September 01, 2004


I expected a good speech from Senator Miller tonight. I did not expect a stemwinder!

That was a great trick to get a Democrat to levy the most devastating charges against Senator Kerry. I was enthralled. "What are they going to use? Spitballs???" I screamed when I heard that.

People forget how good VP Dick Cheney is. Lynne was great; Dick was great. Good people. A funny man who can be serious like nobody else. The Dems have a hubris that Edwards is going to use his big-city-trial-laywerin' mojo to wipe the floor with VP Cheney in the debates. I say "bring it on!" Dick will comport himself well.

Just caught the AP headline for tonight: "Cheney, Miller Unleash Rage Against Kerry."

Rage? Senator Miller was rather strident and forceful -- I wouldn't say rage; and VP Cheney was as sweet as punpkin' pie. It is just Kerry's record that is so devastating.

Posted by jk at September 1, 2004 10:04 PM

Cheney is in the same sweet spot that Bush was in in 2000 debate wise. Expectations are that Edwards will wipe the floor with him, so all he has to do is just beat the odds a little and it will be considered his victory. Then again, does anyone really care that much about a vice presidential debate?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at September 2, 2004 08:09 AM

Well, were I a partisan hack, I might say that the Democrats were enumerating their advantages. Realizing their head of the ticket was not Mr. Charisma, they looked to the VP debate as a win.

Again, a partisan hack might say they were reaching for straws but I couldn't possibly comment.

I'll even give Senator Edwards the "sweet spot:" I expect that he will come off as an empty suit in front of the current Veep. I think "Two Americas" has become an albatross (apologies to Coleridge and Cleese) for Senator Sunshine.

There. Now all he has to do is break even. You're welcome, Democrats.

Posted by: jk at September 2, 2004 08:40 AM

I believe Zell's precise words were, "And this man wants to be Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces? Armed with what... SPITBALLS?!"

It is only hilarilously funny because of its truth.

What we have here is a fox trying to win election to 'senior hen house guard.' What we saw last night was the distinguished gentleman from Georgia and the honorable Vice President of the United States calling him out on it.

Posted by: johngalt at September 2, 2004 12:25 PM

Sorry, I am a bit behind in my TiVo watching, just caught Sen. Miller's speach. Geez, pass the torches and pitchforks dude.

Posted by: silence dogood at September 4, 2004 12:57 AM

Silence, I'm sure you recognize that Zell's principal tactic was to recite Kerry's Senate record and, as JK pointed out, that record is devastating. Zell's metaphorical reference to spitballs is a perfectly reasonable consequence of the fact that nowhere in that record does Kerry propose any meaningful alternative for the weapon systems he tried to scrap.

Those of us who realize that actions have consequences know that "be nice to them and they won't attack us" is not an effective defense against fellow human beings who will go even as far as suicide to act on their hatred of our very existence.

Does Kerry deny that this is his record? Does he deny that negotiation and diplomacy and statesmanship are his choices to head off danger? If so then he should say so. If not then the mere recital of these facts by his political opponents can not rationally be called a "personal attack" on Kerry's character. It's just the truth.

Voters have every right to form opinions about a candidate based on his words and deeds. That the Dems don't want Kerry's words and deeds repeated before the voters speaks volumes about what opinions they believe will be formed.

If Kerry's way is so "obviously" better, why isn't team Kerry thanking the GOP for helping him deliver his message?

Posted by: johngalt at September 4, 2004 11:01 AM

I was really just commenting on the style of speach, I almost felt like I needed to wipe the spittle of my TV at the end.

I have blogged at bit of a defense for these defense system spending cuts in the past, most of which is based on the fact that they come from 1984. I cannot substantiate any of the following claims, but they come from either my own personal experience or that of several friends all of us having spent 8-10 years working for defense contractors from the mid '80's to the mid '90's. Star Wars and the anti-sat system were really just R&D projects and are still years away from reality and may some day prove useful, but the odds are much better that our enemies will use a technology other than ICBM to attack us. DIVAD, the patriot missle, and the Aegis system are impressive systems that needed to wait about 10 years to start development when the necessary computing power had become available. Continuing the B-1 bomber when stealth technology and the B-2 were well underway seemed to most in the defense department and congressional oversight commitees (excluding our beloved Bob Dornan) to be an unwise investment. The Tomahawk missle was in plentiful supply.(This is before Clinton started lobbing them about remember) The AV-8B has always been problematic, the advantages of the vectored thrust system have never really overcome the problems of an aircraft that is extremely difficult to fly. I am not sure how the MX missle and the Phoenix and Sparrow air to air missles are helping in the war on terror as a nuclear deterent does not seem to have a profound effect on terrorists, and the ability to shoot down their non-existant aircraft probably does not worry them much either. (points given for the fact that if you could effectivley scramble fighter aircraft hijacked jetliners could be shot down) F-14 and F-15 aircraft were already being debated in the industry, the next generation fighters were being researched and continued production versus increased development on the next generation aricraft was the debate.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at September 7, 2004 09:53 AM

Silence. If you scroll up one item, or go to, I think you see a devastating indictment.

These don't seem in aggregate to be principled singular votes against systems on the grounds of efficacy. His memo details a plan to eviscerate spending on weapons systems. What if he had got his way on this? Today's military would be crippled.

I'm not really committed to SDI. Yet the Soviet Union took it as a grave threat which they knew they could not answer. This exposed their economic shortcomings. Money pretty damn well spent in my ledger!

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2004 12:21 PM

Quite right. One wonders why Senator Spitball quarreled with the strategy. It was a very "thoughtful" and "sensitive" method of combat with the Soviets that had the added bonus of creating incredible numbers of high paying skilled jobs!

Posted by: johngalt at September 8, 2004 10:15 AM

Ah, we can know that young senator Kerry's memo was not about modernization or efficiency, it was about eviscerating the defense budget, but we can't possibly know what young George Bush's reasons were for joining the National Guard, got it. Of course I am using the term eviscerate to mean the drastic cut of 6% in the defense budget.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at September 8, 2004 10:49 AM

I suppose you have got me on the 6%; I am powerless to retort.

Silence and I went to lunch today, and he pointed out that the cuts Kerry requested in the memo would amount to 6% of the 1984 defense budget. I don't think I'll change my vote to Kerry, but that is some damn good fact checking -- I have to give you the argument on points.

I will defend myself against the scurrilous charge that divining motive from a policy memo, followed up by a Senate vote is to be compared with speculation about why a young man would choose to be a fighter pilot in the 1960s. Terry McAuliffe aside, this is hardly a "chicken" or "unpatriotic" endeavor.

I do respect the courage Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam, I am just not jumping on the train that everybody who did not go is some kind of traitor.

One other ne'er mentioned point on the Texas National Guard: as W's dad was director of the CIA, it is unlikely that he would be allowed to enter a combat zone for fear of disproportionate leverage upon his capture.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2004 03:49 PM

Hate to do this to you twice in one post, but George H.W. Bush was CIA director from 1976-1977. The Vietnam war ended in 1975.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at September 9, 2004 01:20 PM

Ambassador to the UN, sorry. Point holds.

Posted by: jk at September 9, 2004 01:29 PM
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