Glenn’s Alternate Kerry

Glenn offers an instructive view into a parallel universe.
It’s not really an alternate universe, though: just an alternate Kerry. And that’s the problem. The Kerry that Glenn envisions is no more real than the Easter Bunny. Imagining Kerry behaving boldly and honestly is interesting, but only as a study in contrast to reality. Glenn’s tale isn’t one of what-might-be; it isn’t even what-could-have-been. It’s not imagining what if Lincoln had lived past that night at the theatre — it’s imagining what would have happened if he sprouted wings, tipped his hat to the missus, and flew off to the moon.
Like Glenn, I’d love to see a Democratic candidate genuinely challenge Bush with an alternative vision for the future. But that’s not what Kerry wants: he has no such vision, and even if he did, he’d never have the courage to proclaim it for fear of alienating one slice or another of the precarious jumble of interest groups and activists known as the Democratic Party. There is only one line on his r

Kerry’s FEC Complaint

I’ve been trying to find the actual text / PDF of Kerry’s FEC complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but so far no luck — it doesn’t appear to be online yet.
But on a similar note, it is worthwhile to review a very similar complaint filed in March by the GOP against the Kerry campaign for illegal coordination with 527’s . The GOP has kindly put all their documents online (yet another reason why GOP=good, Dems=bad, I guess), including a PDF of the actual, 67-page complaint itself. It has tons of information, including sections like “Individual Participants in the Soft Money Conspiracy”, which lists names of people like Harold Ickes, Steve Rosenthal, and Bill Richardson as key points-of-connection between Kerry and the 527’s.

527’s in Perspective

“They’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They’re a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won’t denounce what they’re up to tells you everything you need to know — he wants them to do his dirty work.”
John Kerry on Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Perhaps the indispensible OpenSecrets.org might show us some perspective on the Swift Boat Veteran’s “527”:
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
Receipts: $ 158,750
OpenSecrets.org Description: “SBVT represents Vietnam Swift boat veterans who are critical of Democrat John Kerry’s decision to make his military service a major part of his campaign for president. The group questions Kerry’s record in Vietnam and denounces his anti-war activities following his military service. The group’s donors include some major Republican contributors.”
It sure is a good thing that Kerry doesn’t have any 527’s doing his dirty work. Except these, of course:
Media Fund
Receipts: $ 28,127,488
OpenSecrets.org Description: “One of the leading Democratic interest groups dedicated to defeating President Bush in November. Plans to raise close to $100 million for a massive issue-ad campaign to support the Democratic presidential nominee. The ads will air in 17 battleground states.”
America Coming Together
Receipts: $26,905,450
OpenSecrets.org Description: “One of the leading Democratic interest groups dedicated to defeating President Bush in November. Run by longtime Democratic operatives and financed in part by wealthy Democratic donors, the group plans a massive voter mobilization effort in 17 battleground states.”
MoveOn.org
Receipts: $9,086,102
OpenSecrets.org Description: “Begun in 1998 to protest the impeachment of President Clinton, the group has become a powerful political force since then. Its political action committee, the MoveOn PAC, spends millions of dollars to support the election of Democratic candidates. The MoveOn.org Voter Fund is raising soft money, which may be contributed in unlimited amounts, for TV ads in key battleground states that are critical of President Bush.”
(Emphasis mine)
And oh yeah, these too:
Service Employees International Union: $ 16,652,296
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees: $ 13,658,207
New Democrat Network: $ 7,172,693
Voices For Working Families: $ 3,668,280
Partnership for America’s Families: $ 3,071,211
For a little visual perspective on a few of the top Democratic 527’s compared to SBVT, click ‘MORE…’ below for the full entry.
More on 527’s from other fine bloggers:
Mudville Gazette
Alpha Patriot
Baldilocks
Blogs for Bush
Little Green Footballs

Continue reading “527’s in Perspective”

Kerry Swift Boat Meter: Final Chapter


Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the Swift Boat vets story has gotten a little media attention in the last week. The chart above tracks the progress of the story up through today.
At this point, I doubt I’ll keep updating the Meter, as it seems a bit pointless to measure the progress of the visibility of the story now that, well, it’s the story. But I figured a final pretty graph was called for before retiring it…

Dead Man Walkin’

So yesterday, Kerry slams the Swifties. Result: The media swarms over his comments, as evidenced by the 900-point jump on the Swift Boat Meter.
Today, he’s decided to file a FEC complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush-Cheney campaign. Result: The Swifties are now the lead story on CNN.com.
How’s this all working out for you, John?
And now, the Swifties are striking again — harder — with a second ad, which commits the horrible slur of actually letting John Kerry speak for himself. In response, the Kerry campaign released a statement that proves that it is actually possible to sputter impotently in a press release.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is over. The head has been cut off the Kerry candidacy; the body just hasn’t realized it yet.
Also: You would think, given that Kerry is suddenly excited about following the letter of campaign finance law, that somebody in the mainstream press would ask him why he’s got such a miserable compliance rate on his own campaign’s contribution disclosure.

NYT Bizarro World

It has arrived!
Yes, boys and girls, buried on Page 5 of 5 on the web edition of an honest-to-betsy real live New York Times news article on the Swift Boat vets comes the following paragraph:
This week, as its leaders spoke with reporters, they have focused primarily on the one allegation in the book that Mr. Kerry’s campaign has not been able to put to rest: that he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968, as he declared in a statement to the Senate in 1986. Even Mr. Brinkley, who has emerged as a defender of Mr. Kerry [Any particular reason you didn’t mention that four pages ago when you were using him to discredit Swifties? Just askin’. -ed.], said in an interview that it was unlikely that Mr. Kerry’s Swift boat ventured into Cambodia on Christmas or Christmas Eve, though he said he believed that Mr. Kerry was probably there shortly afterward.
It’s like peering into some bizarre parallel universe where news reporters actually report the news! If, that is, by ‘report’, you mean ‘bury’, and by ‘bury’, you mean ‘ignore until you can’t possibly do so any longer and then stuff it in paragraph 61 of 65’.
‘Course, the entire rest of the piece is focused on finding every possible way to discredit the Swifties, but you didn’t expect any less than that, did you?
Update: More comments from Roger Simon.
PS: “This week, as its leaders spoke with reporters, they have focused primarily on the one allegation in the book that Mr. Kerry’s campaign has not been able to put to rest…” So, according to the Paper of Record, every single other allegation in Unfit for Command has been “put to rest” and bears no further investigation? I feel so much better now!

NYT: Charter Schools Suck. And Bush, Too.

The New York Times says charter schools suck (I paraphrase):
“The first national comparison of test scores among children in charter schools and regular public schools shows charter school students often doing worse than comparable students in regular public schools.
The findings, buried in mountains of data the Education Department released without public announcement, dealt a blow to supporters of the charter school movement, including the Bush administration…”

In response, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige turns to the Gray Lady and delivers a bureaucratic bitchslap:
The New York Times’ front-page ‘analysis’ of charter schools used faulty methodology to come up with a flawed conclusion. In other words, it was wrong…
Who’s right? Beats me. But I am very curious about what the data really shows; may do some digging to form my own judgement. As the guy with the flashy light says, ‘Developing…’
Update: More from Joanne Jacobs and Eduwonk, who says:
Most importantly, though, when one controls the data for race it turns out there is no statistically significant difference between charter schools and other public schools. But, you’ll search in vain in the Times story for that information. In fact, to the contrary, a chart accompanying the story fails to offer readers any significance tests for the numbers they’re looking at, inaccurately indicating that there are significant differences by race.
Hat Tip: Pejman
Update Again: Kaus is also jumping ugly on the Times.

Kerry’s Campaign ‘Increasingly Confident’?

Via the Swift Vet’s discussion forum, a brief piece from The American Spectator that alleges the Kerry campaign is confident the media will keep the Swifties quiet:
The campaign source said that the book was not considered a “serious” problem for the campaign, because, “the media wouldn’t have the nerve to come at us with this kind of stuff,” says the source. “The senior staff believes the media is committed to seeing us win this thing, and that the convention inoculated us from these kinds of stories. The senior guys really think we don’t have a problem here.”

Kerry Campaign Contributions Lack Disclosure

Just noticed something interesting when comparing Kerry’s campaign contributions against President Bush’s over at OpenSecrets.org. The OpenSecrets folks track the “quality of disclosure” associated with campaign contributions, described as follows:
“BEST EFFORTS” RULES: When making solicitations, candidates, PACs and party committees must make “best efforts” to obtain and report the name, address, occupation and employer of each contributor who gives more than $200 in a calendar year. In order to show that the committee has made “best efforts,” solicitations must specifically request that information and inform contributors that the committee is required by law to use its best efforts to collect and report it.
Most members of Congress fully identify the great majority of their donors’ occupations and employers

Now, it gets interesting

Yet another Swift Boat prediction: Unfit For Command goes on sale tomorrow. Expect the major media blackout to show its first significant cracks, if not outright crumbling, with stories timed to coincide with the release (either Sunday or Monday).
Also: I hadn’t noticed this page on the Swift Vets for Truth site before, but the deconstruction of the group-photograph Kerry used in a campaign ad is yet another devastating bit of truth…

Thought of the Morning

Perhaps the most satisfying element of blogging is the ability to indulge oneself; to expose ones inner emotions, demons, or angels, with full knowledge and confidence that the ice cream is free, damnit, and anybody who doesn’t like the flavor of the day can bloody well go elsewhere.

Blue Man Group: Exhibit 13

I had the opportunity to see Blue Man Group on their Complex Rock Tour a ways back, and must say it was a most enjoyable show. Which is to say, it rocked.
Having now purchased the concert DVD, I’ve been enjoying it this evening, and it has the same wild goofy energy as the live show did.
With one exception. The group’s presentation of Exhibit 13.
It is nearly three years since that day, and I have to say I am surprised to see how little art has come from it. Not even bad art.
Exhibit 13, however. It troubled me at first. But having lived with it for some time, it seems right. It brought tears to my eyes, again, as I watched it this evening, in a quiet room.
It is a reminder, and sometimes, we need that.