30 September 2004

GLOBAL TEST revealed

Well, it was about time. It has taken months to get it, but now we have a complete picture of Jon Heinz-Kerry's position is on defending America. Remember during the Democratic convention, we learned that Jon Heinz-Kerry would wait until after the US was attacked and then respond vigorously. "... Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response." Now we learn in Jon Heinz-Kerry's amerika, we must pass a GLOBAL TEST administered by UN flunkies. "But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do it in a way that passes the, the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people, understand fully why you're doing what you're doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons." In a bspolitix.blog world exclusive, we have obtained an actual copy of this so-called test.

The answers would be carefully crafted by some of the sharpest foreign policy minds that Amerika (and Kanada) have. Warren "hey-wake-that-guy-up-I'm-still-droning" Christopher, "Mad-Maddy" Albright, Jimmy "lust-in-my-heart" Carter, and his newfound buddy Michael Moore.

After we submit our answers to the UN the GLOBAL TEST would then actually be graded by the crackpots and whack-jobs that populate the UN. After they grade our answers, then and only then, and if they said it was OK; could we act to defend Amerika if Jon Heinz-Kerry becomes President. Good to know finally that JOhnKErry actually has a plan for defending Amerika.

Global Defense Test

1. What if we do let you respond, will you promise to be sensitive in your response?
2. Did you ask for it?
3. ?Parlais vouz francais?
4. You did ask for it, didn't you?
5. If we let you respond, then everybody will want to defend themselves?
6. But really, don't you deserve it?
7. Noam Chomsky says you asked for it, now your saying he's wrong?
8. What makes your country so great that is worth defending?
9. Don't you have more money and use more resources than any other country?
10.Really, you asked for it didn't you?

Jon Heinz-Kerry came across as a prosecutor, and as usual the socialists on the left want to blame America first, and this slip of Kerrys last night revealed this mindset.

Update: None other than Michael Barone is on this same meme a few days later-SpinDaddy

Update: The BC04 campaign is now all over it. -SpinDaddy

JOhnKErry -Asian Swamp Eel

"Watched the convention and believe the party may get a bump from it but not a large one given the pretty much even split in the electorate. The flip-floppers in the hall may have done as much damage to Kerry as any speaker could have. Anyway, now it's on to the debates. Your blog site must be fun, thanks...Hope George can get his act together and speak complete, articulate sentences." -PoliSciTeach

The above is from an exchange with one of SpinDaddys former political science teachers from college. She may be joining bspolitix.blog as an occasional guest commentator, anyway below is SpinDaddys response.

Inarticulate and awkwardly formed, yet sincere sentences trump flop-flipping "nuanced" nonsense E V E R Y T I M E IT HAS BEEN TRIED. Remember the punditry had AlGore wiping the floor with W, for the very reasons you alluded to. I believe the American electorate not quite so demanding of oral perfection as the leftist elites in the media and the academy.

That being said, Heinz-Kerry will offer a challenge to Bush in the debates. Not because he is possesed of a superior intellect or is a more talented debater, hardly. No, the reason Heinz-Kerry will be a challenge in the debates is because in order for W to nail him on a point, Heinz-Kerry has to actually take a position on something. How W will find a position to pin to Heinz-Kerry will be interesting.

Perhaps W will highlight the dilemma he faces in finding any such points, and will nail him with that. Perhaps W need not show up at the debates at all, as Heinz-Kerry v Heinz-Kerry would be quite a lively debate per se.

Heinz-Kerry is the political equivalant of the Asian swamp eel. Particularly he shares the characteristic with the eel about how "The skin produces a thick mucous layer making the eels difficult to hold". Other similarities John Heinz-Kerry shares with the non-indigenous invasive species (currently Florida is under assault from these nasty creatures) is that the eel is extraordinarily adaptive to changing environments (kinda' like Heinz-Kerrys political positions).

I don't make these things up. I did notice the similarities and make the comparison, but all the things I have said about the asian swamp eel are true, read about this nasty things, see if it doesn't sound eerily like a certain Slack-Jaw from New England.

The only consistent position I have found involving Heinz-Kerry is that of sliming veterans. He did it consistently and to great effect during the 70's, he did it again during the 80's and 90's as a senator by consistently voting against every major arms system that has been so effective recently, and of course now he is sliming all other vets that have the audacity not to bow before him.

Unless they happen to be one of 9 of the swift boat guys willing to be seen with him, they are fair game for a Heinz-Kerry sliming. What's next a book burning of Unfit For Command? Heinz-Kerry's propensity for suppresion of dissent (I should say attempted suppresion) is truly cause for concern. The other 250-odd swift boat guys are truly alarmed at the prospect of his presidency.

I suspect that Texas and Texans being big on killing and BBQing up all nature of critters, W and his buddies are probably working on a recipe that can make tasty BBQ out of even an asian swamp eel. -SpinDaddy

28 September 2004

Letter to our enemies

Saw this over at VodkaPundit, and feel compelled to pass it on. You should pass it on too

Update; this meme continues, be sure to catch the comments on this matter as well -Spin

JOhnKErry comeback kid?! NOT

Good heads up piece at the weekly standard. Mike Murphy is onto an important theme here, about how lazy and pack-like the mainstream media are. This needs to be headed off at the pass.

Flop-Flipper flops again

RealClearPolitics has article featuring a 1997 Senate speech in which Jon Heinz-Kerry calls for pre-emptive action in Iraq!! Is anyone surprised by this? No, but it is good for a laugh anyway. -SpinDaddy

27 September 2004

Another Gore Loser

In A Scrape

Jon Heinz-Kerry is in a scrape, he is scrambling to shore up his base, he is changing advisors almost as fast as he changes positions on Iraq, and the internal data in polls suggest he is in seriuos trouble in some very important areas. In areas such as trustworthiness, Bush is outpolling him by 30-40% points. This means that when Heinz-Kerry suggests a policy(however briefly) to win in Iraq nobody takes him seriously. So Jon Heinz-Kerry thinks that if he can get close in this falls election that he can do a better job of stealing the election than AlGores failed attempt in 2000. So to that end, Jon has hired thousands of lawyers to do this for him. Jon is in a scrape and he plans to litigate his way out of it. Watch Ohio, particulary the Over The Rhine area in Cincinnati, an area that has suffered from racial unrest, even riots in 2001.

Jon Heinz-Kerry wants to drag us into his problem. When you find yourself in a scrape, often a piece of paper, nothing more than pressed wood fibers make can make all the difference in the world. Say you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a fender-bender. You're not too worried, nobody is hurt, just a lot of bent sheet metal.

Until you call your insurance agent and he tells you your policy expired last month. You know this cannot be, and you can prove it. The piece of paper that saves you a lot of grief and money in this case would be the insurance policy. An enforceable contract of pressed wood fibers and some ink arranged in a certain fashion can save you thousands of dollars in a case like this.
But an insurance policy is more than simple paper with ink. It represents a negotiated agreement between two or more parties. This system of negotiated and recorded agreements between peoples on a larger scale is referred to as the rule of law.

Civics Lesson

This may be tedious for some but here goes. We have in this country the rule of law. It does not always work perfectly, but it is the most successful system of governing in the recorded history of mankind. An important component of this system of laws and governance is the concept of recording laws, and due process. That is to say, that when one event requiring legal intervention, or litigation occurs we have processes in place for dealing with it.

If you are arrested, you have a right to counsel, you have a right to a fair and speedy trial. You can expect certain things to happen to protect you if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself involved in a criminal matter as a defendant. If your insurance company tries to welch on paying to fix your car when you have a valid contractual policy in place you can have a reasonable expectation of successful recourse through the civil courts.

Without this system of rules and laws where we have reasonable expectations of how our civil affairs are to be conducted, the result would be the ugly specter of anarchy. Maybe we would devolve into the sad state of tyranny, where the weak are ruled by the strong, and the weak (or the minority) have absolutely no say.

All that said, we are now likely to face another severe test of our system of laws and governance. In 2000 AlGore and the Democrats hijacked our electoral system and held it hostage in the court system. Our electoral system emerged from this ordeal the weaker for the experience. Ever selfish, and apparently lacking any semblance of moral restraint, Jon Heinz-Kerry's campaign is hiring thousands of lawyers to try again to subvert our constitutionally established procedures of governance.

You see, in our system we have laws and statutes that are passed by various representative bodies at the state and Federal levels. But there is a higher governing authority, that provides for the nature and arrangement of our governance.

This higher authority is the constitution. All 50 of our states also have constitutions. Each of these constitutions provides for the framework of our governments state, and Federal. These constitutions are written records that specify the process of our governance. Separation of the legislative, judicial, and executive functions of our governments for instance. These constitutions even provide means of changing themselves. Some state constitutions have been changed with some regularity. These constitutions (state and Federal) are not subject to the whims of the Democratic party or whatever petulant loser they happen to be running for office at the time.

One of the most important things our various constitutions (state and Federal), provide for is the election (or appointment in the case of some judges) of our government officials. Particularly in the legislatures and in the case of the executive.

One of the things our wonderful constitutions provide for is the resolution of political disputes that may arise from time to time in the election of our governing officials.

The Process

In the case the congress or the Senate, if their is an electoral dispute in a given state regarding who will sit in a particular seat in congress, and it cannot be resolved through the recount process in the district, the congress decides the matter. Yes, you read that right; congress decides who sits in congress. Ask Bob Dornan next time you see him. Loretta Sanchez now holds the seat he used to in congress. Bob contends that she stole the seat by stuffing ballot boxes with the votes of illegal aliens, who voted based on her Hispanic last name. The specifics or validity of his charges are not important to the point of this discussion. When the matter could not be resolved in the state of California, the US Congress resolved the matter, and now Bob is doing something else, and Loretta Sanchez is the US representative from the 47th district of California.

In the case of the executive, our various state constitutions provide for the representative body to decide contested elections, in their respective states. In 1999 the Mississippi governors race was decided in this manner. Guess what the predominantly Democrat Mississippi house did? Yes that's right, they shamelessly voted along party lines to place Ronnie Musgrove in the governors mansion. There wasn't even the slightest pretense of feigned "bi-partisanship" fairness or other such tripe, they just dispatched the Republican candidate without even flinching.

In the matter of the Presidency of the United States, if the matter is not resolved at the state level; then it is incumbent on the US House of Representatives (Congress) to resolve this political dispute. The contested election of 1800, that placed Thomas Jefferson in the white house, was decided in this manner. On 17FEB01 the US House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson after the electoral college tied in his race with Aaron Burr.

In 2000 AlGore duped this country (and the Bush team for that matter) into ignoring the Constitutional process that is already in place for resolving political disputes. Political disputes are to be settled by politicians.

So Now What?

The time is now for the Bush-Cheney '04 to begin staking out the case for the rule of law. Now is the time for Bush lieutenants to begin insisting on the constitutional process to decide the certain to be disputed presidential election results. Bush-Cheney '04 needs to spread the word now, that we are a nation of laws and we are not going to allow petulant Democrat losers to continue to take our electoral process hostage and attempt to decapitate it like so many Islamo-Fascist thugs in Iraq. What kind of example does this set for fledgling democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq?

The piece of paper in this case that can make all the difference in the world is the United States Constitution. In fact, if we adhere to this piece of paper it may save the world from the tyrannical theocratic rule of Islamo-Fascist maniacs. It is imperative that we insist that the rule of law be followed in this instance and that any disputes regarding the election outcome be resolved in the US House of Represntatives.

I maintain that the uncertainty created by the debacle of AlGores temper-tantrum fit in 2000, deepened the Clinton-Gore recession, which demonstrably started in the Spring of 2000. Last time it was our economy that suffered. Now we are at war, and such uncertainty this time around will only embolden our enemies even further than Heinz-Kerry has done so far by talking down the accomplishments of our troops. Another such stunt may even endanger our security here at home.
All so an arrogant, blow-dried-stuffed-shirt-Flop-Flipper can complete his resume' . I think not. Now is the time for the GOP spin machine and Bush-Cheney '04 to begin insisting that these disputes be decided in the political realm, in the manner the Constitution requires.

16 September 2004

Wrong Candidate at the Wrong Time

From this mornings WashTimes....Mr. Kerry has recently taken to calling Iraq the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

Jon Heinz-Kerry the wrong candidate, in the wrong race, at the wrong time. Sort of has a resonant tone doesn't it? -SpinDaddy

3Questions for Sen Kerry

I know Sen Kerry is a busy fella' and all, but perhaps he has time for a few questions from this blogger. They are as follows.

Kerry stated during his nomination acceptance speech that he would respond swiftly to any attack on America.

One, since he is prepared to wait until we are attacked and obviously takes issue with President Bushes doctrine of pre-emption, which 3,000 Americans have to die next before Kerry can be rousted into responding?

Two, what if al Qaeda already has or is able to attain an Atomic or Nuclear capability, which 300,000 - 3,000,000 Americans have to die before Kerry responds?

Finally, which American city would Sen. Kerry prefer to see go up in a mushroom cloud before he responds swiftly?

If you per chance happen upon Sen. Kerry, and have a chance to ask him these questions, please feel free to forward the responses to me, thxs in advance. -SpinDaddy

15 September 2004

Kerry's Troll

Saw this at VodkaPundit and it is too funny...must look, but not for too long -SpinDaddy

13 September 2004

The Art of Destruction

I was watching the usual shows this weekend and listened to the rhetoric from the DNC delivered by AlGore and Kennedy. These people are truly dangerous. They are dangerous and destructive to our country. These people, coupled with the remainder of the liberal left and the mass media are destroying the reputation of our country around the world and internally dividing the country.

Why do people supposedly hate the US and George Bush so much? Trust me, there are many who hate the US and President Bush. You can see it and hear it on the news from Detroit, Paris, Brussels, Palm Beach, Copenhagen, Santa Barbara, Montreal and all other corners of the US and Western Europe. Many, particularly those on the left, would say it is because of President Bush. They are wrong.

It is precisely because of the radical left. It is precisely because of Kennedy, AlGore and the mass media. They so hate President Bush that they politicize everything in vicious and hateful ways. I have no problem with healthy dissent and disagreement, but have you seen Dean, Kennedy, AlGore, Rather and any number of media outlets.

These people have no problem saying that George Bush is worse than Saddam and is comparable to Hitler. YES, they have actually said this on a number of occasions. They have no problem saying that President Bush wants to poison the water, starve children, force the elderly to eat dog food, kill innocents, spread AIDS and more. Last night, I heard Kennedy say that the war in Iraq was useless, pointless, a lie, deceitful, not connected to 911 or Al-Qaeda and so on.

The far left, including the DNC, Kerry, AlGore, Dean, Kennedy, Edwards, Rather, Jennings, Carville, Albright, Carter, LA Times, NY Times, CBS and the like are all willing to destroy our country to gain power. They have no character and don’t know the truth since they have spewed their hate and lies for so long. They have begun to believe their own propaganda.

Fortunately, all but about 33% of the US population seems to realize this and takes little notice of what they say. In response, these hate mongers feel they must turn up the heat even further. This further divides the country and marginalizes the left. Marginalizing the left is very good. Dividing the country is not.

The worst effect of all this rhetoric, hate and the vicious attacks on the country and its leadership is that those abroad have no frame of reference. Worse yet, they assume that the US mass media is amongst the best and most objective in the world. So, when they see all of this propaganda, they assume it is true! Many of them actually believe that President Bush is the most evil leader in the world since Hitler. Can you imagine that. Look at the Bush record. The US, under Bush’s leadership has freed more than 25 million people from fascism, persecution, racism, and many from murder. The US, under Bush’s leadership, has stopped terror in the US and made us safer. The US, under Bush’s leadership has not only fought war on two fronts, freed millions, captured Saddam, captured more than 50% of Al-Qaeda, spent more on AIDS than Clinton and all of Europe combined, but has managed to turn around an inherited recession, provide very low levels of unemployment, provided strong job growth and a very strong economy. That is a great record.

Can you see the separation between the truth and the propaganda of the left? Most in the US see it pretty clearly. Unfortunately, those in the rest of the world don’t. In addition, many don’t want to and their negative beliefs are built up and strengthened by the left here. Folks, our worst enemy are not Iraq, Al-Qaeda, or North Korea. The worst enemy of the US is within. Our worst enemy is the radical left in this country. The US can stand against all external threats, but will eventually fall if the internal division becomes too great and we loose all character and loose our core beliefs. Don’t let this happen.

So, don’t get mad at the French, Germans, British or Canadians. Get mad at the left. They are the ones literally destroying the fabric of our country for personal gain. Simply put, they are like selfish children who threaten to destroy the country if they can’t have it their way. As I see it, there are two ways to stop them. One is to encourage them to change…not likely. Remember, they are like unsupervised children who will never grow up and will likely get worse. The second way is to allow or even encourage them to become even more outrageous and more hateful in order to move them so far into the margins that they no longer impact US or world politics. This is a more likely, albeit more risky proposition. In this scenario, it only gets worse before it will get better.

We are at war from without (terror). In order to win the war from without, we must win the war within. We must defeat the hate, intolerance, and propaganda within. We must defeat those within the US which seek to destroy the country if they can’t have it. Most importantly, we must win this war in rational, peaceful and honorable ways. We must not sink to their levels of repulsiveness, lest we become like them. We must seek justice, freedom, love, and bring the country back together for the good of the US and the good of the world. Simply put, we must act like responsible adults and discipline the wayward children. Protect our country and refuse to support or vote for radical left candidates like Kerry, Daschle, Edwards, Clinton, Boxer, Pelosi and all the others. Protect our country and refuse to watch or read CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Times and LA Times. Take action – we must win this war!

09 September 2004

al Qaeda al Iraq

We routinely see reports in the media from as far afield as the Phillipines, Malaysia. Sudan, Yemen. France,Germany. Pakistan, Iran. Great Britain and the US. Detroit MI, Buffalo NY. San Diego CA, Miami FL.

We have seen reports from all of the above locations about one group, al Qaeda. The left, including the majority of the media in this country, would have us believe that while al Qaeda has terror cells, training operations, and are recruiting in all these places. Al Qaeda was NOT, repeat NOT in Iraq. They were everywhere else in the world, but NOT in Iraq.

What !?

Sorry, but that does not compute. Especially in light of the evidence that Saddam Husseins regime was paying the surviving family members of homocide bombers. His regime was providing sanctuary for the terrorist Abu Nidal. Other terrorists and other terror groups but NOT al Qaeda.

Come on, this stretches the credulity of even the likes of the Carter-Albright-Kerry wing of the democratic party. If they actually believe foolishness like this, they are unqualified to hold office, any office. If they don't believe it, yet espouse such nonsense, they are guilty of something far more damning. Seeking to politicize the issue for the sake of the acquisition of power, which is far more alarming than the former proposition I put forward above. Because it means that, to them, the acquisition of power is more important than the security of our nation.

But al Qaeda was NOT repeat NOT in Iraq. We are supposed to believe that although al Qaeda was operating virtually everywhere else in the world, and Saddam not only offered safe-haven to the likes of Abu Nidal, but was paying for homocide bombings against Israel, al Qaeda was NOT repeat NOT operating in Iraq. Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, maybe But NOT in Iraq!

This is important to understand because Jon (French spelling, I left out the"h" on purpose) Kerry's latest strategy from the likes of James Carville and Paul Begala is to try to separate Iraq from the war on terror. Sorry but this does not add up.

Also, last night I was watching a rerun of Meet the Press and Madeline Albright (Clintons SecState) cleared up someting that has been gnawing at me for a while. Russert pressed her pretty good. And she finally gave it up. Russert swerved into a question I have asked in this forum, and that is: By "more internationalization" in the war in Iraq(a concept most Americans rightly regard with hostility anyway) does Kerry mean the UN? Does he mean France, Germany? Albright bit, in fact she took it hook line and sinker. She said that if we elect Kerry on 2NOV04 that we have a "better chance of getting French and German involvement".

Well that makes it all better, we should vote for a pig-in-a-poke like that? Because with Kerry we will have a better chance of obtaining help from the French and the Germans in Iraq? This is absolutely laughable, and I hope we here more of it. The American voter is way smarter than she gives them credit for, and the more of this foolishness they hear, the more likey they are to vote for Bush.

Also I have picked up on some new spin the dems are offering up. Listen for it and see if you spot it yourself. Kerrys surrogates (and it is always his lackeys, because Kerry himself cannot talk to the media for fear of swift-vet questions) when pressed for specifics how the jr. Senator from MA would handle the situation, the answer is that the situation in Iraq is "seriously degraded". Or that the good Senator "cannot possibly know what he will be facing on 21JAN05 when he takes office". Note that neither response or variances of same provide an answer to the question, what is Kerry's plan du jour on Iraq? Is he going to cut and run in 6mos or 4yrs? Which one is it today? Mort Kondracke is on this riff too check him athttp://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-9_13_04_MK.html -SpinDaddy

03 September 2004

W's Convention Speech

Note this speech is about the future and contains a bold call to action for the American people to share the precious gift of Liberty which God has bestowed upon us. Bush's philosophy is that we are obligated to share this gift, a higher calling reminiscent of JFK's challenge "to ask not...".
Note that JFK didn't waste an entire convention focusing on 16 weeks spent in combat 30 some odd years before. JFK challenged the nation to rise to higher expectations, to meet the opportunities of the future.
Bush gently admonished us to not succumb to the "soft bigotry of low expectations" not only in education for disadvantaged youth here but; I think also, to those newly liberated in Iraq, and Afghanistan.
One of the most superbly crafted and delivered speeches I have seen. Ever. At some points the poignancy is almost overwhelming.

President Bush's Nomination Acceptance Speech

Mr. Chairman, delegates, fellow citizens: I am honored by your support, and I accept your nomination for President of the United States.
When I said those words four years ago, none of us could have envisioned what these years would bring. In the heart of this great city, we saw tragedy arrive on a quiet morning. We saw the bravery of rescuers grow with danger. We learned of passengers on a doomed plane who died with a courage that frightened their killers. We have seen a shaken economy rise to its feet. And we have seen Americans in uniform storming mountain strongholds, and charging through sandstorms and liberating millions, with acts of valor that would make the men of Normandy proud.
Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb and found the strength to climb them. Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America and nothing will hold us back.
In the work we have done, and the work we will do, I am fortunate to have a superb vice president. I have counted on Dick Cheney's calm and steady judgment in difficult days and I am honored to have him at my side.
I am grateful to share my walk in life with Laura Bush. Americans have come to see the goodness and kindness and strength I first saw 26 years ago, and we love our first lady.
I am a fortunate father of two spirited, intelligent and lovely young women. I am blessed with a sister and brothers who are also my closest friends. And I will always be the proud and grateful son of George and Barbara Bush.
My father served eight years at the side of another great American — Ronald Reagan. His spirit of optimism and goodwill and decency are in this hall, and in our hearts, and will always define our party.
Two months from today, voters will make a choice based on the records we have built, the convictions we hold and the vision that guides us forward. A presidential election is a contest for the future. Tonight I will tell you where I stand, what I believe, and where I will lead this country in the next four years.
I believe every child can learn and every school must teach — so we passed the most important federal education reform in history. Because we acted, children are making sustained progress in reading and math, America's schools are getting better, and nothing will hold us back.
I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors — so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare. Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage and nothing will hold us back.
I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers — so we unleashed that energy with the largest tax relief in a generation. Because we acted, our economy is growing again, and creating jobs and nothing will hold us back.
I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch.
I am running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world and a more hopeful America. I am running with a compassionate conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives. I believe this nation wants steady, consistent, principled leadership — and that is why, with your help, we will win this election.
The story of America is the story of expanding liberty: an ever_widening circle, constantly growing to reach further and include more. Our nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom.
The times in which we live and work are changing dramatically. The workers of our parents' generation typically had one job, one skill, one career — often with one company that provided health care and a pension. And most of those workers were men. Today, workers change jobs, even careers, many times during their lives, and in one of the most dramatic shifts our society has seen, two-thirds of all moms also work outside the home.
This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all Americans to earn a better living, support your family, and have a rewarding career. And government must take your side. Many of our most fundamental systems — the tax code, health coverage, pension plans, worker training — were created for the world of yesterday, not tomorrow.We will transform these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared — and thus truly free — to make your own choices and pursue your own dreams.

My plan begins with providing the security and opportunity of a growing economy. We now compete in a global market that provides new buyers for our goods, but new competition for our workers. To create more jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do business. To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation and making tax relief permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy. To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe. And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America.
Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess — filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve — and our economic future demands __ a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code.
Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.
In this time of change, opportunity in some communities is more distant than in others. To stand with workers in poor communities — and those that have lost manufacturing, textile and other jobs — we will create American opportunity zones. In these areas, we'll provide tax relief and other incentives to attract new business and improve housing and job training to bring hope and work throughout all of America.
As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.
As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially ob-gyn , who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
In this time of change, government must take the side of working families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer comp time and flex time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family friendly workplace.
Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity and independence.
Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say "Welcome to my home."
In an ownership society, more people will own their health plans and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement. We will always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers. With the huge Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there when they need it. We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account — a nest egg you can call your own and government can never take away.
In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path — a path to greater opportunity, more freedom and more control over your own life.
This path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and character can take them. Tonight, I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child: No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live — your school will be the path to the promise of America.
We are transforming our schools by raising standards and focusing on results. We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and teachers and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools. By testing every child, we are identifying those who need help — and we're providing a record level of funding to get them that help. In northeast Georgia, Gainesville Elementary School is mostly Hispanic and 90 percent poor — and this year 90 percent of its students passed state tests in reading and math. The principal expresses the philosophy of his school this way: "We don't focus on what we can't do at this school; we focus on what we can do. We do whatever it takes to get kids across the finish line." This principal is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations, and that is the spirit of our education reform and the commitment of our country: No dejaremos a ningun nino atras. We will leave no child behind.
We are making progress — and there is more to do. In this time of change, most new jobs are filled by people with at least two years of college, yet only about one in four students gets there. In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk. We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation. By raising performance in our high schools, and expanding Pell grants for low and middle income families, we will help more Americans start their career with a college diploma.
America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need.
Anyone who wants more details on my agenda can find them online. The web address is not very imaginative, but it's easy to remember: GeorgeWBush.com.
These changing times can be exciting times of expanded opportunity. And here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability reform. He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit and opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them. To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for — he's proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes — and that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.
His policies of tax and spend — of expanding government rather than expanding opportunity — are the policies of the past. We are on the path to the future — and we are not turning back.
In this world of change, some things do not change: the values we try to live by, the institutions that give our lives meaning and purpose. Our society rests on a foundation of responsibility and character and family commitment.
Because family and work are sources of stability and dignity, I support welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work. Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child. Because religious charities provide a safety net of mercy and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them. Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges. And I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.
My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters. Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them.
This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism — and you know where I stand. Three days after September 11th, I stood where Americans died, in the ruins of the Twin Towers. Workers in hard hats were shouting to me, "Whatever it takes." A fellow grabbed me by the arm and he said, "Do not let me down." Since that day, I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. I will never relent in defending America — whatever it takes.
So we have fought the terrorists across the earth — not for pride, not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake. Our strategy is clear. We have tripled funding for homeland security and trained half a million first responders, because we are determined to protect our homeland. We are transforming our military and reforming and strengthening our intelligence services. We are staying on the offensive — striking terrorists abroad — so we do not have to face them here at home. And we are working to advance liberty in the broader Middle East, because freedom will bring a future of hope, and the peace we all want. And we will prevail.
Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaeda, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fund-raising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaeda was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer.
This progress involved careful diplomacy, clear moral purpose, and some tough decisions. And the toughest came on Iraq. We knew Saddam Hussein's record of aggression and support for terror. We knew his long history of pursuing, even using, weapons of mass destruction. And we know that Sept. 11th requires our country to think differently: We must, and we will, confront threats to America before it is too late.
In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East urged him to comply. After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the civilized world. He again refused, and I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office — a decision no president would ask for, but must be prepared to make. Do I forget the lessons of Sept. 11th and take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend our country? Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.
Because we acted to defend our country, the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are history, more than 50 million people have been liberated, and democracy is coming to the broader Middle East. In Afghanistan, terrorists have done everything they can to intimidate people — yet more than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the October presidential election — a resounding endorsement of democracy. Despite ongoing acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong prime minister, a national council, and national elections are scheduled for January.
Our nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word. As importantly, we are serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies, which no longer feed resentments and breed violence for export. Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them, and that helps us keep the peace. So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.
Our troops know the historic importance of our work. One Army Specialist wrote home: "We are transforming a once sick society into a hopeful place ... The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq," he continued, "are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists."
That young man is right — our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America. Tonight I want to speak to all of them — and to their families: You are involved in a struggle of historic proportion. Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan and making America safer. Because of you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, the people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and left in mass graves. Because of you, the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory.
Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed, $87 billion in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it was a "complicated" matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat.
Our allies also know the historic importance of our work. About 40 nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq. And I deeply appreciate the courage and wise counsel of leaders like Prime Minister Howard, and President Kwasniewski, and Prime Minister Berlusconi — and, of course, Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others — allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.
The people we have freed won't forget either. Not long ago, seven Iraqi men came to see me in the Oval Office. They had "X"s branded into their foreheads, and their right hands had been cut off, by Saddam Hussein's secret police, the sadistic punishment for imaginary crimes. During our emotional visit one of the Iraqi men used his new prosthetic hand to slowly write out, in Arabic, a prayer for God to bless America. I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed, and the greatest force for good on this earth.
Others understand the historic importance of our work. The terrorists know. They know that a vibrant, successful democracy at the heart of the Middle East will discredit their radical ideology of hate. They know that men and women with hope, and purpose, and dignity do not strap bombs on their bodies and kill the innocent. The terrorists are fighting freedom with all their cunning and cruelty because freedom is their greatest fear — and they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march.
I believe in the transformational power of liberty: The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq seize the moment, their example will send a message of hope throughout a vital region. Palestinians will hear the message that democracy and reform are within their reach, and so is peace with our good friend Israel. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers, and political prisoners, and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances — heart by heart, and nation by nation — America will be more secure and the world more peaceful.
America has done this kind of work before — and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is ... a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. European capitals are frightened. In every military headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same person's still around, writing editorials. Fortunately, we had a resolute president named Truman, who with the American people persevered, knowing that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of liberty, we live in a better and safer world today.
The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our Nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics — and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world.
This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our Nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me.
In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English — I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt — and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.
One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them — and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them. These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I have tried to comfort Americans who lost the most on Sept. 11th — people who showed me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from them. I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their dad or mom.
And I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers — to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.
The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.
We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested and confident Nation can achieve anything.
To everything we know there is a season — a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century. By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America — and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. Now we go forward — grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.
God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.

02 September 2004

Media Meltdown

A Media Meltdown?
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Article first appeared in Tech Central Station and is republished only with their rather gracious permission. Why? Because I think this is a very well written and important article, read more great articles at this link http://www.techcentralstation.com/
Happy reading -SpinDaddy



Though it's looking less likely than it was a few weeks ago, John Kerry could still pull off a win in this presidential election. But there's already one clear loser: the so-called "mainstream media" of network television and major newspapers. Whoever winds up in the White House next year, the position of these traditional media outlets (or "legacy media" as some call them) continues to decline.

That decline is partly technological in origin. Monopolistic or oligopolistic newspapers and broadcast outlets were the result of technology: economies of scale and scope that rewarded consolidation and led to virtually no competition among newspapers and very little among broadcasters. Now that's changing, as alternative outlets like talk radio, cable television, and, especially, the Internet, have almost completely removed the traditional barriers to entry and allowed competition.

But the loss of those barriers isn't the biggest problem faced by the mainstream media. The biggest problem is that, like most monopolists, they've spent so many years enjoying their position and not worrying about quality that they're left floundering now that competition is exposing their faults. Like the folks at GM who couldn't understand why people were buying Toyotas all of a sudden back in the 1970s, today's Big Media folks are shocked to see ratings and circulation numbers falling while readership for Internet sites skyrockets. And, like the auto executives, they're even starting to mumble about the need for protection.

But it won't work, of course. And -- much like the release of the Chevrolet Vega, the Ford Fairmont, or the AMC Pacer -- the press's coverage of the 2004 presidential election has revealed an industry in deep trouble. One problem is that even the pretense of evenhandedness has vanished, as members of the press -- who increasingly share the same left-leaning political views and who increasingly live in what Mickey Kaus calls the press "cocoon" -- have let their bias show. In an admirable display of forthrightness, Newsweek's Evan Thomas remarked:

"There's one other base here, the media. Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win and I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox. They're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there's going to be this glow about them, collective glow, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points."

Hmm. A 15-point margin kind of makes a mockery of "democracy" doesn't it? And we were worried about a few hanging chads?

As Debra Saunders remarked on CNN's Reliable Sources over the weekend, there's a double standard in election coverage. Why?:

SAUNDERS: I am suggesting a double standard.

KURTZ: Why do you think that is?

SAUNDERS: I think that most journalists support John Kerry.

KURTZ: You really think that that's the reason?

SAUNDERS: Yes, I do. I work for "The San Francisco Chronicle." I've been in journalism for many years. And most people...

KURTZ: So you believe that most journalists want John Kerry to win, and therefore are asking tougher questions of the president and giving Kerry an easier ride for ideological reasons? That's a pretty serious charge.

Yes it is -- and it's also rather obviously true. Then there was this admission from ABC's The Note:

"Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections.

"They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are "conservative positions." …

"The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush's justifications for the Iraq war -- in any of its WMD, imminent threat, or evil-doer formulations. It does not understand how educated, sensible people could possibly be wary of multilateral institutions or friendly, sophisticated European allies.

"It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy by stimulating summer spending.

"It remains fixated on the unemployment rate. … The worldview of the dominant media can be seen in every frame of video and every print word choice that is currently being produced about the presidential race."

This has become increasingly obvious as, even without these open admissions, the day to day coverage makes it more and more apparent, especially to those who have access to other sources of information -- which, nowadays, almost everyone does. That's caused the press to lose whatever market value its purported neutrality brought it.

But the real problem here, to paraphrase a Massachusetts politician who ran for President a few elections back, is not ideology, but competence.

The press's neutrality has been revealed as a fiction. That might not matter if they were still better at what they did than anyone else. After all, what about all the fact-checking, the professionalism, the editors meticulously ensuring fairness and accuracy?

Yeah. What about 'em? It's tempting to point to Jayson Blair, or any of the other media scandals of the past couple of years. (Or, for that matter, to Walter Duranty). But the problem goes even deeper than that. Beyond these major scandals, a combination of laziness, bias, and complacency haunts reporting on all sorts of subjects.

The latest example has to do with the controversy over John Kerry's claims to have been in Cambodia on Christmas Day, 1968. He wasn't, as even his campaign has admitted now. But major media ignored this story for weeks, even as bloggers and others were researching and publishing.

As Jonathan Last notes:

"There are many reasons why the mainstream media don't like the Swift boat story, but chief among them is that they've been strong-armed into covering it by the "new" media: talk-radio, cable television, and Internet blogs. …

"Talk-radio and the blog world covered the Cambodia story obsessively.

"They reported on border crossings during Vietnam and the differences between Swift boats and PBRs. They also found two other instances of Kerry's talking about his Christmas in Cambodia. Spurred on by the blogs, Fox led the August 9 Special Report with a Carl Cameron story on Kerry's Cambodia discrepancy.

"All the while, traditional print and broadcast media tried hard to ignore the story--even as Kerry officially changed his position on his presence in Cambodia. Then on August 19, Kerry went public with his counter assault against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and suddenly the story was news. The numbers are fairly striking: Before August 19, the New York Times and Washington Post had each mentioned Swift Boat Veterans for Truth just 8 times; the Los Angeles Times 7 times; the Boston Globe 4 times. The broadcast networks did far less. According to the indefatigable Media Research Center, before Kerry went public, ABC, CBS, and NBC together had done a total of 9 stories on the Swifties. For comparison, as of August 19 these networks had done 75 stories on the accusation that Bush had been AWOL from the National Guard.

"After Kerry, the deluge."

And even after Kerry, the quality of the coverage was poor, often substituting hand-waving for facts. Last provides plenty of examples, but this piece by Jim Boyd of the Star-Tribune, attacking two bloggers from Power Line does an especially good job of capturing the tone -- lots of complaints about "smears," but few facts. The two bloggers, John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, replied:

"We wrote that the Kerry campaign has retracted Kerry's oft-told tale of being in Cambodia on Christmas 1968. Boyd did not dispute this. We wrote that there is no record of John Kerry being in Cambodia in December 1968, or at any other time. Boyd did not dispute this. We wrote that Kerry's commanding officers have denied that he was ever sent into Cambodia. Boyd did not dispute this. We wrote that not a single crewman who ever served with Kerry has supported Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia, and several crewmen have denied that their boat was ever in Cambodia. Boyd did not dispute this. We wrote that there is no record of Swift boats being used for clandestine missions as claimed by Kerry. Boyd did not dispute this. We wrote that Swift boats were unsuited for such secret missions, given their large size and noise. Boyd did not dispute this.

"Gosh, for fraudulent smear artists, we seem to be doing pretty well.

Why did Hinderaker and Johnson do so well? Perhaps because they have actual skills. As Hugh Hewitt observes:

"I have been both a lawyer/law professor for two decades and a television/radio/print journalist for 15 years of those 20. It takes a great deal more intelligence and discipline to be the former than to be the latter, which is why the former usually pays a lot more than the latter. It is no surprise to me, then, when lawyers/law professors like those at Powerline and Instapundit prove to be far more adept at exposing the "Christmas-in-Cambodia" lie and other Kerry absurdities than old-school journalists. The big advantage is in research skills, of course, and in an eye for inconsistencies which make or break cases and arguments."

Or as Hinderaker himself wrote:

"A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field. But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing. Generally speaking, they don't know any more about primary data and raw sources of information than we do-- often less. Their general knowledge is often inadequate. Their superior resources should allow them to carry out investigations far beyond what we amateurs can do. But the reality is that the mainstream media rarely use those resources. Too many journalists are bored, biased and lazy."

The press has been in the tank for Kerry to a degree that is, I think, without precedent in recent history. But it's now, as another law professor/blogger, Ann Althouse, notes, beginning to change its tune: "The media are looking ahead and imagining how the history of the 2004 presidential campaign will read and how their performance will measure up."

I think that's right. But while the media's willingness to side with Kerry has been striking, it's also like the proverbial thirteenth chime of the clock -- not only wrong itself, but calling into question everything that came before. The loss of credibility that has come with that, coupled with the press's poor performance on all sorts of topics (don't these people know how to use Google? don't they realize that we do?) will be a long-lasting blow.

The media barons should be worried. The real problem is that to succeed in a business, you have to be better than your competitors at giving people what they want or need. The mainstream media needs to ask itself whether it's capable of doing that -- and, if not, how it needs to change.