Politics: July 2004 Archives

Convention, Day One

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Lately I've been even-handed toward the Democrats, but on the first night of this convention, much of that effort to be fair and objective washes away quickly.

Kerry wants to make us think two conflicting things: that he will do the same good things Bush does, and that he won't do the same things Bush does. For example, he will bring democracy to Iraq, but he will also bring in our allies (who only won't help because they disagree with the Bush goal he says he will bring about).

He says he is against Bush helping corporate buddies, but he would give five percent tax breaks to American corporations.

He says he will bring down the budget better than Bush can, but he would increase spending dramatically on health care and education and first responders and homeland defense and the military, and he is only planning on increasing taxes on the rich (incomes over $200,000). Where's the rest of the money coming from? Why, increased revenues due to a healthier economy, of course (which we are already getting now, under Bush).

I don't wish to try to paint him as a flip-flopper, changing his views; that's tired. What I am pointing out is that Kerry is sending conflicting messages and trying to have it both ways. So on the one hand I might like Kerry's message, but dislike his plan; or vice versa.

But there's one big place I can't stand his plan or his message, and that's in his socialistic ideals for wealth redistribution.

One Kerry spokesman talked about how health care is a problem in this country -- as if this originated with Bush -- and that one big problem is for people who have high health care costs they can't pay for, which employers can't or don't want to pay for. She said Kerry's plan is for federal government to pay. Not the individuals, not the employers, not the state governments, but the federal government.

So because individuals cannot pay, because businesses cannot or will not, because states will not, I will. That's right, I am paying. You are too, probably.

Heck, and you won't just be paying for the health care of other people who have jobs, you'll be paying for people who don't have jobs. She showed a 40-something guy who used to be a messenger and then in the tech boom became a "communication specialist," and now he can't get a job doing that anymore, so he stays home feeling miserable and taking my money.

But Kerry's spokesperson said that if we want a flexible workforce, we should take the benefits that come with that and "share" it with the people it hurts. I don't think it can reasonably be called sharing when you take it from me, but whatever: it's the very thinly veiled language of the socialist, and it's something I could never support.

I am not saying there are not problems. But the first answer in solving the problem should not be to take from Jill to give to Jack. This is especially true with health care. I know it is heretical for a conservative to say it, but perhaps we should consider some sort of price controls, for example. It's not the best capitalist solution, but what else is there? Government price controls are better than government paying for someone else because the prices are too high. Government price controls are better than -- kill me now -- single-payer health care.

And I am not against helping people who can't get a job, but when you are employable and you spend over a year trying to get a job in a specific market that doesn't want you, you shouldn't be paid by me for it. And it shouldn't be done at the federal level, clearly (the fact of the Tenth Amendment is completely lost on the Democratic party ... at least the Republicans know it exists, despite ignoring it).

And when it is done, it should be with the goal not of making the worker happy, but of getting him into a job. This guy sent out hundreds of letters in over a year of collecting my money, and he got not one reply. Dude, take a hint. You're wasting my money, and I don't like it. I'd rather give you money for retraining in something else.

Don't want to retrain? Tough. That's the price you pay to get my money. This guy was a horrible case study for the Democrats to use, because he is part of the problem: someone who shouldn't be in a particular industry and sucking off us while he stubbornly refuses to see thet fact. Maybe I am wrong, and he is a genius at whatever he does, but if he wants to pursue it, he should do it on his own dime.

One last thing: Bill Clinton noted in his talk that Kerry is willing to listen to people with other views, even when they disagree with him, as though Bush is not. I don't know why so many people believe this. His cabinet is fairly diverse of opinion (even apart from Powell) on many issues. But what this reminded me of was how Bush is often bashed over "stacking the deck" on his committees that brief him on issues related to science, such as in regard stem cell research and the Council on Bioethics.

I don't know if Bush did fudge the Council to get the result he wanted -- it wouldn't surprise me -- but the Council had been sharply divided and its report was a balanced one, especially compared to Clinton's own National Bioethics Advisory Committee, which unaninmously recommended that stem cell research, including cloning, be allowed to move forward unfettered. I don't recall cries of stacked decks then, let alone complaints that Clinton wouldn't listen to other views. "Listening to other views" to most people means "agreeing with me in the end." slashdot.org

Sunday Thoughts

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Polling and Pundits

I am watching PBS News Hour on Friday night, and I heard left-wing columnist Mark Shields say that Kerry is in good shape entering the Democrat convention: "since Ronald Reagan in 1980, no challenger has -- against an incumbent President -- has come in [to the convention] either tied or ahead in the polls." (He says it at about 8:40 in.)

Then I flip on CNN's The Capital Gang on Saturday night, where Shields is the moderator. There, he noted something different: "In 1992, as Democrats assembled in New York City for their national convention, the polls showed Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton taking the lead for the very first time with just 28 percent to 26 percent each for President George H.W. Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot."

I dunno, I don't really like Shields. When put next to reasonable people like liberal Al Hunt on Capital Gang, or conservative David Brooks on News Hour, it becomes devastatingly obvious how unreasonably biased he is. So when I see him make the above remark to Brooks on News Hour, which he denies the next day, it just makes me wonder if it was an honest mistake, or if he was bending the facts to puff up Kerry.

I realize this isn't important, but the contrast was particularly striking to me. Sometimes I feel myself more angry about how the news -- and news commentary -- is given to us than I am about the politicians themselves.

For example, on CNN this weekend, chief polling pundit Bill Schneider noted that all the current polls show both Bush and Kerry close to each other, within the margin of error, but that Kerry is ahead in each of them so therefore it's safe to say Kerry really is ahead!

Schneider makes two mistakes. First, the obvious: when the margin of error is small and the margin between the two candidates is smaller, you simply can't assume with any confidence that either candidate is ahead (in the CNN poll example, the margin of error was four points, and the candidates were two points apart). Now, it is true that if you do it enough times and get the same results, then you can be more confident in those results, but because you have different polls with different methodology and there are so few of them (over time, that have Kerry ahead in consecutive weeks), it really unreasonable to say one candidate is ahead of the other. To prove the point: the NBC/WSJ poll that just came out has Bush ahead by two points.

When the leading analysts misunderstand polling so much, is it any wonder the voters don't get it?

Then there's Andy Rooney -- barely qualified as a pundit, but I don't know what else to call him that's civil enough for this journal -- who said he'd like to ask John Kerry about when his outspoken mate speaks in public: "does your wife ever make you nervous?" I would like to ask the 60 Minutes producers the same question of Mr. Rooney. I wonder if there is any more ridiculous person on "serious" news programming.


I regret to note that, despite my urging late last week, the right wing has not held off on its criticisms of Berger, and the left wing has not failed opportunities to question the motivation and timing of the release of information about Berger's wrongdoing.

I still haven't come to any conclusions; how could I? Even the Democrats can't agree on what happened. Berger's lawyers say it was a mistake, while some of his friends say he just did it out of arrogance, that a disdain for the dumb rules of the National Archives caused him to thumb his nose at them by taking documents he had a right to.

But Berger took multiple copies, on more than one occasion, of a particular report. Neither of those explanations seem to fit the circumstances. The Democrats are quick to point out that the 9/11 Commission had a copy of that report, and that the report was available to John Kerry, so he surely wasn't trying to cover up any information, or provide anything to the Kerry campaign.

But is that so? Bill Kristol pointed out on Fox News Sunday that these were the White House copies of that report, which could have contained handwritten notes by administration officials, copies of which perhaps did not exist elsewhere. It's a plausible scenario, to be sure, but there's a lot of perhapses and maybes in there.

As to the "leak," there's no evidence whatever that such a leak exists. The veteran AP reporter who wrote the story gave no indication of it. It seems to me equally plausible that he uncovered the information through investigation as it is that someone leaked it to him.

Taking Cuts

A lot of stories about John Kerry getting preferential treatment have floated since he became the frontrunning Democrat, months ago. Fox News Sunday even featured Howie Carr, right-wing Boston-area talk show host, this week on its "Power Players" segment, where he brought it all up again. Last night ESPN showed an example on national TV.

Kerry and his entourage -- family (daughters, wife), colleagues (Dick Durbin, John Glenn), and others were sitting in the best seats in Fenway Park for the Red Sox / Yankees game, right next to the home team dugout. Red Sox top brass were with him, including owner John Henry and president Larry Lucchino.

This does make sense. Kerry is the Massachusetts Senator and a Red Sox fan, and the convention begins the next day across town. Kerry even threw out the first pitch of the game. Even George Mitchell -- you know, the former Democratic U.S. Senator from Maine, appointed by President Bush to be the vice chairmain to Henry Kissinger of the 9/11 Commission (before they broke up and Paul and John took over the band) -- is the team's director and a minority owner.

So it all seems fairly reasonable and innocuous; what's the problem? The problem is that Boston native, huge Red Sox fan, and longtime Democrat Ben Affleck usually sits in those seats, and he got bumped to the seats next to the Yankees dugout, where he sat in Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's usual seat.

I sense that your outrage at the indignity Kerry foisted on Affleck matches mine. But, at least the Red Sox won the game, and that covers many wounds. slashdot.org

Tuesday Thoughts

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I'm late in getting this out, as life delayed it. And I don't have much to say anyway. The Sunday shows only inspired me to write about one thing, and it wasn't all that interesting.

A Senator Says What?

Robert C. Byrd, Democrat Senator from West Virginia, is out slamming Bush. This is nothing new, of course, but this time he has a book to back him up. On Meet the Press, Tim Russert read back a passage to him:

"In the end, only 22 other members voted to oppose this despicable grant of authority (for war).  ...Never in my half century of congressional service had the United States Senate proved unworthy of its great name.  What would the framers have thought?  In this terrible show of weakness, the Senate left an indelible stain upon its own escutcheon.  Having revered the Senate during my service for more than forty years, I was never pained so much."
So, what of Kerry and Edwards? Byrd replied, "They were misled.  I'm confident of that.  And I have a feeling that that is why they voted as they did."

So the Senate did a bad thing, but Kerry and Edwards were merely misled. Gotcha. Could you be any more disingenous, Senator? Read that whole section of the interview, it's crazy.

Joe Wilson

Not for nothing, but when I slammed Joe Wilson last summer -- saying that his story was at best a minor footnote, and didn't really discount anything at all, and that far too much was being made of it -- I got slammed by various people for it. I am now accepting apologies. ;-)

Sandy Berger

I have made many requests of many on the left to wait and see, to not jump to conclusions, to use evidence and not innuendo, when thinks look bad for the administration. Recent examples include the various memos that vaguely hint at administration condoning of torture in Iraq, or a supposed coverup of supposed wrongdoing in the Valerie Plame incident, or the insinuation that Cheney was doing something sinister in his energy task force meetings.

And now I call on my right-minded brethren to extend the same courtesy to the left in regard to Sandy Berger. I realize my call is likely in vain, but maybe it will have more effect than my previously mentioned requests.

We know a lot about what Berger did, but we don't know why he did it, we don't know what was on the missing papers, we don't know why no action has yet been taken against Berger despite it being known about for many months.

The only defenses of Berger I've seen so far are that it was unintentional -- which as best I can tell, is plausible -- and the old redirection, "why is this being talked about now? Is this an intentionally timed pre-convention surprise?" As to the former, I have no answer, except that it warrants some investigation.

To the latter, I note that it is irrelevant to the fact of the wrongdoing, and that it doesn't seem all that strange for such an explosive fact from the impending 9/11 Commission report to be leaked a few days early. I am no expert, but heck, if it is me, I'd rather this waited a few days, so it would be new news when the convention started, when the report is actually released, so the Democratic convention is more overshadowed by it, and the timing can't be assaulted.

But again, even if the timing is intentional, that doesn't have anything to do with the fact of the wrongdoing. I didn't care about this objection to Richard Clarke's book (whether it had merit or not), and I don't care about it here. slashdot.org

Replacing Senators

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John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, is currently the junior Senator of Massachusetts. There are two questions concerning this fact and his race for the Presidency: should he step down now, and how should he be replaced if he does step down (either now, or should he win the election in November)?

Complicating this matter is the fact of the Republican governor of the state: Mitt Romney (don't be surprised: MA has had a Republican governor [four different ones] since 1991, and also from 1965-1975). The U.S. Constitution says (Article I, Section 2, Clause 2):

if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

This was amended by the 27th Amendment:

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

So is it the case, then, that the (in this case, heavily Democratic) legislature may, but does not have to, allow the governor to fill vacancies? I am never quite clear on the legal definition of "may," but I see no reason to mention the legislature at all if the Governor simply had that authority.

Regardless, it is quite clear that the Democrats are denying not only the people of their proper representation, but also of their will (as they chose the executive in question, knowing that he -- at the time -- had the power to fill vacancies). And you better believe that if the governor were a Democrat -- or if this comes up someday when the legislature and executive are once again both Democratic -- that they will change it right back to giving the governor that authority.

It's a horrible disservice to the people, and anti-democratic. I have no problem with setting up a special election that did not previously exist, but to deny representation in the meantime -- especially given that it is for purely political purposes -- is despicable. slashdot.org

More on Lies

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I forgot one of the big lies: that Kerry voted against funding the troops. I've mentioned this one, in this space, a bunch of times. The fact is that Kerry only voted against funding the troops because he didn't like HOW it was funded, and he never would have disallowed, through his vote, the funding of the troops. If he had been successful in stopping the bill, then the bill would have changed to suit his desires, to get him to approve it. He made this very clear at the time, on Face the Nation, and in other places. And yet Bush is still out there saying Kerry flip-flopped by voting for the war, and against the funding of the troops.

Again: any implication that Kerry was against the funding of the troops is false. He voted only against one way to fund the troops, and would not have allowed them to remain unfunded.

Strangely, as I say that, I am also condemning Kerry. He is now trying to frame his vote against ther $87B as though it was a vote against the war itself. Now, it's a smart move: he was losing the battle to convince people he was trying to fund the war, so he embraced it instead, and spun it to his favor, as though he had actually been against the funding, saying the other day in Boston (as part of the reason he voted against the bill): "The United States of America should never go to war because we want to; we only go to war because we have to." More deceptions. More lies. slashdot.org

Sunday Thoughts

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The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that was largely unsurprising to anyone who's been following things: the intelligence of Iraq having WMD was very very bad.

Two things strike me about the report. First is that it says nothing about Bush's blame or culpability. They were charged at this time with only reporting on the intelligence, not how it was used. They are working on how it was used too, but that report will come later.

Democrats on the committee wanted it to be included, but the report had already taken more than twice as long as they anticipated to get this much done. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) said on This Week that it wouldn't take long because they already have the intelligence, and they just needed to compare it to administration's public statements. But that would be a naive and unuseful exercise. Did Tenet misrepresent the NIE to Bush? What was said in the private discussions, by whom? How did Bush and Cheney arrive at some of their statements about 45 minutes and mushroom clouds? You can see some of the picture from the existence evidence, but you can't tell how it came about.

Both sides agree it is more important to get it right than to get it done before the election. So they released the first part now, and will release the next part when it is done. I hope they start on it right away amd get it done right as soon as possible.

Second, there's the issue of "pressure." The report states that, "The committee did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities." The Democrats wanted this part of the report changed, saying there was pressure. Now, these simple facts have caused many on the left to scream about the truth being withheld for partisanship, but the fuller facts lead me to think the Democrats wanted to include subjective, unsubstantiated, opinion for partisanship.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) said on Meet the Press that there are lots of kinds of pressure, and that repeated questioning creates pressure, such as what Richard Clarke mentioned in his book, about how Bush kept coming back and asking them to look again.

Senator Pat Roberts (R) responded to the claim with several important facts that this Democratic analysis leaves out. Most importantly, they questioned around 200 CIA analysts, asking them specifically if their product was coerced, intimidated, or manipulated, politically or otherwise. Every one of them said no. And when they asked two officials (who claimed some sort of problems) for specific details, one of them said he overheard it in a cafeteria, and neither gave details, and both concluded there was "no real pressure to change the product."

Further, as to the question of repetitive questions, they found there was evidence of such questioning only on the subject of terrorism, where the end product was good; where the product was bad -- the WMD intelligence -- there was no evidence of such questioning. Indeed, Roberts claimed that such repetitive questioning improved the quality of the terrorism product.

Rockefeller gave no direct responses to these facts. It seems to me that the Republicans were right on insisting that there is no evidence of such pressure as has been alleged.

One other thing came up in the Meet the Press interview. Russert said, OK, Wolfowitz gave three reasons for war -- WMD, terrorism, and humanitarianism -- and said the latter was unsufficient on its own to justify war. Now that the first two have been dispensed with: was the war justified? The question is silly. Only certain parts of the first two have been dispensed with (and, incidentally, the only two major arguments I was never convinced of to begin with). WMD is a much bigger issue than whether WMD existed, and terrorism a much bigger issue than whether Hussein was involved in 9/11 (or even with al Qaeda).

We know Iraq was in significant material breach of UN resolutions regarding its lack of cooperation with UNMOVIC, which is part of the WMD issue. We know that Iraq gave material support to terrorists, including payments to families of suicide bombers and haboring of terrorists like Abu Nidal -- as well as less direct support in which he knowingly allowed terrorists to remain in Iraq -- which is part of the terrorism issue. To say WMD and terrorism have been dispensed with as justifications -- something Rockefeller agreed with, bogglingly -- is nonsense.

Lies, Lies, Lies

Now, I've spent a significant amount of time in this space slamming people on the left for their lies, especially Howard Dean and Michael Moore, and including John Kerry and his supporters. A common response to this is some form of, "well, but Bush/Cheney/Rush/Coulter lies!"

There are three major points I have in response to this:

  1. You're right.

  2. I don't mention it much because I tend to spend more time criticizing the left than I do the right (and in the case of the more popular right-wing commentators, I don't pay attention to what they say enough to notice anyway).

  3. I do mention it, fairly often, but not necessarily in this space.

It's in this last point which I have perhaps been negligient, and so I wish to rectify that now.

Bush's campaign has run an extremely deceptive campaign against John Kerry, in certain areas. Let us show some of the more significant ways.

  • They state as a matter of fact that Kerry is the most liberal Senator, or has the most liberal voting record. Unless this is qualified as "according to National Journal," I call it deception.

  • While it is fundamentally factual that Kerry voted for "higher taxes" well over 300 times, as it is said in a Bush ad, it is very deceptive to say so without qualification. In fact, many of those times had Kerry voting against a tax cut, or voting for a smaller tax cut than someone else wanted. The statistic is essentially meaningless because we can't tell from it what Kerry actually voted for or against, without digging a lot deeper.

  • Bush's latest ad is called "First Choice," and it features John McCain saying great things about Bush as President and why he should be reelected. The ad itself is not deceptive, but in the title of the ad, and in statements about it, the Bush campaign says McCain was Kerry's first choice for VP, something which has not been verified by anyone who knows.

  • According to one Bush ad, Kerry wanted to greatly increase the gas tax, but that was many years ago, and he abandoned it long ago.

Some of these things seem silly. Of course we know that "most liberal" is a matter of opinion, and that the gas tax was abandoned years ago! But the problem is, most people don't know those things. I saw one guy saying one of the reasons he is voting for Bush is because Kerry wants to increase the gas tax. Stuff like that can be a bit shocking when most of the people you talk to on a regular basis are reasonably well-informed.

Now, I don't want to dwell on Kerry, but just for comparison, the same thing happens both ways. I saw one lady on This Week say she leans toward Kerry because she doesn't like jobs going overseas. Kerry voted for NAFTA, and has reaffirmed his committment to it over and again, and has never been remotely against the principle of sending jobs overseas (except in campaign speeches, of course). The real answer, given that the press does a poor job of informing the voters, is for voters to learn to be skeptical, and learn how to find out the real answers. I know, fat chance.

Election Strategy

Lots of people have been criticizing the Bush strategy of attacking Kerry. Usually, it's the other way around, with the incumbent staying above the fray, and the challenger attacking him. Bush, they say, is not acting like he's the incumbent. The Presidential election is always a referendum on the incumbent, if there is one, they say, so you should emphasize your positives, not their negatives.

The problem is that this is not a normal election. Fareed Zakaria noted on This Week that you can usually predict if an incumbent will win by job approval polls and economic conditions six months before an election, but for the first time in 40 years, those two numbers are going in opposite directions. And a big reason for this -- probably the reason -- is, of course, the war.

What this means is that Bush has high negatives: there's a certain percentage of people who will not vote for Bush under any circumstances, and a certain number who are leaning against him, and these numbers are higher for him than they would be without a war. Bush's negatives may even be as high as the 40 percent range, which means he needs to try to get a majority of voters when barely a majority of voters are even willing to vote for him at all. And on the flipside, Bush's positive numbers won't get much better, no matter how good he makes himself look.

Only events can make Bush look better or worse at this stage, and you usually don't create events with advertising, you talk about events. So what Bush needs to do is two things: first, put Kerry into the same boat, to help create a number of voters that will not vote for him, because of his record, because of his statements about the Vietnam War, because of his views about gay marriage and abortion. Second, he needs to convince the swing voters -- in the areas Bush is weak, such as trustworthiness -- that Kerry is no better.

And while I don't condone his (or Kerry's) deceptions, I think Bush has done a very effective job here. I think the strategy is a good one and that it is working.

Unconventional Speakers

Senator Zell Miller, a Demorat, has a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican convention. When was the last time a sitting member of Congress spoke at the other party's convention? I can't think of a time.

On the other hand, apparently Ron Reagan -- son of our 40th President -- will be speaking at the Democratic convention about stem cell research, the latest pet project he and his mother share. Ron has never really been a good little Republican, and has often opposed his father's views.

Don't be fooled, though, as many have been by statements that "the Reagan family" supports stem cell research. Michael Reagan -- the President's eldest son, who has been a member of the Reagan family longer than anyone else who's yammering about these things, including Nancy -- is a staunch Republican, and opposes stem cell research.


William F. Buckley, Jr., one of the leading figures of the modern conservative movement, is stepping down as CEO of National Review. A few years ago he ended doing his Firing Line TV show, and now this. He will be sorely missed. He provided a nice treat to viewers this weekend, as he made a rare televised appearance on Meet the Press. slashdot.org

Michael Moore

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I hadn't been planning on seeing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, but some friends invited me to the movie and a dinner, and it sounded like fun to experience it with them. And unfortunately, it surpassed my expectations.

The movie was very deceptive, in many ways. Many of them are lawyerly lies; he says, for example, that Saddam's Iraq was a nation that “had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen.†Is it murder to fund Palestinian terrorists who kill Americans in Israel? Is it murder to kill American soldiers who are attempting to drive you out of Kuwait? Is it a threat against the United States to attempt to assassinate its former leader, or to attack its military, which is patrolling the no-fly zone? I'd answer yes to all of that, but Moore never gives these details to allow you to make you your own mind.

Most of the rest of Moore's lies are those of implication. Moore spends a great deal of time on the Bin Laden flights out of the country. He directly implies that the members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the country without being questioned, by interviewing someone and talking about how you should interview such people before allowing them to leave, who said we did not do anything but check their passports when they left. But the 9/11 Commission says 22 of the 26 passengers on the "Bin Laden" flight were questioned; that the FBI were satisfied that no one allowed to leave had any connection to or knowledge of the events; and that no information has turned up since then to call that decision into question. In other words, there's nothing here.

And he goes into all this right after directly implying Bush should have listened to Richard Clarke pre-9/11 just because Clarke was his terrorism expert. But he makes no mention of the fact that it was Clarke's decision to allow these Saudis to leave the country; should not have Bush allowed them to leave just because Clarke, his terrorism expert, said it was OK?

And then there's the name of James Bath, which was blacked out of Bush's military records. Moore implies this is part of some conspiracy (indeed, he finishes his film with an animation of the name being covered up). Bath and Bush had both been relieved of duty in separate incidents. There was no reason to keep his name in the record, since it had nothing to do with Bush. To include it would have been a violation of Bath's privacy. It's standard procedure to black out the name in this case. There's nothing here.

There's a whole lot more (I don't buy all of those "deceits" at Kopel's site, but much of it is painfully obvious); this is just a few obvious examples where Moore is intentionally deceptive to try to convince you of his point. It's manipulative and deceptive propaganda. The only thing Moore convinced me of is that I should never again bother seeing any of his films.

Some have said that Moore's film, despite its deceptions, still paints a powerful picture of the reason why this war is a bad one. I don't think any of us needed Moore's help telling us that war is bad, do you? I thought Moore wanted people to see the truth; that's what he said, after all. It's just one more deception, I guess. slashdot.org
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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