survey USA which has them tied. Real Clear Politics has the average at 5.3%. But with the Steele campaign releasing the new ad featuring Michael Steele's sister answering the phony charge made by Michael J. Fox, it's no surprise that the Post is trying to spin the numbers.
The Post publishes no demographics of the poll, but would rather have people believe this poll was conducted fairly. I'm not saying that it isn't, but there's a six point difference between the Post's poll and Rasmussen. There's an eleven point difference between Survey USA and the Post. Can the Post really be that far off from the other pollsters? And the Post adds that the margin of error is +/- 3%.
Something smells here. We're all more than aware of the Post's bias. It's been commented on by many a blogger and pundit. And it makes sense to have a skewed poll come out after the new ad started airing. This poll seems to be designed to show that there is no bump from this new ad, which I find hard to believe. The ad is devastating to Ben Cardin. Not only does it answer the charge that Lt. Gov. Steele is against stem cell research (he isn't), but it throws it back in Cardin's face that he is, in essence, a liar. And we should remember that this poll comes at the end of a week where not only did this ad begin airing, but earlier this past week, Michael Steele utterly destroyed Ben Cardin in their latest televised debate.
Michael Steele showed the voters that Ben Cardin completely lacks the knowledge of the state and it's issues to represent the voters in Washington, DC. He slapped Ben Cardin around on the local issues, like the new Purple Line that is in the progress of being constructed, and he hammered him on national issues, like tax cuts and national security. At the end of the debate, Ben Cardin looked like he had spent five rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. And after the debate--the following day--the Post practically crowned Michael Steele the victor of the debate, and possibly the race.
And now the Post shows that Steele is behind? Well, which is it? Is he surging and winning, or did Cardin really pull ahead. Before the debate, Michael Steele was down by three. After the Debate, he surged ahead by six points, taking the lead in the race. And from the 25th (when the debate was aired) until today, the voters are supposed to believe that Steele went from three points ahead to eleven points behind? What did Ben Cardin do to surge ahead? That's a question that the Post seems unable to answer. The newest ad blitz comes from Michael Steele, not Ben Cardin. And we're not kidding when we say this ad destroys Ben Cardin's lies. So, how did he take the lead after taking punch after punch this week?
We urge Maryland voters to blow this poll off. We can't buy this without some sort of explanation from the Post for the discrepancy in the poll numbers. And they don't seem to offer one. We are down to the wire in this race, so give a hand to Michael Steele. Constribute to Michael Steele's camapign here. Send a message to the Democrats this year that trhe nation only wants solid representatives in Congress who know the right direction for the nation. And that direction isn't filled with lies and half-truths. It's not the decision that we need more of the same old, same old in DC. We need stand-up people there, and Michael Steele is that man for the state of Maryland.
Michael Steele, GOP Senate candidate from Maryland, has answered Ben Cardin's stupid Michael J. Fox ad with an ad that lays waste to Cardin's charge that Mr. Steele does not care about stem cell research:
I’m Dr. Monica Turner. Congressman Ben Cardin is attacking Michael Steele with deceptive, tasteless ads. He is using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people all for his own political gain. Mr. Cardin should be ashamed.
Here’s something you should know about Michael Steele. He does support stem cell research, and he cares deeply for those who suffer from disease. How do I know? I’m Michael Steele’s little sister. I have MS, and I know he cares about me.
In the closing days of this election, this ad is going to wreak havoc on Ben Cardin's camapign. Not only does it crush his charge, but it makes his ad with Michael J. Fox appear even more dishonest. Why? Because Michael Steele does support BOTH kinds of stem cell research. His only caveat to embryonic stem cell research is that he will not support it if it destroys the embryo. But he is all for the research needed to determine if ESCs are even a viable alternative. A point that the private research companies are trying to determine right now. ASCs have been proven to help a number of diseases, while ESCs show no progress right now. I ought to know because ASCs are being looked at and researched right now to treat my disease: Type One Diabetes. And according to my doctors, there are signs of promise that they could help people like me.
This ad will be the final nails in Ben Cardin's political coffin.
Lynnne Cheney/Wolf Blitzer Smackdown: Disingenuous Reporting At CNN
Wolf Blitzer started this when Lynne Cheney came on CNN to discuss her brand new children's book, Our 50 States. But Blitzer made it pretty clear he didn't want to discuss her book right away. He wanted to talk Jim Webb, and tried to draw the Second Lady into the same mud where the VA Senate race dove into on Thursday night. The exchange, courtesy of HughHewitt:
WB: Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race. George Allen using novels, novels that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written, in which there are sexual references. And they’re making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen. LC: Now do you promise, Wolf, that we’re going to talk about my book?
WB: I do promise.
LC: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.
WB: I want you to respond. This is in the news today, and your name has come up, so that’s why we’re talking about it. But listen to this:
James Webb: There’s nothing that’s been in any of my novels that in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating the surroundings, or defining a character, or moving a plot. I’m a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney’s lesbian love scenes if you want to, you know, get graphic on stuff.
LC: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references…well, you know, I just don’t want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it’s triple X rated.
WB: Here’s what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lynne Cheney’s book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, wrote a book called Sisters, which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels, and attempted rapes. In 1988, Lynne Cheney wrote about a Republican Vice President who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Is that true?
LC: Nothing explicit. And actually, that is full of lies. It’s not…it’s just absolutely not true.
WB: But you did write a book entitled Sisters.
LC: I did write a book entitled Sisters. This description…
WB: And it did have lesbian characters.
LC: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I’ll stand on that.
WB: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?
LC: Wolf, Wolf, could we talk about a children’s book for a minute?
WB: We can talk about the children’s book. But I just wanted to…
LC: I think our segment is like 15 minutes long, and we’ve now done ten minutes, so…
WB: I just wanted to clarify what’s in the news today, give you a…
LC: Sex, lies and distortion. That’s what it is.
WB: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.
LC: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.
Kudos to Mrs. Cheney for not taking that sort of garbage from Blitzer. "Disingenuous" seems to be the word that best describes both Democrats and the MSM right now. Sorry for using it so often, but when the shoes fits, they might as well be wearing it. I discussed our thoughts further yesterday regarding this particular story, in addition to disagreeing with Michelle Malkin; that disagreement prompted a bunch of e-mail calling us traitors to the GOP because we didn't buy her line.
The GOP isn't full of a bunch of lemmings who buy every little talking point line handed down by the pundits. We're thinking people. And the last time I checked, we're pretty much on the same page with Michelle 99.9% of the time. So knock off the hate mail. A critique of the piece is a different issue altogether, but that was not the majority of the e-mails we received.
Regardless, Mrs. Cheney was invited by CNN to discuss her new book, and in typical fashion, CNN decided that the Webb issue was of greater importance than abiding by their word. As she pointed out, they had fifteen minutes for the interview, and they spent ten minutes on Jim Webb. In actuality, Blitzer spent the better part of the time allotted to play "gotcha" politics with Mrs. Cheney over her own book--one of the two books cited by Michelle yesterday. The OC Chronicle dug up a relevant paragraph from her book "Sisters", and put it up:
The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage -- no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were. She felt curiously moved, curiously envious of them. She had never to this moment thought Eden a particularly attractive paradise, based as it was on naiveté, but she saw that the women in the cart had a passionate, loving intimacy forever closed to her. How strong it made them. What comfort it gave.
Pardon the male side of me coming out here, but where's the lesbian stuff that Blitzer was so hot-to-trot to throw in her face? OC points out that it took him 2 minutes to locate this from a Google search. Could Blitzer have done the same thing, and seen that this is relatively innocuous? If this is what the hullabaloo was about when this first was dredged up by the MSM, no wonder why the controversy died down so quickly. I'll give Blitzer a "C" for effort in trying to put the Second Lady in the same boat as Jim Webb, but he failed miserably to make any sort of coherent connection.
And Mrs. Cheney made him pay for that slight. (Hugh has the full exchange on his site, and believe me when I say the lady wasn't pleased with CNN, or him.) And this is one of the many problems that CNN, and the MSM in general, seems to have. They cover this sort of junk all the time--dragging what used to be good news coverage into the tabloid mud--that they feel they have to be in the middle of all of it. When such objectivity is tossed by the wayside, it speaks volumes for viewers and readers. It also shows those same people that there is an agenda behind news coverage, rather than the intellectual honesty of actually covering the news, or the topic that people were invited to speak about.
Take, for example, Mark Steyn. His book is hardly one of those that goes without a level of controversy, and yet he can get a fair interview without the interviewer going off topic completely, and burning up the precious time allotted. The same goes for someone like Andrew Sullivan, who was given a more-than-fair interview by Hugh Hewitt earlier this week. They discussed his new book, or tried to. After listening to the interview one gets the impression that Andrew wasn't prepared to handle Hugh's dissemination of it. Whether that comes from his thought that Hugh wouldn't have read it, or wouldn't have read it by then is irrelevant. He had read it, and asked tough questions of Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan's reaction during the interview speaks volumes not only to his professionalism, but dare I say his maturity.
But the interview with Mrs. Cheney is a loud and clear reminder of how far the MSM has fallen. Here is a woman who is asked to appear on TV for an interview about her new book--a children's book--and Blitzer decides he has to bring up her past writing endeavors trying to make a moral equivalency to her and Jim Webb. As I stated yesterday in this post, you can't draw a parallel to her work and his, really. She isn't running for office. Her position, and Scooter Libby's, were not one decided by the voters. Jim Webb's position will be. Mrs. Cheney, to my knowledge, has not dived back into that particular genre recently, and her past work there is a moot point.
Jim Webb's writing isn't. He has peddled his writing to the voters as a sign of his intelligence and nuance; prompting people to read his writing. Speaking for both of us, neither Marcie or I have ever read that sort of trash before. We read a lot, some fiction but mostly non-fiction, and that sort of garbage writing isn't for us. (That's not to slam those authors. Please, do what you do best, but to us it's pretty much garbage and a waste of our time.) If your goal is to turn voters onto your hobbies or intelligence is to point to your writing, make sure it's not something that is going to embarrass the H*ll out of you. It was clear as Jim Webb went into damage control mode yeterday that he isn't as proud of it as some would believe.
CNN and Wolf Blitzer should be asahmed of themselves. Of course, they should be had they any true conscience, and not the faux sort that outrage provokes. People aren't happy with them today because of how they conducted this interview, and the vast majority of opinion regarding this exchange put the win in Mrs. Cheney's column. Let this be a lesson to them in the future: When you invite someone on to discuss a subject, and you are working in a tight timeframe, stick to the subject. If there's time allotted at the end of the interview, THEN you may ask off-topic questions. But not before, and certainly not after giving your guest a pretext that was clearly NOT the reason why you wanted them on the air in the first place. Blitzer showed that he really didn't care about her new book. He wanted to dredge up the past--the same past the MSM tried to bring up way back when--and it backfired beautifully on him.
We have long admired Ms. Noonan for her no nonsense style and solid conservatism. We do not always agree with her, but we recognize the wisdom of a longtime conservative who served with and helped President Reagan during his eight years in office. And president Reagan portrayed the maxim of modern American conservatism. Today, she penned a piece that might leave more than a few Republicans with a sour taste in their mouths. And why is that? Because she points out that more than a couple high-level Republicans are hoping that the GOP loses in November:
A year ago I wrote a column called "A Separate Peace," in which I said America's leaders in all areas--government, business, journalism--were in some deep way checking out. They saw bad things coming in the world and for our country, didn't think they could do anything about it, and were instead building a new pool or buying good memories for their kids. Soon after I was invited to address a group of Capitol Hill staffers to talk about the piece. When the meeting was over a woman walked up to me. She spoke of what was going wrong in Washington--the preoccupation with money, a lack of focus on the essentials, and the relentless dynamic of politics: first thing you do when you get power is move to keep power. And after a while you don't have any move but that move. I said I thought the Republicans would take it on the chin in 2006, and that would force the beginning of wisdom. She surprised me. She was after all a significant staffer giving all her energy to helping advance conservative ideas within the Congress. "Yes," she said, in a quiet, deadly way. As in: I can't wait. As in: We'll get progress only through loss. That's a year ago, from the Hill.
This is two weeks ago, from a Bush appointee: "I hope they lose the House." And one week ago, from a veteran of two GOP White Houses: "I hope they lose Congress." Republicans this year don't say "we" so much.
What is behind this? A lot of things, but here's a central one: They want to fire Congress because they can't fire President Bush.
Republican political veterans go easy on ideology, but they're tough on incompetence. They see Mr. Bush through the eyes of experience and maturity. They hate a lack of care. They see Mr. Bush as careless, and on more than Iraq--careless with old alliances, disrespectful of the opinion of mankind. "He never listens," an elected official who is a Bush supporter said with a shrug some months ago. Along the way the president's men and women confused the necessary and legitimate disciplining of a coalition with weird and excessive attempts to silence Republican critics. They have lived in a closed system. They now want to open it but don't know how. Listening is a habit; theirs has long been to suppress. In the Republican base, that huge and amorphous thing, judgments are less tough, more forgiving. But there too things have changed.
There remains a broad, reflexive, and very Republican kind of loyalty to George Bush. He is a war president with troops in the field. You can see his heart. He led us in a very human way through 9/11, from the early missteps to the later surefootedness. He was literally surefooted on the rubble that day he threw his arm around the retired fireman and said the people who did this will hear from all of us soon.
Images like that fix themselves in the heart. They're why Mr. Bush's popularity is at 38%. Without them it wouldn't be so high.
But there's unease in the base too, again for many reasons. One is that it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of "conservative."
He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining. He didn't go to the people whose loyalty and support raised him high and say, "This is what I'm doing, this is why I'm changing things, here's my thinking, here are the implications." The cynics around him likely thought this a good thing. To explain is to make things clearer, or at least to try, and they probably didn't want it clear. They had the best of both worlds, a conservative reputation and a liberal reality. With all due respect to Ms. Noonan, and those in the GOP that are upset at the president and the Congress, we sympathize. When this election cycle started, Thomas and I sat down and looked at those in Congress we felt no longer deserved their jobs. The list was not long, by anyone's imagination, but it was solid. There were people we completely disagreed with for their actions, or inactions, while in office. And their performance was not reflective of the president's. We have our legitimate gripes with the president, but his powers differ from those in Congress.
But we question those people who still stand up and proclaim that President Bush is a "conservative." He was certainly more conservative than Al Gore or John Kerry, but the president is not a Reagan conservative. He is a moderate in the image of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the RINOs in Congress theat we conservatives gnash our teeth over everyday. But in the world of politics you have three choices. Vote for the direct opposition (namely, Democrats), vote for a third party (which is a dog idea because they never garner enough support to truly make a difference), or simply stay home and refuse to vote. And those choices are only options if you decide not to vote with your party (which in this case, for us, is the GOP).
Do the Republicans deserve to lose this election? That is a question that has been weighing on our minds for the better part of a year. They have not actred like their conservative constituents. They have spent tax dollars in the same fashion the Left has. The bothced UAE deal, the lolly-gagging on border security and immigration reform, the injection of their opinions on the president's wartime powers, and the malfeasance of the Gang of Fourteen deal are just some of the examples showing that this is no longer your daddy's Republican party anymore. As the Democrats have evolved further to the Left, the GOP has moved further to the center; virtually abandoning the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
And the base is not happy with it.
And I believe that this is the point she is trying to make. The GOP DOES deserve to have its wings clipped by the voters, but in a world like the present, can we really afford to play that game? Again, we come down to the choice of a lesser of two evils. Do we jettison the GOP from Congress thereby securing a Democrat win, and see what the Democrats can do? Let us face hard facts here, and facts that were uttered by operatives last week fro Newsweek--they have no plan for Iraq, the war, or national security. The GOP seems to have that in hand. Or do they?
The president has moderated his approach to Iran and North Korea, preferring diplomacy to direct action. That is a good thing ina many respects, and a bad idea in others. The sanctions levied by the United Nations on North Korea are a joke,and if any are forthcoming for Iran, they, too, will be jokes. And we would be remiss in forgetting that it was the region that responded to North Korea first, not the United Nations.
The president's only veto came ion the Stem cell bill, where congress had approved to lift the ban on federal funds for research. He vetoed it. His first veto in five years of serving. He claims he needsa a line-item veto. We contend that while that might be effective, it was far more effective for President Reagan to veto a bill, then appeal to the people and tell them why. The president recognizes he is not the best speaker int he world, and that might be the reason why he will not take a page from Reagan, and utilize such a strategy. President Reagan left a decision in the hands of the people. The people would call Congress, and either tell them to put the bill back up again, or take out of the bill what irritated the president so it would pass. President Bush has not done that, and it is a weak spot for him when it comes to having the pulse of the nation.
The majority of this nation does not hate this president. But many are unhappy with what he has done. Thomas, Sabrina, and I count ourselves amongst those that feel this way. But in the end, when it comes to voting day, we have to ask ourselves three simple questions before heading into that booth:
What will the Democrats do to fix things? What is their plan?
Will they protect this nation to the best of their abilities, or will they use the war as a political football; something quite evident in their rhetoric for the past three-to-four years?
And if they do not take BOTH Houses resoundingly, what real changes will occur?
We are a nation that should be united in the war effort, and we are not. We are supposed to be a nation that pays attention to our elected representatives in Congress and the White House, but we are too busy watching DVDs on our big-screen plasma, HD TVs, and enjoying full theater surround sound. We enjoy our comfy chairs, and the brain-dead reality shows, while eating a bg full of Wendy's quarter-pound double stacks. We, as a nation--in general--have become quite complacent. And in the long run, we are only hurting ourselves.
Does the GOP deserve to lose this year? No, they do not. But it is time that we start paying attention. Bloggers and the alternative media cannot do it all. It takes a united effort from the nation. And it is blatantly obvious by recent stories--the Mark Foley scandal, the corruption scandal rocking Capitol Hill, the moderation and negotiation with sworn enemies of this nation--that it is time to turn off Survivor and American Idol, put down the cheeseburger, get active, and stay informed. We are, ultimately, right ly so, the ultimate check against the government. And it is high time we started doing our job.
I Am Not A Lawyer, Yet, But Does This Not Strike People As Odd?
The Duke Lacrosse team has been accused of raping a stripper who was "purchased" for a party. And today, as Breitbart reports, the prosecutor has admitted that the accuser has not given him her side of the story of that night:
The district attorney prosecuting three Duke lacrosse players accused of raping a woman at a team party said during a court hearing Friday that he still hasn't interviewed the accuser about the facts of the case. "I've had conversations with (the accuser) about how she's doing. I've had conversations with (the accuser) about her seeing her kids," Mike Nifong said. "I haven't talked with her about the facts of that night. ... We're not at that stage yet."
Nifong made the statement in response to a defense request for any statements the woman has made about the case. "I understand the answer may not be the answer they want but it's the true answer. That's all I can give them," the prosecutor said after the hourlong hearing. Defense lawyers said outside court that they found Nifong's statement surprising.
"One of the most interesting things to me of course is Mr. Nifong did admit that he in fact has basically never talked to this woman and has absolutely no idea what her story is, and yet he has chosen to continue to go forward with this case," defense lawyer Joseph Cheshire said.
Nifong said none of his assistants have discussed the case with the woman either and only have spoken with her to monitor her well-being. They have left the investigation of the case to police, he said.
This is rather odd. Are prosecutors not supposed to make sure a crime has been committed before moving forward with a case? This would mean that, at some point, the accuser has to have been talked to about the details of that night. ABC News, as I recall, posted time-stamped photos of theat night, which included a couple showing the accuser outside at the time the rape supposedly took place. Other people at the party stated that the bruises and scrapes she said she received during the rape were already present on her when she showed up.
When we first touched on this issue (which I wish our archives would bring up the past posts regarding this case) we said that this is a "he said, she said" case. And thus far the revelations that have occurred has bolstered the defense's case. Mr. Nifong has a case that is systematically being shredded by those dirty little facts that keep popping up. And based on what we have read about this case, there is no case for Mr. Nifong.
This latest admission by Mr. Nifong speaks volumes to the community. You are still moving forward with a case where you have not even discussed the details with the accuser. Towards the end of the story, Mr. Nifong admits that the last interview he had with her she would not make eye contact with her, and she "barely said fifteen words" throughout the whole interview. I have bad news for him: That is not going to fly in court. The defense attorneys for the players are going to destroy her on the stand. She is not going to be able to play the victim card in court. The attorneys will demand answers, and request the judge compel her to speak if she refuses to answer them.
Tears are not going to help her. Biting her lip is not going to help her. And Mr. Nifong is not going to be able to hold her hand and tell her everything is going to be all right. If she has lied about the rape (and we are not saying that she did, but the information coming out seems to lean in that direction) then it will be exposed in the court proceedings, and it will not be good for her. If it did not occur, she can save herself a lot of hassle by dropping the charges now before this goes any further. Perjury and making a false accusation are still crimes that are punishable.
Late last night, news broke that Jim Webb, running against George Allen, had written some pretty risque fiction back in the day. Now I commend my better half for picking up the story. It is, after all, news. But I noticed this morning that someone in the blogosphere is issuing a "shame on you" sort of condemnation to those who are making hay about this. That person is Michelle Malkin.
We like Michelle. That much is evident. We link to her quite often. However, she writes the following today:
Remember how pathetic it was when the Left tried to make scandals out of books written by Lynne Cheney and Scooter Libby? Cheney wrote a pulpy novel, "Sisters," about a frontier woman that included graphic sexual passages and lesbian lovers. (A conservative-bashing site reprinted excerpts here.) Libby wrote a pulpy novel, "The Apprentice," a "story of innocence and temptation" set in turn-of-the-century Japan that included graphic sexual passages--including bestiality and a scene in whichthe brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter.
Both were works of fiction. You know, stuff that's made up. Now, the George Allen campaign has detonated its October surprise using the same tactics as Cheney's and Libby's critics--attacking the fiction of his Democrat opponent, James Webb via an official "press release" sent to the Drudge Report last night. Are the passages in Webb's "Lost Soldiers" bizarre and perverted? Yes. But they are no more proof of Webb's immorality and unfitness for office than the passages in "Sisters" are proof that Lynne Cheney hates men or that the passages in "The Apprentice" are proof that Scooter Libby endorses sex between children and bears. OK, we get her point. This is another form of "gotcha" politics, and she can deem the Allen campaign's actions of releasing this information improper if she wishes. But I would like to add that neither Scooter Libby, nor Lynne Cheney, were running for public office when they wrote their books. They also have not been elected to a public office. Jim Webb is. And his sordid stories speak volumes to voters who just two weeks ago were bombarded by the attacks and condemnation of Mark Foley.
This is the point my tired wife was trying to make last night. The hypocrisy of the MSM, and the Left in general, is going to speak volumes to the voters. Jim Webb wrote about pedophilia, incest, and allusions to homosexual rape. And he is running for office. The Democrats assailed Mark Foley and the GOP, proclaiming they had the "moral compass" of the nation, and yet here is Jim Webb and his sex stories and fantasies.
Do we think that this is an October Surprise that will cost Jim Webb the race? Probably. Virginians aren't exactly "prudes" (to use my wife's word from last night) but I am sure a fair majority are repulsed by this sort of stuff. Jim Webb was already behind in the polls, but only by a couple of points. there is a distinct possibility that voters may not even take notice of this story. Both the Daily Press and the Times Dispatch don't even mention the story today. The press is doing it's usual job of sweepig this under the carpet.
Now to be fair, I'll include her closing sentiments about this issue:
I don't think, however, that the Allen campaign--couldn't they leave this to surrogates?--should be trafficking in this late October muck. It is beneath them and there's plenty else about Webb that is damning. Like Webb's lying about leading the "fight" to include an African-American soldier in the Vietnam War soldier's memorial. Or his non-fiction writing about women in the military. And what happened to focusing on Webb's stance ontaxes, as fiscal conservatives in Virginia have been urging? Political strategists in the Beltway are exulting that "Webb is toast" as a result of this Drudge/Allen bomb. But if this what Republican Senate candidates need to do to win elections, I don't think any of us should be cheering.
That much we do agree with. There should have been no reason for Senator Allen to have released this. Surrogates could have done this. But what happens when surrogates don't get the attention? Then you have to take alternative steps. And we do agree that Webb should be hung based on his record rather than his personal efforts at fiction. Senator Allen has been hammering those points home--Webb's constant lies and misrepresentations--but this is icing on the cake. It's also "gotcha" politics, which is the most deplorable part of elections now.
We have been reduced to moving in this direction because of how devestating the results are in such a forum. To this day Marcie and I still debate people who bring up the phony TANG memos peddled by CBS, and the never-proven allegation that the president was arrested for cocaine use, and his family covered it up.
(It should be noted that the allegation came from Jim Hatfield, authoer of "Fortunate Son," a two-time convicted felon. He claimed to have the "goods" on then-Governor Bush, yet could not provide a date for the arrest or conviction, could not produce an arresting officer or judge, and could not give a description of his sources. In addition to that, Hatfield contradicted himself when he stated he spoke with one source directly when in his book and in previous interviews he hsaid he spoke with them only over a telephone. So Hatfield, to this day, still can't prove his allegations, and yet the Left loves to bring it up as if it were Gospel truth.)
But the fact remains is Jim Webb got caught in this (and it should make people wonder how long those on his camapign staff knew about his writings, if they knew at all). He is running for a seat in the Senate. The Left's attempts to bury Libby and Lynne Cheney were misplaced because they weren't running for a public office. And while we dislike "gotcha" politics, this is probably going to finish off Jim Webb.
And just a note from both of us: We could honestly care less if Jim Webb had written children's books or adult books. It is his record that should be examined, not his foray into fiction. However, the voters of Virginia aren't likely to let this slip by even if the media is willing to ignore it. The voters will stay informed, and the damage to Webb is already done. With twelve days (including today) left in this election, we don't see him recovering enough to eke out a win.
Finally, Michelle is well within her right and place to condemn such tactics. But we simply took issue with comparing the works of Jim Webb to Lynne Cheney and Scooter Libby. It would have been different if President Bush, or Rick Santorum, or John Kyl, etc., had written things like this. They are have run for public office, or are currently running. But people who are connected through others (via marriage or appointment) don't matter in the grand scheme of things. And Jim Webb won't lose because of this. He will lose because the voters of Virginia recognize that he isn't right for them based on his record and statements.