Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog


Monday, August 23, 2004
Glen Reynolds creates a parallel universe.

Reynolds over at Instapundit has created a great satirical column that seems like it would be a perfect fit for The Onion:

EAST HAMPTON, NY (IP) -- Democratic Presidential nomineee John Kerry laughs when told that most voters don't realize that he served in Vietnam, winning three purple hearts, a bronze star, and a silver star.

"Why should they? That's several wars ago," Kerry laughs. "Old stuff. I'd much rather people be talking about my detailed plan to rebuild Iraq, using an oil trust mechanism that would give the Iraqi people a stake in reconstruction. That's why I focused on that in my acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. What was I going to do, rehash events from 35 years ago?"

Kerry's friends say that, like other veterans, he's been known to tell a few tall tales about his service over beers with others who served, but that he seldom talks about his combat experience otherwise. "He's put that behind him," says his wife Teresa. "And he thinks it would be unbecoming to make a big deal about his service when others, like [Senator] John McCain or [former P.O.W.] Paul Galanti went through so much more."

"I would have invaded Iraq regardless of the WMD issue," Kerry observes. "Saddam Hussein was a threat, and a menace to his own people. And a free, democratic Iraq will be the first step toward addressing the 'root cause' of terrorism -- despotic Arab regimes that spew hatred to distract their people from their own tyranny. But as I said last year, the reconstruction needed more resources. That was why I voted for the $87 billion in reconstruction money, but urged the Bush Administration to ask for more, to do it right."

Kerry also takes a dim view of leftist filmmaker Michael Moore. "I think that his film 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was scurrilous and dangerous to the morale of our troops. That's why I asked that he be excluded from the Democratic Convention, despite Jimmy Carter's wishes. And that's why he wasn't seen there. In a time of war, we don't need guys like that. We can win this campaign based on our ideas, not propaganda films. That's also why I told Chris Matthews to 'stuff it' when he tried to make an issue out of President Bush's National Guard service."

Kerry's detailed plans for Iraq, and for carrying the war on terror to Al Qaeda and its backers elsewhere, seem to have left the Bush Administration floundering. Sources close to the Bush campaign say that some Bush operatives are considering an attack on Kerry's Vietnam record, but many are skeptical. "I don't think that'll work," says cyber-pundit Glenn Reynolds, who calls Kerry's Iraq plan promising. "Most voters have no idea Kerry was even in Vietnam. He never talks about it, so where's the traction? It's ancient history."

Others are even harsher. "They can't attack the message," says Matthew Yglesias of The American Prospect, a liberal publication. "So they're attacking the messenger. That's because they don't want to talk about Kerry's real accomplishments, the ones Kerry touted at the Convention, like his role in busting BCCI, the terrorists' money laundry. Kerry's talking about that, and his plans for Iraq, and they're talking about Vietnam? Who cares about that? Pathetic."

Ha.  I'm sure there are some Democrats out there right now that wish this was a real column.

Posted at 12:27 am by Expertise
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Bob Dole calls for Kerry to apologize.

Huge story today on Bob Dole on CNN tonight:

Dole told CNN's "Late Edition" that he warned Kerry months ago about going "too far" and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.

"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, `I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.' Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm.

Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."

I'm telling ya, although the media is trying to trash and discredit this story as much as they can, it gets hotter and hotter as the days go by.  The Swifties are doing damage to John Kerry's campaign, and people are realizing that something is wrong with the rosy picture that John Kerry is trying to portray.

I knew this was coming, however I thought his downfall would come once they exposed his anti-war record and the accompanying support by Vietnam organizations to George Bush.  CBS's poll shows Bush and Kerry neck-and-neck, when they had Kerry up by 6 points after the convention (personally
I think Bush was ahead the whole time).  However, it does show that Kerry has taken quite a hit out there by the attention given to the Swiftboat Vets, whether negative or positive.  People have been able to hear their side of things and seen that Kerry has some explaining to do about his record.

Posted at 12:02 am by Expertise
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Sunday, August 22, 2004
John Kerry has been busted.

Quite an interesting article by Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post:

As they were heading back to the boat, Kerry and Rassmann decided to blow up a five-ton rice bin to deny food to the Vietcong. In an interview last week, Rassmann recalled that they climbed on top of the huge pile and dug a hole in the rice. On the count of three, they tossed their grenades into the hole and ran.

Evidently, Kerry did not run fast enough. "He got some frags and pieces of rice in his rear end," Rassmann said with a laugh. "It was more embarrassing than painful." At the time, the incident did not seem significant, and Kerry did not mention it to anyone when he got back on the boat. An unsigned "personnel casualty report," however, erroneously implies that Kerry suffered "shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks" later in the day, following the mine explosion incident, when he also received "contusions to his right forearm."

This should end all of the questions surrounding this incident, in which Kerry ended up getting a Purple Heart for.  These two simply did not get far enough before the grenade exploded.  And this was not a combat experience; it was a case of two men that ended up getting rice stuck up their asses for doing something that could be interpreted as stupid. 

And remember:  this is coming from Kerry's boy.  Rassmann claims Kerry saved his life in the Bronze Star incident.  Hence there can be no excuses about this being a Bush plot.

I wonder if the mainstream press will push this account?

Posted at 08:07 am by Expertise
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Friday, August 20, 2004
Kerry campaign intimidates SwiftVets book publisher

Drudge is reporting that John Kerry is calling for the publisher to withdraw the Swiftboat Vets book.

The Kerry campaign calls on a publisher to 'withdraw book' written by group of veterans, claiming veterans are lying about Kerry's service in Vietnam and operating as a front organization for Bush. Kerry campaign has told Salon.com that the publisher of UNFIT FOR COMMAND is 'retailing a hoax'... 'No publisher should want to be selling books with proven falsehoods in them,' Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton tells the online mag... Developing...

I tell ya; Kerry is getting very desperate.  With no bounce coming out of the DNC Convention, and he's now facing potentially a double-digit deficit after Labor Day, the last thing he needs is these guys making him look worse.  He's got to hold Bush off until the debates.  That's why he's resorting to these sort of tactics.  Of course, it isn't the first time he's done this.

Posted at 10:33 am by Expertise
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Malkin vs. Matthews

There were alot of fireworks on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews last night, as Matthews got heated with both Swiftboat Vet Larry Thurlow and the queen of controversy, Michelle Malkin.

I'm kind of pissed that I didn't see the show, and due to MSNBC's Olympics coverage there weren't any replays tonight.  But by just looking at the transcript  it seems quite obvious that Matthews's objective from the get go was to discredit any and every allegation that was brought up by the Swiftboat Vets, instead of an objective analysis.

But see, the first problem in how people view Chris Matthews is that they consider him objective and credible.  Matthews is "mainstream"?  Maybe.  Only when the real mainstream media can use him for their own purposes, like they have with this Swiftboat story.  But Matthews AND Olberman are nothing but political analysts. opinionated and full of bullshit.  And it shows by their ratings.  Hell; I probably know more people on a personal level than Keith Olberman has watching his show.

Here's some of the Matthews/Malkin exchange:

(Matthews):  What do you make of the president‘s—this campaign being run on behalf of the president, if not officially to try destroy John Kerry‘s war record? 

MALKIN:  I don‘t think that President Bush orchestrated this at all. 

MATTHEWS:  Why doesn‘t he call up and say stop it. 

MALKIN:  Well, look he‘s already made his statement.  The White House said, it doesn‘t associate itself with these 527 campaigns, any of them.  And he said that Kerry has served nobly.  What else do you want him to say?

MATTHEWS:  Well, back when we had the Willie Horton Act, back in 1988, all that Jim Baker or anybody at the White House campaign had to do was call on behalf of President Bush Sr., and say stop running that racist ad.  Nobody ever did, OK.  I‘m asking if you‘re speaking on behalf of President Bush, why doesn‘t he make a phone call to these veterans, including Mr.  Thurlow and say stop running the ads.  Why doesn‘t he do that?

MALKIN:  Well first I‘m not here speaking on behalf of the Bush campaign.  Second of all...

MATTHEWS:  Well, do you think these guys should be running.

MALKIN:  Well, second of all, you brought up Willie Horton.  I think that‘s quite interesting that you did.  The underlying implication is that some how this is a Republican orchestrated thing, just like the swift boat campaign.  Of course, it was Al Gore who brought up Willie Horton first. 

MATTHEWS:  No, the ads.  No the ads were ran, by something called the American Security Council supporting President Bush.

MALKIN:  And who made the issue—who made the issue germane, Al Gore and the Democrats.  And it‘s the same thing here, John Kerry said, bring it on and the Swift Boat Veterans have brought it on.

Matthews starts right off the bat spinning like a top:  Why did he go all the way back 16 years ago to the Willie Horton ads? 

If he really wanted to talk about 527 groups, he could have brought up MoveOn.org and the numerous other 527 leftist organizations that have received over $18 million from George Soros.  Now contrast that to the $200,000 that was used to get the Swiftboat Vets started.
Or how about talking about the James Byrd ad  created by the NAACP that tried to depict George Bush as racially insensitive at best and racist at worst by not sponsoring a hate crime bill after Byrd's death?  But you never hear anything about that.

Also, Malkin did a good job mentioning that it was Al Gore who first brought up the prison furlough law.  I don't recall him mentioning Willie Horton himself, but he did mention two other murders that killed again during their furloughs, although not by name.  But there is no doubt that Al Gore did bring up the issue, and it was a credible one.

Moving on:

MATTHEWS:  Fair enough.  So you—lets get your position here on the program, since you are on the program.  Your position it‘s OK, for the veteran groups to attack John Kerry on this issue?

MALKIN:  They are exercising their free speech, absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  And the president is totally innocent in this campaign.  He has nothing to do with it.

MALKIN:  Well, I don‘t think so.  Yes.  Yes, there were Bush supporters who helped fund the ads.  But this was not directed from the White House. 

MATTHEWS:  When the president says publicly that he has no problem with John Kerry‘s war record, in fact he finds it noble, is that hypocritical or is that honest? 

MALKIN:  I think it is absolutely honest. 

MATTHEWS:  Because what?  What makes it honest? 

Because how they are attacking Kerry?

MALKIN:  He can‘t—he did not control these—there was no—can you show me directive that said, Swift Boat Veterans do this. 

MATTHEWS:  I‘m waiting for the phone call that said stop doing it, buddies. 

But why should they stop?  Because Matthews and Kerry said they should?  The Swiftboats have every right to voice their opinion about John Kerry.  As Malkin stated, show the directive that said, Swiftboat Veterans do this.  But Matthews completely dismisses that point and tries to create a strawman, distracting the fact that Matthews has NO EVIDENCE (remember that word, Chris?  It was what you were trying to get out of Thurlow) that the White House is in charge of this operation.

It's also funny how Democrats didn't seem to mind when it was their organizations that were doing the muckraking, but now that an organization steps up to do it to John Kerry, now they have problems with it.  That's not going to work, boys.

Here's the most controversial part of the segment:

(Former San Francisco Mayor Jerry) BROWN:  He volunteered twice.  He volunteered twice in Vietnam.  He literally got shot.  There‘s no question about any of those things.  So what else is there to discuss?  How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel? 

MALKIN:  Well, yes.  Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg.  They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  What do you mean by self-inflicted?  Are you saying he shot himself on purpose?  Is that what you‘re saying? 

MALKIN:  Did you read the book...

MATTHEWS:  I‘m asking a simple question.  Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

MALKIN:  I‘m saying some of these soldiers... 

MATTHEWS:  And I‘m asking question. 

MALKIN:  And I‘m answering it. 

MATTHEWS:  Did he shoot himself on purpose.

MALKIN:  Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds. 

MATTHEWS:  No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose. 

MALKIN:  That these were self-inflicted wounds. 

MATTHEWS:  Your saying there are—he shot himself on purpose, that‘s a criminal act? 

MALKIN:  I‘m saying that I‘ve read the book and some of the... 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I want an answer yes or no, Michelle. 

MALKIN:  Some of the veterans say...

MATTHEWS:  No.  No one has every accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN:  Yes.  Some of them say that. 

MATTHEWS:  Tell me where that... 

MALKIN:  Self-inflicted wounds—in February, 1969. 

MATTHEWS:  This is not a show for this kind of talk.  Are you accusing him of shooting himself on purpose to avoid combat or to get credit?

MALKIN:  I‘m saying that‘s what some of these...

MATTHEWS:  Give me a name. 

MALKIN:  Patrick Runyan (ph) and William Zeldonaz (ph). 

MATTHEWS:  They said—Patrick Runyan...

MALKIN:  These people have...

MATTHEWS:  And they said he shot himself on purpose to avoid combat or take credit for a wound? 

MALKIN:  These people have cast a lot of doubt on whether or not...

MATTHEWS:  That‘s cast a lot of doubt.  That‘s complete nonsense. 

MALKIN:  Did you read the section in the book...

MATTHEWS:  I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a purpose of heart. 

MALKIN:  I‘m not sure.  I‘m saying...

MATTHEWS:  Why did you say? 

MALKIN:  I‘m talking about what‘s in the book. 

MATTHEWS:  What is in the book.  Is there—is there a direct accusation in any book you‘ve ever read in your life that says John Kerry ever shot himself on purpose to get credit for a purple heart?   On purpose?

MALKIN:  On. 

MATTHEWS:  On purpose?  Yes or no, Michelle. 

MALKIN:  In the February 1969 -- in the February 1969 event. 

MATTHEWS:  Did he say on it purpose. 

MALKIN:  There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not.  And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me. 

MATTHEWS:  I have never heard anyone say he shot himself on purpose. 

I haven‘t heard you say it.

MALKIN:  Have you tried to ask—have you tried ask John Kerry these questions? 

MATTHEWS:  If he shot himself on purpose.  No.  I have not asked him that. 

MALKIN:  Don‘t you wonder? 

MATTHEWS:  No, I don‘t.  It‘s never occurred to me. 

A few things here:  Malkin should have been more forceful in getting her point across.  She states on her blog that she never said he shot himself on purpose, and that's technically true.  A self-inflicted wound does not mean you tried to shoot yourself on purpose.  You could have shot yourself by accident, which is what the Swiftboat Vets actually stated.

But Malkin didn't do a good job clarifying her argument.  In fact, at the end of this segment, Malkin asked Matthews, "have you tried to ask John Kerry these questions?"  And Matthews stated, "If he shot himself on purpose.  No.", in which Malkin replies, "Don't you wonder?"

There are two things we have to remember:  1.  This is a constant interchange.  Therefore it's possible that the transcript missed statements that Malkin and Matthews said through the crosstalk.  2.  Malkin could have been shaken by the sudden aggression displayed by Matthews, and fumbled her argument.  Either way, only watching the show itself could accurately depict what was being said.  But it doesn't look good for Malkin so far.

After the show, Keith Olberman gets on the so-called "Hardblogger" and starts cheerleading.  It's quite sad when you start brownnosing your own co-workers.  He should have took the mugshot down and showed a picture of himself in some pompoms.

Here's how retarded this guy sounds:

When I raised this prospect with John Harwood of 'The Wall Street Journal,' several viewers e-mailed to chastise us for not recognizing the difference between wounds that are “self-inflicted” and those that are deliberate attempts to injure one’s self. Throw a grenade, wipe out an enemy enclave, and get a piece of shrapnel in your head in the blow-back, and you’ve received a self-inflicted wound. It isn’t intentional and it isn’t dishonorable.

But of course that’s not what Thurlow said. He spoke of some vast Swift Boat Conspiracy in which Kerry steered not a crew of soldiers through hell, but rather, steered history. “A plan,” Thurlow said. “Included not only being a war hero,” Thurlow said. “But (also) getting an ‘early out’,” Thurlow said.

He’s not talking about an inadvertent blow-back wound. It was all a plan. And if the wounds weren’t deliberately self-inflicted (again, kudos Chris— he immediately told Malkin that such an act constituted a criminal offense), they must have occurred thanks to the timely cooperation of the Viet Cong, who were good enough to shoot Kerry on cue so he could go back home with all those medals and ribbons. You know, the ribbons he threw away in protest.

The problem with this is that he threw a grenade at a time when there was no enemy fire, at least according to Thurlow.  Military regulations specifically states that you receive a Purple Heart by being injured during actual combat.  THAT'S the problem.  Hence, all it takes is a little common sense to realize that you can accidentally injure yourself without actually being in combat.  As a national political analyst, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out.

And people wonder why MSNBC is constantly rumored to be cancelled?

Also, please note that Malkin was not initially supposed to be there to discuss the Swiftboat Vets.  She was there to promote her book.  She was supposedly told that she was going to have two segments: one for the Swiftboats, which she agreed to, and one for the book.  However, after the interchange Matthews and his producers pulled the plug. 

Malkin is one of my favorite pundits, and I love her work.  If there is anything that both her and I can learn from this is that YOU have to control the atmosphere.  Guys like Matthews are hard-up on making themselves look good.  I hope she fairs better on Washington Journal, as she is supposed to be on it this morning around 9:00.

Posted at 07:47 am by Expertise
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Thursday, August 19, 2004
Iraqi soccer team bashes Bush

I almost threw up when I read this:

Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored a goal here on Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium. Though Iraq -- the surprise team of the Olympics -- would lose to Morocco 2-1, it hardly mattered as the Iraqis won Group D with a 2-1 record and now face Australia in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

Ahmed Manajid
, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

Talk about a bunch of damn ingrates!  This is the same Iraqi soccer team who fell victim to the sadistic Uday Hussein.  If Bush hadn't "committed so many crimes", their asses would be wondering if they would have teeth after Uday got finished with them.

Here's one story about the Iraqi soccer team before the U.S. "slaughtered so many men and women":
In 1997, FIFA, the governing body for international soccer, sent soccer officials from Qatar and Malaysia to Baghdad to investigate a report that members of the national team were imprisoned and had their feet caned after losing a World Cup qualifying game to Kazakhstan. FIFA exonerated Iraq, saying they found no evidence of torture after interviewing and physically examining 12 players.

Sharar Haydar, who was on the Iraqi team at the time but sat out the game with an injury, told ESPN.com that players, indeed, were tortured. He said his teammates joked with each other about their inability to tell the truth to the FIFA officials during their two-day visit.

"I mean, nobody was going to say anything," Haydar said.
This is what the Iraqi Soccer Team had to face under Uday Hussein.  When their ungrateful asses were being airlifted out of Baghdad, they never had to worry about being imprisoned.  They actually could speak their minds freely without having to worry if they were going to be tortured once they got back to Uday's Olympic headquarters.

And what makes this worse is the fact that Bush never mentioned them in the ad.

I've seen the ad.  All the ad says is that there are two new free nations and two less terrorist regimes being represented at the Olympics, and they just put the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan on them.  That's it.  Bush didn't even mention the Iraqi soccer team or any other team in the ad.  You would have thought the ad showed a picture of the Iraqi soccer team with Bush superimposed into it.

It's things like this that make you not feel no remorse or pity for them while they were under Saddam's regime.  It's things like this that make people say, "To hell with them; let that piece of crap they call a country turn into a hellhole."  It's our men and women that risk their lives every day so not only the people in this country can live in a safer place, but so they may be able to live in a place where their people can live free and will be safe as well.

I hope the Australians beat their asses on Saturday.  These jokes do not deserve a medal, and they do not deserve cheers.  They are ungrateful, and despicable people.  It would be one thing if they just wanted to stay out of the fray, but to try and bash the man that saved their sorry asses that would have otherwise been tortured each time they lost a game shows a lack of integrity on the part of that soccer team.

Let's hope the rest of the Iraqi athletes have a little more decorum than these jokes.

Posted at 09:11 pm by Expertise
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Peeping Tom gets mollywhopped.

Tooley gave me the heads up on this one, so if yall have any complaints, blame him:

Officials said Mario Russo, 44, was attacked after he was spotted outside a bedroom window wearing his pants around his ankles and watching a 5-year-old girl who was sleeping outside the Bunker Ridge Apartments.

Russo was reportedly hiding in bushes.

Police said after he was discovered a group of six people, include the girl's mother, aunt and their boyfriends attacked him and brutally beat him for more than an hour.

 

Ha.  That's what his perverted ass gets.  But an hour tho?

I'm sayin; not that his ass didn't deserve a whuppin, but didn't yall ever get tired sooner or later?  Or did yall take turns and just switch every 5 minutes or so?

But check this out:

The girl's aunt admitted to sexually assaulting Russo with a tree branch, police said.

OUCH!!!!

Posted at 03:38 pm by Expertise
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Giving yall a head's up...

Obama Truth Squad.  This blog was created by some guy that got tired of Obama getting the rock star treatment and was practically unchallenged on his positions and stances after Jack Ryan pulled out of the race and wanted to clear the air.

It's relatively new (been up for a month or so) but he's been getting some press, as he's been mentioned in The Chicago Daily Herald, The Washington Times, and The American Spectator.

Some things you might want to know about Obama:

- Supported the "Benardin Amendment", which would have amended the Illinois state constitution to guarantee all Illinois residents "decent" health care.

- After being criticized by The Black Commentator, a VERY far-left black website infamous for calling people sellouts and house niggas (including an infamous cartoon of judicial appointee Janice Rogers Brown that got a lot of attention during her confirmation hearings and probably gave them the most press they ever had), for trying to develop a more centrist image, Obama did damage control by writing a letter assuring them that he still espoused "progressive" (more like regressive) ideals and denouncing the center-left Democratic Leadership Council.  He then contacted the DLC and requested them to take him off their list of "100 to watch" so no one would be confused.

- During the U.S. Senate primary, Obama stated on direct-mail literature that he was a law professor at the University of Chicago.  He lied.  He is only a senior lecturer.

-
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times read his book and found out that the names in there were fake, which brings up the possibility that some of those people and events in the book could be fake. 

When Sweet questioned Obama about this, he stated, "'You reconstruct your memory for what happened. It is not reportage. It is not appearing in the New York Times or the Sun-Times. I say that explicitly in the book.''  She did, however, get up with one of the characters in the book, and the account was indeed accurate.

- Obama voted against a bill that would have eliminated good behavior for sexual predators...55-1.  That's right; he was the only Ilinois state senator to vote against it.

There's also a Truth About Keyes blog out too.  It mainly just recalls the crazy things Keyes says.  It's a lot less policy-oriented than the Truth Squad as well.  I would point out some things, but the Illinois and national media already do a good enough job to cover both me and that blog.

If you want the best coverage on the War in Iraq, check out Hammorabi.  I don't know this guy's background, but he has the best in-depth coverage on what's going on in Iraq, including some things the national press either doesn't know, or fails to report.

Here's a sample from his blog, adding on to what I was saying last week:

I think the fact that Iraqi are effectively participating in a political process is a good thing. I can't bring myself to say the same for their "cause" though--a negotiated settlement with Sadr? Gimme a break! At some point they're going to have to accept reality. I can understand the anti-American undertow and the reverence for the shrine, and the fear of pissing off Sadr's supporters, and several other causes that could underlie this movement, but, at some point they gotta understand. We ain't gonna keep pouring our military into battle after battle that they won't let us win. We're not going to keep pouring our soldiers on this fire every time he pops his Mahdi Army up to make nuisance. Eventually Iraq will be asking us to "go get him" yet again, and we'll answer, "NO, ya'll go get him yourselves this time; we've had enough of this game."

And now the National Assembly has decided to send delegates to Sadr--he'll either give them nothing, or jack them around too, and we'll have to pull back and then they'll want us to start all over again on it later--gotta come an end to that rerun!
Iraqi Bloggers Central is really good too.  A good amount of the time he highlights the articles that get little to no attention, even from the talk radio shows.  He gives a great analysis on news stories and events for the day.

So if you guys get a chance, check these out.

Posted at 02:32 pm by Expertise
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Man trying to get home in Florida gets tasered.

A man who couldn't get to his house due to police blockades of disaster areas after Hurricane Charley gets tasered by police.

Officers in hurricane-ravaged Fort Myers used a Taser gun on a man allegedly trying to get by a police barrier to get home, and it was all caught on tape.

A crowd formed around the scene and voices can be heard yelling, "Leave him alone," "That is so wrong," and "Come on man, he's frustrated."

The man had three children in the car with him. Many in the crowd felt for the man who hasn't seen his home in days.
Check out the video on the same link.

I understand both sides.  As the man who hasn't been to his house in days, you want to go ahead and see what's happened to it and start the process with moving on with your life.  At that time, everything was in limbo.

But you don't force yourself in.  Trying to force your way in is just stupid.  The cops are doing a job.  They were ordered to not let anyone in for their own safety (Although what kind of dangers there are are questionable.  I think they are just making sure people don't riot or loot.)  I suppose they feel it's better to keep people out of there instead of just letting them go in buckwild.

What they could do is let residents go into certain areas for an allotted period of time, given they have homes or property in it, so they can help with the cleanup.  I don't see why they can't get their hands dirty too, especially since they are so eager.  It can also help ease the work of the cleanup crews.  But incidents like these don't help things at all.  Just let them help.

Posted at 01:54 am by Expertise
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Robinson lost.

He conceded defeat after being beaten by Foxx quite handily.  Fox won with over 55% of the vote to Robinson's 45%.

Thank god NC dodged that bullet.  I don't think I rooted against a Republican like that since 2002, when Sonny "Ralphis" Perdue beat Roy Barnes in Ga.

Posted at 01:51 am by Expertise
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