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Michael Rubin talked about this at length on Bill Bennett’s show yesterday (some audio here). In short: Not good.



Moving on… what to make of this Maliki business?


Who’s On the Ballot


From a reader:


As I’ve watched all of the talking head Dems stand up and defend Kerry, a theme emerges: almost to a person they state something to the effect of “John Kerry is not on the ballot this election,” ergo, we shouldn’t be talking about him.  Okay, fine, but neither is George W. Bush, so why was he making a “joke” about something that we shouldn’t be talking about?

Me: I’d also add that Mark Foley isn’t on the ballot either, although technically he is. But you know what I mean. 

Web Briefing: July 11, 2014



I’m still hearing from very hot military guys. From a retired Army captain this morning: “Lemme get this straight, Senator; yesterday I’m just a crazed ring-wing nut job, but today you’re offering me your personal apology if I misinterpreted what you said two days ago.  By my count, you’re still an apology behind.”




Now that I’ve slept on it, I basically think John Kerry remains an unfettered crapweasel for that apology. But, I think it does effectively  put the whole thing to rest as a matter of public controversy. Kerry has slunk away to hide in some limepit. And if the GOP tries to keep playing this card in some really aggressive manner it will come out the loser. Not as big a loser as Kerry, but that’s a pretty high mark.

Speed Racer Revolutions


Okay, this is weird. The Wachowski Brothers made the three Matrix movies, full of metaphysical speculation and Chomsky-ite argot and Cornel West. Along the way one of the brothers became a pre-operative transsexual “owned” by a San Francisco dominatrix. Now they’re headed back to the silver screen as writers and directors of…Speed Racer, a remake of the Japanese cartoon series from the early 1960s about a boy and his race car notable only for its extreme banality and its theme song. I hear Cornel West will be doing the title track.

It’s Not Over


With due respect to those who’ve suggested otherwise, the Kerry story is not over.

The Senator has now issued what I predicted yesterday (not that this was rocket science) would be an “apology” wherein he asserted, not that he was sorry for having said something vile, but that he “regret[ted]” that we numbskulls “misinterpreted” his remarks “to wrongly imply anything negative” about our troops. 

This, of course, was version four or so, Kerry having been dragged kicking and screaming to this point only after first defiantly compounding the offense, then I-was-tired back-tracking, then it-was-a-joke dissembling.  (A “joke” which, once explained, made no sense — especially coming from someone who (a) had himself voted in favor of sending our troops to Iraq and (b) is a high-order recidivist when it comes to slandering the military (as Mark Levin recounts).

Meanwhile, for nearly two weeks now, Rush Limbaugh has been castigated for something he didn’t do (i.e., make fun of Michael J. Fox’s struggle with a debilitating disease — as opposed to suggesting Fox had intentionally not taken his meds to exacerbate his condition for the purpose of a public political appearance … something Fox has admitted to doing in the past). 

National Democrats, including Kerry as late as two days ago, and the national media, including the White House press corps as late as yesterday, first misconstrued Rush’s remarks (and ignored the lengthy, generally unassailable argument from which they were drawn — to wit, that even those for whom we have sympathy cannot expect immunity from criticism when they enter the public arena); then they demanded an apology to keep the story alive; then they misrepresented the apology that came (when Fox explained that he had OVER-medicated, Rush apologized for suggesting he had under-medicated or been acting, but did not retract any of the original, valid criticism); and then — once Kerry got himself in hot water — they switched gears and claimed the apology they had been gleefully chirping about for several days had not actually happened, such that Kerry should now not have to apologize unless Rush apologized.

None of this is surprising.  This is competitive politics. 

One side — the side the press has been telling us for months has the election in the bag — has nevertheless strategically wrung every drop they could squeeze out of one perceived opportunity. 

Why would the side that is behind stop drawing attention to a revealing gaffe — indeed, a gaffe by the other side’s last national standard bearer — just because the opposition now says, on the basis of Kerry’s lawyerly-worded “apology,” that it’s now time to put all this behind us and get back to the important business of kicking the stuffing out of Bush?

Kerry: Hoist By His Own Petard


From the Washington Times:  “No matter whose idea it was for Mr. Kerry to retreat [from the hustings], said one delighted Republican on Capitol Hill, “He’s cutting and running from the campaign trail, after learning he was for his comments before he was against them.”

Choc It Up


If I could pick a single member of the House to save from next week’s election results, it would be Rep. Chris Chocola of Indiana–a Republican in a district that appears to be leaning Democratic. He has been a real leader on budget reform in Congress, along with Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. His district includes the campus of Notre Dame; he is a graduate of Hillsdale College. Conservatives need him back.



Enjoy Thomas Sowell not once but twice .

Breaking News!


Kerry at last makes the front-page of the Washington Post.



This is my day to disagree with friends on The Corner, I guess.  I enthusiastically agree that the restrucuring of the military was a fine idea and it has been carried out in part.  Not nearly as thoroughly as I think Mario believes, but still, full marks for that.  As against that, the restructuring of the Policy office seems to me a mistake.  Even if you don’t like the way it’s set up at the moment, we’re fighting a war and that is not the best time for management overhauls.

The biggest problems with Rumsfeld have to do with management style and personnel.  His style is highly eccentric, which we all love–but we don’t have to work for him.  He is forever dropping “snowflakes”–deep thoughts from the boss–on his people, and there is a limit to how many times you can yell at staff “drop everything and tend to this one!  yesterday!”  After a while the “wolf calling” syndrome sets in, and then it’s tough to function normally.  I think Michael and Mario would be quite surprised at the extent to which normal, important issues do not get addressed because the building is constantly in crisis mode.  It took me a long time to reluctantly come to this conclusion, which seems to fly in the face of his sterling record at Searle, for example.  But I don’t think that DoD is working as well as it should.  On personnel, we can talk another time.  But it’s hard, I think, to argue that he’s surrounded himself with star-quality talent.

On Greens


Tom Paine ” (no, not that one) on what a Green really means when he says that he wants to “save the planet”: “I am a puritanical killjoy with no concept of the scientific method and a burning desire to decimate my fellow-men so that the ugliest remnants of humanity can live the short, miserable, disease-ridden, brutal lives of medieval peasants in a spirit of smug self-satisfaction born of the sense that we have condemned billions of tediously aspirational humans to poverty or death.”   Tony Blair, David Cameron, please note.

Kerry, Rumsfeld, etc.


I concur with Mark Steyn, as I said yesterday Kerry’s statement reflects the attitude of his elite circles.  Listen to Mark Levin:  Kerry has been saying such things for thirty years.  For Derb and Jay to pretend that one can parse a single sentence and accept a pathetic excuse (the third iteration, after first bellowing he would never apologize because he had nothing to apologize for–which is what he does believe) is unworthy of them.  As, frankly, it is of Ramesh to declare the whole matter closed because, on his fourth iteration, Kerry found an “apology” that a normal person can understand.

Indeed, to declare the matter closed is a political mistake as well, because of Mark Steyn’s point:  Kerry’s statement is important because of the window it opens into the liberal elite, and the survival of the country may well hinge on whether or not enough people look through that window and see the rot inside.

Closed indeed.  Pfui. 

James Webb is a Crunchy Con!


Or so Rod Dreher is coming to believe. (Crunchy special fact for this week: Rod and his family don’t celebrate Halloween. I cast no aspersions here: My wife grew up in an observant Jewish home and didn’t celebrate Halloween either.)

Lebanon Takeover


Here’s a story we should have mentioned today:

The United States has said there is “mounting evidence” that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are planning to topple the Lebanese government.

The White House said Syria hoped to stop the formation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the killing of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

Spokesman Tony Snow said any attempt to destabilise the Lebanese government would violate UN resolutions.

Syria’s ambassador to the US rejected the allegations as “ridiculous”.

A UN team has been investigating who was behind Mr Hariri’s death in 2005.

Nice Republicans V. Street Fighting Dems


I cannot begin to tell you how many emails I’ve gotten like this:

Jonah, It frustrates me about the difference between the libs and conservatives.  Our side does backflips to give Kerry’s latest gaffe and Webb’s perverted writings the benefit of the doubt, agonizing over whether attacks are really fair and whether the outrage is genuine.   Meanwhile, the libs view this as street warfare.  Never once have they or their co-conspirators in the media given any conservative the benefit of the doubt.  They go for the jugular every time, and usually lie and distort to do it (see Rush Limbaugh & the Michael J. Fox flap) and the so-called racist Ford ads.   I wish the Republicans were 1/10th as mean as the Dems claim.  I just think the other side wants to win more and sees the stakes more clearly.  



George Allen’s campaign sent out this statement tonight:

The following statement was issued through the Allen campaign today by George W. Bailey, the Sheriff of Albemarle County from 1970-1987:

“I served as Sheriff of Albemarle County, including Charlottesville, from 1970 to 1987, and was the chief individual responsible for law enforcement during that period.

“During his time as an undergraduate and law student, I was familiar with George Allen. He was a prominent student, not the sort one easily forgets.

“At no time during my service as sheriff was he arrested or brought up on any offense in Albemarle County. It would have crossed my desk, and would not have escaped my notice.

“I understand there is some question about two entries for warrants or summonses in the County docket book in 1973 and/or 1974, while George was a student. This could have been for anything as small as an unpaid parking ticket or hunting or fishing license violation. An entry in that book does not mean there was an arrest, conviction or anything of the kind.

“The fact that there is no record of a trial or judgment settles the matter — this was for some minor infraction. If George Allen — a member of the football team and a prominent student — has committed some offense, even as an undergraduate, it is certain I would have been informed, and likely that I would have dealt with the matter personally. But there was no such offense, and consequently nothing more to be said about the matter.”

The release of the former sheriff’s statement is an apparent reaction to a letter sent two days ago by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to the Virginia state bar asking that it make public Allen’s application to the bar from nearly 30 years ago:
In the late 1970s, Mr. Allen applied to, and was subsequently admitted to, the Virginia State Bar. Mr. Allen’s Bar application was submitted less than five years after two arrest warrants were issued in his name in Albemarle County, Virginia. Since the official arrest records have been purged, your organization may be one of a handful with official documentation regarding these arrests.

Mr. Allen’s name appears in an Albemarle County court index from 1974 and a campaign aide claims Allen was arrested for unpaid parking tickets and fishing without a license. To date, though, Mr. Allen has refused to produce any written documentation verifying his explanation for why the warrants were issued and has not personally addressed the matter.

As such, we are asking that the Virginia State Bar immediately release Mr. Allen’s Bar application on which he was asked about his arrest record. The application will shed light on whether Mr. Allen was arrested for unpaid parking tickets or for something much more severe like assault or battery.

With Mr. Allen suspiciously refusing to disclose the details of his arrests to the public, releasing this information may be the only way for Virginians to learn the truth about Mr. Allen’s arrest record.

I asked the Allen camp tonight whether the release of the former sheriff’s statement tonight was in anticipation of any upcoming news stories or new information. They said no.

UPDATE: I just talked with another source in the Allen campaign.  He says the sheriff’s statement was released in reaction to questions from the press today in which one reporter quoted portions of the DSCC letter.  “Reporters were asking about it,” the source says, “so we thought, why don’t we just put this out.”  The so-called arrests suggested by Democrats, the source says, “never happened.”  “What happened was, one year he got parking tickets that weren’t paid, and the next year he had a citation for fishing without a license.” 

Richard Perle


There are some interesting comments from Richard Perle quoted in today’s Washington Post (yes, yes, I know):

Eyebrows popped up last week when none other than Richard Perle, former Reagan assistant secretary of defense, former Bush brain-truster on the Defense Policy Board, and a key promoter of the war to find Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, blistered the administration as “dysfunctional” when it comes to stopping someone from bringing “a nuclear weapon or even nuclear material into the United States.” “Knowing that there are people who wish to do that,” Perle said, “knowing they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, you would think that we would have put in place a system or at least be working assiduously in the development of a system that would allow us to detect nuclear material entering the New York Harbor or Boston Harbor or what have you. “But we haven’t done that,” he said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies gathering. “And the reason we haven’t done that is hopeless bureaucratic obstruction. Somebody needs to shake that loose.” Perle added that while some have tried to overcome the bureaucracy, no one has succeeded. “I think we have an administration today that is dysfunctional,” Perle said. “And if it can’t get itself together to organize a serious program for finding nuclear material on its way to the United States, then it ought to be replaced by an administration that can.

I just hope that Perle is wrong about what’s being done (or, rather, not done). If he is correct, it’s a disgrace. It’s a statement that ought to be obvious, but of all the dangers that threaten the US, nuclear terrorism is potentially the worse. There should be no greater priority than doing absolutely everything that can possibly be done to stop it.

a man who remembers everything and learns nothing.


One of the things I love about America is the spontaneous brilliance and humor  that undermine all pretension. No better example was that wonderful banner from our  brave and ingenious soldiers in Iraq, blaring:


20 million Americans must have seen it all over the Internet, and nothing sums up the nothingness of Kerryism better than those smiling soldiers. After seeing that, no wonder he’s offering deer-in-the headlights apologies. This is a man who remembers everything and learns nothing.

Then there was the finger-in-the wind initial Democratic response: their supposedly slight ill breeze suddenly became a Katrina hurricane, and, Presto!, they were all over the airwaves demanding from poor Kerry the apologies that just a few hours ago they thought were not necessary.

As for Kerry — how quick the 24-hour metamorphosis from smugness to defiance to purported contriteness! At his earlier blame-the-wing-nuts-and-Rush-Limbaugh press conference, he thought he was a strutting, strong-jawed Napoleonic general leading his troops to rout the evil Bush-Cheney Prussians, and then, alone, suddenly turned around — and Mein Gott in Himmel!! — his Old Guard was heading for the hills.


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