Kevin Drum notes these comments from an anonymous White House Spokesman:

At the White House, where officials are formulating their own package of reform proposals, a senior official, speaking on background to reporters, indicated that the administration will oppose any such arrangement. The official said Bush “wants to protect intelligence agencies from any undue influence” and “ensure that intelligence analysts maintain their autonomy.”

“It is fair to say that there [are] some very important potential consequences to the placement of the office,” the White House official said.

Before tentatively agreeing with the remarks, the Political Animal quips:

The chutzpah of these people is just breathtaking, isn’t it? How do they find people willing to say stuff like this with a straight face?

Maybe they hire them away from the Washington Monthly? Remember this, Kevin:

The Committee ste out to examine a number of issues including whether anyone within the Intelligence Community was pressured to change their judgements or to reach a specific judgement to suit a particular policy objective. Not only did we find no such “pressure,” we found quite the opposite. Intelligence officals across the Community told Members and staff that their assessments were solely the product of their own analyses and judgements. They related to Committee staff in interview after interview their strong belief that the only “pressure’ they felt was to get it right. Every individual with whom we spoke felt a deep sense of responsibility to provide the highest quality product possible. This was especially evident among terrorism analysts whose assessments had become all the more important after September 11th, 2001.

Of course, the bi-partisan report means nothing to fierce partisans. If you say something often enough in certain circles- it is true. That is why they still are attempting to defend and spin serial liar Joe Wilson, even though Tom Maguire has effectively laughed them out of the blogosphere.

Zarqawi Captured?

More newspapers are joining the chorus.

No Kidding

Sayeth Rich Lowry:

The debate has now been settled: John Kerry definitely served in Vietnam.

That was a major point of the Democratic Convention and of Kerry’s acceptance speech. This must be one of the great acts of chutzpah of all time: The party that made national politics safe for Vietnam draft avoiders in 1992 now considers Vietnam service arguably the foremost qualification for the presidency. But, hey, the Democrats are now the party of militaristic display and cultural conservatism.

Red State

I don’t know if you have been reading Red State, a right leaning collaboration for which I am an editor and a frequent contributor, but you really should check the site out.

If you want to know why Iam proud to be a member of the staff, go read this piece on the Kerry speech by Tacitus, one of the founders.

Kerry Speech

I did not watch the Kerry speech– I figured it would just piss me off. I like reading the speeches instead, as there is something about the last few prominent national Democrats that just infuriates me when they speak- the self-righteousness, the lies. Not sure what it is. Where have you gone, Pat Moynihan?

At any rate, some comments:

This line just blew me away:

I was born, as some of you saw in the film, in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado, when my dad was a pilot in World War II. Now, I’m not one to read into things, but guess which wing of the hospital the maternity ward was in? I’m not kidding. I was born in the West Wing.

Holy loads of cheese, Batman. That is reason enough to keep the man out of the Oval Office.

This line was amusing, too:

I have unforgettable memories of being a kid mesmerized by the British, French and American troops, each of them guarding their own part of the city – and Russians standing guard on that stark line separating East from West. On one occasion, I rode my bike into Soviet East Berlin. And when I proudly told my dad, he promptly grounded me.

My first thought was- I wonder if that is when they flipped him. Gary Farber- that was an attempted joke.

I actually felt a moment of comaraderie when he said this:

I felt goose bumps as I got off a military train and I heard the Army band strike up “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

I cry every time I hear it. Same with the National Anthem, TAPS, and America the Beautiful.

This is a gem- an attack on Bush’s line from 2000:

To all who serve in our armed forces today I say help is on the way.

A quick trip down memory lane:

When first running for his Senate seat in 1984, Kerry explained carefully that he was firmly against such mainstays of the defense establishment as the B-1 bomber, B-2 stealth bomber, AH-64 Apache helicopter, Patriot missile, the F-15, F-14A and F-14D jets, the AV-8B Harrier jet, the Aegis air-defense cruiser, and the Trident missile system.

He also ran on a platform of cutting back on the M1 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Tomahawk cruise missile, and the F-16. The average newspaper-reading American, of course, recognizes these systems as the veritable tip of the spear that not only crushed Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War but also smashed the Taliban in Afghanistan and punched through to Baghdad in the second Gulf War…

In 1991 Kerry voted to cut defense spending by 2 percent. Only 21 other senators voted with Kerry, and the defense cut was defeated.

In 1991, Kerry voted to cut over $3 billion from defense and shift the funds to social programs. Only 27 senators joined Kerry in voting for the defense cut.

In 1992, Kerry voted to cut $6 billion from defense. Republicans and Democrats alike successfully blocked this attempt to cut defense spending.

In 1993, Kerry voted against increased defense spending for a military pay raise.

In 1993, Kerry introduced a plan to cut the number Of Navy submarines and their crews; reduce tactical fighter wings in the Air Force; terminate the Navys coastal mine-hunting ship program; force the retirement of 60,000 members of the armed forces in one year; and reduce the number of light infantry units in the Army down to one. The plan was DOA.

In 1995, Kerry voted to freeze defense spending for seven years, cutting over $34 billion from defense. Only 27 other senators voted with Kerry.

In 1996, Kerry introduced a bill to cut Defense Department funding by $6.5 billion. Kerrys bill had no co-sponsors and never came to a floor vote.

I think you get the point. on we go, until we reach this mess in the middle:

And tonight we have an important message for those who question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country. Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes to the truth and their ears, they should remember what America is really all about. They should remember the great idea of freedom for which so many have given their lives. Our purpose now is to reclaim our democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism, it is the heart and soul of patriotism.

You see that flag up there. We call her Old Glory. The Stars and Stripes forever. I fought under that flag, as did so many of those people who are here tonight and all across the country. That flag flew from the gun turret right behind my head. And it was shot through and through and tattered, but it never ceased to wave in the wind. It draped the caskets of men that I served with and friends I grew up with. For us that flag is the most powerful symbol of who we are and what we believe in. Our strength. Our diversity. Our love of country. All that makes America both great and good.

Get the man some lithium. Apparently, questioning Kerry’s proposals is questioning his patriotism.

You know what? I am tired. I don’t care what he has to say- there is no chance I will vote for the man.

BTW- no mention of abortion. Weird.

*** Update ***

Michael Totten:

John Kerry is a Politician. Id give him a 50-50 grade on the content of his speech. Only trouble is hes such a self-contradictory phony parsing his speech isn’t worth any effort. He says he wont let any nation veto our foreign policy. Excellent. Glad to hear it, John! So what, exactly, was the point of your 18-month whine-fest because Bush more or less stuck to your promise?


Berger Rumors

Atrios and the Atriettes are promoting this WSJ piece stating that Sandy Berger is in the clear:

Officials looking into the removal of classified documents from the National Archives by former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel Berger say no original materials are missing and nothing Mr. Berger reviewed was withheld from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Not so, says Newsmax:

senior spokeswoman for the National Archives denied a report Friday morning that Archives officials have cleared former Kerry-Edwards campaign adviser Sandy Berger on charges that he withheld documents from the 9/11 Commission.

“In spite of what the Wall Street Journal said, the National Archives really isn’t commenting on this case because it’s under investigation,” Susan Cooper, chief spokeswoman for the Archives, told

I’ll keep you posted.

BTW-now that we know that Atrios’s real name is a Soros-funded left-winger named Duncan Black, I guess I really wasn’t all that off last year when I called him the Prince of Darkness.

WaPo on Kerry

Everyone is talking about the Washington Post Editorial slamming Kerry’s speech. Read the whole thing, but my favorite part was this:

Yet in economics as in national security, Mr. Kerry missed an opportunity for straight talk. His promises to stop the outsourcing of jobs and end dependence on Middle East oil are not grounded in reality.

Holy loads of euphemisms….