If you want snarky, not-terribly insightful, round-by-round analysis, my Keeping Score is now posted at weeklystandard.com.
Likewise, David's Bush the Heavy.
40 minutes ago
The incumbent has staked his campaign on the war on terror. But those who speak the language of the Trek warrior race--known to disdain dishonor, or quvHa'ghach--seem alienated by Iraq and other issues. . . .
"A good war is based on honor, not deception," says K'tok (Earth name: Clyde Lewis), a 40-year-old Klingon from Lair Hill. "The first warrior, President Bush, deceived us all with this war." . . .
"On the home world, if there had been a contested election between Gore and Bush, the honorable thing would be for Gore to kill Bush," explained Khraanik (Earth name: Jason Lewis), a 38-year-old from Southeast Portland. "Or the other way around. And then ascend to the head of the High Council."
It's too early for Kerry to chill the ceremonial bloodwine, but Portland clinging are clearly warming to the cerebral Massachusetts Democrat.
"Kerry has shown his prowess," says 33-year-old Neqha (Earth name: Eric King) of discard. "He saved his fellow warrior under the gun, and has been commended and awarded medals."
And as for a relative ranking of "big media stories of recent memory"--is the CBS episode of the magnitude of, say, Jayson Blair deceiving the readers of the New York Times not once, but dozens of times, month after month? Or as big as Jack Kelly deceiving the readers of USA Today not once, but apparently hundreds of times for years on end? Or as big as the systemic failure of the mainstream press to question the fatally flawed rationale for war in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq? Or even as big as the press's inexplicable delay before it finally began investigating the veracity, or lack thereof, of the charges leveled at John Kerry by the swift boat veterans? . . .
But come on, guys--try to get a grip. It's not Watergate. It's not even Rathergate. So far, it's no more than Fontgate.
President Clinton has had extensive discussions with his inner circle about a strategy of acknowledging to a grand jury on Monday that he had intimate sexual encounters with Monica S. Lewinsky in the White House, senior advisers have said.
Although Mr. Clinton has not settled on this approach, discussions have centered on a plan that would allow him to acknowledge a specific type of sexual behavior while still maintaining he told the truth when he testified in January that he never had "sexual relations" with the former White House intern, the advisers said. . . .
For months Mr. Clinton has publicly denied any sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. So politically, an acknowledgment of some kind of sexual encounter poses considerable risk, particularly if it were linked to a legal argument that rests on a narrow definition of sex.
But Mr. Clinton's advisers have said it poses a greater risk to tell anything less than the truth to a grand jury about sex with Ms. Lewinsky. . . .
The advisers cautioned that preparations for the grand jury appearance were continuing and that the strategy could still change as the President continued to examine the legal and political implications of various courses. . . .
Even as the President's advisers review his options, some have prefaced their remarks by saying it is still possible that Mr. Clinton will say again, as he has publicly, that he never had sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky. . . .
Most uneventful bus ride which, for the record, took us on I-35W South to I-694 East to I-35E South to I-94 East to U.S. 52 South to Rochester. Only notes of interest along way were the smiling guys waving outside Jake's Exotic Dancers, just outside St. Paul, the sign advertising Elk Meat for Sale in Zumbrota, MN, and the billboard advertising Windsor Canadian Whiskey taking note of Minnesota's state bird: "It's not your blood the mosquitos are after." In Rochester, the top film on the marquee was "Without a paddle." Know the feeling.
The short answer to the question is, we're not in the business of saying, "You may be a bad boy; drink your medicine." We're in the business of saying "You are a bad boy; drink your medicine." And, as of this moment, despite the flurry of charges and counter-charges, it's not clear whether CBS has been had by some undercover operative intent on smearing the president, or whether the network itself is the victim of a smear campaign.
The PO Box checks out, indeed. However, if you look at the address, it is for the fighter group (147th Fighter Group) that was the "parent" of the fighter squadron to which Bush was assigned. The alleged documents' return address is for the squadron. Did the squadron have the same post-office box as the group?
In the authentic records (page 3), Bush's squadron is designated "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron." On the correspondence among the authentic documents, however, the address is "147th Fighter Group." Interesting to note as well that the document (page 6)--official orders, in fact--are headed with "Department of the Air Force/Headquarters 147th Fighter Group (TNG)/Ellington Air Force Base, Texas 77030." Are there any other authenticated correspondence/orders that show the squadron's address as "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron" or is headed "111th Fighter Squadron"?
Also, the home address for George Bush on the records shown on pages 7 and 11--and dated "1 Dec 69" and "9 Dec 68," respectively--is "5000 Longmont, Apt. 8/Houston, Texas 77027;" the home address shown on page 8 on a document dated 15 September 1971 is "2039 One Half South Blvd/Houston TX 77086." The alleged "memorandum" to George Bush dated 1 May 1972 lists the 1968 address as his home address. Did he move back to the Longmont address between September 1971 and May 1972?
The address P.O. Box 34567 is, in fact, legitimate. It is also used on documents previously released. Check out 1stLt Bush's two DD44, Record of Military Status of Registrant, dated 9 Dec 68, and 1 Dec 69. You can download these documents from USA Today's website.
An order obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt was honorably discharged March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers' negative evaluations of the future president's service was dated Aug. 18, 1973.
We proceeded to Fort Pierce, about 10 minutes away, to Lawnwood Recreation Area, dominated by a stadium used for local games. The POTUS's motorcade pulled in to an area outside the municipal stadium, where a Dunkin Donuts truck, a truck providing iced lattes (help is on the way), and trucks full of bottled water and other supplies were lined up. "Convoy of Hope,'' a nonprofit described to us as based in Missouri -- check that before you print it -- was running a drive-thru aid operation, and cars were lined up outside the stadium to pick up emergency supplies.
By the time your pool caught up with POTUS, the Bush Brothers -- Jeb in a khaki shirt, his brother in a light blue checked shirt -- were loading water and bags of ice into cars, leaning into the passenger seats to shake hands. Most of the
conversation was out of the earshot of your poolers. But the lineup of cars looked a little like a Saturday afternoon line at Safeway to pickup groceries, with the governor of Florida and the POTUS as the bag-loaders -- only with more
smiles. As a photo-op it was perfect -- the president was signing $2 billion of aid in the morning, then delivering the goods by lunchtime. You'd never know an election was eight weeks away.
"God bless,'' we overheard him say to Vernon and Joyzell Friason, who drove away before we could get any details about their situation. A few cars down was a fellow in dreadlocks -- we never got his name in the crush -- drove up in his battered, mud-covered green Lincoln, the trunk open to receive goods. The President leaned in, shook his hand, dropped some ice in, and said to his brother: "Fine looking car. I used to have one just like it.''
The next driver had a new pickup with a nice liner in the bed -- the president dropped 32 half-liter bottles of water into the back. "Thanks for coming by,'' he said. At some moments, the governor was loading trunks while the President was tossing diapers and ice into the back seats of cars.
Their career as baggers finished, the two brothers went back to their day jobs. . . .
We made decisions at the end of World War II, at the beginning of the Cold War, when we set up the Department of Defense, and the CIA, and we created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and undertook a bunch of major policy steps that then were in place for the next 40 years, that were key to our ultimate success in the Cold War, that were supported by Democrat and Republican alike -- Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and Gerry Ford and a whole bunch of Presidents, from both parties, supported those policies over a long period of time. We're now at that point where we're making that kind of decision for the next 30 or 40 years, and it's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again. That we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us.
The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.
But they didn't. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators' own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn't seem to be an issue here.