August 29, 2004


"Kerry had momentum," sobs some stupid kid, "and now it's gone, all because of a Rove-engineered lie." There, there, little one. The ways of grown-ups are a mystery to you. Speaking of lies, here's the latest spam from the Kerry campaign:

Dear Friend,

Five days ago, we asked you to sign a petition demanding that George Bush call an end to the smear campaign and get back to the issues. Your voices were heard: 400,000 of you have already signed, with tens of thousands more signing each day. Thank you for making it clear that this election deserves a discussion of the issues, and not slander and character assassination.

As reader John D. points out, somebody forgot to inform the Kerry-friendly Portland Oregonian about this no-smear policy. The newspaper has dredged up news of a ten-year-old affair to discredit Swift Boat vet Alfred French:

Clackamas County prosecutor Alfred French, who called Sen. John Kerry a liar in a political commercial, acknowledged Thursday that he lied to his boss when confronted about an extramarital affair with a colleague.

Hours later, the Clackamas County district attorney's office said French had been placed on a 30-day paid leave while it conducts an investigation into his conduct.

French's former boss, James O'Leary, said he asked French about the rumored affair with a secretary about 10 years ago, but French denied it. O'Leary said he would have fired French if he'd admitted the relationship because it violated office policy.

French, who said he served in the same military unit with Kerry for two months in 1969, has come under intense scrutiny in the past week as the anti-Kerry ad has become a central issue in the presidential campaign. Suddenly, the well-respected Oregon prosecutor found himself the target of questions about his own credibility and the truthfulness of his statements against Kerry.

I wonder if French would have been a target if he'd been one of the few Swiftees who support Kerry.

(DU link via LGF)

Posted by Tim Blair at August 29, 2004 11:07 AM

Does this mean that office romance is out again?

Posted by: Tomorrowist at August 29, 2004 at 11:17 AM

It must not be smear if it supports the Kerry campaign. Talk about double standards.

French lives in Clackamas County? He's in the middle of a bastion for the Leftoid Front. I hope he survives this -- those bastards will pull every trick they can.

A point of order, Tim: The Oregonian operates out of Portland, but it's just called the "The Oregonian", it has state wide distribution (God knows why).

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 29, 2004 at 11:18 AM

I remember huffy Democrat congressmen, pundits, shills, editorial writers and journalists indignantly declaring that lying about sex was OK.

Posted by: perfectsense at August 29, 2004 at 11:24 AM

Major newspapers in the US are no longer even attempting to appear non-partisan. They have a political agenda and are now openly using their power and resources to discredit or destroy anyone who gets in John Kerry's way to the White House. Al French's "gotcha" at the hands of The Oregonian is a no nosense warning to other Kerry detractors who may be thinking of speaking their minds. Don't, or else. It's intimidation pure and simple, the mob couldn't have done a better job. For a profession and an industry that prides itself on being the watchdog of government and purveyors of truth this is unconscionable. It seems almost criminal behavior. And they believe that they are our betters. Friggin' slimy douchebags. Boycott that rag of a newspaper.

Posted by: Harry in Atlanta at August 29, 2004 at 11:49 AM

Let's see: he's French, lies about sex, and is working to undercut John F. Kerridy...

He's a Clinton mole, helping Hillary for '08!!

Posted by: c at August 29, 2004 at 12:31 PM

Ho Hum. Another political tryst. I seem to recall one in the White House that trumped them all.

When the hell are we going to get down to discussing who's the best goddamned leader of the nation who's got the balls to do what needs to be done TODAY?

Posted by: Rebecca at August 29, 2004 at 01:26 PM

Amazing. Kerry's campaign seems to have scored a spectacular own goal. And they don't even know why.

And I thought Bush was supposed to be the dumb candidate.

Who's stupid now?

Posted by: Quentin George at August 29, 2004 at 02:13 PM

It's the democratic model. Smear and attack your accusers. Dig up their dirt and spread it around. They did it to Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and every other participant in every bimbogate.

Posted by: Half Canadian at August 29, 2004 at 02:56 PM

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your article. These men have seen things I hope never to see. Most of them have already said, "I am not afraid of anything John Kerry can do or say!" I believe them. I also thank them for their service, and welcome home. God bless you all.

Posted by: Rosemary at August 29, 2004 at 03:39 PM

Quentin nails it. An off-topic smear like this ("French once lied -- not under oath, and ten years ago -- about an affair! That means his Swift boat story is also lies!") can only harm Kerry.

Posted by: tim at August 29, 2004 at 03:53 PM

French should be rubbing his hands together with glee. If fired, he'll end up with more money than Croesus, and a good excuse to use on his unfortunate wife to boot.

I hope somebody is keeping score on these disgracefully partisan "news" outfits. There'll be a reckoning someday.

Posted by: Harry at August 29, 2004 at 04:07 PM

I live in Portland, but I've avoided reading that sleazy newspaper for years. It's notoriously bad. And yes, Al French will probably be hounded unmercifully until he's fired or quits. It's a shame. I've heard that the Dems have private detectives trying to dig up dirt on all of the Swiftboat Vets. This seems to demonstrate this rumor is true.

Posted by: miklos rosza at August 29, 2004 at 04:10 PM


Posted by: Dean Esmay at August 29, 2004 at 06:02 PM

"Major newspapers in the US are no longer even attempting to appear non-partisan."

Amazing to witness, isn't it? I guess they don't care if their ratings and reputations go down further.

If anyone wants some laughs, visit DU (Democratic Underground). Some seem unable to deal with the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign and are depressed. Others seem to believe expressing *anything* but robotic phrases about Kerry winning is a betrayal.

Seems it's NOT OK to wonder aloud if Kerry could be handling the situation with the Swifties better. If you express concern about Kerry's strategy, or lack thereof, it is received by some as evidence you're a 'Bush plant'. The far left's fondness for enforced group think/speak is on beautiful display.

DU is the last place I'd want to hang out if I supported Kerry. The attitudes expressed by the hardcore faithful would probably make me a Bush convert. Why go to DU for abuse from fellow Kerry supporters?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 29, 2004 at 06:18 PM


Twenty questions for John Kerry.

1. The Bush campaign maintains that you spent 20 years in the Senate with no signature legislative achievements. What do you consider to be the five most important pieces of legislation that you've authored?

a. What's the most important piece of legislation regarding intelligence you've authored?

b. What's the most important piece of antiterrorism legislation you've authored?

c. What's the most important piece of health-care legislation you've authored?

d. What's the most important piece of education legislation you've authored?

2. You'd agree that on paper, Dick Cheney's experience and qualifications dwarf those of your running mate. Why would John Edwards make a better president during the war on terror than Dick Cheney?

a. It's been widely reported that John McCain was your first choice as running mate. If true, why did you prefer Senator McCain to Senator Edwards?

3. Earlier this year you told Tim Russert that you'd release all of your military records, yet you've failed to do so and you refuse to release your Vietnam journal. Why shouldn't the public infer that the contents of these documents would undermine your credibility or otherwise damage your candidacy?

a. When will you release the documents?

4. You've stated that you believe that life begins at conception yet you voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions. At precisely what point is a life worth protecting?

a. Is there any limitation on abortion (waiting periods, parental notification) for which you'd vote? If so, what?

5. You've promised to repeal much of the Bush tax cut and while in the Senate you voted to raise taxes an average of five times per year. If current economic trends remain largely unchanged during a Kerry presidency, would you seek additional tax increases?

a. How would you raise taxes and what are the highest marginal tax rates that you'd support?

6. You opposed the 1991 Gulf War even though Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, had invaded another country, and France and Germany had supported the war. In the current conflict no WMDs have been found, France and Germany oppose the action, and Saddam hadn't invaded another country. Yet you recently stated that knowing what you know now, you'd nonetheless authorize the use of force even though you voted against funding it. Could you please reconcile these positions?

7. You acknowledge meeting with representatives of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in Paris in 1970. Afterward you urged Congress to accept the North Vietnamese proposals. Please explain how this wasn't a violation of the Logan Act and, if you were still in the Naval Reserves at that time, how it wasn't a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibiting unauthorized communications with the enemy.

8. In several speeches before black audiences you've stated that a million African Americans were disenfranchised and had their votes stolen in the 2000 presidential election. There are no official or media investigations that support that statement. What evidence do you have to support the statement and if you believe a million blacks had their votes stolen, why haven't you called for criminal prosecutions and congressional investigations?

9. Do you dispute the National Journal's assessment that you're the nation's most liberal senator? If you do, which senators do you consider to be more liberal and why?

10. Why did you propose cutting the intelligence budget by $6 billion in 1994?

11. As president, would you nominate anyone to be either an attorney general, FBI director, or CIA director who had been a leader and chief spokesman for a group that had discussed and voted upon a plan to assassinate U.S. senators (even if the proposed nominee had opposed such plan)?

12. You have consistently stated that you "never, never" attended the November 1971 Kansas City meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plan to assassinate six pro-military U.S. senators was discussed. Several newspapers reported that when confronted with FBI surveillance reports, your campaign "all but conceded" that you were in attendance , but claimed that this was a mere "footnote in history."

a. Were you there?

b. Did you discuss the assassination of U.S. senators? What did you say?

c. Did you vote upon such a plan? How did you vote? Were any similar plans discussed by your group at any time? What were they?

d. If the plan was voted down, what steps did you take to insure that supporters of the plan didn't carry it out anyway?

e. Especially considering that this took place in an era of political assassinations and assassination attempts (Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace, etc.), did you report the discussion to any law-enforcement authorities? If not, why not?

f. When did you resign from the organization?

g. Do you dispute reports that you continued as a spokesman for the organization for more than a year after the Kansas City meeting?

h. If this was a mere footnote in history why have you repeatedly and vehemently denied you were there?

i. Did your campaign, as alleged in several newspaper accounts, attempt to get a witness to change his story about your attendance?

13. You have criticized the Patriot Act. What portions would you repeal or amend and why? What evidence do you have of any abuses of the Patriot Act?

14. As president, what would you do about Iran's emerging nuclear capability?

15. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee you missed more than thee fourths of all public meetings. It's also been reported that you have skipped or delayed receiving intelligence briefings during the campaign. Why should the public believe that you're serious about this issue?

16. What do you think is appropriate punishment for guards (and their superiors) found guilty of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib? Do you believe they should be stripped of command and receive dishonorable discharges and prison time?

17. On May 6, 2001, on Meet the Press, you stated that you had committed "the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers" in violation of the Geneva Convention. Specifically, you said you burned villages and "used 50-calibre machine guns, which [you] were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people."

a. Who ordered you to use 50-caliber machine guns on people?

b. How many people did you shoot with the 50s and how many of them were killed or wounded?

c. When and where did these shootings occur?

d. What other atrocities did you commit and when?

e. Which village(s) did you burn down and when?

f. Were any of your crewmembers present during the commission of any of these atrocities?

g. Did you order them to participate in the atrocities? Did they follow your orders?

h. Why were there no reports of these atrocities? Did you order your crew not to report them?

i. Are any of these incidents described in your Vietnam journal? If not, why not?

j. Did you observe thousands of (or any) other troops committing atrocities? When, where and what kind? Did you report them? If not, why not?

k. In light of your admitted atrocities, if Abu Ghraib guards found guilty of abuse should receive prison time and be stripped of command, why do you believe you should be considered for commander-in-chief?

18. Who among the justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court would be a model for your nominees to the federal bench? Why?

19. In a speech before Drake University Law School you characterized U.S. allies in the war in Iraq as "some trumped-up so-called Coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted,..." Do you maintain that Great Britain has been bribed, coerced, bought, or extorted? What about Italy? Japan? Poland? Please specifically identify those members of the Coalition that have been either bribed, coerced, bought, and extorted and the officials who were bribed or bought.

20. You told George Stephanopoulos that you had a plan to get out of Iraq but refused to provide details. Would you consent to having your secret plan privately evaluated by an independent, bi-partisan panel of military experts who could report the plan's merits to the electorate without divulging the details?

a. Would you also consent to privately revealing to an independent panel the names of the foreign leaders who secretly support you so that the panel can confirm your story to the electorate?

b. Ditto regarding the leaders whom you say have secretly told Senators Biden and Levin that you must win?

Obviously, there are a lot more questions Social Security, health care, etc. Certainly there are tougher questions and those more artfully crafted. This is just a start. Feel free to add your own. TV-newsmagazine producers are welcome to use any of the above.


Posted by: Diabetes HELP at August 29, 2004 at 06:20 PM

Seems to me that the media is whining louder than the Kerry camp over these chargers.Just aboutevery other question directed at the President during press briefings is:

"Will you denounce these ads?" "You've said John Kerry's service was 'admirable' in the past, what say you now?" "Are you behind these ads?" "What's the most severe beating you've given to Laura, and for what?" "In Athens today hey are protesting the Swift boat adds, will you now pledge to have those ads pulled?!!"

Posted by: Arvin at August 29, 2004 at 06:24 PM

Ummmm, Tim. Any comment on the Australian election? Remember Howard/Latham and all that? Apparently there was some kind of announcement today.

Or are you too wound up in US politics at the mo?

Posted by: PK at August 29, 2004 at 06:59 PM

Ok Mr pk.John Kerry is the grass,.....that you walk over.This fibbing swine is finished.As to the health of the free world?Its fine.Mind you, I have never forgiven Mr Bush for invading the wrong country.But what the hell,,,,!

Posted by: Larado at August 29, 2004 at 07:31 PM

Just wondering, what if the bucket of worms of JFK.s Vietnam service comes up with something so foul that the dems decide he is a liability and want to dump Kerry pre-election. Constitution does not mention political parties, so what rules apply?

Posted by: Alan - Brisbane at August 29, 2004 at 08:26 PM

Ive raised this question,and recieved limited replies.Mr Kerry is gone.Finished.All he is,,,,,is what?A real war criminal!(by his own admission).There is no way the American people would would vote for a war criminal.

Posted by: Larado at August 29, 2004 at 08:53 PM

Shame Australia doesn't have a war criminal as opposition 'leader'. That would be too easy.

All we have is a sick fat guy with square glasses, working class pretensions, a union-dominated potential ministry and no policy yet announced.

Plus he's down to his last testicle.

(And that's toast once the factions exert their influence, should he fall into government.)

Kerry in the US, Latham in Australia?

I'll be moving to ....

... where? Suggestions invited.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 29, 2004 at 10:24 PM

"Plus he's down to his last testicle."

Yeah, and Lance Armstrong made each and every one of his main rivals on this years Tour de France his personnel bitches, and all with one ball. Your point about having one ball is?

Posted by: David Crawford at August 29, 2004 at 10:36 PM

Testicular cancer isn't a laughing matter, even when it involves our esteemed Opposition Leader.

It's fortunate that Monkey Mark has given us plenty of other reasons to be amused, and doesn't look like stopping any time soon.

And I agree with PK. There are other blogs discussing the looming showdown to determine who ends 2004 as the most powerful man in the Southern Hemisphere, but this one's still my favourite. Tim's thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated, and the resultant very spirited discussion by us visitor types would be even more welcome.

Posted by: Grand Old Elephant at August 29, 2004 at 11:14 PM

Constitution does not mention political parties, so what rules apply?

The states have various deadlines for registering your candidate to be on the ballot. These deadlines generally fall in September. It will be difficult to impossible to replace Kerry once these deadlines start to expire.

Posted by: R C Dean at August 29, 2004 at 11:58 PM

Frickin' moonbats...
Talk about reaching...

Posted by: Kin at August 30, 2004 at 12:26 AM

Yeah, it disgusted me when the republicans did it with Clinton. It certainly didn't help them.

I think this is further evidence that the democrats have become the conservatives. They are trying agressively to maintain their base and damn evething else.

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 03:47 AM

Want to have some fun. I forgot who suggested it, but I printed out a SF-180 and will be mailing it to the Kerry campaign.

This is interesting, such evidence would be pretty damning, but I don't know about proof.

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 04:09 AM

aaron, you're right. The Republicans hired that guy who misplaced those FBI files, got Linda Tripp's employment files released without her approval, called Monica a stalker until the blue dress turned up,...

Seems we remember the same events, just differently...

Like Clinton, Kerry has brought his problems upon himself and his supporters are trying to shoot the messengers.

Posted by: Brent at August 30, 2004 at 04:13 AM

Good point Brent. It wasn't 'till years later that I was made aware of the reasons that whole ordeal was played out. Basically Clinton approved and unpopular law that would subject people to such questioning, and so he himself was subjected to it.

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 04:25 AM

aaron, that is exactly it. The left was 100% complicit with enacting the draconian sexual harrassment laws. They loved those laws when they could get Republican Senators to resign (Packwood anyone?) Just the seriousness of the accusation was all that mattered, so they said.

When Clinton got hoisted by his own petards, I honestly can't recall one "feminist activist" (for lack of a better term) criticizing his behavior. They just fell into their partisan camp. It was rather apparent that these laws were never intended for the "right kind" of people.

Just look at the McGreevey scandal for a modern update on this double standard...

Posted by: Brent at August 30, 2004 at 04:43 AM

"Constitution does not mention political parties, so what rules apply?"

As already mentioned above they face filing deadlines to ensure Kerry's, or someone's, name is on the ballot. I don't see the DNC replacing Kerry with anyone officially at this point, no matter how damaged he becomes.

I'm not sure the Democratic Party could legally replace Kerry without contacting each state and getting the delegates' OK. I could be wrong, but I imagine there is some law in place to prevent the national committees (Democrat and Republican) of each party from disregarding the votes of their delegates.

What could happen is Democrats, along with other anti-Bush voters, could propose someone as a write-in candidate. Groups have done this before when, for whatever reason, their candidate's name was not on the ballot.

I'm not sure how it's done for e-voting or machine voting, but for those of us who use paper ballots there is always a place where you can write in someone's name. If the sponsoring group has enough money they'll make stick-on labels available to apply to your ballot.

There is some sort of format that needs to be followed to ensure the person whose name you've written in gets credited with your vote, so any group sponsoring a write-in needs to advertise to make this information available. The time and expense of sponsoring a write-in can be high for national elections.

I have used the write-in option when there was nobody I cared to vote for. Many others have too. I believe Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and others have received their share of votes over the years!

I honestly don't see too many ardent anti-Bush people abandoning Kerry at this point. Kerry is their best shot at getting rid of Bush. They will do whatever it takes to ensure a Kerry win. Should be *very* interesting to see what happens.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 30, 2004 at 10:53 AM

Perhaps I am too logical or indulging in some kind of wishful thinking or perhaps there are too many shallow people in today's electoral pool, but Quentin's & Tim's posts seem to raise an obvious question: Why does the Kerry campaign react in such a manner to the ads unless what they state is indeed true?

If there was nothing there and if Kerry and his 'plans' had some real merit, I think he could wave it off and say there isn't a story there.

Posted by: zzx375 at August 30, 2004 at 11:40 AM

Chris Josephson I don't think the anybody but Bush crowd is the bastion the Kerry camp hopes for.

At the regular ABB demonstration I cointerprotest every week, there has not been one official sign. The last two weeks, there has been one hand-written sign, "KERRY LISTENS" (???)

At the rally outside the Bush fundraiser in Santa Monica, the show was driven by the ANSWER and ACT factions there. When the Kerry supporters tried to get a chant going for their main mannequin, the organizers came over and told them to shut up.

To a lot of the ABB set, Kerry is just The Other Fascist.

Plus, a lot of them I see out there, and judging by their posts online, are not old enough to vote.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 30, 2004 at 12:05 PM

Alan Brisbane You mean fouler than the baby he shot or the village he burned?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 30, 2004 at 05:11 PM

For Alan-Brisbane, RC Dean, and Chris Josephson: Under normal circumstances, Kerry could not be replaced after the deadlines pass.

But then, we must not forget that the rules changed a couple of years ago.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 31, 2004 at 12:31 AM

True, Ken, but that was a one state issue. For the Presidential election, the DNC would have to approach all states and terroritories. That's not quite the same case as with the NJ fiasco.

The DNC could skip over the states and head straight for the Supreme court (arguing, I dunno, lack of time?), but I expect many states would want to be heard anyway. Either way, a nightmare of coordination and logistics.

Of course, none of this would stop the DNC, given their tendency to whinge and whine whenever an election doesn't go their way.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 31, 2004 at 05:46 AM

True, Jeff. Just one more way to cry about how the election was stolen.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 31, 2004 at 06:05 AM

I like to think the best of people.

Suppose Mr. Kerry is racked with guilt over his lifetime of deceit. Could this campaign be his way of finding absolution with his guilty past?

Perhaps it is a 21st century version of a hair shirt.

Posted by: papertiger at August 31, 2004 at 06:41 AM

He'll come down with a debilitating illness.

Posted by: aaron at August 31, 2004 at 07:48 AM

Botox withdrawal?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 31, 2004 at 10:34 AM