Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Sunday, August 08, 2004
Iraq strikes back II

The last time we were on this issue, Abu Al-Zarqawi was told to get out of Dodge or face the consequences.

Well now vigilantes are striking again, this time kidnapping an Iranian diplomat:

Militants in Iraq said Sunday they took a top Iranian diplomat hostage, according to a video shown on the Arab-language Al-Arabiya television station.

The video showed a bearded man identified as Faridoun Jihani 
speaking to the camera, though his voice was inaudible. The video also showed nine forms of Jihani's identification, as well as his passport and a business card identifying him as the "consul for the Islamic Republic of Iran in Karbala," a southern Iraqi city.

The kidnappers, calling themselves the "Islamic Army in Iraq
," accused Jihani of provoking sectarian war in Iraq and warned Iran not to interfere in Iraq's affairs, according to Al-Arabiya.

Gee, I wonder what got them in such a huff?  Maybe it's because Tehran's been meddling in Iraq and funding radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Meanwhile, "America's best friend" Ahmed Chalabi has been indicted on counterfeit charges.  His nephew, Salem, has been indicted for murder as well.  This was the same Chalabi who has been accused by the U.S. of spying for Iran.  Coincidence?  Reynolds doesn't think so.

And if you like an ironic twist, guess where Chalabi is RIGHT NOW? 

.  Yeah.

But these are just two incidents in quite an eventful weekend in Iraq.  Earlier today, Allawi reinstated capital punishment in response to terrorist attacks.  Yesterday, Iraq shut down Al-Jazeera's local office for a month saying their biased reporting has drawn violence and hatered into the region.  Also, Allawi offered what looks to be a last-chance amnesty to terrorists for minor (non-death) crimes, and even had the guts to walk through the streets of battle-torn Najaf, um, with 100 of his boys, of course.

While this is going on, U.S. forces are swatting Sadr's militia down like fliesSadr's now playing the same ole game, claiming he wants a truce.  It's obvious that the Iraqi government likes being okey-doked.  Thank goodness U.S. forces aren't, and so far continues to call for Sadr to turn himself in.

I have a feeling that something real big is about to go down.  Sadr or Al-Zarqawi will end up in a pine box, or possibly both within the month. 

Posted at 08:37 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


NOW they want to complain.

Did anyone noticed when the Swifties released their 60 second ad earlier this week THAT's when these special interest soft money groups became a problem?

When was placing ads in certain states and on CNN during the Super Bowl and the like, they weren't a problem.  You didn't hear a peep about it at all.  Now, John Kerry catches some heat, and it's a problem.

This is typical of the Democratic Party.  Nothing exists until it becomes a problem or serves as an opportunity for them.  That will be the ONLY reason you'll hear calls for more campaign finance reform to close the 527 loopholes next week.

But they made their bed.  Now they must lie in it.

Posted at 02:42 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


Saturday, August 07, 2004
The Globe responds to Kranish controversy.

The Boston Globe has published an article standing by their assertions made by their controversial journalist, Michael Kranish:

The Globe quoted Elliott, who was Kerry's commanding officer during the war, as saying he was under "time pressure" when he signed the document and still believes Kerry deserved the Silver Star for his service. The affidavit was released ahead of the publication of a new book that questions whether Kerry should have been given some of his combat medals.

Elliott released another affidavit yesterday backing away from his comments this week to the Globe, saying the reporter, Michael Kranish, misquoted him.

Globe Editor Martin Baron released a statement saying "the Globe stands by the article. The quotes attributed to Mr. Elliott were on the record and absolutely accurate."

Well this is a cut-and-dry case then:  release the interview.  I'm sure Kranish still has proof that Elliot accurately made these statements, correct?  So, release the tape to the public and allow them to make their own decision of what happened and what was said by BOTH Kranish and Elliot.

But here's where it gets ugly, though:
At the same time, Drudge also erroneously reported that Kranish, a 20-year Globe veteran, had written the introduction to a Kerry-authorized campaign book, "Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home, Respected in the World."

In fact, Baron said, Kranish had no connection to the Kerry campaign book and did not write its introduction.

Baron noted that earlier this summer Kranish worked with PublicAffairs -- the publisher of the Boston Globe biography of Kerry, "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best" -- to write a short introduction to a second project: an independent, unauthorized review of publicly available documents dealing with the platform and policy statements of Kerry and Edwards. That project was in no way connected with the Kerry-Edwards campaign, Baron said.

"When PublicAffairs subsequently struck an agreement with the Kerry campaign to do an official campaign book, Kranish's relationship with the project immediately ended," Baron said.
Now here's where the Boston Globe loses credibility.  Why bring Matt Drudge into this when all Drudge did was link to the Amazon site, which had Kranish writing the introduction?  The Answer:  because when the mainstream press wants to make something look like rumormongering, always mention Matt Drudge.

And what makes it worse, not only did Amazon have Kranish as writing the introduction to the book but so did PublicAffairs.  But THAT wasn't mentioned by the Boston Globe.  If they would have informed their own readers that the publishing company that's releasing the Kerry/Edwards book had Kranish doing the introduction for the new book as well, that would have made it look more than simple rumormongering. 

This goes to show that you can't cover up things on the internet.  There is that little thing search engines have called "cache".

And PublicAffairs can not even man-up to their mistake:

Peter Osnos, publisher of PublicAffairs, said both Drudge and Amazon, the online bookseller peddling the upcoming Kerry-Edwards book, had made a mistake in suggesting Kranish had written its introduction.

"As far as I can tell, if there's any malign intent here, it was someone making Drudge think Michael was somehow doing something for [Kerry's] campaign," Osnos said.
This shows a lack of integrity on the part of Osnos and PublicAffairs.  These people can't even admit that it was Drudge and possibly Amazon that went off the information given to them.  Instead, they blame them for the supposed "mishap".

This serves as a stark reminder as to why the blogosphere is needed.  If it was just the four networks and the daily newspapers as it was only 10 years ago the Globe would get away with this.  They are starting to get caught up in their own lies and deceptive actions.

The Boston Globe AND PublicAffairs Publishing should apologize to Matt Drudge and  It's as simple as that.  Both were deceptive in their protrayal of how this incident occurred.

But they won't, of course, because Drudge is "beneath them".  But Amazon does have credibility, and they can rebuke both the Globe and PublicAffairs.  Whether they really want to get into the fray is a topic unto itself.

Moving right on along.  Now, the Globe states that Kranish did not have "a connection to the Kerry-Edwards" campaign.  But that's up to the readers' interpretations of "connection".  You see, I consider a man that has written for two books (it was two, one of them simply wasn't published.)focusing on John Kerry during his presidential run while he is supposed to be covering him in an official capacity as a journalist as a conflict of interest. 

It's also peculiar that the same Boston Globe reporter that is covering John Kerry on the campaign trail would also be assigned (or took it upon himself, whatever the circumstances are) to this interview with George Elliot.  Not to say that Kranish could immediately be seen as biased (or at least I'd give him the benefit of the doubt), but you couldn't put another reporter on this while Kranish was, say, on the trail

But maybe I'm just looking into this a little THREE much.  You decide.

Posted at 10:01 pm by Expertise
Comments (1)  


S.F. man creates beheading hoax.

There are some people that are really pissed off this morning over this.

I got up this morning at 4 to go to work, and I hear about another beheading.  I didn't know it was an American, however.  I found out after I got to work.  I just rationalized that they knew the Coalition wasn't going to give them what they wanted anyway, so they just went on and killed him and just spared all the negotiating bullshit.

Well a few hours later after I'm done doing today's news (I do bottom-of-the-hour news briefs for a radio station on the weekends) I find out from Fox News that this was all a hoax.  The guy, Benjamin Vanderford, was in San Francisco the whole time, and had faked the murder.

How he do it?  Watch it and see.

He redid the Daniel Pearl script:  Have the victim (Vanderford) denounce the U.S. and any interventionist activities in the Middle East.  The victim calls for the U.S. to leave the Middle East and stop supporting Israel, and all in between these scenes they have pictures of Arabs that have been injured and mangled.  And in the last scene he is laying on the ground while someone cuts his head off.

So how did he fake it?  Well you never see the head completely separated.  Nor do you see anyone else in the room.  He uses fake blood and I suppose a fake knife as well.

A number of you will see this incident and state it's a crying assed shame that someone would have the audacity to fake a beheading in the wake of a number of them committed by terrorists in Saudia Arabia and Iraq.  And hey, you're right.

But I'm not mad.  You see, that's what these attention-seeking fools - whether it's Vanderford or Al-Zarqawi and his cowards - want you to do.  This Vanderford fool actually made this tape in order to gain attention for a city political race for - get this - city supervisor in San Francisco.  Wouldn't that be some absolute shit if it actually had worked, and/or he would have been elected anyway?  San Francisco would have been absolutely embarrassed.  In fact, I would like to see how many votes he got in that race.

So yeah; as far as attention-seeking goes, Vanderford is cut from the same cloth.  Although I'm saying this in vain, don't get all bent out of shape about this mess.  Let jackasses be jackasses, and enjoy your Saturday.  If it's anything like it is in NC (a cool mid-70's day with clear skies), then it should be a nice one.

Posted at 01:36 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


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

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

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

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

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

Here's an interesting passage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 08:15 pm by Expertise
Comments (1)  


Thursday, August 05, 2004
McCain denounces Swift Boat Vets Against Kerry

Before I get into this, let's review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 12:21 pm by Expertise
Comments (3)  


Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Alan Keyes will face Obama.

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

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

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

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

Posted at 10:17 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


Now I remember why I don't watch UPN.

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

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

Ugh.  I just had to vent about that.

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

Posted at 09:22 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


Music industry to set up election blitzes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 08:21 pm by Expertise
Leave a message  


Hurricane Alex aftermath.

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

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

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

Posted at 07:57 am by Expertise
Leave a message  


Next Page


Contact Me

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed


Weblog Commenting and Trackback by