The Mesopotamian’s Endorsement

Don’t want to believe me that George Bush should get your vote on Tuesday? How about listening to Iraqi blogger Alaa at The Mesopotamian:
“Thus, regardless of all the arguments of both candidates the main problem is that President Bush now represents a symbol of defiance against the terrorists and it is a fact, that all the enemies of America, with the terrorists foremost, are hoping for him to be deposed in the upcoming elections. That is not to say that they like the democrats, but that they will take such an outcome as retreat by the American people, and will consequently be greatly encouraged to intensify their assault. The outcome here on the ground in Iraq seems to be almost obvious. In case President Bush loses the election there would be a massive upsurge of violence, in the belief, rightly or wrongly, by the enemy, that the new leadership is more likely to

NBC Whitewashing for Kerry?

Captain Ed points out that NBC appears to be covering up Kerry’s critical slip in which he admitted that his military records have not been disclosed.
The rumor mill from which the allegedly forthcoming discharge story comes has indicated that Kerry’s brief moment of honesty was actually part of what led to that story coming together (if it comes together). So for NBC to remove that quote is more than a little bit suspicious.

Kerry Discharge Rumor: Again

As Spoons states, the rumor mill is heating up to critical on the Kerry discharge story. Spoons, myself, and many other bloggers have received a message from an individual who claims to have direct knowledge of the story, and indicates that it is definitely breaking tonight.
We’ll see. I guess if you want to know where I stand on this, if you asked me “Do you believe this is going to break tonight?”, I’d say “yes”. But it isn’t fact yet, and I’ve been wrong before.

Blogsphere Motto of the Week

With apologies to Hugh, I’ll share with you the internal motto I keep muttering to myself as I juggle real life, the Day Job, and the blog in the target-rich news maelstrom that is leading up to the election:
If it’s not close, we get to sleep on Wednesday!

OK, but I have to be home by 10

So Clinton is on his feet again and stumping for Kerry:
Seven weeks after his triple-bypass heart surgery operation, Clinton appeared with Kerry in the beginning of the last full week before the presidential election to help give the Kerry campaign an extra nudge in the final stretch of the campaign…
A stray

Swift Vets on Capitol Steps: Cancelled

Well, that didn’t take long:
Posted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:23 am
I have been asked by the highest authorities (No — I will not expound) to not hold this Rally.
Although our actions and intent has been nothing but honorable, this effort will not serve our purposes.
My sincerest apologies for this but I must ask that we stand down…
I certainly hope the “highest authorities” know what they are doing and I don’t like this anymore than anyone else but I must ask you to stand down.
We can however, return to our previous effort in getting the truth to media outlets, Congress, and other influential organizations.
This was a great idea and I’m very disappointed — I hope you will forgive me for this. I’m assured that all will be clear in time (yeah right).
– Troy Jenkins (aka “Navy Chief”)

No word on what this means, if anything, in relation to the rumors of a break in the Kerry discharge story.

Kerry Discharge Story Leaking Like A Sieve

I still can’t vouch for or confirm any of this, so please treat this all as the purest form of Internet rumors. But here’s what’s being posted on FreeRepublic and elsewhere this morning:
I [DONALD L. NELSON, CAPT, JAGC, USNR] was on active duty as a U.S. Navy lawyer when all of this was going on some 25 to 30 years ago, and so was Mark F. Sullivan, who at all relevant times was the personal lawyer to J. William Middendorf, then the Secretary of the Navy. We remember.
We are trying to break this absolutely true story nationwide, i.e., Fox News, C Span, and hopefully all the major networks. We are positive that John Kerry was one of those dishonorably dismissed from the Navy for collaborating with the Viet Cong, after he was released from active duty but still in the Navy, and for a totally unauthorized trip to Hanoi. He later got an “honorable” separation in 1978, some 12 years after joining the Navy, under President Carter’s “Amnesty Program” for draft dodgers, deserters, and other malcontents who fled to Canada and Holland, among other places, to avoid military service to our country.
This is why he has refused, and continues to refuse, to release all of his Navy records: they reflect that he was Dishonorably Dismissed from the United States Naval Service. If they do not (which they do), he would have released them to the public. Again, he has not done so, because he well knows that the truth would kill his challenge to President Bush.

New Conservative Voice says that this is a letter sent to Sean Hannity.
I’m still waiting for real evidence, and real on-the-record statements. But for whatever it’s worth, the memo above represents the state-of-play this morning…
Update: I don’t think it’s an unreasonable guess to state that Jeff Jarvis does not approve of this story. That’s Jeff’s choice. I’m not buying it as truth just yet, but the rumor is out there. I won’t report just any rumor, but this one rings true enough to me to post as rumor. We’ll see if it turns out to be true or not.
Update II: NavyChief just posted this at the SwiftVets forum:
The information I posted about a former SECNAV and Kerry’s Discharge was pulled at my request because I jumped the gun.
You couldn’t believe the powerplay behind the scenes at this moment regarding this story.
You can call me many things (and probably will) — I don’t care.
This isn’t my call anymore on how/where/when/why this story will come out.
I’ve been told/asked/cajoled whatever you wish to call it — to stand down.
So, this Chief will STAND DOWN (for now).
That’s all I have to say on the matter. If you want me to personally apologize to everyone — so be it.
– Troy Jenkins (aka “NavyChief”)

One bit of context: although all this action is happening at the Swift Vets forum, NavyChief is not actually a Swift Boat veteran (nor does he claim to be), although he is a veteran.

NYT Declines to Correct Kos Daily Visitor Error

On Thursday, The New York Times published a weblog story which included the following statement:
“A recent posting on DailyKos, a liberal Web site visited by more than 500,000 people daily, according to blog rankings posted on a site called The Truth Laid Bear…”
That evening, I replied with full snark. But after thinking about it a bit, I also decided to contact the Times directly and suggest that a correction was in order, as in my view, their statement innacurately suggests that Kos is visited by more than 500,000 individuals daily, when in reality, it is likely far fewer than that, but those individuals visit several times daily. And after all: my name is next to the inaccurate statement (the source being my Ecosystem Traffic Rankings, the sibling listing to the classic Ecosystem, which ranks by inbound links).
The following is the exchange of e-mails I had with Bill Borders, a senior editor at the Times, on the subject. To the Times’ credit, Bill replied swiftly to my initial inquiry. But in the end, I was unable to convince him that an error had been made. Read the discussion, and make your own judgment; feedback is welcome in the comments section.
Update 10/30 pm: Jeff Jarvis has posted on the subject, and says:
Bear is absolutely right and The Times is absolutely wrong. And I say that with the authority of an Internet executive who has dealt with these issues for 10 years now and as a founding member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation online committee that officially defined exactly these measurements with the Internet Advertising Bureau.
So I’m guessing that Bill Borders didn’t follow my advice to check with Jeff on this issue. Whoops.
(click ‘more’ if you are coming from the TTLB front page)

Continue reading “NYT Declines to Correct Kos Daily Visitor Error”

Saturday Blog Radio

This morning’s required blog-radio listening:
Bill at INDC reports that Dean Esmay will be on Pundit Review Radio.
The Northern Alliance has Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly (“the first major Democratic politician to break ranks and endorse George W. Bush for President.”), and representatives from Protest Warrior.
The Northern Alliance show runs from noon to 3pm Central time, and I’ll most likely be listening in on their web stream. Might even call in again, if the urge strikes me; was fun chatting with the gang the last time.
I generally catch Pundit Review the week after via their audio archives (as they don’t have a live web stream), so I’ll be a bit behind the curve on them.
And yes, for the record, my fond wish is that NARN and Pundit Review Radio would swap technologies, so they both could have a live web stream, and both could have online archives… but then, I’m demanding, ask anybody…
Update: I stand corrected! Kevin at PunditReview writes to point out that they are streamed live every Saturday from noon to 1pm EST on www.wbix.com.

Blowups Happen

Powerline notes that the Kerry campaign seems a bit frayed at the edges:
KERRY CAMPAIGN BLOWS UP AT FOX, THREATENS TO THROW FOX OFF THE PLANE, BACKS OFF:
KERRY CAMP OBJECTS TO 4:00pm FOX NEWS SEGMENT: ALAN COLMES: “It’s not like he [Osama bin Laden] had a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker in his cave.” NEIL CAVUTO: “But he’s all but doing that, isn’t he? I thought I saw a button.”
KERRY CAMP ASKS FOR RETRACTION, DOES NOT GET ONE

Swift Vets On Capitol Steps This Sunday

UPDATE: This rally has been cancelled; see here
NavyChief at the SwiftVets forum has called “all hands on deck” for a demonstration on the Capitol Steps against Kerry this Sunday:
Do you really want to defeat Kerry as President?
Do you really feel deep down in your heart that this is the most important Presidential election in our history?
Will you sit by and watch as others try to defeat him?
Brothers and Sisters, how many people will be on the Capitol steps this Sunday, surrounded by media outlets and reporters from various organizations?
Will you join POWs in telling Kerry — YOU ARE NOT FIT TO COMMAND!

In a later update, he indicates:
I am going to try and use my humble contacts and exert pressure on Zell Miller and many other politicians to join us.
And finally:
Do you trust me?
What I posted earlier about Kerry’s discharge is coming.
– Chief

That would be this, which was subsequently removed from the Swift Vets forum. Interestingly, these notes haven’t been, which I guess either means the forum admins / SwiftVets leadership are now confident enough in the story to let NavyChief run with it — or, they’re just a little slow on the uptake in scouring posts on a Friday night.
The Swift Vets are going for broke on this, I think: it’s all or nothing now. As many of their forum posters have pointed out, the evidence on the discharge will be key. If the allegations are true and Kerry received a less than honorable, the effect will be nuclear and the MSM won’t be able to ignore it. If the evidence doesn’t exist — or the charges are false — then the Sunday rally will still be worth trying, but will have a far smaller chance of making any real impact in the deafening roar of last-minute messaging the campaigns will be in by then…
Latest:
Beth at MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy sends the following details:
Date: Sunday Oct. 31, 2004
TIME: 1 PM meet at Naval Archives {NOT yard}
2 PM walk to Capital Building
DRESS: business/casual {yellow ribbon would be nice}
METRO INFO: Metro Transit web site for the subway routes. http://www.wmata.com
ANY CHANGES WILL BE ON MY BLOG
OR AT THE SBVT FORUM THREAD

UPDATE: This rally has been cancelled; see here

The Batman Effect

So there’s another Bin Laden tape out, the first in a long while.
This could be seen as an attempt by Bin Laden to influence the election against Bush; his mocking comments towards the President certainly make it come off that way.
But I don’t think it will work, because of a theory I’ll call “The Batman Effect”.
Batman is constantly trying to put the Joker out of business for good. But if you haven’t noticed, he generally never quite manages. The Joker is never, ever truly vanquished; he’ll always be back for more.
But when the Joker’s on the loose again, you don’t stop to think “Damn, Batman still hasn’t managed to get rid of this guy, we better find somebody else.” You don’t say “get me Aquaman on the phone.” You think about the only guy who actually does something about the Joker, even if it hasn’t been a permanent solution: the only guy who’s been able to do the clown some damage and set back his schemes a ways.
You put up the damned Bat Signal and hope that Batman answers the call.
Bush is Batman to Bin Laden’s Joker. And the American public isn’t going to dump Batman just because he hasn’t won the final battle with the Joker yet.
Bottom line: Bin Laden probably just gave the election to Bush. Not because of anything in particular he said: but simply because he lives, and Americans will realize that the lunatic has escaped from Arkham Asylum yet again…
PS: Hey! I think I finally fulfilled my promise to do a Heroes For Bush post myself, if somewhat belatedly…
Round the horn
Captain Ed: “As for the effect the tape will have on the election, I think it will be negligible. It reminds people that OBL is still alive, which hurts Bush; on the other hand, it reminds people that we’re at war and very much at risk, which hurts Kerry…”
Wiz and bang: “Osama Bin Laden, in his just released video tape, quotes Michael Moore’s “My Pet Goat” line. Remember, Michael Moore is so highly thought of by the Democrats that he was given a box seat for the Democratic convention…”
Bill at INDC: “Did bin Laden voice any displeasure with Bush’s support of the Federal Marriage Amendment? Because if he did, I think we definitely need to check Lockhart’s satellite phone records…”
The Jawa Report: “Many in the Muslim world are victims of the propaganda put forth by outlets such as al Jazeera. Al Jazeera and al Qaeda also believe they can foist this worldview upon the American people. They are wrong.
What will our response be to this propaganda effort? I am more confident now than I was just hours ago that President Bush will win reelection….”
Jeff G: “bin Laden

Kerry’s Discharge: News Soon?

The rumbling is starting to reach a fever pitch that there will be news soon on Kerry’s mysterious discharge from military service. Powerline notes the following post by NavyChief on the Swift Vet’s forum:
Okay, folks.
We got it finally. We have the Former Secretary of the Navy who stated, “Yes, Kerry did receive an Other Than Honorable Discharge”.
Stay tuned for more…

Note that if you follow the link now, you get the rather cryptic “Content removed at the request of the author. Stay tuned for updates. Will re-open the topic when we have further info. ”
So: right now, we have nothing. But perhaps, soon: something.
If you want to get warmed up, you should read Beldar’s extensive examination of the issue from October 13th.
Beldar and the usual suspects are on the case today as well. Stay tuned…
Update: There’s also an announcement on the Swift Vets forum now which reads:
“We have been advised that material was recently posted to this forum referencing the nature of John Kerry’s discharge from the military service. That material has been deleted from this forum.
Please be advised that posts made to this forum express the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Swift Vets and POWs for Truth.”

Well, ok then….

Wrong Seal? I’m afraid not

Megan McArdle posted the following at Instapundit:
PHOTO FINISH: A reader emails the following:
“If you review the pictures on the KSTP web site that has the ABC video everyone is using you can see a very clear picture of a seal with its number (#144322). The PDF document of the UN inspections available show the numbers of the seals and none of them have that number. Therefore, it is clear that the bunkers that ABC videoed were not the ones that held the HMX the UN inspected.”

When I look at the KSTP site, it seems to me like the 144322 seal is presented as an example. It is shown with a neutral background, like it is a stock photo. I don’t think it’s being presented as from the actual site.
Update: And in fact, it is for certain a file photo. Here’s the exact same photo on the IAEA site.
Stand down…

Election Night Timeline

Edison Media research has posted a guide to covering Election Night, which includes the following handy listing of when polls close throughout the night and the corresponding electoral votes that will be decided at those times:
7:00 PM – 58 EVs
7:30 PM – 40 EVs
8:00 PM – 171 EVs
8:30 PM – 6 EVs
9:00 PM – 159 EVs
10:00 PM – 20 EVs
11:00 PM – 81 EVs
1:00 AM – 3 EVs
All times Eastern. Hat tip: The Corner
Update 11/2: For those coming from Edison Media Research, be sure to check out the TTLB Election Resource page, with links to a wide range of election-tracking resources which can be displayed as a sidebar in your Mozilla or IE browser.

Explosivesgate Roundup: Day IV

Another day, another explosivesgate roundup! Let’s begin with the release of a single satellite image of the Al Qaaqaa facility by the Department of Defense, which shows two trucks parked outside some of the bunkers.
GlobalSecurity.org cautions us, however, that the trucks do not appear to be parked directly in front of bunkers which were identified by the IAEA as containing HMX.
Like everyone else, I’m very curious if we’ll get additional images, or if this is it. As we say, “developing”.
On to other matters: the passtime for all the cool kids in the blogosphere last night was debunking the new video produced by ABC News (which seems to be having a rather difficult time remembering which side it is on).
Powerline, naturally considering it something of a hometown duty (given that it was a Minneapolis affiliate), does the math on the containers shown in the photographs, concluding: “On the most generous interpretation, there are nowhere near 380 tons of explosives shown in any of the KSTP photographs, or in all of them together.”
Jim Geraghty systematically dissects the argument that the videotape proves, well, anything:
As usual, it is foolish for folks to jump in and conclude that they know what was in the containers without gathering all of the facts. How many Kerry-backing writers who will cite this video as a smoking gun are familiar with what materials are classified 1.1D?
I sure as heck don’t know what 1.1D means. But then, I’m not squeaking “This is it folks!!! Conclusive proof!!! Case closed!!!“. (OK, he didn’t use exclamation points. But you know he wanted to…)
Captain Ed, also with a hometown dog in the fight, is also not impressed:
“Bottom line? The materials shown in the video could have been any of 80 different materials, with the three from the IAEA actually being among the least likely to have been stored in this manner. The reporters say that the military told them at the time that the area had been secured at an outer perimeter, a sensible approach for a military on a lightning-quick advance. And the Times cannot even verify that the video was taken at the ASP in question.”
Ed also notes approvingly the Washington Post story this morning, which he says “injects some context and not a little sanity into the hyperventilation coming from the Kerry campaign and the left on Al Qaqaa.” And
Meanwhile, Paul over at Wizbang is not impressed with the geography skills of ABC’s embed:
So he did not know where he was at the time the footage was shot. Not surprising, he’s not from there after all and let’s review, it’s a freaking desert.. But even after coming home and seeing it on the map, he still can’t confirm where he was…”
…and head Wizbanger Kevin sums it up nicely:
1. The containers KSTP filmed could contain any number of items that were not HMX or RDX.
2. They containers were filmed, as best as I can tell from the available evidence, in an area that was not sealed by the IAEA.

Hugh Hewitt wraps this aspect of the story nicely:
One bunker. Unknown number of barrels. Not sure if it is an I.A.E.A. seal. An unidentified expert.
Versus the greatest march of an army in history.
John Kerry and the MSM want the American public to conclude that the troops didn’t do their jobs? And this bit of video and a memo from I.A.E.A. is their proof?
Keep digging, MSM. Game’s up. Everybody knows.

The other significant and evolving aspect of the story yesterday was that the Bush administration began to carefully trot out the heavy hitters to begin debunking the story.
First up: General Tommy Franks! Beldar notes his appearance at a Bush campaign rally:
George W. Bush is a leader who knows that our troops, as of right now, have cleared 10,000 ammunition and weapons sites in Iraq. He knows that they have destroyed 240,000 tons of munitions in Iraq. He knows that they have under control