Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Friday, August 06, 2004
Kerry vs. Swiftboat Vets update.

Don't you hate it when your browser freezes up when you make a long, good post?

Well that's what happened to me when I was trying to post on this early this morning.  AARGH!

Anyways, a lot of things have happened over the last 24 hours.  It looks like Jim Rassmun, one of Kerry's "Band of Brothers" who credits John Kerry for saving his life, is stepping up as the prime critic of the SwiftBoat Vets Against John Kerry Association.  He was on Capital Report on CNBC last night with a SwiftBoat Vet (I think it was Larry Thurlow.  I'm not sure about that), and the Vet didn't come off too good.  He seemed to be stalemated by the fact that he wasn't there when the accident happened, and Rassmun will be given the benefit of the doubt always.  So as far as TV appearances go, they will have an uphill climb.  The National Debate saw Inside Politics Thursday, and thought Thurlow came off pretty well against Rassmun and Woodruff.  I wish I had seen it, but my cable news watching is few and far between, so I watch what I can watch.

This morning, the Boston Globe posted a story from Michael Kranish reporting that one of the SwiftBoat Vets, George Elliot, stated that he made a "terrible mistake" in signing an notarized affidavit believing John Kerry did not earn his Silver Star.

Here's an interesting passage:

''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel ''time pressure" from those involved in the book. ''That's no excuse," Elliott said. ''I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake."

The affidavit also contradicted earlier statements by Elliott, who came to Boston during Kerry's 1996 Senate campaign to defend Kerry on similar charges, saying that Kerry acted properly and deserved the Silver Star.
Now Human Events, an org that's been spearheading the effort by the Swiftboat Vets and has acted sort of a spokesperson on their behalf, has responded by stating the Elliot article by Kranish was "highly inaccurate and highly misstating his actual views". 

I don't know how Kranish could do that other than by outright lying in the article.  Did Elliot feel pressure to sign the affidavit to get it published, or did he not?  Either Elliot believed Kerry shot the kid in the back, or he didn't.  Either Elliot regretted signing that affidavit, or he didn't.  These are yes or no questions, folks. 

Then, someone needs to ask what role did Elliot play in Kerry's 96 Senate campaign.  What allegations did he defend Kerry on?  And how much of a focal point was he in defending these allegations?  Did he actually endorse Kerry for the Senate?  Did he work on his Senate campaign?  Or did he just act as an informative source for a couple of articles?  Those questions should be asked as well.

But to Elliot's credit, he did sign another affidavit reinforcing his beliefs in the previous one.

But now we have to look at Michael Kranish himself.  You see, this Boston Globe writer has written the forward in a book for the Kerry/Edwards campaign.  And according to Drudge, Kranish has been the Globe's official reporter for the Kerry campaign for months.

Isn't this a conflict of interest at the Boston Globe?  You have a journalist that will write what was to be (but isn't now) the official book for the same campaign that he is supposed to cover in an unbiased fashion?  And Human Events's statement makes a weird claim:

The article by Mr. Kranish is particularly surprising given page 102 of Mr. Kranish’s own book quoting John Kerry as acknowledging that he killed a single, wounded, fleeing Viet Cong soldier whom he was afraid would turn around.
I assume Human Events is referring to the unauthorized book of the Kerry/Edwards campaign, in which Kranish wrote an introduction for.  I say this because the unauthorized book Kerry/Edwards:  Their Plans and Promises was reported by the New York Globe to be the one where Kranish wrote an introduction for, and it was scrapped by PublicAffairs Publishing to write the official manifesto, Our Plan, Our America:  Stronger at Home, Respected in the World   But has Kranish writing an introduction for the new book.  Is this correct, or is Amazon just being lazy and won't write an updated review?  You decide.  Amazon also states that Kranish co-authored a biography on John Kerry earlier this year with PublicAffairs.

This is just getting ugly, folks.  I'll let you marinate on this for a while.

Posted at 08:15 pm by Expertise
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Thursday, August 05, 2004
McCain denounces Swift Boat Vets Against Kerry

Before I get into this, let's review:

A number of Vietnam veterans have become increasingly annoyed by John Kerry's continued reference to his Vietnam war service and what they have seen as distortions of what happened during the four months he served and his actions once he came back from Vietnam as an anti-war activist.

So, they created Swiftboat Veterans Against John Kerry.  Numerous swiftboat veterans, including a number of the men that he served with, have now stepped out to tell their side of the story on John Kerry's Vietnam service.

They allege that not only have a number of them been featured in a photo that has been distributed by the Kerry campaign without their permission, but only one vet in that picture actually endorses him for president.  They have also written a number of joint letters calling for Kerry to stop using that picture, and wrote a letter to Kerry himself denouncing him for his identification switch from anti-war activist to war hero.

They've really stepped up the plate this week, not only publishing their book, "Unfit for Command", trashing Kerry on everything from how he received his purple hearts to the abuses he committed.  And in a number of battleground states they are running a 60 second ad disputing the idea that John Kerry had the respect of all the men he served with.  In it, the ad plainly shows a few of the men that are speaking are also in that same picture with Kerry.

Which brings us to today.  John McCain denounced the ads as "dishonest and dishonorable":

McCain said that's all in the past to him, but he's speaking out against the anti-Kerry ad because he believes it's bad for the political system. "It reopens all the old wounds of the Vietnam War, which I spent the last 35 years trying to heal," he said.

"I deplore this kind of politics. I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam. I think George Bush served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War."
I understand McCain's point.  However, Kerry isn't running the same campaign he did when he was vying for the Republican nomination vs. Bush in 2000.  McCain actually ran on issues.  Kerry, however is running primarily on his Vietnam service record.  Therefore, if that's what he wants to run on, why shouldn't that be fair game, primarily by the men that were in the Mekong Delta with him? 

As the McCain article states, none of these men were on the same boat that Kerry commandered.  However, only six were on that boat.  Five are alive, one dead.  The five support Kerry's campaign.  But the Swiftboat Vets say they were in boats within 50 yards of his.  And there is at least one doctor who treated Kerry for a purple heart.

I just hope these guys are telling the truth about what happened.  If Kerry was honorable about his military service and telling the truth about it, then so be it.  But if he isn't, and he is a fraud, then it should be placed into the political realm for the voters to put into consideration.

The media is going to have a time with this story.  They can't simply dismiss these guys because they've never been in the military, like Frank Lautenberg did with his infamous "chickenhawk" speech.  It should be interesting how they react to these accusations against Kerry.  It could cost him this election if he doesn't do something fast.

Posted at 12:21 pm by Expertise
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Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Alan Keyes will face Obama.

In what is sure to be a waste of time, but fun to watch, Alan Keyes has been picked to challenge Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate Seat.

I don't believe the GOP actually thinks Keyes will beat Obama.  I think they are trying to place their shots in and make Obama look bad.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Andrew Card and the White House had a say in this decision.  At least Barthwell will have a chance to fight another day and make herself a serious challenger to Obama or someone else in Illinois at another time.

Also, Drudge says that the Washington Post will report that Fox News chief political correspondent, Carl Cameron, outed Senator Richard Shelby as the leaker of intelligence information from the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

This is very surprising.  Journalists normally do not divulge their sources.  And earlier today, Michael King tipped me about NewsCorp's President, Peter Chermin, endorsing John Kerry for President.  And this is right after 38 Democrats wrote a letter to Rupert Murdoch demanding a meeting about Fox News' supposed media bias.  Is this an attempt at damage control on the part of Fox News?

Posted at 10:17 pm by Expertise
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Now I remember why I don't watch UPN.

This show called The Player is absolutely hideous.  Nothing disgusts me more than a bunch of herbs thinking they are greater than what they really are.

And I'm tired of white people thinking they got "flava" because they try to spit black slang!

Ugh.  I just had to vent about that.

I'll just stick to WWE Smackdown and the local old sitcoms.  The rest of that shit insults my intelligence.

Posted at 09:22 pm by Expertise
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Music industry to set up election blitzes.

We know how much the Hollywood elites within the entertainment industry hate George Bush, and with a passion.

Well now they're collaborating with to create a collection of concerts before the November elections designed for the sole purpose to motivate people to get out and defeat the incumbent president.

Over 20 bands/singers will start concert tours beginning October 1st, just before the elections.  Some of the bands/singers are:

Pearl Jam
Death Cab for Cutie
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
John Fogerty
Bright Eyes
Dave Matthews Band
Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Jurassic 5
My Morning Jacket
Dixie Chicks
James Taylor
Jackson Brown
Bonnie Rait
Keb' Mo
John Mellencamp

Although I'm not surprised, I'm quite disappointed that Babyface and Dave Matthews are on this list.  I'm surprised, however,  that Rage Against the Machine and Black Eyed Peas aren't on this list.

Folks, this is REALLY simple....the far left smells blood.  And I guarantee you that knows that Kerry isn't going to beat Bush alone.  And the media, who's aching to see Bush go down in defeat, will milk this for all it's worth.

Whether or not Bush loses, history will look back at this as the most bitterly contested election since the 1800's.  Never has there been as much hatred and such an organized campaign against one presidential challenger in any of our lifetimes.

I also think it's very important to remember what's at stake here.  You see, if John Kerry wins the election, he's not the only one that walks into it.  No.  He walks in there with the influence of Teresa Kerry Heinz, with John Edwards and the trial lawyer machine, the influence of and every two-bit leftist political front machine, and the Democratic Party as well.

People need to keep that in mind when Election Day pops up.

Posted at 08:21 pm by Expertise
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Hurricane Alex aftermath.

I just finished talking to my dad this morning.  Mainland Hyde County was relatively quiet.  Other than a brief power outage for about 30-40 minutes and a few broken limbs, everything was pretty normal.

However, Hatteras and Ocracoke are flooded.  One woman on Ocracoke Island called it the worst flooding she's seen since she moved there almost 30 years ago.  Estimates have the flooding as high as 4 feet.

This is what happens when forecasters get it wrong.  People and property have to suffer.  Luckily, there were no fatalities, but the National Weather Service has got to do a better job with reporting the strength of these storms.  If I were Gov. Mike Easley, I would have a serious beef with the NWS this morning.

Posted at 07:57 am by Expertise
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Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Hurricane Alex strengthens into Category 2.

The National Weather Service is now reporting that Hurricane Alex has strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.

This really steams me, because the NWS has done a piss-poor job in forecasting this hurricane.  This system shot up from 50 mph to over 100 in about a 24-hour period.  Joe Bastardi has been saying this since Monday morning that this system was going to strengthen fast, and when they take future wind samples the NWS would know that the system is way stronger than they are portraying it and has established an eye.  However, we were led to believe that this system would stay a tropical storm, or at the most a light hurricane.

Before someone tells me, I know hurricanes are unpredictable.  But I do believe that there are certain traits that most Carolina hurricanes have.  When that hurricane hits that current along the coast, they tend to intensify and strengthen fast.  Alex has literally followed that current up the seaboard.  If Bastardi anticipated it, then the NWS should have as well.

Now, what if they're wrong about the path, and this hurricane changes directions and slams into the interior of North Carolina?  Not one person has left the coast in anticipation of this storm, thinking it would be small.  The National Weather Service has GOT to do a better job of warning the people on the Outer Banks and the Crystal Coast.

Posted at 12:26 pm by Expertise
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The Davenport Duel

This should be interesting.  Drudge is reporting that Bush and Kerry have campaign rallies scheduled in the same town, on the same day, within a couple of blocks from each other, and both crowds are due to overlap.

Davenport, Iowa is about to be put on the map, and possibly in the history books if something goes down.  Both campaigns better have their crowds out in force, because every news network and two-bit journalist will be on this one.  This event has the potential to tilt the election either way.  And after the disappointing poll numbers after the DNC Convention last week, Kerry needs all the help he can get.

Ultimately, this is b.s. though.  This isn't a mere coincidence.  One campaign got the heads-up on the other and penciled in an appearance to show up the opponent.  This sounds like something Bush would do, as he likes to pull surprise stunts.

I would not want to be a Davenport policeman tomorrow.  They are going to have a time trying to seperate the two crowds.  I doubt if it gets into another Bloody Kansas, but there is still the potential for problems.

In other news, it seems as if some Bush supporters crashed a Kerry rally and yelled "Four more years!" in a bullhorn.  Teresa Kerry Heinz, who was on the mic introducing her wife, er, husband, used that sharp tongue of hers and quipped, "They want four more years of hell".

Folks, if you think Hillary was bad, wait until you put this woman into the White House.  While it's doubtful that she'd carpetbag her way to a U.S. Senate seat, she'll still have more influence around the White House than any other First Lady, especially since she is the President's sugar mama.

This just reinforces my belief that First Ladies, like children, should be seen and not heard.

Posted at 11:09 am by Expertise
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Don't waste your time, Keyes.

Word is getting out that the GOP is wooing Alan Keyes to take on the new Democratic rock star Barack Obama for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat.

Keyes has 2 things working against him:  1.  Time.  It's August, and he'll only have 3 months until the election.  2.  Region.  Keyes, who actually lives in Maryland, would be a conservative carpetbagger in - and I'm being generous here - a mostly left-of-center state.  Hence, Keyes won't win.

But ultimately the voters would win if Keyes does run.  You can look at probably any race of any kind in the country, and you won't see two polar opposites like Obama and Keyes.  Hence, people get a clear choice, and that's always good. 

Also, the debates will be VERY good.  Whether you like Keyes or not, you've got to admit that he isn't a slouch of the mic.  In fact, he's a better talker than Sharpton.  If I were Obama, I would simply refuse to debate him.  Obama will already win Illinois by double digits, by all accounts.  There is no positive anyone can get by debating Keyes, especially a national novice who's was previously defeated in his home state (by Bobby Rush).

Posted at 10:41 am by Expertise
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Sunday, August 01, 2004
I told you: "No Kerry Bounce".

I stated in my DNC Roundup, John Kerry's DNC Convention speech needed to be magnificent, and it wasn't.  Hence,  the traditional bounce that presidential candidates generally get would miss him.

To be specific (and I know it's late) I expected no more than 2-3 percentage point rise after the convention.  Newsweek gave Kerry a 4 point bounce, extending the three-way race to 49% to Kerry/Edwards to 42% to Bush/Cheney and 3% to Nader/Camejo.  I don't believe that one, simply because they have Kerry/Edwards with a 7 point lead.  But it should be noted that this was the lowest convention bounce by a candidate since Newsweek has been doing their polls.

So I waited.  I figured we would have the real results by Monday.  But we didn't. USA Today tonight reports that Kerry had ABSOLUTELY NO CONVENTION BOUNCE.

In fact, John Kerry actually lost ground on Bush, falling behind 1% percentage point.  And Bush leads on their poll 50% to 46%.

There is no question about it:  The Kerry campaign is on the ropes, and their last chance is the debates.  Bush's lead will go into double digits after the RNC Convention.  The question is whether Kerry can be focused and go into the debates looking to eat away at Bush's lead, or will he go in as cocky as Al Gore did in 2000 and end up looking like a fraud.  There is no doubt in my mind that Gore's performance in the first debate ultimately cost him the election.  And he will have more problems if he continues to have campaign finance scandals.

Posted at 11:19 pm by Expertise
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