Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I was attempting a more substantive post on the Republican National Convention, but work and allergies have kept my brain from full functionality so far this week. Instead of a rambling discourse, here are just a few of my impressions on the major speeches so far.
John McCain -- Missed his speech last night, but I have heard excellent things about it. The text of his speech is both eloquent and powerful. I have my disagreements with the man. I think he is a bit egotistical, and I blame him for this campaign-finance mess and the limitations on free speech that we are now facing. However, I have to admire him for his moral clarity, for his clear support of the president at this time just four years after a blistering primary season. He is a leader, and he is making a strong case for himself as such in 2008.
Rudy Giuliani -- Caught most of his speech last night. I found it intriguing, as the first part of the speech took me back a few years. When Giuliani talks about being in New York those first few days after September 11th, it's like you are there with him. You remember watching it unfold on TV, Rudy on TV shortly after he evacuated a WTC building, watching him duck for cover when a tower fell (as in the HBO documentary Telling Nicholas). Something I read this morning captured it best: Next to Douglas MacArthur, Giuliani is the most visible war hero of the 21st century. For that reason alone, I can handle the bombastic portions of his speech. He lived through it, he led through it. Although he has an abrasive side, he could be a formidable candidate someday. Monday night, I wondered if we may have seen the 2008 GOP ticket speak -- the question remains which one would be the presidential candidate and which one the VP?
Arnold Schwarzenegger -- Arnold's appearance seemed pretty close to flawless. I think he may be a better politician than he is an actor. Rudy/John/Jeb/Whomever must be praying that the proposed 27th amendment to allow foreign-born UC citizens to serve as president will not be passed anytime soon. Or maybe that's just what we Republicans should be hoping for, as there is something very Reganesque about the Governator. I could have lived without the jokes about girlie-men in a formal address, but Schwarzengegger provided one of the best descriptions of what it means to be a Republican that I have heard in a very long time. Perhaps it's his immigrant background, but he also did a wonderful job pointing out all that is good about America...and that's something we rarely hear from our politicians today.
Bush twins -- Okay girls, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt as I did tons of stupid things early in my college years. I was somewhat excited to hear what you had to say tonight...then sadly disappointed. Perhaps they aren't women of substance after all, as I heard they helped draft this bit. But didn't anyone watch them practice this intro? Couldn't someone have talked them out of the stand-up comedy routine? They were poised enough, but the giggling and the pop-culture-cute material was terrible. I thought the jokes about Condi, Karen and the hamster were cute...but otherwise I was a bit embarassed for them. I felt there were other things they could have said that would have been far more impressive. Unfortunately, my father's not president.
Laura Bush -- Elegance, eloquence, and grace under pressure. Her critics can say what they like, but I would take her sincerity over Theresa Kerry's bombast any day. I saw a woman trying to tell the nation why she believes in her husband's campaign and his choices, and I was impressed as usual. Warm, caring, and kind to boot. I agree with the early line that this speech probably did connect with the more sensitive female population quite well, while still acknowledging and alluding to the harsh realities of the war on terror.
I've missed a bunch that I hope to touch on later. I must say though that I am somewhat surprised. I didn't expect that much out of this convention, and it's turning into one of the more inspiring, optimistic events that I have witnessed out of the GOP in quite a while. Looking forward to Dick Cheney tomorrow night, as I adore the old guy.
Friday, August 27, 2004
No time for a real post tonight, so just let me put in a plug for one of the best movies I have seen in a while...Garden State. As regular blog readers know, I am a big fan of Scrubs. My favorite parts of the show? Well Donald Faison and I go way back to his Clueless/Felicity days, but Scrubs would not be the entertaining sitcom that it is without Zach Braff. I struggle to think of another actor who could so pull off JD quite so well.
After seeing Garden State this weekend I think Zach Braff may have a serious shot at becoming one of the most highly-esteemed actors/directors of our generation. I'm not sure what I loved about this movie, but it resonated with me. Long story short: drug-deadened twenty-eight year old actor returns home for his mother's funeral leaving the Valium behind and starts to experience life. After this movie, I heart Zach Braff even more. I think he has a real talent. This movie showed that he may have a unique, touching way of commenting on choices and problems faced by our generation. I enjoyed this movie while I was watching it, and yet I was still trying to figure its significance days later. Great soundtrack as well.
(And as for the unspoken question, my hubby knows full well about my fixation on young Mr. Braff. Just as I know full well about his unqualified adoration for Miss Natalie Portman...which explains why we went to see this movie the first chance we had.)
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Life's busy at the moment, so tonight I share one of my stronger posts in the past few weeks. Except it's not a post at all, it's my response to the suggestion that by noting the Swiftboat Vets' advertisements I am a misinformed smear merchant and our president is a "sorry excuse for a Christian". (Anonymous commenter's words, not mine). Excuse its stream-of-consciousness nature, but it's where my thoughts took me. I tried to tone down the emotional contingent of my response, hopefully I succeeded for the most part.
First of all, my father served in the National Guard for years. I daresay he spent more time in the military than John Kerry, so let's not even go there.
Secondly, I take offense to the word smear from an anonymous, non-addressable individual. I stand for the open and honest exchange of information and debate of ideas both by the Swiftboat Veterans, Kerry, other bloggers, and myself. This blog is my viewpoint on the world, not the absolute truth. It’s a place for my friends and acquaintances can read what I think. If you don’t like it, write something polite that challenges my ideas and I will respond.
I am against censorship of advertisement, particularly if we are going to let one side make libelous comparisons to Hilter and try to sue advertisements off the air when the other side expresses a dissenting opinion about the media’s candidate of choice. I agree that it is unfortunate that the tone of advertising has gotten so negative. However I'd blame that on the other 87% of 527s out there that have been slamming Bush for months.
The Swiftboat Vets are 250+ decorated military veterans that disagree with the military actions and/or statements of our potential Commander-in-Chief. Expressing these concerns, raising questions about inaccuracies in reports, and replaying Kerry's own words before Congress is their right as Americans. In my opinion, much more of a "smear" campaign has been conducted against these veterans than John F. Kerry.
He has been given a pass when he makes blatantly untrue statements or changes his story. The misinformation is at least partially from his camp -- Christmas in Cambodia or hearing about MLK's assassination while in Vietnam...when in reality he did not arrive until 6 months later? I believe that there may be more truth in the other matters these veterans are bringing to light. That's why I have been discussing the matter here on my blog – to bring to light what may be misinformation.
I'm not begrudging the fact that Kerry may have served honorably, perhaps even heroically. 99% of those who went over there did, in my humble opinion, not to mention the men who served at home. I am questioning the fact that Kerry did not do so with self-serving interests in mind, given that he took a video camera over there to re-enact battles after the fact and bolted as soon as he obtained a third Purple Heart. More importantly, I don't think either one of those behaviors is something I consider a leadership quality, something I want to see in the President of the United States. From what I've heard of Kerry's behaviors off the battlefield, this type of manipulation and gaming the system is par for the course.
Finally, just because a person disagrees with the most liberal interpretation of theology, does not make him less of a Christian. Ever hear the idea that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones? Ultimately, we all must make an educated assessment of what we personally believe scripture says, live our lives accordingly, and answer to the big guy for our decisions in the end. Including you.
Edited 8/27: Removed me repeating myself
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
No time to come up with another post of substance this evening, but I'm a guilty little blogger for letting real life get in the way of my posting these last few weeks. So just a few notes...
What I'd really like to write about tonight is the miraculous transformation of Dick Cheney. In less than 24 hours, Chicago talk radio has gone from portraying him as an ogre-like old man that is dragging down the Bush ticket to a remarkably, courageous maverick for publicly discussing his daughter's sexuality and wishing the same-sex marriage issue could be left to the states. That's not to say that I entirely disagree with his comments (as I would like to elaborate in the post I do not have time to write this evening), but I just find it interesting how the mainstream media can turn on a dime when it suits their purposes.
Kinda makes a young female Illinois Republican feel downright inferior. Before heading off to Harvard Law, Urbana native and Miss America 2003 Erika Harold will be a delegate to the GOP convention. I believe I also read in USA Today that she may get to speak on the floor. The FoxNews article notes her political aspirations -- if only she were a few years older and could have run for Senate this year. That would have made for an interesting race!
I knew Kwame was destined for bigger and better projects. Take that Bill!
My sister's going to be at an Oprah taping at 7 am tomorrow. I don't know if she's done any shows since the jury trial, but if there's any juicy inside scoop from that show I'll be sure to pass it aloong.
Josh Claybourn has up a beautiful, touching piece about his final hours with his mother. I can't say much more about it than that, except that it's powerful reading. My prayers are still with you Josh.
That's all for tonight folks -- see you Thursday or Friday.
My dad's birthday is coming up this weekend. I adore my father, and when his birthday comes...whatever he wants, I try to get it for him. It's usually not too unreasonable. An Animal House DVD, Eddie Bauer slippers sheepswool slippers, pretty much any small gadget from Brookstone or Sharper Image, whatever.
Except this year, the first request from his birthday list is darn near impossible to find. He went to the bookstore in my hometown last week and asked for the Swiftboat Vets' book. He was constantly stared down by piles upon piles of Bill Clinton's mug, but he was pretty upset that he couldn't find a copy of the book that's #1 on Amazon and #3 on the NY Times list in any of the local stores.
I live near a larger city that's graced with two large corporate bookstores, so I ventured out shopping Saturday night. No dice after prowling around the front of the bookstore for 5 minutes. I proceeded back to the information counter and asked the clerk about Unfit for Command. Her response? Basically she confirmed Barnes and Noble's official press release today by saying that it's "immensely popular" and "they cannot keep it on the shelves". The 10,000 copies listed in B&N's warehouse Friday morning were gone by Saturday afternoon. She advised me to call every day to see if shipments had arrived. Checked Amazon when I got home -- as of Saturday evening it said it would ship within 5 to 7 weeks. Today it's down to 7 days, but it's enough to make you wonder who owns the publishing house.
I won't dissect the whole Swiftboat issue again, because it would take too long and I'm exhausted, but I believe that trying to sue a 527 add off the air is ridiculous. The opinions expressed by the veterans are just as valid (in my opinion much moreso) as the libelous dreck in the moveon.org ads recently. If Kerry wants the Swiftboat ads pulled, then I'm with the president -- ask all the other 527s to stop their advertising as well. John Kerry made his 4 months of military service a key issue in this campaign, and I think that's why you are seeing the amazing demand for the book and overall interest develop in whether these charges are credible. I'm just amazed that it hasn't hurt him more at this point.
I'm a bit too busy to hunt the book down this week, so Sunday evening I purchased my dad's runner-up birthday request, American Soldier by Tommy Franks. But the whole shopping experience left me a bit hopeful that a few people must be considering the Swiftboat Vets opinions, reading their message and assessing it for themselves.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Tuesday's bleat dissects the Marshall Field's Fall Sale advertisement. I daresay I agree with him. There's not much in the stores to tempt me at the moment...and clothes shopping is my major Achilles heel when it comes to fighting the good fight against materialism.
"This film unmasks the Great Satan America," a spokesman said. "It tells Muslim people why they are right in hating America. It is the duty of every believer to see [this film] and learn the truth."
One guess what film he's talking about. First accolades from Fidel Castro, now hateful Iranian mullahs. Way to go filmmaker-who-shall-not-be-given-more-free-PR-here. (Credit to a fine article by Amir Taheri that explores Arab Bush-hating in much greater depth)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
If you need to read something that will brighten your day, read about the successful separation and recovery of conjoined twins Clarence and Carl Aguirre. It's a seemingly miraculous success, and the picture that accompanies it is precious.
Joshua Claybourn lost his mom this weekend at age 49. My heart sank when I read the front page of his blog today. The blogosphere's kind of funny that way. I've never met Josh in any personal capacity, but he's been a blogging buddy for about two years now. It feels like a good friend of mine has experienced a tremendous loss.
It's been one of those months here in Central Illinois. Reminders of our mortality are everywhere. First the little ragamuffins ran us into the ground with VBS last week -- 10 year-olds that were merely 6 years of age when I moved here. At church Friday night, our pastor came upon my husband and I stuffing our faces with ice cream and looking exhausted. His first words? "Don't let this week keep you from having children sometime in the near future." I don't think that's on the horizon in the near future, but this week was an extreme reminder of just how quickly time passes.
Saturday we headed back to my hometown for a wedding of one of my friends from high school, an extreme practical joker, THE expert at goofing around in high school. He got married this weekend in a beautiful outdoor service at the local forest preserve. I hadn't seen him in almost three years before we ran into him recently. At least in my mind, he's gone from this big goofy kid to husband and step-dad overnight. I guess we're all growing up...there are just some times it hits you harder than others.
My husband and I are going through some growing pains ourselves. I'm busy at work and getting ready to start some evening MBA classes. He's this close to finished with his masters, and he's joined the job-seeking masses. Not just any job, one in his new field of expertise and that pays decently. Few to nil leads yet here in Central Illinois. We're trying to stay optimistic, but if you aren't vigilant, it really does color how you look at things.
Where is this rambling going? To make a long story short, my husband and I are thinking about leaving Central Illinois. It's our Plan B, but it feels like it's getting closer to reality. I've started researching other B-Schools and he's researching other tech hotbeds. Primarily Chicago, Dallas, and Austin have been kicked around so far. Very preliminary, but it's enough to make me a bit nervous.
It's tough fos us to contemplate making such a major move when we are spoiled by having our families nearby. Both our parents are in their mid-fifties and live less than 70 miles away. If we are lucky, we see them twice a month or so. Our relationships with them aren't perfect, but they are good solid ones. We love them and wish we had more opportunities to spend quality time with them. It's hard to imagine these relationships reduced to a few phone calls a month, especially when assorted problems with our parents' health remind us that we never know how much time we have left together.
Knowing how much thought I've pondered these topics lately and how confronting my parents' mortality makes me feel, I can only imagine how Josh is feeling tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith" -- 1 Corinthians 16:13
That's the prevailing theme from HeroQuest, the curriculum that is keeping us busy this week, as my household is spending a good two hours each night convincing pre-teens that they aren't too old / too cool for Vacation Bible School. It really is a lot of fun though. While a bit squirrelly, they are great kids and it's fun to watch them take in the stories and figure out ways to apply them to their everyday lives.
So last week it was pre-wedding festivities for a close friend from college. This week it's 8 hours or work, 1 hour to travel, 3 hours for VBS each day. Time is precious at the moment. I'll be posting when I can though -- thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
For the US Senate race in Illinois, as Alan Keyes has stepped in to assure that we will not be without an alternative on the ballot in November. Do I think he has a shot? No, not really. Am I upset about it? In my mind, I had chalked this seat up as a GOP loss in mid-May. While I'm unhappy that my views will no longer have any sort of representation in the Senate, it's something I have come to terms with and accepted.
Greg Blankenship has posted an excellent run-down of the Keyes/Obama battle if you're interested in more details. He makes an excellent point that Keyes might be able to tighten up the race by focusing on Obama's extreme left record on the issues.
"Obama is the proverbial "Music Man," he looks good and communicates well but he is running a con game on us with the willing aid of the state press corps. Obama is part of the wild eyed wing of the Democratic party. He merely has congenial facade. For example, when Blair Hull was the flavor of the day, Obama was the "Howard Dean" candidate. Now Obama is a centrist??? Please.
Basically though, this race is a throwaway. In some respects, I think that inviting Alan Keyes onto the Illinois ballot is just a hair off Spoons' suggestion of letting Obama run unopposed.
Keyes has suggested that he will draw upon his national support to fund his run in Illinois. Illinois GOP constituents will not have to put on a happy face and pour money into this campaign just to make it look like we didn't give up. The fact that these are now two nationally-known public figures will draw attention to the race and debates may potentially highlight Obama's extreme-left positions on the issues. I still think Obama will win this time, but the seeds of doubt about the far left views of the senator(s) from Illinois will have been planted for the future. Perhaps this gives the party a launching point for future races...although I still don't understand why they didn't offer the slot to those who actually ran for this nomination (Andy McKenna or even Jim Oberweis despite his seemingly deficient grasp on the immigration/jobs issues).
Do I really think they put this much thought into the Keyes nomination? Not necessarily. They may just not have wanted to expend the money and the effort on an already-lost battle. Every cloud has a silver lining though, and I am just looking for it here. Silver lining #2? I'm thinking the debates will be pretty darn entertaining.
Rumored Jay Leno riffs about John Kerry -- received them at work work today and thought they were too cute not to pass along:
"The Secret Service has announced it is doubling its protection for John Kerry. You can understand why - with two positions on every issue, he has twice as many people mad at him."
"We make jokes about it but the truth is this presidential election really offers us a choice of two well-informed opposing positions on every issue. OK, they both belong to John Kerry, but they're still there"
"President Bush listed his income as $822,000. You know what John Kerry calls someone who earns $822,000? Not even worth dating."
"Well the good news for Democrats, now over half the country can identify a picture of John Kerry. The bad news, the majority still thinks he's the dad from The Munsters."
"John Kerry accused President Bush of catering to the rich. You know, as opposed to John Kerry who just marries them."
"They say John Kerry is the first Democratic presidential candidate in history to raise $50 million in a three-month period. Actually, that's nothing. He once raised $500 million with two words: 'I do.'"
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Tonight Spoons brings my attention to the new advertisement being run by Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. Basically this ad takes the men . Of the 19 men in that photo with Kerry, 2 are deceased, 4 did not participate, 1 supports Kerry's candidacy, and 12 believe that he is "unfit for command". On June 1st, a letter was sent to the Kerry campaign asking them to cease and desist with using this image in advertising as it seemed to imply that these 12 swiftboat veterans supported his candidacy. We continued to hear about Kerry's Vietnam swiftboat mates during last week's convention brouhaha...but how many in that photo really support him now?
The ad is powerful. The images and stories behind it on the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth website are even moreso. Here's a small sampling:
"His biography, 'Tour of Duty,' by Douglas Brinkley, is replete with gross exaggerations, distortions of fact, contradictions and slanderous lies. His contempt for the military and authority is evident by even a most casual review of this biography. He arrived in-country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for his political future. He was aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard for specific tactical assignments. He was a 'loose cannon.' In an abbreviated tour of four months and 12 days, and with his specious medals secure, Lt.(jg) Kerry bugged out and began his infamous betrayal of all United States forces in the Vietnam War." -- Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman USN (retired)
"While in Cam Rahn Bay, he trained on several 24-hour indoctrination missions, and one special skimmer operation with my most senior and trusted Lieutenant. The briefing from some members of that crew the morning after revealed that they had not received any enemy fire, and yet Lt.(jg) Kerry informed me of a wound -- he showed me a scratch on his arm and a piece of shrapnel in his hand that appeared to be from one of our own M-79s. It was later reported to me that Lt.(jg) Kerry had fired an M-79, and it had exploded off the adjacent shoreline. I do not recall being advised of any medical treatment, and probably said something like 'Forget it.' He later received a Purple Heart for that scratch, and I have no information as to how or whom." -- Commander Grant Hibberd USN (retired)
"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment are the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his grubby shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous lines in the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and MIAs, as murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on all military veterans and their families.
Kerry would be described as devious, self-absorbing, manipulative, disdain for authority, disruptive, but the most common phrase that you'd hear is 'requires constant supervision.'" -- Captain Charles Plumly, USN (retired)
For those who believe that character matters, this is pretty damning stuff...especially since Kerry's four months of military service were presented as one of the primary reasons to vote for him at the DNC convention last week. It will be interesting to see how this ad plays out in the weeks up until the convention and if John O'Neill's book Unfit for Command gets the kind of coverage that Bill Clinton, Bob Woodward, and Richard Clarke's tomes did this spring. If not, you can help keep this ad on the air by donating at swiftvets.com. It's something to consider.
Meredith has already linked to the Onion and my big chuckle of the day. Fun for liberals and conservatives alike! Although I must admit that former probably sees this article as closer to truth than fiction, while the latter just enjoys the play on a good stereotype.
Is an Onion article about John Kerry working at the Waffle House far behind? Although I imagine they'd stop at Waffle House for the photo op then have 19 boxes of croissants from Au Bon Pain waiting on the bus. :)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Banshee-Blog backdate blogs the DNC Convention from last week: Monday (Gore/Carter/Clintons), Tuesday (Kennedy/12 year old who does not read Kerry's f#$*ing interviews in Rolling Stone/Tereza), Wednesday (Doctah Jackson/Rangle/Sharpton/Edwards) and Thursday (Kerry's "Did you know I was in Vietnam?" spectacle) respectively. Love her quote about Kerry's allusion to Reagan at the end -- it bears repeating everytime Reagan's name is invoked throughout this election:
Kerry cited hard-core atheist Ron Jr.’s eulogy of the late President Reagan and said that like Reagan, Kerry does not “wear his faith on his sleeve.” It is certainly true that Reagan was not as outspoken in public about his Christian faith as President George W. Bush, but I would like to ask Mr. Kerry who he believes Mr. Reagan would have voted for in the upcoming election. I’ll give you a hint. It would not have been someone who believes in appeasing evil, bowing to France and the UN or murdering the unborn.
Speaking of which, I drove through Eureka this weekend. I haven't made it to visit Eureka College's Ronald Reagan Museum/Peace Garden since the Great Communicator's passing. Just driving through that sleepy little town though, I always feel that there's something special about it and the role it played in his character development, in the life of our nation. It's definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the neighborhood -- just off I-74 and about an hour south of I-80 in Central Illinois.
I almost posted this weekend about how excited my husband is about this Nomar trade, hoping it really helps the Cubs' chances for the Wild Card and the playoffs. Seen on a sign in Denver tonight -- "Nomar Curse". Here's to hoping.
I was going to blog this last week but if you are interested in American intelligence-gathering organizations and their role in the war on terror, The Grid miniseries is really engrossing, realistic television. It explores both the positive/negative effects of the conflict with Islamic fundamentalism and does a nice job of humanizing both the "good" and "bad" characters. I doubt that the Academy will ever recognize it since overall it disagrees with their world view and there are Reagan-bashing miniseries to reward, but make sure to tune in to TNT on Mondays at 8 pm for the next few weeks.
St. Louis papers have tracked down "Samir", the gentleman seen holding Sadaam Hussein on the ground during his capture last year. Pretty interesting story about how he came to work as an interpeter with the US military, his anger at being forced to leave his family 13 years ago, his conversation with Hussein in the foxhole, and his insistence on thanking President Bush for freeing the Iraqi's from Hussein and presenting him with his parents' "blessing beads" at a rally in St. Charles last month. (Hat tip to Liam at Hey Listen).
Not sure what I think about Alan Keyes potentially running for the Illinois Senate seat. Actually let me restate that...I think he will lose. However, I feel that running Alan Keyes would be the next best thing to letting Obama run unopposed. It would be making a point, it would bring attention to the Illinois Senate race, it might actually involve honest debate of very-conservative versus hyper-liberal ideas. If Keyes could do this without seeming too self righteous (Michael at the Chicago Report thinks Keyes's over-confidence would benefit Obama), it would at least be an interesting race to watch.
Speaking of Barack Obama, I will again repeat that he seems like a nice person who truly believes in what he's doing. I am still exceptionally happy to learn about the Obama Truth Squad, a new blog highlighting Obama's exceptionally liberal record in the Illinois Senate. This will not make a difference as Chicago is trending more socialist every day, but it's nice that someone's trying to make his true record an issue in this race.
Um yeah. I'm still alive. Still very much in recovery from my weekend. Let's just suffice it to say that staying out until 4 am does not agree with me anymore. On the other hand, the nightlife in Peoria was basically jumping this weekend. Concert on the riverfront (Jamm Sammich), block party downtown, lots of college boys telling us the old married woman of the group that she only looked 23 or 24 :) I can handle a few more years of bachelorette parties if that keeps happening.
So on one hand it was a good time. On another hand, I still have to work 40 hours this week and my body does not tolerate late nights as well at 26 as it used to back at 21 or so. As a result, I may refrain from posting my detailed John Kerry speech play-by-play.
At this point, others have summed it up the "no bounce" capstone address far better than I can at present. I will offer one additional comment though. All those surmising that Kerry suffered because he didn't bash Bush enough in his address -- I think you are wrong. Well-informed voters could still note plenty of Bush bashing in Kerry's address last Thursday. It was perfectly crafted to appeal to the radical Dem delegate base and yet the slamming was subtle enough that those who are less informed about current events and politics would not notice.
I'd like to surmise that most independent undecided voters that bother to watch convention speeches are pretty well informed. I find it quite plausible that they noted Kerry's subtle salutes to Michael Moore's fearmongering conspiracy theories and that they were turned off by his antics. In the end, this may not end up mattering. However, it will be interesting to see if Kerry keeps up the sly, subtle cheap shots as the campaign progresses.