Flight Schools and Ketchup

Calpundit — who doesn’t see a problem with the early release of exit polls — continues to lead the pack on the Bush National Guard story. He links to a USA Today story, posted last night, which alleges that in the late 90’s, Bush advisers and National Guard officers discussed “cleansing” Bush’s military records to prevent the release of damaging information. Calpundit has spoken to the main source for that story, Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, and posted excerpts from that conversation. He concludes: “Burkett’s story is at least believable enough that it deserves wider exposure.”

Atrios takes the story in a slightly different direction, linking to a Boston Globe piece in which two retired National Guard generals assert that Bush’s loss of flight status after he failed to take a physical should have prompted an investigation by his commanding officer. Atrios asks, “Is anyone else starting to think that after being hung out to dry in Iraq, the Guard is striking back?”

Instapundit keeps the focus on the Democratic frontrunner, linking to a column by James Glassman (whose stock, so to speak, isn’t too high right now) pointing out that “the Kerry family business” — H.J. Heinz — operates 57 foreign factories. That could make it tough for Kerry to raise outsourcing as a big election issue, Instapundit suggests. But it does mean cheap ketchup for everyone.

Mickey Kaus suggests that “Edwards now has to decide if he will beat up on John Kerry in advance of the big March 2 primary. It’s hard to see how he can possibly win the nomination otherwise. … In effect, Edwards must choose whether he wants to be president or vice president.” Kaus also links to a 1970 Harvard Crimson article that points out that Kerry opposed the Vietnam War even before he enlisted. But Kaus can’t decide “if Kerry’s prior view makes his service more noble … or more hypocritical and self-preserving.”

And Spinsanity (one of whose editors, we should point out, is Campaign Desk Assistant Managing Editor Bryan Keefer) does a number on an Associated Press article erroneously headed “Kerry Signed Letter Backing Gay Marriage.” (This wasn’t the only editorial malfunction at the AP yesterday.) As Spinsanity shows, the letter Kerry signed opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (or “homosexual nuptials”, as the amendment put it.) That’s very different from “backing gay marriage”.

And Wonkette is still stalking Matthew Yglesias.

Zachary Roth

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.