Author Archive | Jim Lindgren

The latest from Mark Steyn.–

One of the best things about being a new blogger is getting to link Mark Steyn, this time on John Edwards:

I don’t care about Edwards’ dad and his heartwarming, sepia-hued vignettes any more than I cared about the mythical ”coatless girl” he used to cite in his primary speeches: a wee shivering thing whose coatlessness was supposedly a result of Bush-Cheney reducing her parents to poverty. I offered to buy a coat for any authentically coatless girl the campaign managed to produce. Not the most generous offer on my part — girls’ winter coats are $9.99 at Wal-Mart — but the Edwards camp never took me up on it. Do you recognize this Dickensian image of America? It’s true there are some folks who are having a tough time finding work in certain Rust Belt states. In 2003, the U.S. unemployment rate was 6 percent, which is considered high. In Canada it was 7.8 percent; France 9.7 percent; Germany 10.5 percent — and in the last two cases these levels are permanent features of the landscape, as they would be in America if the Democrats ever get the opportunity to impose the Franco-German high-cost social welfare/government health care system John Kerry admires so much. America’s ”bright light” isn’t ”flickering.” It’s Europe where the lights are about to go out, permanently.

So, when John Edwards starts doing his John-Boy Walton routine, I say put a sock in it. If necessary, borrow a sock from the coatless girl, if her dad hasn’t sold her socks to raise the trolley-car fare to send her for an interview for the chimney sweep’s job at the robber baron’s mansion on the other side of town.

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A caution on the Nevada vote fraud story.–

Like Eugene, I was going to post on the Nevada vote fraud story.

But then I saw Kerry Spot’s post pointing out that the supposed Republican leaning Nevada vote organization appears to be part of the Democratic get-out-the-vote drive, including ACORN, who has been implicated in voting fraud charges in other states.

I decided not to post until this has been sorted out, but Eugene’s characteristically cautious post caused me to reconsider.

The Nevada account could be real Republican dirty tricks, or it could be Democratic dirty tricks: throwing out some Democratic registrations and tipping off the press where to find them. I am skeptical that an organization backed by ACORN, the AFL-CIO, and Emily’s List would be tossing out Democratic ballots except to trick the press. But stranger things have happened.

Is the Nevada story a hoax, or is it true? I don’t know.

UPDATE: A reader sent a link to this story that suggests that two voter organizations are using the same name, which may make the Nevada news report more plausible.

2d UPDATE: Mark Kleiman is angry enough about the Nevada trashing of ballots to offer a modest proposal for capital punishment or torture for those committing election fraud. [...]

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O’Reilly files extortion lawsuit.–

Bill O’Reilly, whom I generally find unwatchable, is in trouble and is fighting back.

Matt Drudge has the details on an extortion lawsuit filed by Bill O’Reilly against Andrea Mackris, a FOX associate producer, and her lawyers, the Morelli law firm. According to the O’Reilly filing, the producer alleged sexual harassment by O’Reilly and may have taped him making offensive statements. Then she threatened O’Reilly with exposure unless he paid $60 million.

Defendants demanded $60 million in hush money to keep quiet and never once lowered this outrageous, extortionate demand. At one of the meetings, Morelli allowed the Fox and News Corp representatives to read a draft of a harassment complaint (“the draft complaint”) that he threatened to file on Mackris’s behalf. The draft complaint contained several lengthy block quotes of statements that O’Reilly allegedly made to Mackris. The length of the quotes and the specific verbiage used made it appear that Mackris was taping O’Reilly during the conversations. Morelli, though, refused to permit the Fox and News Corp representatives to have a copy of the complete draft complaint, providing them only with an excerpt.

The draft complaint does not assert that either Fox or O’Reilly has caused Mackris to suffer any adverse employment action. Nor does it assert that Mackris complained to anyone in authority at Fox about any unwelcomed or inappropriate conduct by anyone. Moreover, Defendants never claimed otherwise in any of the aforementioned telephone conversations or meetings.

Further underscoring the extortionate nature and intent of Defendants’ conduct, Morelli holds himself and his firm out as employment law specialists. He therefore must be presumed to know that given the absence of any adverse employment actions taken by Fox or O’Reilly against Mackris (e.g., termination, demotion, reduction in salary), her failure to complain to Fox’s Human Resources Department about

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The “Kerry as Chamberlain” meme.–

A number of commentators have been making the link between John Kerry and Neville Chamberlain, such as Ed Koch and the guys at Powerline. Long before John Kerry emerged from the pack of Democratic candidates, I was struck by the parallels to England in the 1930s. Although Bush is DEFINITELY no Churchill, the response of intellectuals and the press was quite similar. Churchill was depicted as a simple-minded warmonger who lacked the nuance to deal with Hitler.

The best window into this is the 2d of William Manchester’s Churchill biographies: Last Lion: Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940, a brilliant book.

When Kerry talks of holding bilateral talks with North Korea (after their breach of the Clinton-era Jimmy Carter negotiated agreement) as if this is a solution, I wonder whether he really understands the world. When Kerry talks about going to the UN and signaling a change in US foreign policy (presumably toward a less aggressive posture), I worry that he is just out of touch. I don’t think that John Kerry “gets it.”

The way to deal with threats like 1930s fascism or 2000s Islamofascism is not to wait for a consensus to fight back, because there will never be a world-wide consensus to do so–not when countries would rather negotiate than stop the fascists. Even Tony Blair’s UK negotiated with the terrorists who nonetheless cut off Kenneth Bigley’s head.

With anti-semitism on the rise in Europe, I worry about the future. I was looking at US Gallup Poll data from April 1938. US respondents were asked: “Do you think the persecution of the Jews in Europe has been their own fault?” 65% said that Jewish persecution was “entirely” or “partly” their fault.

For decades, I used to hear “never again.” I didn’t know then what I know now: that many [...]

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The CBS investigation will not report until after the election.–

Some bloggers are disappointed or angry that the outside team investigating the CBS story that used the forged Bush Guard documents will not report until after the November election.

I disagree. If I were at CBS, I would do the same thing–wait until after the election for the post mortem. It IS a distraction to the election. Do we really want to be critiquing a CBS report in the week before the election, instead of focusing on the election itself? I don’t. Publication in the week before the election would be the best way to bury the story.

The suggestion that I have is that the investigative panel (Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi) post their preliminary report on the internet so that bloggers and the public can comment–pointing out mistakes or important questions unexplored. At least the four or five biggest omissions or mistakes could be addressed in the final report. [...]

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The New Report Supporting the Bush Guard Memos Falls Apart.–

[[Oct. 3 update: I added pictures from Paul’s post at Wizbang to this early Oct. 2 post.]] I have waited to post on this until things are mostly sorted out, but I expect much more to come out today, when Wizbang (who broke this story) provides significant updates.

Several days ago, Associate Professor David Hailey of Utah State University posted a report on the internet that purported to provide evidence for his opinion that the Bush Guard memos were typed. As you know, virtually every competent expert who had come forth concluded that the memos were almost certainly produced on a computer, probably using Times New Roman font in Microsoft Word.

CBS producer Mary Mapes was so impressed by Hailey’s report that she sent it out to support the story.

People were amazed that Hailey had come up with a typewriter that could come fairly close to producing text from the memos (but not as close in my opinion as Microsoft Word). Naturally, people were curious what sort of previously unknown typewriter it was that could produce a font that looked like computer output. Strangely, Hailey didn’t say in his report.

But as Paul and Kevin at Wizbang (and later other bloggers) began to look at the report, it began to collapse. Wizbang disclosed that the superscript “th” looked very different from the rest of the type. Indeed, it appeared as if it had been floated into place using a program such as PhotoShop. [[Click to enlarge.]]

Then Wizbang discovered what might be the smoking gun: on Hailey’s own website, they discovered what appears to be an earlier draft version of the same document that had most of the text that Hailey had produced using the font “Typewriter.” But where the superscript was supposed to be, there was [...]

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Bush’s uncomfortable exchange with O’Reilly about the Swift Vet ads?

–Watching part of Bush’s interview with Bill O’Reilly (tip to Instapundit), I found Bush’s responses to questions about Rove having prior knowledge of the Swift Boat ads to be odd, to say the least. Of course, Bush can look uncomfortable even when he is saying something that he deeply believes in, but he looked awfully sick to his stomach in this exchange:

O’REILLY: You didn’t know anything about the Swift Boat ads before they went on the air, did you?

BUSH: No. I didn’t.

O’REILLY: Did Karl Rove know anything about it?

BUSH: I don’t think so. In other words, you’re asking if anybody coordinated this in our campaign?

O’REILLY: No, whether they’d give you a heads up they were going to do it.

BUSH: Not to my knowledge.

Now if Rove had advance knowledge of the timing of the Swift Boat ads, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Rove was coordinating the ads (as our readers have pointed out about all the Democrats who had advance knowledge of the CBS Guard and Yellowcake stories), but it would be relevant to such a question.

The tape and the transcript are available here. To see the relevant passage, click on VIDEO, then Tuesday, Part II; wait for the actual interview to start and move ahead to near the end. [...]

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A comment on the debates.

–I personally find it hard to watch either Bush or Kerry speak, especially when it counts, such as in a debate. Both did a little better than I thought they would. I thought Kerry won on style and Bush won on substance, though Kerry certainly had some moments where he gave strong answers that would have broad appeal–such as a list of all the things he would do at home to make the US safer. I should also add that in the past I have been a terrible judge of who wins these things.

Jim Geraghty on Kerry Spot on NRO has been particularly strong in the last few weeks–worth checking regularly. I thought that this comment from one of Geraghty’s readers summed some problems with Kerry’s arguments:

“To summarize his [Kerry’s] comments: It’s the wrong war at the wrong time, but I’m committed to winning it; We’re spending too much on Iraq ($200 billion), but I’d send more troops and equipment; I’ll bring in more nations to help Iraq, but the other nations currently in Iraq were coerced and do not provide much assistance; Saddam and Iraq were a grave threat, but Osama is the only terrorist worth pursuing; Terrorists are pouring into Iraq, but Iraq is a distraction to the war on terror. I still have no idea what he would do as President to fight this war on terrorism.”

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MoveOn is pressing CBS to run yet a third questionable story.

As if CBS isn’t in enough hot water already after running two stories in one month based on phony documents, has started a lobbying campaign to get CBS to run yet a third false story (hat-tip Kerry Spot). This one, on the attempts by Iraq to get Yellowcake uranium in Africa, was bumped from its original broadcast slot by the Bush Texas Guard story.

Here is MoveOn’s call to arms:

Date: Monday, September 27
From: Peter Schurman,
Subject: CBS censoring the truth about Bush’s case for war

Dear MoveOn member,

President Bush based his famous and false claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger on a set of crudely forged documents. For the last two years, no one has uncovered who falsified these documents, which lie at the heart of Bush’s case for war.

Now, CBS’ 60 Minutes program has uncovered new and important revelations about the Bush administration’s reliance on the documents. But, in an unprecedented and astonishing move, CBS bumped the report back until after the election, saying it would be “inappropriate” to air the piece when it might interfere with the political season.

It’s outrageous that a major TV news outlet would censor an important piece of news for political reasons. Especially since this report has met CBS’ standards for accuracy — it’s true. One can only assume that CBS is buckling under pressure from the right — and that’s just plain wrong.

Call CBS and its parent company, Viacom, now, at: . . . .

The reason that CBS publicly gave for further postponing the story (that it was too close to the election) was indeed inappropriate on its face (unless of course CBS in the 2 months before the election would run investigative stories only if they favored one candidate).

But [...]

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More on the email selective service hoax.

I posted on CBS’s new problems with its pushing an email letter without pointing out that it is a hoax.
If you want to see how these hoax emails prey on the gullible, consider this letter (scroll down) to the editor of the Northeast Times (Philadelphia area) from last June. It is from Beverly Cocco, whose family’s fears of a draft was the focus of Tuesday night’s CBS News report:

Put a chill on the draft bill

Just this week I received an e-mail so upsetting that I forwarded it to all my friends, who then forwarded it to all their friends. We are now a good size group.

The e-mail concerned Bill S89 and HR 163. The bill is about reinstating the draft, beginning in the spring of 2005. The draftees will be all males and females between the ages of 18 and 26. There will be no deferments; seniors will be allowed to finish the year, and underclassmen will only be allowed to finish the semester. There is already a document signed between the U.S. and Canada, the “Smart Border Declaration,” which will prevent crossing the border.

Since this is a federal bill, I was advised to contact Sen. Specter, Sen. Santorum and Congressman Joe Hoeffel. Sen. Specter’s office said that these bills are a “secret.”
When I told him that the cat was out of the bag, he offered to connect me with the Washington office. That office assured me that the senator was against this bill. I am still waiting for Sen. Santorum to respond, but Congressman Hoeffel is undecided. His office is sending me a letter detailing his thoughts.

We are now in the process of collecting as much information as possible about this bill and the candidates.

We keep getting told that there are

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Was CBS hoaxed again?

When 60 Minutes II ran its story based on crude forgeries of Texas Guard documents, the humor site, Sharp as a Marble, ran a mock story entitled, “Dan Rather: Nigerian Mail is Authentic. Will be Retiring After Money is Transferred.”

Dan Rather, of CBS News, is reported to have tendered his resignation from 60 Minutes after receiving a letter informing him of a sum $45M US due to him from Nigeria. Mr. Rather, who is well known for exposing President Bush’s lack of honorable service while in the Texas Air National Guard, has agreed to transfer funds from the impoverished nation into his own account.

Many typography experts questioned the validity of the mailing saying that the image provided on CBS’s web site looks like a font not found in Nigerian versions of Microsoft Word. Rather went on record stating unequivocally that the letter is authentic. . . .

When asked about the possibility that the typefaces are too similar to those found in common web browsers, Mr. Rathers responded “This is real. Those who are trying to say that this is some sort of scam are mostly Internet writers who have an agenda. I am taking my $45,560,000.00 and leaving this job and doing anything that doesn’t involve having my judgment questioned by men who write in their pajamas. Besides, I had a handwriting expert agree that this is not handwritten and therefore authentic”.

Is life once again imitating art?

According to, guest posted at (tip to Instapundit), last night on the CBS Evening News reporter Richard Schlesinger used fake documents to spread an internet rumor that has been long debunked. The document, which CBS showed on the screen much as it had the phony Burkett Guard documents, purports to be an email from someone in [...]

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What Kerry was doing at Yale

(as seen through the eyes of the Yale Daily News).
As the election has drifted into deadly serious exposes of the lives of George Bush and John Kerry in the early 1970s, I thought a look back at a lighter time in their lives might be fun (no, there are no smoking guns in this stuff).

Last February, the Yale Daily News had two interesting stories about Kerry at Yale–one a mostly positive news profile, the other a mostly negative editorial. Both are interesting (and were largely overlooked at the time).

The mostly positive news story about Kerry at Yale:

And although Kerry was chairman of the Political Union’s smallest party — the Liberals — he gained enough support across the political spectrum to win the presidency late in his sophomore year. Presiding over the Political Union during the heated presidential elections of 1964, Kerry even earned the admiration of students on the other side of the aisle, said former Party of the Right chairman John McGonagle Jr. ’66.

Kerry’s selection as class orator surprised no one, since he had spent much of his Yale career speaking to classmates in his distinctive Massachusetts accent.

“I think it was a cultured accent, and it’s frankly a senatorial accent,” Abbott said. “It just sounded awfully funny to hear this accent out of an 18-year-old kid.”

Yet in Kerry’s day, as Yale President Kingman Brewster began liberalizing the Yale admissions process, a divide remained between prep school graduates and students who attended public schools. To some students who had not attended New England boarding schools, Kerry seemed like the “ultimate preppy,” Abbott said.

“At that time, I think he had a bit of a reputation for standoffishness, which I think was a bit well-deserved,” said Robin Landis ’66, who played with Kerry

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Rooting for Bad News?

At Slate, Christopher Hitchens asserts that at least some Democrats are hoping for bad news in Iraq (via Roger Simon):

There it was at the tail end of Brian Faler’s “Politics” roundup column in last Saturday’s Washington Post. It was headed, simply, “Quotable”:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he appeared in the next month.” Teresa Heinz Kerry to the Phoenix Business Journal, referring to a possible capture of Osama bin Laden before Election Day.

As well as being “quotable” (and I wish it had been more widely reported, and I hope that someone will ask the Kerry campaign or the nominee himself to disown it), this is also many other words ending in “-able.” Deplorable, detestable, unforgivable. …

The plain implication is that the Bush administration is stashing Bin Laden somewhere, or somehow keeping his arrest in reserve, for an “October surprise.” This innuendo would appear, on the face of it, to go a little further than “impugning the patriotism” of the president. It argues, after all, for something like collusion on his part with a man who has murdered thousands of Americans as well as hundreds of Muslim civilians in other countries. …

If you calculate that only a disaster of some kind can save your candidate, then you are in danger of harboring a subliminal need for bad news. And it will show. What else explains the amazingly crude and philistine remarks of that campaign genius Joe Lockhart, commenting on the visit of the new Iraqi prime minister and calling him a “puppet”? Here is the only regional leader who is even trying to hold an election, and he is greeted with an ungenerous sneer.

The unfortunately necessary corollary of this—that bad news for the American cause in wartime would be good for Kerry—is that good news

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