August 03, 2004


Contrary to my earlier post, it looks as though John Kerry has in fact gone backwards:

Democrat John Kerry got no poll bounce at all from the Democratic convention and actually lost ground as President Bush moved into a tiny 4-point lead, according to a stunning new Gallup Poll.

Gallup — the polling company that is the historic standard in tracking the convention bounce — said it's the first time since 49-state loser George McGovern in 1972 that a nominee failed to get a convention bounce.

This happy news will come as a shock to these guys:

When asked who would be a better president, the journalists from outside the Beltway picked Mr. Kerry 3 to 1, and the ones from Washington favored him 12 to 1.

If Kerry can relocate those Washington-based journalists to key battleground states around the US, he might have a shot at winning.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 3, 2004 06:40 AM

In Kerry nuance, he really didn't plan to get a bounce because...because...because he has a secret plan. Only ignorant racists don't understand the cleverness of Kerry's plan.

Posted by: perfectsense at August 3, 2004 at 07:45 AM

Quick! Kerry needs another sports photo op, this time in rocket shoes or on a pogo stick. Trampoline, perhaps?

Posted by: Tigger at August 3, 2004 at 07:47 AM

Speaking of fair and objective (read: flaming liberal) journalists, I "accidently" listened to Don Imus' radio show this morning. He was talking to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek who was raving about how brilliant Kerry's speech was, a homerun or at least a triple, yada, yada.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "What a jag off!"

Then Imus asks Alter how his cancer treatments are going (!!!). Here I was, intensely hating Alter then I find out he's got heavy cancer and I felt like an asshole for hating him.

God, I hate being a compassionate conservative sometimes!

Posted by: JDB at August 3, 2004 at 07:53 AM

Only 12-to-1 for Kerry?

Alterman will have another book out soon.


Posted by: SteveMG at August 3, 2004 at 08:20 AM

SteveMG, that's what I was thinking. They must have polled every single conservative journalist in the DC area to get a healty 12:1 ratio. Ditto that for the 3:1 outside-the-beltway ratio. What was the number of journalists nationwide who voted for Gore? Something like 84% wasn't it?

Posted by: Brent at August 3, 2004 at 08:43 AM

It means that his appeal is becoming more selective.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at August 3, 2004 at 08:57 AM

From the Guardian, the Kerry campaign staff spun it this way:

"Mr Kerry's bounceless convention could be interpreted a sign of strength, his campaign argued, as he went into the convention more or less tied with Mr Bush, while most challengers facing an incumbent go into a convention 15 points down."

No bounce for Kerry.

Notice how they don't cite the actual election years, or percentages, or previous candidates to back up that "15 points down". I'd always read that the challenger usually rises in the polls up until the incumbents convention (which is, by tradition, held after the challengers convention). Then the incumbent's numbers rise.

Posted by: David Crawford at August 3, 2004 at 09:14 AM

If you think about that 12:1 number it is stunning. For instance, among the 51 R's in the Senate, five of them vote reliably with the D's on many issues. These are the "liberal Republicans" such as Olympia Snow and Lincoln Chaffee. That means there is approximately the same percentage of liberal Republicans in the US Senate as there is conservative journalists in the beltway.

Put another way, you could look at journalists as being monolithically Democrats, and a few of them are cross-party voters like Zell Miller.

Stunning for a profession that largely considers itself unbiased and trustworthy.

Posted by: Brent at August 3, 2004 at 09:18 AM

Ron Hardin . . . . LOL. Thanks.

Posted by: Polly at August 3, 2004 at 09:23 AM

"SteveMG, that's what I was thinking"

Actually, I was being sarcastic.

12-to-1 is stunning indeed.

Of course, journalists are highly trained professionals with Olympian skills of perception and are devoted to keeping their own views and opinions separate from their reporting.

You see, when you become a reporter, the editors annoint you with special oils that renders you incapable of injecting - consciously or not - your own worldview into the stories you write.



Posted by: SteveMG at August 3, 2004 at 10:48 AM

So I'm watching Fox Sports World and they're running the highlights of Aussie Rules Football from the weekend... can anyone provide a good explanation for how on earth this game is played? It seems like a more brutal and fluid form of US Football – but with an rules that allow more scoring because they appear to have to kick the ball between the posts… it’s confusing… and more violent than rugby! So quite fun to watch.

Posted by: Adam at August 3, 2004 at 11:49 AM

them's fightin' words Adam - Aussie Rules is certainly not as violent as rugby union, and both are left in the shade by rugby league. but all are magnificent games....

Posted by: chambo at August 3, 2004 at 12:22 PM

Ok AFL...
Scoring: 4 Posts at each end, 2 taller ones between 2 shorter.. Kick the ball between the 2 tall ones and its six points (Goal). Kick the ball between a tall and a short one, or if its touches a post/hand/opposite player its one point (Behind)
Behold my ascii AFL posts
Marking: If a player kicks the ball and it travels more than 15 meters (umpires call) and it is caught by another player it is a mark, he then may not be touched until he playes on. He can play on by kicking to another player, or quickly handpassing, running on or going for goal.
Passing: The ball may not be thrown, a handpass in AFL is where you hold the ball in one hand and "punch" it with the other to the reciever.
Running: When running with the ball, it must be touched to the ground at least every 10 steps (umpires call), either by reaching down, or bouncing it.
Tackling; A tackle may only be made around the waist, and when tackled the player must get rid of the ball or risk giving away a free kick to the opposition.
Stoppages in play are restarted by the umpire bouncing the ball, umpires also throw the ball in when it goes out of bounds, except if it is kicked out on the full, where the other team get a free kick.
As for it being a more fluid version of US football, erm, not really.
In. That. Order.

Posted by: RhikoR at August 3, 2004 at 12:40 PM

Bah, sorry, my ascii posts didnt work,
I'll try again...

Posted by: RhikoR at August 3, 2004 at 12:42 PM

RhikoR: try using the "pre" tag -- how-to here. I enabled this tag in the comments at a commenter's request.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 3, 2004 at 12:46 PM

Thnx andrea, are most html tags enabled?

Posted by: RhikoR at August 3, 2004 at 12:58 PM

All the standard formatting tags (b, i, em, strong, s, blockquote) are allowed -- the "img src" tag is not, because once some turd uploaded a bunch of really ugly gay porn star jpegs. (They weren't even good-looking.) the "a href" tag is also allowed; see the directions in red how to use it. I also enabled "tt" which does more or less the same thing "pre" does.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 3, 2004 at 01:06 PM

Take a look at this article on Kerry by Mark Steyn in today's London Telegraph - it's pricesless.;sessionid=UK42QYV51N2KJQFIQMGCM5OAVCBQUJVC?xml=/opinion/2004/08/03/do0302.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/08/03/ixportal.html

Posted by: Freddyboy at August 3, 2004 at 02:11 PM

timbo ,
you are correct about the lowest bounce but George W is in one of the most vulnerable positions of any President since the end of WW2 again according to the same polls.

apparently the Yanks have a president they would rather not have and a challenger who they don't particularly feel an affinity to.

Bush is vulnerable to two questions.
first the Reaganesque. are you better off now than you were four years ago.
The second on security. do you feel more secure than you did before the war on Iraq.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at August 3, 2004 at 03:05 PM

Luckily, the media has done its best to ignore all signs of economic recovery or some people might think its better than it was in 2000.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 3, 2004 at 03:09 PM


There have been nine incumbent presidents running since WW2. Four (Truman, Ford, Carter, Bush 41) were polling worse in early August, five (Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton) were polling better. So Bush isn't "one of the most vulnerable", he's dead middle of the pack.

Certainly, Bush is running weakly compared to the average pot-WW2 president who was returned to office, but he's doing better than all three who lost, and better than one who won.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at August 3, 2004 at 03:41 PM

Quick! Kerry needs another sports photo op, this time in rocket shoes or on a pogo stick. Trampoline, perhaps?

What sports photo op did Kerry hide?
Obviously, CURLING photographs.

When did he hide the CURLING photos?
Between his second and third Purple Hearts.

Why is he hiding the CURLING photos?
If you have to ask, well...

Where are the CURLING photos now?
Tucked in with his military medical file.

How did he manage this stupendous feat of deceit?

Hey, this Journo stuff is dead easy! Tell my handlers I'm not taking any calls unless it's from the Beeb, CNN, or Rupert.

Posted by: Timothy Lang at August 3, 2004 at 03:56 PM

You can probably use historical precedent as an indicator to any conceivable result (with the possible exception of a Ralph Nader victory) - it all depends on which historical precedent you choose.

That said, most of the post-WW2 history favours Bush:

- no sitting member of Congress has won the presidency since 1960 (and then only barely)

- north-eastern liberals, or at least those characterised as such: ditto

- the only incumbent presidents to lose have been those who were challenged for the nomination: Carter challenged by Ted Kennedy, Poppy Bush by Pat Buchanan.

The only factor I can find in favour of Kerry is that the taller guy usually wins.

Of course, none of this necessarily means anything. Before 2000, a study of 20th century history would have suggested that you couldn't become president without winning the popular vote.

Posted by: tim g at August 3, 2004 at 04:39 PM

Bush is the second president to be elected without the popular vote, but Benjamin Harrison was elected just before the 20th century even started.

But I agree, historical precedent can be used to make any point, especially if you cherry pick. ;)

Posted by: Sortelli at August 3, 2004 at 05:24 PM

No Bounce because they only showed Kerry, Edwards & Clinton..???

[Gallup]..In an article on Gallup's Web site before the Democratic convention, Gallup Poll Editor in Chief Frank Newport cautioned that it was possible the average convention bounce calculated for previous conventions might not apply this year....the three major television networks cut back dramatically on the coverage of the convention, devoting a total of only three hours in prime time over a four-day period. The one hour of coverage each night on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday came late in the evening -- 10:00 pm Eastern time, 9:00 pm Central.

Maybe if they showed the whole Infomercial WITHOUT showing Kerry he would have bounced like a Superball...That's the key, hide Kerry, play only ACT commercials and change Kerry's name to Mr. None Of The Above

Posted by: JoJo at August 3, 2004 at 05:26 PM

The great thing about idiots posting to comments here?

They give you advance notice when they are going to write something stupid.

Like this -

timbo ,

We really need to set up this "Trolling for Timbo" blog.

Posted by: Quentin George at August 3, 2004 at 05:42 PM

Bush is the second president to be elected without the popular vote

Not true; he's fourth. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote in 1824, but John Quincy Adams became President; Tilden won the popular vote in 1876, but Hayes became President. (Of course, none of them were 20th century elections.)

(That's assuming we don't count Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, who didn't win the popular vote because there was no full, nationwide popular vote to count.)

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at August 3, 2004 at 06:10 PM

Homer Paxton:
Get a real job - and cut your hair.

Dole bludger.

Posted by: Robert Blair at August 3, 2004 at 06:12 PM

Rutherford B. Hayes was nicknamed "Rutherfraud" by the Democrats.

Sounds familiar?

Posted by: Quentin George at August 3, 2004 at 06:19 PM

Thanks, Freddy! Steyn raises the bar yet again. This campaign seems to draw out his extraordinary talent to the full.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at August 3, 2004 at 06:23 PM


You forgot to mention the most important requirement in Aussie Rules: the referee and boundary umpires shall behave with the propriety and competence of a UN oil for food administrator, and scream like a wounded faggot ((c) William S Burroughs) when this obvious fact is pointed out in public.

Posted by: Clem Snide at August 3, 2004 at 07:34 PM

Kerry lost 4 percent... Thats bad, but at least its in America, not here. I don't know what I'd do if we had George Bush as president.(Or prime minister)

Posted by: caspian at August 3, 2004 at 07:53 PM

It looks like the Democratic Convention had a negative effect on your page as well, Tim - the blog ads aren't working.
Fix this problem post-haste, or I won't be able to encourage global capitalisms savage inequities any more!

Posted by: TimT at August 3, 2004 at 09:27 PM

If Homer calls Tim 'timbo', can we call Homer 'hobo'?

Hobo Paxton. Or perhaps Hobo Paxhisswag?

Posted by: Anonymous at August 3, 2004 at 10:24 PM

Mark Steyn nails Kerry better than anything I've seen.

Posted by: Habib at August 3, 2004 at 11:08 PM

Donnah has a fine example of how popular the challenger is in the boonies.

Democratic nominee Sir!! We think you're an asshole Sir!!! Siir Yes Sir!!!

Posted by: Habib at August 3, 2004 at 11:23 PM

Fact check #3, this time on the Steyn article:

George Bush (senior) being amazed at the price scanner was a lie invented by the New York Times. One should also note that the involvment of a supermarket clerk was itself a secondhand distortion of the NYT lie.

(Why yes, I am an amazing font of factual details. Annoying, isn't it?)

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at August 3, 2004 at 11:34 PM

According to Gallup's polling since 1936, only three challengers have successfully defeated incumbents - Carter, Reagan and Clinton - and each one of them took July leads of 33, 16 and 25 respectively from convention bounces. In each of those races, a percentage of the electorate turned back to the incumbent in the autumn but voter sentiment — likely strengthened by the July wave — proved too much to overcome. Kerry, of course, failed to create any such insulation; with hard-reelect numbers of roughly 35 percent for each candidate (Bush probably a bit higher), there's much more sway in the electorate than talking heads have concluded. Bush has a lot to look forward to, especially if he plays his cards right.

Another tidbit to digest is the fact that no incumbent who faced a notable party rival and lost more than a third of the vote in the modern New Hampshire primary won reelection. Bush ran against no-names and took a respectable 85%. It's an indirect precedent, yes, but underscores the value of party unity. (Those who claim that the war holds the GOP together need to turn their history books to the 1952 and 1968 elections.)

Posted by: Michael Ubaldi at August 3, 2004 at 11:43 PM

Something you probably didn't read in the NYT-

The Democratic mayor of intensely-Democratic St. Paul, Minnesota, just endorsed President Bush for reelection.
A little perspective: the previous mayor of St. Paul also was elected as a Democrat; but today Sen. Norm Coleman is R-MN.
A little more perspective: St. Paul is one of the "Twin Cities", Minneapolis being the other. A mayor of Minneapolis, in the more distant past, was Hubert Humphrey, the 1968 Democratic nominee.

The Democratic ship of state isn't the Titanic so much as it's U-571.

Posted by: Don Eyres at August 4, 2004 at 12:17 AM

Adam and RhikoR re Aussie Rules... I spent a few months down under 20 years ago and was introduced to all nature of strange (to a yank) sports. On TV I saw Rugby (2 kinds), Lawn Bowling, Snooker and Aussie Rules (aka VFL).

I was taken to a Sydney Swans match (do they still stink?) by a friend from the office. My summation of the game was that VFL was a cross between basketball (center jump and dribbling), volleyball (hand passing), soccer and a riot in the local pub.

As far as I could tell, the only thing that was illegal was pushing in the back. Stepping on (as in climbing your opponent as though he was a step ladder), elbowing, holding, full contact Karate and small caliber pistols were legal it seemed.

All in all a good time had by all. "Tip a Toohey's or two, mate!"

Posted by: AlanC at August 4, 2004 at 12:58 AM

O.T., fresh from

"Moore Sued for "Doctoring Newspaper"

Oscar-winning director Michael Moore is being sued by a furious American newspaper for allegedly "doctoring" the paper's front page for his controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. A scene in the movie shows newspaper headlines relating to the legally contested 2000 American presidential election and includes a shot of Bloomington, Illinois newspaper The Pantagraph with a headline reading 'Latest Florida recount shows Al Gore won election' - which was not actually used on the first page. Instead the headline was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer". The Pantagraph has now sent Moore and his production company Lions Gate Entertainment Corp a letter asking him to apologize for using the manipulated cover page and are seeking $1 million in compensatory damages. The paper says, "If Moore wants to 'edit' The Pantagraph, he should apply for a copy-editing job." "

Posted by: Syd Barret at August 4, 2004 at 01:22 AM

Caspian — Don't you read the SMH? You do! BWAHAHAHAHAHA...*cough* *wheeze*...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 4, 2004 at 01:42 AM

I have one question about Aussie rules football. Whatever happened to the goofy-looking guy wearing the white lab coat and floppy hat that did the chop-socky things with his hands whenever someone scored?

Posted by: David Crawford at August 4, 2004 at 02:42 AM

Re Dave:

OH NOOO?????!!!!! They did away with the fedora and the trench coat????????

My wife wants to know if they still wear those really tight white shorts.

Posted by: AlanC at August 4, 2004 at 04:50 AM

Warmongering Lunatic -- D'oh, thanks. I misread my reference's claim that Bush was the first president since Harrison to win without the popular vote to mean Harrison was the only other one who did it.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 4, 2004 at 09:38 AM

Alan C. AFL does look like the bastard child of a whole lotta other sports, i agree. As for the swannies, they were tipped to take the wooden spoon last year as they had a young playing squad, ended up coming 4th and lost to eventual premiers Brisbane in the semi-finals, this year they sitting around 6th, having just thumped Brisbane last weekend. WOOT!!! :)
Oh, and the doods with the trench coats are back, and the players still wear tiny shorts, much to the derision of the rugby fans.

Posted by: RhikoR at August 4, 2004 at 10:40 AM

NEW KERRY Book on Aug 15th... "This book ( 'Unfit for Command : Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry' ) will have sections on Kerry in Vietnam and on his anti-war behavior afterwards.
It is critical of Kerry, very critical. That is obvious from the authors and their associated organization, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The book will provide details significantly damaging to the Kerry campaign. The only way the Kerry supporters can "damage control" this book is to attack the authors through guilt by association. For example, they have previous attacked co-author John O'Neill as a Republican shill or a member of some vague Republican conspiracy. They cite his 45 minute relationship with Richard Nixon. John O'Neil was the person who debated Kerry in 1971.

But John O'Neill is hardly a Republican shill. He is basically apolitical and only reluctantly entered the fray this year because Kerry was running for president and has yet to retract for his many damaging falsehoods during his anti-war years. Kerry's 1971 speech is on CSPAN's web site, so readers are encouraged to check it themselves and see these falsehoods.

John O'Neill is part of an organization ( Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth ) which has about 300 members. They all signed a letter asserting that John Kerry is unfit to be the Commander in Chief. They presented this early in the campaign ( May 5 ) because they wanted the Democratic party to have a chance to pick another nominee if this derailed Kerry. A significant number of Democrats in the organization felt that was important.

When the press conference was mostly ignored (even though every one of Kerry's commanding officers up through CINCPAC [CINCPAC, deceased, represented by his son] stepped forward and attested to their signing to his lack of quaalification), the group chose to write a book to get out the word. That is the reason for this book: to clarify the history and to remove the stains that Kerry painted all Vietnam Vets with, and to avoid the inevitable media filter. To help with the effort, a Harvard PhD historian (Dr. Corsi) is the coauthor. Dr. Corsi is a specialist in the Vietnam anti-war movement.

So again, look at motive. Please don't fall for the McCarthyite attacks on the spokesmen, especially O'Neil. Guilt by association is ugly, but that's the only defense Kerry has. When you hear charges that they are part of a Republican attack machine, recognize that there was nothing to be gained by the 300 members of this group, Also, the group is a 527 organization, which prohibits it from working with a political party.

Also interesting are 'Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History' and 'A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam' "

Posted by: JoJo at August 4, 2004 at 01:32 PM

JoJo, could you not print entire articles from some other website? This is where you type your thoughts. If we wanted to know what someone on said about some book, we'd go to and look up the reviews. But lifting an entire article from another site and putting it here is a form of copywrite violation, and the next instance of it will get the post deleted and your IP banned. Please simply drop in a linking url (directions in red above), and a small sample quote of the article next time.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 4, 2004 at 02:14 PM

WarLun: Re Fact check #3

I presume that you noted Mr Steyn making reference to President Bush Sr "amazed by supermarket scanner", or such, in one of the linked columns. Mr Steyn has made several references to that episode, all in a satirical sense. If I remember correctly, he began referring to it during one of the 1990's campaign, with an explanation of 'what really happened'. I think he uses it as a fisherman uses a dry fly.
Oh, and he does visit this site on occasion ...


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at August 4, 2004 at 02:56 PM