President Bush said on Oct. 31 that Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, should apologize to troops serving in Iraq for a joke that suggested those troops are uneducated.
Mr. Kerry refused to apologize, saying his harsh ridicule had been meantforMr.Bush,notthemilitary.
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” Mr. Kerry said on Oct. 30 during a campaign rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides.
AtacampaignrallyinGeorgiaon Oct. 31, Mr. Bush injected the issue straight into the midterm elections, demanding an apology.
“The senator’s suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting, and it is shameful. The members of the United States military are plenty smart, and they are plenty brave, and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology,” he said.
Mr. Kerry first issued an unapologetic press release on Oct. 31 in response to remarks earlier in the day by White House spokesman TonySnow,whocalledthequote“an absolute insult” that “fits a pattern” ofnegativeremarksfromMr.Kerry about U.S. troops.
The Democrat then held a press conference in which he angrily said his comments were a “botched joke” about Mr. Bush and his administration. Mr. Kerry said he didn’t mean that U.S. troops joined the military because they couldn’t get a decent job or education, but rather that Mr. Bush wasn’t smart enough to avoid getting the country stuck in a quagmire.
Mr.Kerrysaidthepresidentisthe onewhoowesU.S.troopsanapology because he “misled America into warand[has]givenusaKatrinaforeign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it.”
Sen. John McCain on Oct. 31 chastised Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, for saying that those who are not well-educated end up fighting in Iraq.
“Senator Kerry owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country’s call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education,” said Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican.
“Americans from all backgrounds, well-off and less fortunate, with high-school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“The suggestion that only the least-educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq is an insult to every soldier serving in combat, and should deeplyoffendanyAmericanwithan ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk [. . . ] Without them, we wouldn’t live in a country where people securely possess all their God-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-con-
sidered and uninformed remarks.”
Bloggers reacted with glee on Oct. 31 to Sen. John Kerry’s angry denunciation of his critics, including his characterization of conservatives as “right-wing nut jobs.”
AtRedState.com,MoeLanesuggested, “Here’s a hint to Kerry’s handlers: it’s bad when the right wing nut-jobs have a quick fight over who gets the byline of publishing your press release.”
“Kerry’s suggestion that the troops in Iraq are dumb failures is not only reprehensible, but false on the facts,” Glenn Reynolds said at Instapundit.com. “In other words, a typical Kerry performance, just in time for the elections. Democrats must be wondering what they were thinking to nominate him in 2004, and why he won’t go away now.”
Ace of Spades HQ (http://ace.mu.nu) observed: “Hmmm [. . . ] he presents us all with a dilemma. If we don’t join the military, we’re fat (‘doughy’ like Rush Limbaugh) cowardly chickenhawk nutjobs. If we do join it, we’re just drooling morons.”
At TownHall.com, Mary KatharineHamwrote:“Ifhewants to make the case that he misspoke, fine. Make it. Don’t call the rest of usliarsforhearingexactlywhatyou said.”
“Wehaveourselvesameltdown,” Allahpundit said at HotAir.com. “ScoreonemoreforLurch’sfamous political acumen.”
“For the first time since before Watergate, the New York Times endorsed no Republicans for election to Congress this year,” the New York Daily News’ Ben Smith writes.
“It’s a sign of a few things: The polarized country, the end of a meaningful moderate wing of the GOP, and the Times’ own move left,” Mr. Smith said.
“A look back at the Times archives through 1972 finds that the paper’s powerful editorial page endorsed at least one Republican for the House or Senate every year. Some of these were well-known local moderates like Hamilton Fish and Bill Green. Others include a young Connecticut candidate named John Rowland in 1986.”
“This year more voters than ever will cast ballots early. The result may be that we get the final election results late,” John Fund writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.
“It’s possible we won’t know whichpartycontrolseitherhouseof Congressfordaysorevenweeksbecause of all the disputes and delays caused by absentee ballots,” Mr. Fund said.
“Thirtystatesnowallowanybody to cast an absentee ballot without having to give an excuse for missing Election Day. That’s up from just 20 states six years ago. Several other states also allow early voting at government buildings or even grocery stores. This year, it’s expected that over one in four Americans will vote before Election Day.
“In states such as Washington, California and Arizona, more than half the ballots are likely to be absentee. In California, more than 1 in 5 voters have signed up to receive absentee ballots for every election. Oregon has gone even further. In 2000, it abolished polling places, and everyone votes by mail.
“If control of Congress hinges on a few close races, don’t expect to know the final outcome on Election Night. While early votes cast on electronic machines are easily integrated into the totals from traditional polling places, paper absentee ballots are typically counted only after the others.
“In Florida, Pennsylvania and some other states, ballots will come in for days because they are legal if postmarked on or before Election Day. Provisional votes, which are cast when a voter doesn’t show up on registration rolls, can also slow down the process. Generally, officials have up to 14 days to determine if a vote is valid. Maryland officials barely met that deadline after [problems] with electronic voting machines dramatically increased the number of provisional votes cast in its primary [in September].
“Insomesupertightraces,aflood of absentee ballots could delay the results for weeks.”
Rep.DuncanHunter,aCalifornia Republican and chairman of the House Arms Services Committee, on Oct. 30 announced plans to run for president in 2008.
“As I finish my final two years as chairman of the Armed Services Committeeandserveyou,Iamalso going to be preparing for a run for president of the United States,” Mr. Huntersaidatapressconferencein San Diego.
Mr. Hunter, 58, raised his profile among conservatives as co-author of legislation to construct a 700mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The announcement allows Mr. Hunter, who was first elected to Congress in 1980 and is running for re-election on Nov. 7, to begin raising money for his presidential campaign, Reuters news agency
America’s liberal elite turned up their noses at the $500,000 price tag to celebrate Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday, Britain’s Daily Mail reports.
The weekend of activities included photographs taken with Mr. Clinton during a round of golf and three days of cocktail, brunch and dinner parties. The Rolling Stones performed a concert for the former president on Oct. 29 at the Beacon Theater in New York.
“I’d like to welcome President Clinton,” singer Mick Jagger told the cheering crowd. “And I see she’s brought her husband.”
“Wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea sent out about 10,000 invitations to Hollywood tycoons, movie stars, captains of industry and Wall Street — with all proceeds to go to the former president’s charitable foundation,” the Daily Mail reported.
The minimum price, with inferior concert seats and no brunch, was set at $60,000, but many rich Democrats sent their regrets and prices were drastically slashed to $12,500 for one reception and the concert, or $5,000 for just the Stones. Tickets eventually dropped to $1,700 — about four times what the Stones normally charge for the best seats.
“It is all highly embarrassing for Bill and Hillary,” a friend of the couple told the Daily Mail. “When they created the idea, they thought it would go like wildfire. What’s not going to please some who did come up with $500,000 is finding regular Stones fans there who got lastminute tickets on the Internet.”
Those “last-minute tickets,” The Washington Times has learned, went to a couple dozen die-hard Rolling Stones fans who were selected from a fan club to play extras in a documentary Martin Scorsese is filming about the band.
Seems Mr. Scorsese was looking tofilmayounger,hippercrowdthan that offered by the friends of Bill and Hillary.
Sen. John Kerry is drawing intense fire from Republicans after his quote about U.S. troops in Iraq.
Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday bash turned into something of a bust, according to Britain’s Daily Mail, which reported that promoters had to slash the $500,000 fee to boost attendance.